United States of America. A federation or union of 50 states. Each of its states can legislate independently. Their constitutions are different from each other. Each state has a different flag. The fifty stars on the American flag. It represents these fifty states. The American flag has seven red and six white stripes. These represent the 13 states that declared independence from the British Empire in 1776.
If we look at the design of
America, we can see that the large part of America i.e. 48 states is located south of Canada. Apart from these there are some other territories which have not been given the status of states. But there are two states that are separated from the American mainland. One of these is the Hawaiian Islands. Which is located in the Arctic Ocean southwest of the American mainland. It was granted statehood in 1959.
There is another state which is located west of
Canada and it is the largest state in America. It is a vast area of 15 lakh square kilometers. It was part of Russia until 1867. But in 1867, Russia sold this land to America for 7.2 million dollars. As such it was then sold for only two cents per square kilometre. Which will be only 35 cents as of today. That is, 1 square kilometer in Bangladesh about 35 taka.
Was Russia so stupid to sell it so cheaply?
There are three reasons why Russia did this
First, despite the natural beauty of
Alaska, it was a remote and ice-covered region. Crops could not be grown as most of its areas were always covered with ice. Due to the small number of Russian troops, it was difficult to maintain its occupation. Only 2,500 Russian troops were deployed in this large area. The local population is about fifty thousand. whom Russia had kept in subjection by force. Russia’s mainland Siberia is also covered with such ice. Even there, crop cultivation and housing were and still are very difficult.
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Crimean War lasted from 1853 to 1856. Russia fought against the Ottoman Caliphate and the British in this war. Russia was defeated in this war. As a result of the defeat, Russia’s economic situation reached a critical point and Russia fell into debt. The then Russian Tsar Alexander II was afraid that the British would attack Alaska again! If it does, Russia is in no position to prevent it.
Third, controlling Alaska was too expensive and difficult for
Russia. It is time-consuming and expensive to transport weapons and supplies to Alaska from mainland Russia’s St. Petersburg across thousands of miles of icy friends in Siberia. In addition, there was no crop production in Alaska. There was no food system other than hunting the wild animals and marine life there. All things considered, Russia came to the conclusion that it would be more profitable to sell it to America than to let it fall into the hands of the British. This will improve relations with America. Because at that time the relationship between America and British was not as sweet as it is now. Because America got independence from British by fighting.
Now a question may arise in mind. Alaska borders Canada and is separated from America. But why Russia did not sell it to Canada? Or why Canada did not buy it?
This is because Canada was not an independent country at that time. It was a British colony. And Russia never wanted Alaska to fall into British hands. Russia thought it best to sell Alaska before it was taken away by the British Empire.
When it bought America, American citizens were not so happy. But later this purchase proved very profitable. The Russian people were also mad to be sold so cheaply. But what else will they do against the Tsar’s decision?
After the purchase, America made it a military zone. As a result, the few Russians who remained there left for Russia.
America leases the land for fifty thousand dollars a year and collects a revenue of $2.62 for each seal skin exported there. Later, various minerals such as gold, copper, zinc, platinum and oil mines were discovered in this land. America has earned billions of dollars by selling them. It is said that within 50 years of its purchase, America made a profit of a hundred times the purchase price.
The Russians may now be regretting why they sold it. But now there is no other option but to be patient.
Alaska can easily operate commercial ships with Asia through the Arctic Ocean. Although this ocean is covered with ice. But that ice is melting too fast for global warming. It is feared that in the near future, a war of nerves will begin between Russia, China and America over the supremacy of the Arctic Ocean.
Native to Alaska
Alaska Natives are still angry. Their claim is that this land was theirs. How did America buy it from Russia? Russia did it by force. Russia does not own it.