About two centuries set us apart from one of the most meritorious deals that have been ever closed between two countries. Of course, we’re talking about Alaska purchase treaty, which was the document that changed the owner of the Northland from Russia to the USA, strangely and yet, not fully understood either by historians or by politicians. Indeed, there are some unsolved mysteries about Alaska purchase treaty; we are all still wondering about.
Why did Russia sell Alaska and is there even any point of explaining all the reasons why it should have not?
Did the USA pay for the land or it was not exactly a purchase treaty, but something else? How come, a few years ago, there was a petition for Alaska return to Russian territory? Let’s say few words about it, but before that, a little bit history and facts about the deal, itself.
It was April 17th, 1824 year, when in St. Petersburg, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Empire, Karl Nesselrode and US envoy Henry Middleton agreed on the Alaska purchase treaty. The deal between Russia and the United States was valued at 7.2 millions of USD, which is about 3 cents on an acre. The price, itself, shows the very first mystery about this treaty: why do historians say Russia signed the contract due to its financial crisis when such an amount of money seemed to be insignificant and miserable in comparison to its wealth at that time? So, it’s not poverty or a debt that made Russian Emperor agree on the deal.
And one more question: is Emperor Alexander II the person, who has all the rights to sell Alaska?
According to a Russian historian, there was a company called Russian-American Company, the country’s first joint-stock entity founded in 1799, that was assigned to explore the territory. But according to the facts during the purchase meeting between the two sides, none of the Russian American Company members was even invited. Here is when the leak occurs and why so many people yet believe that Alaska was not even sold, but only leased.
There was even another version, according to which the price that the USA presented to Russia in gold was the official way for the States to “thank” for Russian support during the Crimean war. And there was one more evident that has still made people believe Alaska treaty is no valid. There is no “from here to eternity” phrase, which means the deal is not forever but has some deadline we might not even know.
Historians and scientists are still in a verbal war about many unsolved mysteries concerning Alaska purchase treaty. But the truth is by all means somewhere close where we might not have even looked at for an answer.