The first accounts of any human
setting foot onto the North American soil in Alaska was dated
more than 10,000 years ago, when hunter-gatherers from Siberia
crossed the Bering land bridge. Modern history of Alaska started
with Vitus Bering's 1741 voyage to Alaska's shores. Bering’s
crew returned to Russia with sea otter pelts, which started
a growing demand that eventually brought many traders to Alaska
in the late 1700s. Russia's interest in
Alaska in the mid-19th century decreased as the fur trade declined,
this lead to the sale of Alaska to the United States in 1867.
On March 30, 1867, William H. Seward signed an agreement with Baron
Edouard Stoeckl, the Russian Minister to the United States, which
allowed Alaska to be bought to the United States for the sum of
$7.2 million. The agreement was known as the "Seward's Folly.”
During 1867-1869 the 40th Congress passed a law which made Alaska
a customs district of the U. S. From 1879-1884, the Navy governed
Alaska, and in1884 the passage of the First Organic Act made Alaska
a civil and judicial district, which provided the territory with
judges, clerks, and marshals. A total of thirteen officials were
made responsible for a population of 32,000 people, only 430 of
those people were white settlers.
Alaska was practically ignored until gold was discovered near Juneau
in 1880. During the 1900’s more than 30, 000 people arrived
into the Yukon Territory and Alaska when gold was discovered. Mining,
fishing, trapping, and mineral production flourished during this
time, and a true colonial economy developed. Permanent villages
of stone houses existed in Greenland. In Alaska along the Siberian
shore, villages were made up of houses composed of driftwood and
earth. Eskimos were the native inhabitants of the land and created
the culture and history of Alaska as we understand it to be today.
On Jan. 3, 1959, Alaska was officially admitted into the Union
as the 49th state of the United States. Alaska has very little agriculture
due to the temperatures. The state's most valuable farm commodities
are dairy products and potatoes. Alaska values their commercial
fishing, by catching mostly salmon, crab, shrimp, herring, and cod.
Fish dominates the food-processing industry in Alaska, the state's
largest manufacturing enterprise.
Alaska is has beautiful artwork, and hand crafted items due to
the Eskimo way of life. Traditional methods of living are creating
and make by hand. Sleds, coats, and knifes are all made from scratch
and this type of manufacturing plays a significant role in Alaskan
society today. Nowadays, people visit Alaska and take back authentic
handmade goods that represent the society, history, and culture
of the people and the state. The beautiful yet cold weather attracts
people to the state, as they play and have fun in the snow. When
weather gets a little warmer, people come and enjoy the fresh air
and atmosphere as they get to enjoy the snowy mountains and huge
glaciers in the summer months. Alaska is a stunning place to visit.
With breath taking views, it allows this state to stand out in authentic