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Not only Alaska: How the United States bought up territories for itself
Not only Alaska: How the United States bought up territories for itself

Sometimes US patriots are proud of the fact that they did not conquer part of the land, but bought it. Indeed, through commercial transactions, the United States has greatly expanded its territory. Some of the redeemed lands even became separate new states.

Mexican territories

One of the most extensive US acquisitions is land purchased from Mexicans in the mid-nineteenth century. The war between Mexicans and North Americans in 1848 ended with the conclusion of a peace treaty, which also included clauses on the purchase of part of Mexican lands for fifteen million dollars (and payment of financial claims of the inhabitants of these lands to the Mexican government for a little more three million dollars).

As a result of the treaty, the states of New Mexico and Texas appeared in the United States, and part of the current state of Arizona and Upper California also changed their citizenship. Six years later, Arizona and New Mexico grew with new lands, which the Mexicans, under pressure, were forced to sell to the United States for $ 10 million. According to the terms of the agreement, the Americans were also supposed to build a transoceanic canal on the territory of Mexico, but they never did it.

Americans had disagreements with Mexicans before Trump. For example, in 1846 they fought each other


The largest territorial deal for the United States is considered to be the purchase of Louisiana, which, frankly, they did not expect themselves. President Thomas Jefferson began negotiations to buy New Orleans from the French - and in response he heard an offer that captivates with its generosity. The French decided to get rid of the lands they had just conquered from the Spaniards and give them to the Americans: let them bother themselves with how to hold the territory.

You have to understand that the modern state of Louisiana is only a part of French Louisiana. Iowa, Arkansas, Nebraska were also carved out of the lands purchased from the French, and a little went to Wyoming, Kansas, Colorado, Minnesota, Montana, Oklahoma, North and South Dakota - in general, the territory of the United States then doubled, and for only 15 million dollars. The French still recalled the sale of the American colonies for a pittance to Napoleon, but it can also be understood: he was at war with all of Europe, and it was a pricey pleasure for France to fight the Spaniards overseas for lands that would not be known when they would start making a profit.

New Orleans at the end of the 19th century

Virgin Islands

These lands in the New World were taken over by Denmark at the beginning of the eighteenth century. The Americans looked in the direction of the islands for a long time, but only in connection with the First World War they decided to buy them: they were afraid that a base of German submarines would be arranged on them. Both countries held a referendum asking citizens if they agreed with the sale and purchase of territory, and eventually struck a $ 25 million deal. True, they began to give US citizenship to Virginians only ten years later, so it turned out that American land was almost completely occupied by foreigners.


Following Louisiana, the Americans decided to buy the territories occupied by the opponents of the French - the Spaniards, and they did it without much difficulty and also for a pittance - simply by promising to pay all government debts to the residents. In total, the US paid $ 5.5 million in 1,859 claims. In the end, everyone was happy, except, of course, the truly Native American tribes, whose land was divided over their heads.

Florida pleasure boat, 1900


Of all the US territorial transactions, the purchase of Alaska is most often remembered in Russia. According to popular legend, Catherine II sold her out of her female unreasoning.In fact, Catherine II just preferred to increase Russian territories - under her, for example, in the war with the Turks, Crimea was conquered, which they love to recall in the current geopolitical situation. And the agreement for the sale of Alaska was signed many years after the death of the empress, in 1867.

Alexander II sold the land, which at that time seemed to be rich exclusively in furs and tribes that did not want to submit, for a little over seven million dollars. The amount was taken by ship in the form of gold bars. The ship was supposed to first reach London, and already from London to reach Russia. And then a strange thing happened - a giant scam is still suspected of what happened.

The ship, which may have carried gold (if it had not been appropriated in London earlier), sank on its way to St. Petersburg just at such a depth from which the gold could not be raised. The insurance company, which was in charge of the ship and the gold, declared itself bankrupt at the same time. Russia got a very small part of the amount from the sale of Alaska under insurance, and then they found gold in Alaska itself, a lot of gold.

The United States also bought land from the Indians, but ultimately these purchases turned into persecution and even genocide: Why Cherokee Indians Blame President Jackson for Passing the World's Worst Law.

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