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Word Count: 1,967
Purchase of Alaska Manifest destiny spread through the country like a wild fire William Seward stood on the banks of the MississippiSeptember 18 1860and told of a dream he himself would fulfil seven years later Standing here and looking far off into the northwest I see the Russian as he busily occupies himself in establishing seaports and towns and fortifications on the verge of this continent as the outposts of St Peterburg and I can say Go on and build up your outposts all along the coast up even to the Arctic Oceanthey will yet become the outposts of my own countrymonuments of my own civilization of the United States in the northwest 1 Within a decade Seward would sign a treaty that gave the United States the second largest land deal in history A territory twice the size of France would be handed to America for an unbelievable two cents an acre2 Ironically Seward went through hell to obtain what is know known as the land with black gold but to the citizens of his time Alaska was known as Sewards Folly an area described as frozen empty tundra After enduring a hectic and chaotic meeting of negotiations Seward agreed at 4 AM on March 30 1867 to the rights to Alaska3 A controversy arose as Americans over paid for a piece of land that the Russians would have gladly sold for 5 million rather than the selling price of 72 million As a critic pointed out A dark deed done at night4 referring to controversial land treaty which gave America a wealth they could only dream of Alaska was first discovered by Vitus Bering a Danish captain serving in the Russian navy on October 9 1741 and the next century of expansion turned to turmoil and unwanted relations with their western colony5 In 1784 Grigory Ivanovich Shelikov established the first permanent Russian colony
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