Russia’s Colony

Alaska History Essay #2

The first people to discover Alaska were the Russians. They discovered Alaska in 1741. From there they made outposts and explored this new land that they called Russian America.

The Russian’s main interest in Alaska was it’s natural resorses. The one resource that  they were most interested in was furs. Many Russian traders came to Alaska in search of furs that they could sell. Sea Otter was perhaps the most valuable of all the furs found in Alaska. There were several companies that were started to fund trips to Alaska in order to make a profit on the furs that were brought back. But in 1799 the Russian government established the Russian American Company and gave it a monopoly on the furs in Alaska. The manager of the Russian American Company was posted in Alaska and was also the acting governor of the land. The first manager of the Russian American Company was Alessandr Baranov.

Eventually other countries started to explore Alaska as well. Several European countries Challenged Russia’s clam on Alaska from 1774 to the time when Russia sold Alaska to the United States of America in 1867. Russia’s most troublesome competitors for Alaska were Spain and England. There was some fighting over Alaska in this time period. Spain eventually lost interest in Alaska and backed down in 1792.

That left the English as the main threat to Russia’s hold on Alaska. Russia was able to hold on to Alaska for some time, but since England was navaly superior to Russia it was a big problem. Eventually the Russian government decided that it wasn’t worth the trouble to keep holding on to Alaska. So they sold it the America in 1867.



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