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.
On March 30, 1867, the two parties agreed that the United States would pay Russia $7.2 million for the territory of Alaska. For less that 2 cents an acre, the United States acquired nearly 600,000 square miles.
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.
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.
Today, Alaska is, of course, worth much more than that. The state encompasses 586,412 square miles or more than 375 million acres. 2 Even at a cost of just $100 per acre, that would equate to more than $37 billion .
If Russia had not sold Alaska to US in 1867 would Alaska today still be under Russian rule? If Russia hadn’t sold Alaska to the US in 1867 It would have passed into American hands in 1906 or 1907.
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.
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.
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 .
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 March 30, 1867, the United States reached an agreement to purchase Alaska from Russia for a price of $7.2 million. The Treaty with Russia was negotiated and signed by Secretary of State William Seward and Russian Minister to the United States Edouard de Stoeckl.
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.
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.