Alaska is the 49th largest state in the United States, located in the north-west of North America.
The state territory includes the continental part bordering Canada, the Aleutian Islands with the same name and a narrow strip of the Pacific coast with the islands of the Aleksandrovsky archipelago.
Alaska was discovered by Russian explorers in the 17th-18th centuries, the first settlement was founded in the 1780s.
History of Alaska before the US sale
The exact time when the cold andInhospitable territory is unknown. The first people who started to master these lands were the small tribes of Indians, driven out by stronger peoples from the fertile lands. Gradually they reached the islands, which today are called the Aleutians, they settled on these harsh lands and settled on them firmly.
After many years on these lands have landedRussian - pioneers of the far north. While the European powers were scouring for new colonies in the tropical seas and oceans, the Russian discoverers mastered the lands of Siberia, the Urals, and the regions of the far north. Alaska was open to the entire civilized world, during the expedition of Russian pioneers Ivan Fedorov and Mikhail Gvozdev. There was an event in 1732, this date is considered official.
But the first Russian settlements appeared in AlaskaOnly half a century later, in the eighties of the eighteenth century. The main occupation of people living in these settlements was hunting and commerce. Gradually, the harsh land of the far north began to turn into a good source of income, as the trade in fur at that time was equated with gold trading.
In 1781, talented and successfulBusinessman Grigory Ivanovich Shelekhov based in Alaska "North-East Company", which was engaged in the production of furs, the construction of schools and libraries for the local population and developed the presence of Russian culture on these lands. But, unfortunately, the lives of many talented, clever people who care for the cause and Russia break off in the prime of their lives. Shelekhov died in 1975 at the age of 48 years.
Soon his company was merged with otherTrading fur enterprises, it was called the "Russian-American Trading Company". Emperor Paul I by his decree endowed the new company with monopoly rights for fur production and development of the lands of the northeastern Pacific region. Until the 1830s, Russia's interests in these northern lands were jealously guarded by the authorities and nobody was going to sell or give them away.
Selling Alaska United States
By the end of the 1830s, at the court of Emperor NicholasI began to form an opinion that Alaska is a loss-making region, and investing money in this region is a senseless occupation. By that time, the uncontrolled predatory destruction of foxes, sea otters, beavers and mink led to a sharp drop in fur production. "Russian America" has lost its original commercial significance, huge territories have practically ceased to be mastered, the influx of people has dried up.
There is a common myth, and even a wholeThe legend that Alaska was sold by Catherine II, the buyer allegedly was a proud Britain. In fact, Ekatirina II did not sell Alaska and did not even lease it. Sold these northern lands belonging to Russia, Emperor Alexander II and this deal was forced. Having ascended to the throne in 1855, Alexander faced numerous problems, the solution of which required money. Knowing perfectly well that selling this land is a disgraceful business for any state, he tried to avoid this within 10 years of his rule.
Initially, the US Senate expressed doubts about the expediency of such a burdensome acquisition, especially in the situation when the country had just ended a civil war and the treasury was exhausted.
However, the financial situation of the yard was becomingWorse, and it was decided to sell "Russian America". In 1866, a representative of the Imperial Court was sent to Washington, who negotiated the sale of the northern lands of Russia, everything was done in a climate of strict confidentiality, conspired to the amount of 7.2 million dollars in gold.
The expediency of acquiring Alaska became evident only thirty years later, when gold was discovered on the Klondike and the famous "gold rush" began.
In order to comply with all political conventions,Officially the sale was made a year after the secret negotiations, for the whole world the initiator of the deal was the US. In March 1867, after the legal registration of the transaction, "Russian America" ceased to exist. Alaska received the status of a colony, later it was renamed the district, and from 1959 it became a full-fledged state of the USA. In Russia, the deal on the sale of the far northern lands went almost unnoticed, only some newspapers noted this event on the last pages of their publications. A lot of people did not even know about the existence of these distant northern lands belonging to Russia.