In 1867, the United States Government purchased Alaska from Russia for $7.2 million in a historic agreement. The purchase, formally known as the Treaty of Cession, marked a significant moment in the history of the United States and Alaska.
Initially, the purchase of Alaska was met with ridicule by many Americans. The land was seen as cold, barren, and of no value. However, it turned out to be an incredibly profitable investment that yielded immense economic gain for the United States.
The agreement to purchase Alaska was brokered by then-Secretary of State, William H. Seward. His vision and boldness have been lauded as a crucial factor in securing the deal. Although critics called the purchase of Alaska “Seward`s folly,” it ultimately proved to be a wise decision.
Seward recognized the potential mineral resources that Alaska held, including gold, silver, copper, and oil. Moreover, he saw the immense potential of Alaska`s fishing, fur, and timber industries. Over time, Alaska became a valuable source of natural resources for the United States and an economic powerhouse in the Pacific Northwest.
The Treaty of Cession was signed in March 1867, and the transfer of Alaska to the United States occurred on October 18, 1867. Shortly after, the United States began to send officials to govern Alaska, opening the way for significant economic development.
Today, Alaska is known for its vast wilderness, abundant natural resources, and unique culture. It is the largest state in the United States but has the lowest population density, with the majority of people living in Anchorage or the surrounding area.
The agreement to purchase Alaska has become known as one of the most successful land deals in history. It is a testament to the vision and boldness of William H. Seward, who saw the potential of Alaska when few others did. Today, Alaska continues to thrive as an essential part of the United States, contributing significantly to the country`s economy and cultural heritage.