Throughout his adult life he ran into articles about Alaska. They intertwine two versions. The first - the rotten Tsarist regime, criminally wasting "public property", sold for pennies Alaska. And the other - took America Alaska lease and had to return it.
So what really happened? ..
Map of Alaska
Version mutually exclusive and both are refuted very serious circumstances.
No matter how rotten Tsarist regime, but it is up to the last days of fiercely clung to all his conquests and down any money he is reluctant to give them up. Among the great powers, Russia needed the money the least.
Well, the "totalitarian" Soviet regime, with all its "internationalism" never missed an opportunity to grab some piece. Why did the Soviet leadership reacted so calmly to the "end of the lease" and not try to return back to Alaska? It was interesting, but not so much that I tried to get into the archives, or even sat down at the Public Library. But some information she fell on me, and out of it developed "version»:
In the second half of the 19th century, Russia occupied territories, which could learn and protect. Especially bad was the case with Alaska where it was extremely difficult to get through Siberia and had to carry all contacts across England. The British attitude to this tolerant until the world began to grow demand for fur and leather products (other riches had not yet discovered). Here England was openly to conduct business, to increase their "own" Canada, taken away from France, due to Alaska.
Alaska became filled by British hunters and merchants, and the next step would be the introduction of British troops "to protect British subjects."
The Russian government has decided to use the United States to keep Alaska to Russia, surrendering it to them for rent, long term. But the young American democracy was not so naive to work for Russia, and even pay for it. The Americans wanted to get Alaska forever, not for a century. They did not want to hear about the lease.
However, they were dealing with a sophisticated Russian diplomacy, including with a brilliant politician, as a classmate of Pushkin the Prince Gorchakov. Americans were told that Russia is ready to make a royal gift to them in the form of Alaska (otherwise it will still be lost), but if Britain is able to take Alaska from Russia, it is even easier to take it at the time of weak US. Letting her rent has created for her two hosts. British Empire would have to deal with the union of Russia and America, which would join all the enemies of England.
In talks with US politicians and reporters talked about the Russian sale of Alaska, covered by the lease contract. The main thing was to persuade the Americans were the conditions of the lease. The agreement was accompanied by a series of secret papers, unpublished until now. But the bottom line was known. The Americans once have paid a million dollars, what then was a lot of money. For Russia, it was nothing. It was more important right at the end of the lease take Alaska back. This was seen as a million long-term loan with a decent interest.
99 years - a long time and the amount of time it would have to reach almost a billion dollars. It is in those times seemed almost fabulous sum of the Americans, and they were sure that no country will be able to pay them. However, Russian was confident that after 99 years they will be able to easily repay the money. Agree that it is now a billion "green" could easily pay even one Abramovich or Khodorkovsky!
Russian knew that their applications for sale in 100 years no one will remember, and the provisions of the agreement remain. They knew also that contracts easily broken, unless they are the real power is. Over the 99 years required to create such a force. Plans have been the development of the Northern Sea Route, and most importantly - the railways were to reach Chukotka, and in two variants - the coast of the Arctic Ocean and in southern Siberia. The difficulties were great, but instilled confidence building Trans-Siberian Railway (for the time of the Soviet regime, we are not even close to the record and the scale of the construction of highways and Chukotka built only three small pieces, the most northerly of Dudinka - Norilsk). After the construction of the route to Vladivostok, Alaska became quite achievable, and the mighty Pacific Fleet could well guarantee the performance of any contract.
The plan succeeded brilliantly Russia. England had to leave Alaska alone, but further sad - intelligent and selfless politicians, to sacrifice for the future of Russia in his career and reputation, ousted stupid and greedy "patriots of the Kuril Islands," demagogues who wanted to all now and indifferent to the fate of future generations.
After the 1917 revolution by seizing and simple robbery, the Bolsheviks concentrated in their hands great wealth in foreign currency, securities, gold and so on. D. However, to buy weapons for the Red Army, they could not: the West banned trade with Russia. In order to "break" the blockade, Lenin proposed US waiver to Alaska in exchange for the lifting of the ban on trade. As a guarantee, Lenin offered to give the Americans all the copies of the signed agreements, which were kept in Russia and confirms its right to Alaska.
So really Alaska was sold for the first time.
During the war against fascism, Stalin at Yalta, made a statement that the Soviet Union will not impose their rights to Alaska, much to the surprise of Americans believe that the matter was finally settled even under Lenin. Stalin simply wanted to portray that he makes a concession to the USSR for the right to take control of the countries of Central Europe.
Because Alaska was sold a second time ...
Finally, under Brezhnev came to the end of the lease term. In spite of all the previous one, it was still possible to try to lay claim to Alaska. We had a record that these two, so to speak politics, Lenin and Stalin had no right to sell Alaska, their actions have never been confirmed by the Supreme Council and, therefore, null and void from the beginning. Well, of course, to present to the payment of money! However, the general secretary of the CPSU was not capable of it ...
For historians who patriotic rage had begun to publish articles demanding the return of Alaska shouted slightly, so they shut up .... And they shut up. As far as I know, silent until now.
That's because Alaska was sold to the third and final time.