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.
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 .
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 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.
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.
Some historians regard the transaction as a short-sighted blunder by Czar Alexander II, giving up Alaska’s rich natural resources, particularly its oil and gas, for $7.2 million – about $125 million (£100 million) in today’s money.
Top 100 Jobs Relatively More Common in Alaska Than Elsewhere
|Rank||Job||Local Popularity Index|
|1||Zoologists and wildlife biologists||45.6|
|2||Geological and petroleum technicians||30.5|
|3||Airline pilots , copilots, and flight engineers||29.3|
|4||Material moving workers||20.2|
Russia did not sell Alaska to the United States in 1867. The Russia government only leased the region to the U.S. for an indefinite span of time. Now there are many in Russia who think the span has run its course, and they want Alaska back . It is a favorite theme of extreme Russian nationalists.
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 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.
20 Things Everyone In Alaska Should Avoid At All Costs Farmed seafood. Flickr – Judi Knight. Or buying fish in general. Flickr – Alaska Region U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. Even feeding your dogs farmed fish. Eating hot dogs. Camping without a view. Snacking on chips from the lower 48. Shopping at big corporate box stores. Drinking wine that isn’t from Alaska .
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.
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.
The United States does appear to have the right to sell Alaska or give it away without talking to its debt holders.