How and why Russia sold Alaska?

Russian President Vladimir Putin during a "straight line" was asked about the prospects of joining Alaska to Russia. I decided to remind the readers, when, why and to whom Alaska was sold.

Vladimir Putin said that he considers frivolous talk about that to give back Alaska to Russia, which was sold to the United States half a century ago. "Let's not get excited"- joked Vladimir Putin, responding to a question.


April 17, in 1824 in St. Petersburg, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Empire, Karl Nesselrode and US envoy Henry Middlton signed a treaty between Russia and the United States on the definition of the boundaries of the Russian territories in North America.

This agreement distinguishes the territory between Russia and the United States. According to this document, the border was established along the parallel 54 degrees 40 minutes north latitude. Russian pledged not to settle to the south, and the Americans - to the north of this line.

After the defeat of Russia in the Crimean War (1853-1856), The US government began to pursue the acquisition of the Russian possessions in North America. In March 1867 an agreement was signed for the sale of Russian Alaska and the Aleutian Islands to the United States for $ 7.2 million.

How much did russia sell alaska for?

In March 1867 the government of Emperor Alexander II decided to sell Alaska (area of 1.5 million sq. km) for 11.362 million gold rubles (about $ 7.2 million).

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Money for Alaska was transferred only in August 1867.

After signing the contract, to the United States were passed the entire Alaska Peninsula, coastal strip of 10 miles width south of Alaska along the west coast of British Columbia; Alexander Archipelago; Aleutian Islands with Attu Island; the island of Blizhny, Krysii, Lisii, Andreianovskie, Shumagin, Trinity, Umnak, Unimak, Kodiak, Chirikov, Afognak and other smaller islands; Islands in the Bering Sea: St. Lawrence St. Matthew, Nunivak and Pribilof Islands - St. George and St. Paul.

Interview with Russian travelers: What body of water separates Alaska from Russia - read more...

Why Russia has agreed to sell Alaska to the United States?

What was the true reason for sale Alaska, it is still unknown. According to one version, the emperor went for the deal to pay off debt. In 1862, Alexander II was forced to borrow 15 million pounds from the Rothschilds at 5% per annum. He had no money to pay, and then the Grand Duke Konstantin Nikolayevich - the younger brother of the Emperor - offered to sell "anything unnecessary." Unnecessary thing in Russia was Alaska.

Except the Emperor Alexander II, only five people knew about the deal, his brother Grand Duke Constantine, Finance Minister Michael Reitern, Ministry of Maritime Affairs Nicholas Crabbe, Foreign Minister Alexander Gorchakov and Russian Ambassador to the United States Edward glass. The latter had to bribe the former head of the US Treasury Walker of $16000 for lobbying the idea of buying Alaska.

What do you think, can you drive from Alaska to Russia?

Among other sale versions is the version of approaching crisis in the country. Overall financial condition of the country, in spite of the reforms carried out in the country, got worse, and the treasury was in need of foreign money. In the year prior to the sale of Alaska to the United States, Finance Minister Michael Reitern Alexander II sent a special note in which he pointed to the need for austerity. His address said about that for the normal functioning of the empire requires a three-year foreign loan for 15 million rubles per year.

Prior to that, the Governor-General of Eastern Siberia Myravyev-Amurskiy nurtured the idea of selling Alaska. He said that it would be in Russia's interests to improve relations with the United States to strengthen the position of the Asian Pacific coast, to be friends with America against the British.

Read the article - "How far is Alaska from Russia: - Illegal immigrants".

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