The purchase of Alaska in 1867 marked the end of Russian efforts to expand trade and settlements to the Pacific coast of North America , and became an important step in the United States rise as a great power in the Asia-Pacific region.
|Alaska Alax̂sxax̂ ( Aleut ) Alaasikaq (Inupiaq) Anáaski (Tlingit) Alas’kaaq (Pacific Gulf Yupik)|
|Before statehood||Territory of Alaska|
|Admitted to the Union||January 3, 1959 (49th)|
The Yukon Gold Rush (actually a series of discoveries ) put Alaska in the spotlight in the late 1800s and spurred a wave of prospectors, all hoping to strike it rich. The discovery of oil in 1896 at Cook Inlet and in 1968 at Prudhoe Bay brought even more settlers and development. It became the 49th state in 1959.
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.
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 .
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.
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 Last Frontier
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 .
AlaskaKids. This community in Northwestern Alaska’s Seward Peninsula is the oldest first-class city in the state. Just like Juneau , it started as a Gold Rush town. Just two years after the big bonanza in the Klondike, miners found gold in the creeks near Nome.
Western science asserts the first people came to Alaska about 15,000 years ago following herd animals across the Bering Land Bridge. The Amerind migration group continued south to populate all of the Americas. The second migration across the Bering Land Bridge brought the Na-Dene and Eskimo -Aleut.