The day Russia sold Alaska to the United States – level 3
Russians arrived in Alaska in 1741. They established the first permanent settlement on Kodiak Island in 1784. The Russians were primarily interested in fur trade.
However, the Russian presence in Alaska declined in the mid-19th century, and the government began to consider selling the territory to the United States.
One of the primary reasons Russia sold Alaska to the United States was due to its financial difficulties.
Additionally, the Russian government feared that it would be difficult to defend Alaska in the event of war with Great Britain, which had a strong presence in the Pacific Northwest.
Some Russian officials believed that the harsh climate and difficult living conditions in Alaska made it an undesirable territory to hold onto.
Selling Alaska to the United States would ensure that the territory remained out of the hands of potential European rivals.
In 1867, the Russian government agreed to sell Alaska to the United States for $7.2 million. The treaty was signed on March 30 of the same year.
The sale of Alaska was controversial at the time. Many Americans saw little value in the little populated, remote territory, and some argued that the US had overpaid for it.
However, the acquisition of Alaska proved to be a wise investment for the United States. The territory’s vast natural resources, including gold, forests, and fish, would help drive the country’s economic growth in the decades to come.
Difficult words: harsh (extremely unpleasant), treaty (a deal between two countries), resources (useful natural materials such as oil, coal, gold, and silver).
What other potential benefits did the United States gain from the acquisition of Alaska in 1867?
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