ATHENS, Greece – On March 30, 1867, the Russians sold Alaska and the Aleutian Islands to America for $ 7.2 million, not knowing that under the ice is black gold.
147 years have passed since the day Russia sold Alaska to the United States for five dollars per hectare!
The deal was signed at 16.00 in the afternoon by the Russian ambassador to Washington, Eduard Stoeckl. The government of Alexander II sold the vast area of over 1.5 square kilometers for $ 7.2 million.
This was probably one of the strangest deals in history.
Many Russians were confused about why the government sold the land the people of the country had developed for 126 years.
In addition, many in the country were surprised because the country sold Alaska at a very low price.
In America, the deal was disappointed. They found it difficult to understand why the country needed 365 million acres of land. The price for these acres was too high, many Americans thought.
William Seward, then Secretary of State, had negotiated with Russia as far as Alaska. He also signed the sales agreement and was criticized for it.
Rumors said that the senators who approved the ratification of the deal were bribed by the Russian ambassador. Indeed, historians say that Stoeckl received $ 25,000 from Alexander the Second for his efforts.
If bribes had taken place, then they might have contributed most to the development of the country, US historians claim. Gold has been found in Alaska for a few years since it was no longer part of Russia! Oil and gas reserves that have been discovered have cost hundreds of billions of dollars!
It is worth mentioning that the sale of Alaska led to long-term negative consequences for the United States of America. Indians and Eskimos did not know the deal. They were given American citizenship in 1924.
The situation changed after the discovery of huge oil reserves in 1968. Three years later, Washington received an important decision. Alaska took 11 percent of state territory in its ownership and a share of oil!
Nowadays, 60 percent of Alaskan territory belongs to the federal authorities of the United States. 27 percent belongs to the state itself. 1 percent of Alaska is private property.
Could Russia keep Alaska?
It was discovered by Vitus Jonassen (Denmark) and Aleksei Chirikov (Russia) in 1741. Historians still disagree about it, but many of them believed that Russia would soon lose ground. The Americans wanted to drive the Russians off the ground , scientists say.
John Adams, secretary of the United States in 1823, said that Russia had no right to have a colony in America. William Seward, who was secretary of state during 1861-1869, developed a whole program in 1860. According to the program, the United States of America would take the whole territory of the continent.
Russia suffered from the consequences of the war during these years. The country was also afraid of an attack from Britain in the Far East. It is worth mentioning that Britain, France and Spain had been exploring the coasts of Alaska.
The Alaska Tradition Ceremony in the United States of America took place on 18 October 1867.
Famous myths about selling Alaska:
1. The last settlement for land was never realized because the ship, which transferred money to Russia, was shipwrecked.
2. Russia disputes that it did not obtain the benefits in relation to certain breaches of the contract.
3. Alaska was not sold but had been rented for 99 years.
Some believe it was the Russian Empress Catherine the Second, who sold Alaska to the United States of America. An entertaining song by the Russian band Lude called “Do not Fool Around America” in 1989 had a verse: “Catherine is not fair.”
The sale, however, took place during the emperor Alexander’s Second. There was no Russian settlement in Alaska during Catherine.
US State at the Northwest End of the American Continent, with the capital city of Juno (30,987 inhabitants). It is the largest in area (1,717,855), the sixth in wealth ($ 54,627 per capita income) and the most sparsely populated (0,42 inhabitants per hectare). “Alaska” in the language of Eskimos means “land that is not an island”. Larger and better known town is Anchorage (275,043 inhabitants), while Alaska houses a total of 626,932 people.
Aleutian Islands: An island complex (17,770 sq km, 8,122 in 2000) of the North Pacific Ocean, politically assigned to the State of Alaska in the United States. It is a complex of numerous islands, which break a 1,700-kilometer-long curve from the slopes of the Alaska peninsula to the Kamchatka peninsula, dividing the Bering Sea (or Bering Sea) from the main Pacific Ocean.
These islands are the emerging peaks of an undersea mountain range, which is essentially an extension of the Aleutian mountains forming the Alaska peninsula, which is why these islands are largely indented.
The cluster consists of individual island groups, with the most important of the Fox Islands (Ummak, Oonaska and Unimak); other groups form the islands of Niarch, Rat and Andreanov. In the Fox Islands, namely Unimak, there is the highest volcano of the island complex and one of the few active volcanoes around the world, Sissaldine (2,869 m). The few inhabitants of A. mainly deal with hunting (foxes, seals), fishing (herring, hake, salmon) and livestock farming (reindeer and sheep).
The island complex was discovered in 1741 by Danish Vitus Bering and Russian Alexey Kirikov.
Translated from PRO News.