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.
On October 18, 1867, the U.S. formally takes possession of Alaska after purchasing the territory from Russia for $7.2 million, or less than two cents an acre. Negotiations between Seward (1801-1872) and the Russian minister to the U.S. , Eduard de Stoeckl, began in March 1867.
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.
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.
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.
Alaska ultimately proved to be rich in natural resources of timber, coal , copper, gold , and oil as well as salmon and furs.
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 .
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.
Really, you will likely find that Alaskan people are some of the most friendly and tolerant anywhere.
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.
1) We are the biggest state in the United States by a long shot. 2) We have 17 out of the 20 highest peaks in the United States . 3) We have over 3,000 rivers and 3 million lakes. We also have the biggest lake in the U.S., Lake Iliamna.