When Liechtenstein Considering Buying Alaska

The United States purchased Alaska from Russia in 1867, but the territory had been on the real estate market for a decade. Russia wasn’t making money from it and the land, as a result of the Crimean War, Russia was also reassessing its overseas committments. The United States was a preferred buyer, but not the only customer that Russia was considering.

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The Liechtensteiner Vaterland, the largest daily newspaper in the tiny Alpine nation, passes along an oral tradition within the ruling house of Liechtenstein. Prince Hans-Adam II, the current monarch, that one of his predacessors spoke fluent Russian, had strong ties with the Tsars, and sponsored an institute in Vienna that focused on Russian and Slavic affairs. He was a special ambassador from the Austro-Hungarian Emperor to the Tsar in St. Petersburg.

At one point in conversation, the Tsar offered the personal sale of Alaska to the Prince, who was in a financial position to afford it.

There are no documents to support this oral tradition within the princely family, which Hans-Adam II attributes to the destruction of documents during the revolutions and wars of Twentieth Century Russia.

Another problem that I see in the story is that Hans-Adam II attributes the incident to Prince Franz I, who was born in 1853. That makes him a bit young to be conducting such high level negotiations prior to 1867.

At its present borders, Alaska is 10,698 times the size of Liechtenstein. Can you imagine what it would be like today if the Prince of Liechtenstein had purchased it?

-via Mark E. | Images: TUBS/Alexk2

Source: neatorama

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