USA bought Alaska from Russian Empire at about 2 cents per acre
Photo source: Flickr
By the mid-nineteenth century, British and American settlers were pressing Alaska's southern border, increasing the likelihood of territorial quarrels between the states and Russian Empire. Furthermore, at the time Russian treasury was short of funds. Accordingly, Baron Edouard de Stoeckl, the Russian minister to the United States, was instructed in December 1866 to negotiate the sale between the two countries. The intention of this sale was to increase relationship between the two countries by selling territory which at that point seemed to hold little or no value to the Russian Empire.
Alaska was purchased from the Russian Empire on March 30, 1867, for $7.2 million ($113 million in today's dollars) at about two cents per acre ($4.74/km²). Little did the Russians know that they were giving away valuable natural resources to Americans for the biggest bargain of the 19th century.