Alaska Essay Research Paper AlaskaThe purpose of

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Alaska Essay, Research Paper Alaska The purpose of this paper is to inform any reader of many facts of Alaska, including its history, geography, and what it is like now. Alaska has a very interesting history and it is still very fascinating today. History (World Book 2000) No one is exactly for sure how long people have been living in Alaska, but scientists believe that early people crossed over to Alaska by a land bridge from Russia, when the earth was still a large mass of land and not separated yet. (Encarta 98 Encyclopedia) The earliest known people who lived in Alaska were the Inuits, Aleuts, and Indians. The Aleuts lived in the northwestern area. The Aleuts lived in the Aleutian Islands. Then finally, the Indians lived along the southern coastal regions of Alaska.

(Sefoff) The first white men to become interested and explore Alaska were the Russians. A man named Semen I. Deehenev led a group of Russians to Alaska by sailing across the Bering Strait, in 1648. After his exploration many Russians made expeditions to Alaska. A great fur trade had been started from all of the people coming to Alaska. (Sefoff) The Russians tried to accomplish the development of many industries in Alaska, such as coal mining, whale hunting, and shipbuilding. But by the 1850 s the industries were beginning to fail to develop and Russia was becoming eager to sell the Alaskan Territory. (http://www.dced.state.ak.us/tourism/student.htm) A former United States Secretary of State, William H. Seward made a deal with Russia to buy the Alaskan Territory for 7,200,000

dollars. That s only two cents per acre! On March 30, 1867 Seward signed the Treaty of Cession of Russian America, making Alaska a part of the United States. There were some Americans who disliked the purchase and called it such names as Sewards Folly, Sewards Icebox, and Iceburgia. American troop raised the flag in Sitka on October 18, 1867. America was the official owner of the Alaskan Territory. (World Book 2000) Congress did not provide Alaska a government for seven-teen years, for that period Alaska was under military rule. The army was not very fond of having to be stationed in Alaska because it did not have very many attractions or fun things to do. (World Book 2000) In February of 1879, in Sitka, Alaska, a fight broke out between some Natives and Americans. Many residents

feared that a massacre might break out if nothing was done to prevent more fights. Therefor the residents called upon the United States Navy for their protection. But they got no reply and turned to the British, who in turn sent the warship H.M.S. Osprey in March. In June the United States Navy came and took control of Alaska. (Encarta 98) In 1878 many companies took a look at the rich salmon filled oceans. They built many canaries and fisheries and hatcheries. But since the law had not been developed, there was no set fishing limit and the companies over fished the waters. They would take massive fishing nets and bring in huge amounts of fish out of the ocean. These catches severely depleted the oceans stock of fish. In 1880, two men named Joseph Juneau and Richard T. Harris

found large deposits of gold in the Gastineau Channel, in southeast Alaska. This gold discovery led to the founding of Alaska s capital, Juneau. Three other gold discoveries in 1846, 1848, and 1902 led to the founding of Klondike District of Canada, Nome, and Fairbanks. The gold discoveries brought thousands of people to these cities that hoped to strike it gold and get rich quick. (Sefoff) World War II made Americans realize the strategic military importance of Alaska because it was right next to Asia. Thousands of people were sent to build and maintain military bases and installations. In 1942 the Japanese bombed Dutch Harbor in the Aleutian Islands. The government, also in 1942 built the Alaskan Highway to supply the military, mainly. (World Book 2000) In March 27,1964, at