After the Civil War

Alaska for Sale

Alaska for Sale
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 5 to 7
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   6.97

     challenging words:    a100-pound, bowhead, halibut, vacationers, accomplishment, diplomat, provides, striking, generation, commercial, seafood, production, economic, folly, herring, midst
     content words:    United States, East Coast, West Coast, State William H., On October, Unites States

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Alaska for Sale
By Sharon Fabian

1     The United States was growing. In the second half of the 1800's, many people felt that it was the "manifest destiny" of the United States to spread from the East Coast all the way to the West Coast. A few people had even bigger dreams. Secretary of State William H. Seward was one of them. He hoped to see the US expand to the northern edge of the continent too. So, you can imagine that when he heard that Russia might be interested in selling Alaska, he jumped at the chance.
2     He negotiated a purchase price with Edouard de Stoeckl, the Russian diplomat. They settled on $7,200,000. This came to 12.5 cents per acre for a plot of land twice the size of Texas.
3     At the same time that he was negotiating a price, Seward was negotiating on another front too. The Congress of the United States hadn't yet made up its mind to make the purchase, but Seward finally convinced them. By one vote, the Senate appropriated the money, and the US bought Alaska. On October 18, 1867, the Russian flag was lowered and a United States flag was raised over the city of Sitka, Alaska.

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