The Alaska Purchase was the acquisition of the Alaska territory by the United States from Russia in 1867 by a treaty ratified by the Senate. The purchase, made at the initiative of United States Secretary of State William H. Seward (treaty signed on March 30, 1867), gained 586,412 square miles (1,518,800 km2) of new United States territory. Originally organized as the Department of Alaska, the area was successively the District of Alaska and the Alaska Territory before becoming the modern state of Alaska upon being admitted to the Union as a state in 1959.
Lesson Plan Information
Title: The Purchase of Alaska
Subject: U.S. History
Grade Level: 6-8
Objectives: By the end of this lesson, students will understand that:
- there was disagreement among the American public regarding the purchase of Alaska
- Alaska has presented both benefits and challenges to the United States.
Materials: Documents, books, articles concerning the United States' purchase of Alaska from the Russians; computers with access to the Internet.
Time Needed: Three 50-minute class periods
Provided by: Discovery Education (Credit: Summer Productions, Inc.)