Definitions for alaska purchase

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  1. Alaska Purchase

    The Alaska Purchase was the acquisition of the Alaska territory by the United States from the Russian Empire in the year 1867 by a treaty ratified by the Senate. Russia, fearing a war with Britain that would allow the British to seize Alaska, wanted to sell. Russia's major role had been getting Native Alaskans to hunt for furs, and missionary work to convert them to Christianity. The United States added 586,412 square miles of new territory. Reactions to the purchase in the United States were mixed, with opponents calling it "Seward's Folly", feeling that U.S. Secretary of State William H. Seward, the primary American negotiator, got the worst of the bargain. Originally organized as the Department of Alaska, the area was successively the District of Alaska and the Alaska Territory before becoming the modern state of Alaska upon being admitted to the Union as a state in 1959.


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