The signing of the Alaska Treaty of Cessation on March 30, 1867. L-R: Robert S. Chew, William H. Seward, William Hunter, Mr. Bodisco, Eduard Stoeckl, Charles Sumner and Frederick W. Seward
The purchase of Alaska in 1867 the Russian Empire was the product of a treaty had to be ratified by the US Senate and surprisingly only passed by one vote.
Russia wanted to sell its territory in Alaska for fear of having a confrontation with Britain and losing the Alaskan territory by British seizure during the possible war.
Tsar Alexander II had a difficult financial situation and sent his minister Eduard Stoeckl to negotiate Alaska with the Secretary of State William H. Seward. The negotiating area summed up 1,518,800 square kilometers (586,412 square miles).
The negotiating area summed up 1,518,800 square kilometers (586,412 square miles).
The press and business opponents began mocking the Secretary with the title of "Seward’s Folly” and “The Stupidity of Seward", for "buying a great ice cream park to raise Bears" and similar derisive phrases. The opponents thought that Secretary Seward had gotten the worst of the bargain.
The US $7.2 million check used to pay for Alaska ($121 million in 2015 dollars)
Russia had been an ally of the United States during the American Civil War between 1861 and 1865. However, Britain did not support the US government for its convenience of having cheap slaves cultivating cotton and grains in the South.