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By the 1850s a population of 300,000 sea otters was almost extinct, and Russia needed money after being defeated by Britain in the Crimean War.
Therefore, Emperor Alexander II decided to sell the territory.The land added 586,412 square miles (1,518,800 km) of new territory to the United States.Reactions to the purchase in the United States were mostly positive; some opponents called it "Seward's Folly" (after Secretary of State William H.Perhaps in the hope of starting a bidding war, both the British and the Americans were approached.However, the British expressed little interest in buying Alaska.
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Seward), while others praised the move for weakening both the UK and Russia as rivals to American commercial expansion in the Pacific region.