The book by Stephen Haycox is about the history of Alaskan natives and influence the Russian and American

United Stated Imperialism


Title of Course

Instructor’s Name



The book by Stephen Haycox is about the history of Alaskan natives and influence the Russian and American colonization had on the country and the state of affairs in the nation today. The author divides the book into two main parts with the first part talking about the period of colonization by the Russians and the second main part talking about the purchase of Alaska by the United States from the Russians. It is clear from the book that the two nations, America and Russia saw Alaska as a potential beneficial resource and hence the colonization. The book also has numerous indications and examples of the effects and influences of the American imperialism on the country. The author implies that the United States acquired the country and extended its national authority to Alaska through the acquisition it made from the Russian government. Though the book expounds on the events that took place in Alaska between the country and the United States, one can use this significant book in understanding better the imperialism of the United States in a wider, global context. The paper, therefore, will make use of the examples given by the author of how the United States imposed its cultures, military and economic endeavors on Alaska to analyze the imperialism of the nation in the whole globe.

The decision for the author to present the history of this country in two parts is interesting, as it results to the author paying a lot of attention to the events that took place during periods of the Russians and the Americans as colonists. The author argues that Alaska is best understood as a colony. He argues that colonialism is what links the two periods in the Alaskan history, the period of the Russian America and that of American Alaskan. According to the author, the Russians always understood Alaska as a resource, which they could exploit on the terms that were least costly, and by making use of the least personnel and material resources as possible. American Alaska, on the other hand, is shown to have similarly depended on such cheap resources and capital needs because the capital requirements to establish its natural resources have never existed in the territory.

According to the author, this is one of the most essential characteristics of colonial and imperialistic enterprises that must be sustained from without, and that have to develop dependencies that inevitably reduce the capability of the native individuals to maintain r preserve their self- determination and aboriginal culture, and that render non- native, or those who are otherwise referred to as the accurate native, colonial population subject to the political and economic judgments made by the absent investors after their own interests. Such arguments are not unfamiliar. We are aware of these characteristics present in other colonies of the United States. Many other colonized nations experienced the same experiences as Alaska. They had large firms ferrying resources and raw materials from their countries by such powers as the US. These investors were, similarly to Alaska, not to be found within the colonized countries but in the US where individuals and even the government ran these operations to benefit themselves and the country, and not the colonized country. It is clear that such imperialistic characteristics were applicable in Alaska, as well as, in other colonies of the United States.

These ideas, however, might seem a little both untrue or even provocative applied in a nation that has for long considered itself a stronghold of unfettered opportunities for entrepreneurs, as well as, adventurers, and that views itself as a libertarian nation free from the influences and constraints of the other societies. However, even for this country, it seems through the book that its cultures and traditional ways of life were not spared by America’s imperialism. According to the author, the reality of the nation seldom matches the Alaska every one imagines. He argues that though there is a vast wilderness in the country, most of it is not untrammeled. The author indicates that almost none of the residents in the states live in isolation or without the, most of the common amenities witnessed in civilized worlds. He indicates that all or most of towns and villages are connected to the mainstream cultures by satellite radio and television. He also argues that more than 70 percent of the country’s population lives in the urban areas. He even indicates that there is less difference between lives in the streets of many states in the United States from those in Alaska. This is a clear indication that the US imperialism influenced the culture and the lives of numerous Alaskans just like it did in numerous other countries all over the world.

American has influenced a lot of cultures and economies all over the world. The issue of affecting the way people live in the urban cities is not only experienced in Alaska but all over the world, what with the satellite television and radio connections not forgetting the Internet. The colonists went with certain lifestyles to their colonies and in turn imposed these lifestyles on their colonies. Their colonies remained with the lifestyles even after the Americans left and they are still, leading to the changing of cultures, to almost uniform ones globally.

The author continues with significant success to place the developments of the nation in the context of broader economic, social and political movements ranging from global influences of capitalist competition to attitudes towards the indigenous people of Alaska. His first goal is to provide a sound regional story, and offer his readers an assessment that is appropriately argued of internal reactions to external forces and how they have influenced and helped in defining Alaska. He places the arguments of the rights movement of the natives in Alaska, in a broader context of civil agenda in the US. He further studies the rise of aggressive development of resources and environmentalism after the Second World War through symbolism of images of the wilderness in the twentieth century and through a perceptive analysis of imperatives in commerce. The outcome is the positioning of the history of Alaska in a broader current of the history of America and the first foreseeable effort to connect the development in Alaska to the wider influences that shaped and help develop the western United States.

This is to imply that the united states had a large role to play, and still has in the politics, cultures, societies and economies of Alaska, just like it had in numerous other colonies it acquired. This imperialism can be seen in the development of almost similar political structures in the colonies as those in the United States, the development of social structures like the ones in the United States and even economic structures like those the colonialist, the United States, left in the colonies. The implication of the above descriptions of the author in the book are that the imperialism of the united states was well spread, covering all the areas that the colonists passed and influencing all the individuals they interacted with, and all the societies they lived in. The spread of this imperialism has not seized, and as the author indicates, it still spreads through the modern structures the society has adopted from the United States like mass media and the Internet. What catches ones attention is the misconception that many have that the occupation of the American colonists did not affect the way of life of the native Alaskans, because it is clear from the book that the American imperialism affected the aboriginal cultures in Alaska as much as other cultures in the world.


Clearly, the book is extremely useful in highlighting the way the American imperialism managed to survive and be successful in not only Alaska, but in other colonies. The author gives clear details of how extremely significant such colonies like Alaska among others played a significant role in developing America, and how America largely influenced the cultures, as well as, the economies of such colonies as Alaska.


Haycox, Stephen W. Alaska: an American Colony. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2002.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *