Episode 9 - Russian America
Uploaded: 18 Feb 2018
Do you need a bit of extra cash? Do you need to pay off some of your nobles to compensate them for freeing their serfs? Why not sell a piece of territory to the United States?
That was what Tsar Alexander II did in March 1867.
During a time of consistently high tensions with European powers such as France and Britain - who were industrialising at a terrific pace - Russia found itself cornered. Having lost a home game in the Crimea and with its Pacific territories in increasing danger of being surrounded by British colonies and indeed, American ones, it was probably time to jettison the dead weight. And if it could provoke a distracting war between old enemies Britain and the USA - both vying for domination in North America - the more's the better.
"The Russian Pizarro" - Alexander Andreyevich Baranov, Chief Manager of the Russian America Company and First Governor of Russian America (now Alaska)