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.
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.
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 .
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.
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 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.
The federal and state agencies in Alaska do not offer free land . The State of Alaska’s Department of Natural Resources however does have a Public Land Sale program and some other organizations in Alaska may occasionally offer land for sale to private citizens.
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.
1867: Alaska territory purchased from Russia for $7 million. 1898: Hawaii annexed as a United States territory. 1959: Alaska and Hawaii admitted, respectively, as the 49th and 50th states of the Union.
If Russia had not sold Alaska to US in 1867 would Alaska today still be under Russian rule? If Russia hadn’t sold Alaska to the US in 1867 It would have passed into American hands in 1906 or 1907.
1 Answer. United States acquisition of Hawaii enabled the American Navy to access Hawaii’s naval base, Pearl Harbor. Acquisition of Alaska enabled the United States to expand, find valuable resources and become more of a world power.
Cost of Living in Anchorage
|Coke/Pepsi (12 oz small bottle)||2.30$|
|Water (12 oz small bottle)||1.92$|
|Milk (regular), (1 gallon )||3.87$|
Alaska currently produces more gold (in 2015: 873,984 troy oz from hard rock mines, and 74,360 troy oz (five-year average) from placer deposits) than any state except Nevada. In 2015, gold worth $1.01 billion accounted for 37% of the mining wealth produced in Alaska.
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 .