Are the reasons why Russia sold Alaska known?
In the early 19th century, Alaska was a vast, barren, cold, and remote area which seemed to have absolutely no inherent value to the Russian Empire. After the Crimean War of the 1850s, Russia was extremely poor and in desperate need of new income. Britain, Russia’s enemy at the time, had expressed an interest in the land as an extension of their Canadian territories, but Russia was reluctant to conduct business with the country. They then later came to an agreement in 1867 with the United States to purchase the territory for $7.2 million, which is around $200 million in today’s money. Russia welcomed the deal as a source of income and a use for the Alaskan territory which they saw as entirely pointless in owning.