Russia was forced to sell Alaska to America At a price of $7.2 million, 156 years ago. Russian development along the Pacific coast of North America's continent came to a halt with the signing of the Alaska Purchase Treaty.
Despite the lengthy talks for the country history gifts, the US eventually took the title of "great power" in the Asia-Pacific area. US Secretary of State William Seward had a big impact on the agreement that US President Andrew Johnson signed.
But why did Russia need to sell Alaska which is filled with natural resources? Let's take a deep dive in the History:
History of Russia in Alaska
Russia's entire land area was much smaller in the 16th century than it is now.Alaska, however, was acquired by the nation as a result of its eastern land expansion plan. The region's tributaries contributed to the expansion of commerce.
Russia began its invasion of Siberia in 1581 when it took control of the Khanate of Sibir.Peter the Great of Russia was greatly interested in the Asian continent. He left for two explorations from Okhotsk city.
Vitus Bering arrived in Alaska in 1741 after navigating the Bering Strait. He then traveled to Yakutat and Mount Saint Elias.He did, however, pass away from scurvy on the actual second Kamchatka voyage in December 1741.The discovery of hundreds of sea otters, foxes, and fur seals by his crew in the Aleutian Islands served as a bright spot on an otherwise turbulent expedition caused by bad weather.Alaska back then had a deadly climate, unlike today.
Only 800 Russians resided on the island, which was far from Russia's capital of St. Petersburg.
In 1812, Russians established a settlement at Fort Ross on the western coast of the US. After the failure of the Russian exploration agency, Moscow started to worry about the potential of Russian colonists in Alaska.
The Crimean War, which was waged from 1853 to 1856, was the final straw for Russia as it was defeated by an Ottoman Empire alliance.Russia made the decision to sell Alaska due to its dwindling financial resources and the 12,000 war fatalities.
Crimean War (1853-1856)
Russia wanted control on Balkan nations like Bulgaria,Crimea, Romania and Moldova during the Crimean War . They belonged to the Ottoman Empire in the 1850s. The Crimean War was started by Russians with an aim to defend Christians living in the Ottoman Empire, which had a Muslim majority.
Invading Romania in July 1853 prompted Turkey to declare war. Due to their desire to undermine Russian naval dominance in the Black Sea, Britain and France backed it.
The Crimean War finally ended in 1856 with the signing of the Treaty of Paris as a result of increasing Austrian resistance.
America and Russia's common hate for British Empire
Russia and the United States were partners because of a common hate for the British Empire in the 1800s.
This was one of the explanations for why Russia approached the US about the sale for Alaska.
Soon after Washington's post-Civil War stabilization, negotiations between Russia and the US on the Alaska trade began.
To determine the worth of the natural resources, Russia dispatched a team of surveyors to Alaska. The cost calculated for natural resources would cost $10 million.Russia told the US about the amount it desired for Alaska despite being urged not to sell the state.However, following negotiations, the deal's price of $7.2 million was decided.
On 15 April 1865, while the negotiations were still going on gifts for history buffs, US President Abraham Lincoln passed away. When Andrew Johnson was chosen as the country's next leader, he took over the Alaska agreement.
Russia had offered to sell Alaska to the US in 1859. But it was busy with the Civil war.
Steward and Russian Minister to the United States Edouard de Stoeckl came to a decision that the US would give $7.2 million to Russia.On 9 April 1867, the US Senate gave the approval a green light, and on 1 May 1867, US President Andrew Johnson signed the Alaska Treaty.
Alaska was officially given to the US by Russia on 18 October,1867. As a result, Russia left North America and the US gained control of the region around the Pacific Ocean. For 3 decades, How much did U.S. Pay for Alaska the US did not pay much attention to the region, which was ruled by military, naval, and treasury regulations .
The US implemented mining rules in the area in 1884 and also constituted a civil administration.
The Alaskan agreement was dubbed "Seward's Folly" and was first seen as a loss for the US.
However, Yukon discovered sizable gold reserves in Alaska in 1896, and subsequent research led to the discovery of enormous mineral riches.
The Klondike Gold Fields were accessible through these gold deposits. During World War II, Alaska's strategic significance was stressed. It was granted statehood on January 3, 1959.