Author: Anthony Newberry
Shenkov's Children is a work of fiction based on an historical event.
History reveals that Russia was in a difficult financial position and feared losing Russian America in some future conflict without any financial compensation, especially since the end of the Crimean conflict in 1856.
While Alaska attracted little interest at the time, the population of nearby British Columbia started to increase rapidly, with a large gold rush prompting the creation of a British crown colony. The Russians believed that, in any future conflict, their hard-to-defend region might become a prime target.
So on March 30, 1867, the United States reached an agreement to purchase Alaska from Russia for a price of $7.2 million. The Treaty with Russia was negotiated and signed by Secretary of State William Seward and Russian Minister to the United States Edouard de Stoeckl. Critics of the deal to purchase Alaska called it "Seward's Folly" or "Seward's Icebox". While criticised by some at the time, opposition to the purchase of Alaska subsided with the Klondike Gold Strike in 1896.
The financial value of the Alaska Purchase turned out to be many times greater than what the United States had paid for it, with land rich in resources including gold, copper, and oil.
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