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US Imperialism: ALASKA

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Carly Baggott

on 14 January 2014

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Transcript of US Imperialism: ALASKA

US Imperialism: ALASKA
By Carly Baggott & TJ Winter

The Purchase of Alaska: A Brief History
-Alaska was owned by Russia after their settlement on the territory in the 18th century
-Fearing that Britain would overtake the territory while Russia was in economic distress, Russia began negotiations with the US for Alaska in 1959
-Negotiations were halted during the Civil War, but started up again after the war
- Secretary of State, William Seward, proposed a treaty with the Russian Prime Minister on March 30, 1967 for the purchase of Alaska for $7.2 million, creating several different reactions in the US

The actual check from the US to Russia for $7.2 million
Why: Reasons for Purchase
The United States recieved several economic, political, and miliatry benefits from the purchase of Alaska
-The purchase of Alaska meant the end of Russian efforts to expand trade, giving the US more power in North America and less competition with one of the largest nations of the time, Russia

-Settlements to the Pacific coast of North America marked a rise of the US as a great power in the Asia-Pacific region.

-The location of the territory brought the US geographically
closer to Russia, putting the US in a good position in case of a Russian attack, giving the US more confidence militarily

-Alaska would increase the size of the United States by 20%, with more opportunities for northwestern trade

-Alaska was native to important natural resources including fish, timber, agriculture, and minerals, economically opening up the United States

-Alaska had unforeseen advantages including huge amounts of gold in the Yukon Gold rush, and several oil deposits, forever changing the economy of the US today

-As the country was expanding, the idea of manifest destiny and the American Dream became present in the US

-Alaska symbolized the beauty and mystery of the west, contributing to the American drive to move to the Pacific and the new found patriotism in the country
Location of Alaska in relation to Russia
Manifest Destiny
-During the nation's obsession with manifest destiny in the 1840's many political leaders expressed interest in Alaska.

-People spoke highly of the natural resources, because American whalers and traders frequently visited the coast.
How did we get Involved?
Russian-American Company nears bankruptcy

-Arm of the Russian government that controlled Alaska

-Russia could not afford a rescue of the company or a conflict with the USA

-Edward de Stoeckl, Russia's minister, came to the USA in 1867 to negotiate with William H. Seward, US secretary of state, and ended up selling Alaska for $7.2 million

Impact and Result
Impact in Alaska
Impact in Alaska
-All people in Alaska that owned private property would be keep their private property

-The Russian Orthodox Church could continue their practices

-People laughed at Seward's purchase, and the press mocked it, calling it "Seward's Ice Box"

-the purchase kindled expansionists' hopes, and in 1870 Grant decided to annex the eastern gulf of Santo Domingo, now known as the Dominican Republic

-increased the size of the USA by 20%

Lasting Legacy
-Major discoveries of gold were found in 1880-1890

-Now Petroleum is Alaska's richest mineral resource.

-In 1998 Alaska produced 25% of America's Oil supply and still produces an important 10%, more than any other state
Alaska's natural resources
Full transcript