Thursday, March 30, 2006

1867: Alaska and Seward’s Folly

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We remember President Andrew Johnson because he succeeded President Lincoln and was impeached and not convicted in 1868
 
Yet, he made a decision in 1867 that impacted the 20th century in ways that no one could have imagined.  It may have been as consequential as The Louisiana Purchase of 1803 that doubled the size of the nation.
 
Back in March 1867, Secretary of State Seward signed a treaty with Russia and purchased Alaska for $7 million.  
 
It was actually a huge bargain but that’s not what they thought back then.
 
So they called it “Seward’s Folly” or “Seward’s icebox”.
 
The critics were tough on President Andrew Johnson, too.  They called it his “polar bear garden.”
 
Less than a 100 years later, or 1959, Alaska became a state and nobody is calling the purchase a folly anymore.
 
Can you imagine Soviet missiles pointing at the US from north in Alaska? Or more oil fields in the hands of Putin today?
 
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Alaska 1867: "Seward's Folly" by Melissa Whitcraft.......... https://t.co/ESALB39n65 via @amazon


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