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.
On March 29, 1867, Stoeckl and Seward completed the draft of a treaty ceding Russian North America to the United States, and the treaty was signed early the following day. The price— $7.2 million —amounted to about two cents 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Alaska Purchase Treaty: Primary Documents in American History. In 1867, the United States purchased Alaska from Russia for a price of $7.2 million.
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.
The Louisiana Purchase has been described as the greatest real estate deal in history. In 1803 the United States paid France $15 million for the Louisiana Territory–828,000 square miles of land west of the Mississippi River.