The purchase of Alaska in 1867 marked the end of Russian efforts to expand trade and settlements to the Pacific coast of North America , and became an important step in the United States rise as a great power in the Asia-Pacific region.
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.
|Alaska Alax̂sxax̂ (Aleut) Alaasikaq (Inupiaq) Anáaski (Tlingit) Alas’kaaq (Pacific Gulf Yupik)|
|Before statehood||Territory of Alaska|
|Admitted to the Union||January 3, 1959 (49th)|
Those who voted for statehood did so because they wanted the same rights as everyone else in the United States . As residents of Alaska , they could not vote for president or vice president. Alaska had no vote in Congress or in the Senate. Alaskans couldn’t even elect their own governor.
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.
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.
Seceding from a state and forming a new one requires the approval of the both the original state and the U.S. Congress. The State of Jefferson would be our 52nd state , the 51st being the now-aborning North Colorado.
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 treaty — setting the price at $7.2 million , or about $125 million today — was negotiated and signed by Eduard de Stoeckl, Russia’s minister to the United States, and William H. Seward, the American secretary of state.
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. During World War II, the Japanese occupied two Alaskan islands, Attu and Kiska, for 15 months.
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.
On January 3, 1959, President Eisenhower signs a special proclamation admitting the territory of Alaska into the Union as the 49th and largest state.
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.
Like Hawaii , Alaska became a state only after World War II. The Democrats, out of power and looking for an advantage, wanted to acquire the two senate seats that would be awarded to Alaska if it became a state . They were successful, and Alaska became the 49th state on January 3, 1959.