The United States bought Alaska in 1867 from Russia in the Alaska Purchase, but the boundary terms were ambiguous. In 1871, British Columbia united with the new Canadian Confederation. U.S. President McKinley proposed a permanent lease to Canada of a port near Haines, but Canada rejected that compromise.
explorer Vitus Bering
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.
|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)|
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.
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.
Its capital was Novo-Arkhangelsk (New Arkhangelsk), which is now Sitka, Alaska , United States. Settlements spanned parts of what are now the U.S. states of California, Alaska and three forts in Hawaii. Russian America.
|Russian America Русская Америка Russkaya Amyerika|
|• Alaska Purchase||18 October 1867|
On a clear day, you could climb a hill on Cape Prince of Wales and maybe make out mainland Siberia, just fifty miles away. 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.
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.
The Alaskan Purchase 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 .
Spurred by the nationalism aroused by the Spanish-American War, the United States annexed Hawaii in 1898 at the urging of President William McKinley. Hawaii was made a territory in 1900, and Dole became its first governor.
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