On This Day: United States Purchases AlaskaMarch 30, 2011 05:00 AM by findingDulcinea Staff
On March 30, 1867, U.S. Secretary of State William H. Seward paid Russia $7.2 million for the 586,412-square mile territory of Alaska.
Seward Buys Alaska From RussiaRussia set up apresence in Alaska in the 18th century,when Danish explorer Vitus Bering, with the backing of Russian Czar Peter the Great, surveyed the region. The territory was wild and inhospitable, but it was rich in natural resources, attracting Russian explorers and traders.
Russia did not have the money to establish permanent settlements, however, and its position was further weakened by their defeat in the Crimean War. By the mid-19th century, it was looking to sell off the land.
It offered Alaska to the…