This thought occurred to me as the world – that is, the western world of Europe and the U.S. – is conceding at least eastern Ukraine, if not all of Ukraine to Russia on the basis that there are already lots of Russians there and that there are long historic ties.
For instance, Russia already has sucked up Crimea which has a 53 percent Russian population. They’ve got the army and the political and economic power to do what they want. Extending the premise of representing a large, though minority, percent age of the population, Russia should also probably reacquire Estonia and Latvia. That the latter are part of the North American Treaty Organization (NATO) is complicating, but given the pacifist and isolationist nature of the west that shouldn’t be too much of a complication.
So, let’s look at the percentage of Russian populations in those regions. Quick research shows that eastern Ukraine provinces range between 24 and 39 percent Russian. The western provinces run from 10 percent down to 2 percent. Estonia is nearly 28 percent Russian or Belorus; Latvia, 30 percent. They all have historic connections to Russia or the Soviet Union.
Now, take a look our western states: California is 38 percent Hispanic/Latino; New Mexico is 47 percent; Arizona 30 percent; Nevada, 27 percent; Oklahoma, 9 percent; Colorado, 21 percent; Texas, 38 percent; and Utah only 13 percent. As I wrote earlier, Texas is a separate case winning a war for its independence from Mexico in the mid 1830s. The rest, excluding Colorado, were ceded to the U.S. after the 1846-48 Mexican war. California and New Mexico were bought for $15 million plus $3.25 in debt.
Interestingly, part of Mexico’s problem with the U.S. started when the Mexican government, fresh from its independence from Spain in 1821, encouraged immigration to its northwestern areas. Immigrants soon became the driving and controlling force particularly when the central government couldn’t protect settlers from Comanche and Apache raiders. The backdrop to all of this was the Louisiana Purchase of 1803 ($15 million) from France which brought the U.S. borders out to those western states. A policy of Manifest Destiny did the rest. Of course, it was the Spanish Conquistadors who conquered the highly advanced (except for warfare) Aztec civilization that extended as far north as Colorado. What goes around comes around, I guess.
The likelihood of cessation of territory happening is slim, of course, unless there is a separatist movement and the last secession movement in 1860 ended badly for the secessionists. However, cessation would relieve the political pressure of the moment where one side is seeking to soak up power controlling votes with an amnesty and open borders policy and the other trying to retain some political control as well as border control. Theoretically, comprehensive immigration reform would achieve goals for both sides – if the yet-to-be-enacted legislation is enforced. By the way, it was President George W. Bush, a Spanish-speaking, ex-two-term Texas governor, who proposed a comprehensive plan that was promptly shot down by both parties.
In the meantime, in the absence of real and realistic progress toward solving the problem, I offer my solution and it has its precedence in the arguments for the Russification of Ukraine.