Trivia Tuesday

“How much did the U.S. purchase Alaska for in 1867”

Alaska was purchased from Russia in 1867 for $7.2 million. Now $7.2 million may seem like a lot, but let’s break it down. Alaska is a massive state, twice the size of Texas, with 586,412 square miles. Taking the price and land size into question the United States only paid $12.28 per square mile to acquire Alaska. Now I went a step further, as I usually do, to find out what buying a square mile of land would cost in today’s Alaska. Most of the time land is sold by acre, 1 square mile is 640 acres. So basically a huge area just to buy one square mile. Although land prices vary extremely depending on where the land is located, if it has water access etc. I found that to buy 1 acre so .0015625 square miles can range anywhere from $15,000 up and over $3 million dollars. With that being said Alaska was an extremely cheap purchase for the United States.

The purchase was initiated by Secretary William H. Seward for a multitude of reasons. One was to strengthen ties with Russia. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was some land we could purchase from Russia today? Russia at the time was in a position of losing Alaska to the then super power of Great Britain. In attempt to keep the British out of the Pacific Alaska was sold to the United States so that Russia would get any compensation for the massive land area. And although we already went over how cheap the purchase was, many people in the United States did not see it as a good deal. That was until the 1896 Klondike Gold Strike, which showed the American people just how valuable this plot of land could be.

We have definitely featured Alaska before mostly for the famous and ever growing in popularity, cruises. But there is so much that Alaska can offer the traveller. If you would like more information on our 49th state please visit our website to schedule an appointment to talk with one of our Alaska experts.

This Week’s Trivia Question: “Is travel good for your overall health?”

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