Fort Ross, California

Russian America

Given the disorder and hysteria that was the Cold War, it has become somewhat passé for Americans (let alone the world) to remember that the American state of Alaska was once a colony of their "greatest enemy" — the Russians. While it's easy to chalk the end to Russia's colonial ambitions to the sheer size and isolation that Alaska is notorious for, it was not for a lack of trying. Since the early 19th Century, the Russian Empire had as much ambition for North America as the rest of the European powers. Probably their greatest attempt to solidify their claims was the construction and operation of Fort Ross (a colony located in modern day Northern California). While not successful in regards to the overall goal, the colony lasted for about 30 years, and we can thank the Russians for the earliest exploration of this part of California (it ain't called the "Russian River" for nothing). The colony was eventually sold off and has pretty much been lost to history.

But for the moment, imagine if the Russians were to have been successful in the area as they'd hoped for. The area of the Pacific Northwest was by no means organized at the time and claimed by multiple, bickering powers fighting for control of it all. Had the situation taken a different turn at this crucial time, the Russians could've easily become the victors of the region. What would such a nation look and act like? How would this affect the Cold War? What would the world be like had their still been a Russian America?

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