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 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.
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.
The purchase of Alaska was called Seward’s Folly because it was considered to have been a mistake. The U.S. Secretary of State at the time, William H. Seward , arranged the deal for the United States to purchase Alaska from Russia. The discovery of gold in Alaska was the first sign of its actual value.
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.
If Russia hadn’t sold Alaska to the US in 1867 It would have passed into American hands in 1906 or 1907. After getting whooped by Japan in 1905, Russia was revealed as a waning power, and it was unable to reinforce any units in the Pacific.
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.
Interesting Facts. 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.
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.
On this day in 1867, United States Secretary of State William Seward signed a deal acquiring Alaska , an agreement that was ridiculed by some as “Seward’s Folly” and opposed in the House. The Alaska Purchase gave the United States a land mass of 586,412 square miles, an area about twice the size of Texas.
Reactions to the purchase in the United States were mostly positive, as many believed possession of Alaska would serve as a base to expand American trade in Asia. Some opponents labeled the purchase as “Seward’s Folly”, or “Seward’s Icebox”, as they contended that the United States had acquired useless land.
The U.S. purchased Alaska from Russia in 1867. In the 1890s, gold rushes in Alaska and the nearby Yukon Territory brought thousands of miners and settlers to Alaska .
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.
Russia did not sell Alaska to the United States in 1867. The Russia government only leased the region to the U.S. for an indefinite span of time. Now there are many in Russia who think the span has run its course, and they want Alaska back . It is a favorite theme of extreme Russian nationalists.