As Russia has gained and lost Alaska
More than a century Russian empire owned Alaska and adjacent islands, until 151 years ago, Alexander II did not give the United States the land for more than seven million dollars - March 30, 1867 in Washington, an agreement was signed for the sale. According to an alternative version, Alaska is not sold, and rented out for a hundred years, but Comrade Khrushchev in the 57th year of its Americans actually presented. Moreover, some believe that the peninsula is still ours, because the ship which carried gold in payment for the transaction, has sunk.
Anyway, this whole story as Alaska clouded after so many years. Offer to find out how it happened that a part of another continent became part of Russia and which have decided to sell the land on which 30 years after the sale of extracted $ 200 million in gold.
turnips and potatoes you
In 1741, the outstanding Russian explorer Vitus Bering, a Danish origin crossed the strait between Eurasia and North America (which was subsequently named after him) and became the first person to explore the shores of Alaska. Half a century later there came the merchant and part-time explorer Grigory Shelikhov, who taught the local population to turnips and potatoes, Orthodoxy distributed among the natives and even founded an agricultural colony "Glory to Russia". Since that time, Alaska was owned by the Russian Empire on the rights of the discoverer, and its inhabitants unexpectedly became subjects of the emperor.
A view of the capital of Russian Alaska - Novo Arkhangelsk
Indians, and they can be understood to have been unhappy that strangers take over their lands, and even forced to eat turnips. They expressed their displeasure that in 1802 burned Mikhailovsky castle, who founded the company Shelikhov and his business partners. Together with the church, elementary school yard, workshops and arsenal. Three years later set fire to another strong point of Russian. These daring enterprise for what would the natives failed if they are not armed with the American and British entrepreneurs.
As if something happens
Money extorted from Alaska lot: sea otter fur was worth more than gold. But greed and shortsightedness miners led to the fact that already in the 1840s of the animals on the peninsula is almost gone. However, by that time in Alaska was discovered oil and gold. It is, paradoxically, was a powerful incentive to get rid of these territories. The fact that Alaska began to actively come American miners and the Russian government is justifiably feared that after them will come the US military, or, even worse, descend British. By war the empire was not ready, and give thanks for Alaska would be absolutely stupid.
Onerous acquisition of
The first page of the contract, "the assignment the North American United States, Russian North American colonies"
The idea to sell Alaska, can still be born at the brother of Emperor Konstantin Romanov, who served as head of the Naval Staff of Russia. This proposal czar Alexander II approved and May 3, 1867 signed an agreement for the sale of US overseas lands for 7, 2 million dollars (at current exchange rate - about 119 million gold). On average, we get somewhere by four and a half dollars per square kilometer with all immovable property situated on it.
In accordance with the procedure agreed to submit to the US Congress. Committee on Foreign Affairs (in which you can look closely at the illustration faces the members of this Committee) expressed doubts about the feasibility of such a burdensome acquisition at a time when the country had just ended civil war. Nevertheless, the treaty was ratified, and over Alaska hoisted the Stars and Stripes.
Where's the money, Zin?
A check for the purchase of Alaska. Issued in the name of Eduard de Stoeckl
Baron Edouard Stoeckl, Charge d'Affaires of the Russian Embassy in Washington received a check in the amount of 7.2 million dollars. 21,000 he took for his labors, 144,000 as promised bribes handed out to the senators who voted for the ratification of the treaty. The rest is sent to London by bank transfer. Purchased for that amount of gold bullion in the sea were taken to Petersburg. When converting currency into pounds at first, and then into gold lost about half a million.
But it's not so bad. The ship "Orkney", carrying gold bullion, sank on its way to the Russian capital. The company, which has registered the consignment, declared itself bankrupt, and the damage is only partially reimbursed. Meanwhile, on the peninsula started a gold rush, and, as has been said, in 30 years there have extracted gold at $ 200 million.