Russia offered to sell Alaska to the United States in 1859, believing the United States would off-set the designs of Russia’s greatest rival in the Pacific, Great Britain. This purchase ended Russia’s presence in North America and ensured U.S. access to the Pacific northern rim.
The purchase added 586,412 square miles (1,518,800 km2) of new territory to the United States for the cost of $7.2 million ( 2 cents per acre). In modern terms, the cost was equivalent to $132 million in 2019 dollars or $0.37 per acre.
Russia controlled most of the area that is now Alaska from the late 1700s until 1867, when it was purchased by U.S. Secretary of State William Seward for $7.2 million, or about two cents an acre.
In 1786, Shelikhov returned to Russia and in 1790 dispatched Aleksandr Baranov to manage his affairs in Alaska . Baranov established the Russian American Company and in 1799 was granted a monopoly over Alaska . Seward signed a treaty with Russia for the purchase of Alaska for $7.2 million.
There are two main reasons. First, Canada wasn’t its own country in 1867. Second, Great Britain controlled the Canadian colonies. Russia did not want to sell Alaska to its rival.
In the end, the Soviet Union would become the rightful winners of the Russian Civil War and Alaska would be recognized as an independent country. The fall of the Soviet Union would be celebrated in Alaska , but there would not be any reunification; the United States would not tolerate Alaska being reannexed by Russia .
The narrowest distance between mainland Russia and mainland Alaska is approximately 55 miles. The stretch of water between these two islands is only about 2.5 miles wide and actually freezes over during the winter so you could technically walk from the US to Russia on this seasonal sea ice.
Though mocked by some at the time, the 1867 purchase of Alaska came to be regarded as a masterful deal. The treaty enlarged the United States by 586,000 square miles, an area more than twice the size of Texas, all for the bargain price of around two cents an acre.
1 Answer. United States acquisition of Hawaii enabled the American Navy to access Hawaii’s naval base, Pearl Harbor. Acquisition of Alaska enabled the United States to expand, find valuable resources and become more of a world power.
ALASKA was a Russian colony from 1744 until the USA bought it in 1867 for $7,200,000. It was made a state in 1959. Hawaii was a kingdom until 1893 and became a republic in 1894. It then ceded itself to the USA in 1898 and became a state in 1959.
The name “Alaska” derives from the Aleut word Alaxsxaq (also spelled Alyeska), meaning “mainland” (literally, “the object toward which the action of the sea is directed”). The U.S. purchased Alaska from Russia in 1867.
Can you drive a car from Alaska to Russia ? No, you cannot drive a car from Alaska to Russia because there is no land connecting the two. This also means that there is no road, no immigration offices and no way to legally exit or enter any of the countries.
But it’s much easier to get a view of Russia view by heading out into the Bering Strait to one of America’s weirdest destinations: Little Diomede Island.
1867: Alaska territory purchased from Russia for $7 million. 1898: Hawaii annexed as a United States territory. 1959: Alaska and Hawaii admitted, respectively, as the 49th and 50th states of the Union.
Some historians regard the transaction as a short-sighted blunder by Czar Alexander II, giving up Alaska’s rich natural resources, particularly its oil and gas, for $7.2 million – about $125 million (£100 million) in today’s money.