By Stephen Haycox, Mary Mangusso
Alaska, with its Indian, Eskimo, and Aleut history, its century of Russian colonization, its peoples’ ambitious struggles to wrest a residing (or a fortune) from the North’s remoted and vicious surroundings, and its fairly fresh fulfillment of statehood, has lengthy captured the preferred mind's eye. In An Alaska Anthology, twenty-five modern students discover the region’s pivotal occasions, major issues, and significant avid gamers, local, Russian, Canadian, and American. The essays selected for this anthology signify some of the best writing on Alaska, giving nice intensity to our knowing and appreciation of its heritage from the times of Russian-American corporation domination to the newer hazard of nuclear checking out by way of the Atomic power fee and the impression of oil funds on green politicians. Readers might be conversant in an past anthology, Interpreting Alaska’s History, from which the current quantity advanced to deal with an explosion of study some time past decade. whereas many of the unique items have been chanced on to be irreplaceable, greater than 1/2 the essays are new. the result's a clean point of view at the topic and a useful source for college students, lecturers, and students.
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Additional resources for An Alaska Anthology: Interpreting the Past
The fur trade was, of course, the raison d'etre of Russian America, just as it had been of Siberia. Russian eastward expansion from the Urals was really a rush for "soft gold"-principally sables in Siberia and sea otters in America. The latter succeeded the former as the world's most valuable furbearers, and the resultant overhunting took the Russian promyshlenniki ever eastward-from the basin of the Ob' [River] to the Enisei and Lena, then to the peninsula of Kamchatka, along the Aleutian archipelago to the Gulf of Alaska, and finally down the Northwest Coast.
Homann's Grosser Atlas, published in 1725 in Nuremberg, a map printed in 1722 from one prepared in Russia and sent to Homann for publication. The eastern part of the land was not known because it was cut off by the right border of the map. It is believed that Bering carried a copy of this map with him on his voyage. This northward-going land reflected the belief in the existence of the mythical Juan de Gama Land between Asia and America. If I am right in my reading of Peter's instructions, what he had in mind was that Bering should sail east along the southern coast of this land until he reached America and there look for a European settlement, which not only would serve to ascertain the northern limit of European settlement on the west coast of America, but also would reinforce any future claim Russia might make to unclaimed land there.
A boat would be built by them and equipment and supplies laid in. After a cargo of furs had been acquired and the boat returned to Kamchatka, assuming that disaster at sea or at the hands of Natives had not occurred, a ten percent tax was paid to the state, and the proceeds from the venture were distributed according to the shares assigned at the outset. The company then went out of existence. Investors were free to organize other such companies concurrently or subsequently, and did. The boats used for these voyages have traditionally been described as crudely built, lasting scarcely one trip, and their crews as landlubbers un- 18 RAYMOND H.