Реферат: The History of Alaska (история Аляски)

                      Municipal Educational Institution

                          Lyceum № 130 “RAVES”


                                           Exam paper.












                                   TheHistory of Alaska.


                                                                  Student: Protopopova N.S., M-111

                                                                  Teacher: Shipulina O.N.

                                                  Barnaul, 2005




1. Origins of Alaska’s Groups……………………………………………………………………..…………4

          The Eskimos

          The Aathabascans


          The Northwest Coast Indians

2. From the Russian Empire to the USA……………………………………………………………7

3. Alaska today………………………………………………………………………………………………………..8





4. The most important dates in the history of Alaska……………………….…………11


The list of literature………………………………………………………………………………………….…18



Undoubtedly, the history is one of the most interesting and mostimportant sciences. It incorporates experience of each person and all mankind.The history acquaints us with process of development of a mankind. Behind actsand decisions of separate people, behind actions of weights there is a bright,many-sided and unique image of the world, different continents, the countriesand people. To understand history of the Native land, it is necessary tounderstand world history. In the exam paper I will tell about history of Alaska – history, which connects two great powers — Russia and the USA. The purpose of the given work is to study political and social life of Alaska, its daily life,material, spiritual and religious culture. I will tell about the reasons andconsequences of historical events of Alaska, I will cite statistical data. To beprepared of this exam paper I used the educational and scientific literatureand materials of periodic printed editions.

1. Origins of Alaska’s Native Groups.


Noone knows exactly when people first found the land that would be called Alaska. Some anthropologists believe that people migrated from Asia to North America 40,000years ago. Others argue it was as recent as 15,000 years ago.
Whenever, the consensus is that they came from Asia by way of a northern landbridge that once connected Siberia and Alaska.
That land bridge, now recalled as Beringia, was the first gateway to Alaska. But these first visitors were hardly tourists intent on exploring new worlds.Rather they were simply pursuing their subsistence way of life as they followedgreat herds of grazing mammals across the grassy tundra and gentle steppes ofBeringia.
Some groups settled in the Arctic. Others traversed the mountain passes toother parts of Alaska. While still others migrated through Alaska, continuingon to distant lands--perhaps as far as South America.
Those who made Alaska their permanent home make up the state’s four majoranthropological groups: Eskimos, Aleuts, Athabascans, and Northwest CoastIndians.
While all four groups shared certain basic similarities--all hunted, fished andgathered food--they developed distinctive cultures and sets of skills.


FlexibleResidents of the Arctic.
TheEskimos were primarily a coastal people, setting along the shores of the Arctic and Bering seas.
For millennia they lived a simple, subsistence life--much as they still dotoday--by harvesting the fish and mammals of the seas, the fruits and game ofthe land. Somehow they learned how to thrive despite the demanding conditionsof the Arctic.
Their sense of direction was keen, almost uncanny. Travelling in a straightline, sometimes through snowstorms and whiteouts, they found their way aroundthe mostly featureless terrain by noting wind direction, the position of thestars, the shape and size of a snowdrift. And they were resourceful. In a landwhere the summer sun stays at eye-level for weeks on end, never setting belowthe horizon, the Eskimos fashioned the first sun-visor--which also doubled as asnow mask to protect their eyes from the wind-driven snow.


Nomadsof the Interior.
Like the Eskimos, the Athabascans were skilful hunters, but they depended moreon large land mammals for their subsistence--tracking moose and migratingcaribou.
When it came to fishing, the Athabascans were absolutely ingenious, snaringfish with hooks, lures, traps and nets that are the fascination of modern dayanglers who visit their camps.
Generally nomadic, they lived in small, simply organized bands of a fewfamilies, and whenever possible pitched their camps in the sheltered whitespruce forests of the Interior. Some adventurous tribes, however, wandered allthe way to the Southwest United States to become kin to the Navajos andApaches.


Bornof the Sea.
For the Aleuts, life centred on the sea as they distributed themselves amongthe 70-some islands in the Aleutian chain across the North Pacific.
Life here was somewhat more benign that in the Arctic, though wind storms weresometimes strong enough to blow rocks around.
Since their food supply was rich, varied and readily available, the Aleuts hadtime to develop a complex culture. Evidence indicates that they practicedsurgery and that their elaborate burial rituals included embalming. Instrumentsutensils, even their boats were made with amazing beauty and exact symmetry. Andeverything was fashioned for a specific purpose--the Aleuts used 30 differentkinds of harpoon heads for different species of game!
Skilled navigators and sailors, the Aleuts had the dubious distinction of beingthe first to encounter the white man...Russian fur traders who took them asslaves to harvest the fur seals in the Pribilofs.

The Northwest Coast Indians:

HighSociety of Alaska’s southeast.
The milder, more temperate climate and an unlimited supply of salmon and otherseafood’s enabled the Northwest Coast Indians to evolve a way of life quitedifferent from the Eskimos, Aleuts and Athabascans. They settled in year-roundpermanent villages, took slaves and lived their lives according to the strictrules, rituals, and regulations of their respective clans. Their artwork wasnothing less than masterful...beautiful blankets, finely woven cedar bark and spruceroot baskets magnificent totem creations. Natives, who make up 15percent of the state's population, maintain many traditions, such as whaling,subsistence hunting and fishing, and old ways of making crafts and art. Nativeheritage history and culture can be found in such diverse places as Ketchikan, Anchorage and Kotzebue, as well as in hundreds of villages where people livein traditional ways.
But while Native culture, as a whole, may define much of Alaska's appearance,the state contains a broad mixture of cultures. In Anchorage, for example, theschool district has found that its student body comes from homes that speak 83languages. Anchorage, the state's biggest city, has many Alaska influences butis also sometimes called Los Anchorage for its Lower 48-style architecture andmannerisms. Most residents of Alaska were born outside the state, and when theycame to Alaska they brought their own traditions and desires.
There are European influences as well. Petersburg, in the Inside Passage, has astrong Scandinavian heritage. Cordova and Valdez bear names bestowed by aSpanish explorer; Cook Inlet is named for a British explorer; Russians left alegacy of the Orthodox Church in much of the state.


2. From the Russian Empire to the United States of America.

Thefirst written accounts indicate that the first Europeans to reach Alaska came from Russia. Vitus Bering sailed east and saw Mt. St. Elias. TheRussian-American Company hunted otters for their fur. The colony was never veryprofitable, because of the costs of transportation.

Atthe instigation of U.S. Secretary of State William Seward, the United StatesSenate approved the purchase of Alaska from Russia for $7,200,000 on 9 April1867, and the United States flag was raised on 18 October of that same year(now called Alaska Day). The first American governor of Alaska was WłodzimierzKrzyżanowski. The/>purchase wasnot popular in the continental United States, where Alaska became known as«Seward's Folly» or «Seward's Icebox». Alaska celebratesthe purchase each year on the last Monday of March, calling it Seward's Day.

/>President DwightD. Eisenhower signed the Alaska Statehood Act into United States law on 7 July 1958 which paved the way for Alaska's admission into the Union.

Thename «Alaska» is most likely derived from the Aleut word for«great country» or «mainland.» The natives called it«Alyeska», meaning «the great land.» It is bordered by the Yukon Territory and British Columbia, Canada to the east, the Gulf of Alaska and thePacific Ocean to the south, the Bering Sea, Bering Strait, and Chukchi Sea to the west, and the Beaufort Sea and the Arctic Ocean to the north.

 In1976, the people of Alaska amended the state's constitution, establishing theAlaska Permanent Fund. The fund invests a portion of the state's mineralrevenue, including revenue from the Trans-Alaskan Pipeline System, 'to benefitall generations of Alaskans.' In June 2003, the fund's value was over $24billion.

Overthe years various vessels have been named USS Alaska, in honor of the state.

DuringWorld War II outlying parts of Alaska were occupied by Japanese troops. It wasthe only part of the United States to have land occupied during the war.

3. Alaska today.


/>        Alaska is the only state that is both in North America and not part of the 48 contiguousstates. Alaska is the largest state in the United States in terms of land area,570,374 square miles (1,477,261 km²). If you superimposed a map of Alaska on the Lower 48 states, Alaska would stretch from Minnesota to Texas and from Georgia to California.

Onescheme for describing the state's geography is by labeling the regions:

•        South Central Alaska is the southern coastal regionwith towns, cities, and petroleum industrial plants;

•        The Alaska Panhandle, also known as Southeast Alaska,is home to towns, tidewater glaciers and extensive forests;

/>•        theAlaska Interior has big rivers, such as the Yukon River and the KuskokwimRiver, as well as Arctic tundra lands and shorelines; and

•        The Alaskan Bush is the remote, uncrowned part of thestate.

Alaska, with itsnumerous islands, has nearly 34,000 miles (54,700 km) of tidal shoreline. The island chain extending west from the southern tip of Alaska is called the Aleutian Islands. Many active volcanoes are found in the Aleutians.

 Alaska is the easternmost state in the Union. The Aleutian Islands actually cross longitude180°.

Alaska's mostpopulous city is Anchorage, home of 260,284 people, 225,744 of whom live in theurbanized area. It ranks a distant third in the List of U.S. cities by area. Sitka ranks as the America's largest city by area, followed closely by Junea.



Muchof Alaska is managed by the federal government as national forests, nationalparks, and national wildlife refuges. There are places in Alaska that aregeneral public lands (BLM land) but they are arguably more spectacular thanmany national parks in the Lower 48. Many of Alaska's state parks would benational parks if they were in other states.

/>/>Muchof Alaska is managed by corporations called ANCSA, or native, corporations, ofwhich there are thirteen regional ones and dozens of local ones.

Alaska has nocounties in the sense used in the rest of the country; however, the state isdivided into 27 census areas and boroughs. The difference between boroughs andcensus areas is that boroughs have an organized area-wide government, whilecensus areas are artificial divisions defined by the United States CensusBureau.



/>Alaska's mainagriculture output is seafood, although nursery stock, dairy products,vegetables, and livestock are produced and used internally. Manufacturing islimited, with most foodstuffs and general goods imported from elsewhere.Employment is primarily in government and industries such as natural resourceextraction, shipping, and transportation. There is also a small but growingservice and tourism sector. Its industrial outputs are crude petroleum, naturalgas, coal, gold, precious metals, zinc and other mining, seafood processing,timber and wood products.



Alaska has varioustransportation options. Some of Alaska is connected by roads (and sometimes atunnel) to the highways of Canada and of the rest of the United States. These places are «on the road system». Along the Pacific Ocean, many placeshave freight and passenger service from ocean-going ships. Most places have airservice, ranging from jets on tarmac to floatplanes on lakes.



4. The mostimportant dates in the history of Alaska.

August 21

— In 1732, a Russian expeditionunder

               surveyorMikhail Gvozdev sights      

                   the Alaska mainland at Cape Prince

                                                                  of Wales.

July 16

— In 1741,Vitus Bering, on St. Elias Day, sights the Alaskan

             mainland. In honour of the saint, the most

                   prominent peak was named; this wasthe first point

                   on the northwest coast named byEuropeans.

December 8

— In 1741,Vitus Bering died after his ship was wrecked on an

              island off the Alaskan coast.

September 25

— In 1745, a Russian fur hunter,Mikhail Nevodchikov, reaches

             Attu in his search for sea otters.

May 12

— In 1778,Captain James Cook entered Prince William Sound.

May 26

— In 1778,Captain James Cook entered Cook Inlet.

August 25

— In 1778,Captain James Cook turned back south


— In 1786,while charting Lituya Bay, 2 small boats are

               swamped by rip tides, and 21 Frenchsailors drown.

July 8

— In 1799,the Russian American Company is formed by Royal

              Charter;they were given a 20-year monopoly on

                    trading on the coast from 55 degreesnorth.  


— In 1812,the Russian American Company establishes a post at

             Fort Ross, California to grow crops for their Alaska.


— In 1848,the Hudson's Bay Company builds Fort Selkirk, at

             theconfluence of the Pelly and Yukon Rivers.

  - In 1852, Fort Selkirk is destroyed by a groupof Tlingits who

                   objected to the Hudson's Bay Companytrying to

                   break the Tlingit monopoly on tradewith the

                   interior tribes.

/>March 30

— In 1867,the United States purchased Alaska for


 July 23

— In 1867, Alaska's first post office is authorized, to   

             be opened at Sitka.

October 18

— In 1867,official ceremonies at Sitka transferred  

             Alaska from Russia to the United States.

July 27

— In 1868,the Customs Act is amended to include Alaska.

October 7

— In 1869,the prediction of a total solar eclipse by American

             scientistGeorge Davidson so impressed Kohklux,

                   chief of the Chilkat Indian village of Klukwan, he

                   drew him an incredibly detailed mapof a vast part

                   of the interior of the Yukon and Alaska.

— In 1871, ofthe 41 whaling ships hunting in the Bering Sea,

            32are trapped by early ice; all of the 1,200 people

                  on the ships escaped, but 31 of the shipswere

                  destroyed the following spring.


— In 1876,twelve whaling ships are trapped by ice near Point

             Barrow; 50 men die attempting to reach safety.

 July 2

— In 1882,George Krause becomes the first white man

             allowedto cross the Chilkat Pass to the interior.

 - In 1894, a resolution of the Privy Council authorizes the

            North-WestMounted Police into the Yukon «in

                  the interests of peace and goodgovernment, in

                  the interests also of the publicrevenue.» By June

                  26, Inspector Charles Constantine andStaff-

                  Sergeant Charles Brown were at Juneau, heading

                  for the goldfields of the BritishYukon.

 October 2

— In 1895,the North-west Territories was divided into the

              Districtsof Franklin, Mackenzie, Ungava and


 August 17

— In 1896, a party consisting ofGeorge Carmack, his wife

             Kate, Skookum Jim, Tagish Charlie and Patsy

                   Henderson stake placer gold claims onRabbit

                    Creek, and rename the creek Bonanza Creek.

July 14

— In 1897,the Excelsior reaches San Francisco with the first

             large shipment of Klondike gold.

 July 17

— In 1897,the Portland reached Seattle with a large shipment

             of Klondike, turning the excitement caused by the

                   Excelsior's arrival at San Francisco into an all-out

                   gold rush.

In 1898, gold was discovered near the futuresite of Nome,

                  triggering a stampede.

— In 1898, a series of 5avalanches in the Chilkoot Pass between

             2:00AM and noon killed over 70 people.

June 13

— In 1898,the Yukon Territory is created.

 July 29

— In 1900,the White Pass & Yukon Route railroad was

             completed, with the Golden Spike driven at

                   Carcross, Yukon.

— In 1900,Congress authorized a massive telegraph construction

                   project in Alaska.

July 22

— In 1902,Felice Pedroni («Felix Pedro») discovered gold in

             the Tanana Hills, causing a stampede which

                   resulted in the founding of Fairbanks.


— In 1904,the first commercial wireless communication

             facility in the U.S. opened, between Nome and St.


May 7

— In 1906,the Alaska Delegate Act was passed by Congress,

             givingthe territory's 40,000 people the right to elect

                   a non-voting delegate to Congress.

August 24

— In 1912,the Alaska Territorial Act was passed by Congress.

July 3

— In 1913,the first airplane in Alaska made a demonstration

             flight at Fairbanks, piloted by James V. Lilly.

March 12

— In 1914, a bill authorizing theconstruction of the

             government-financed Alaska Railroad was signed by

                   President Wilson. Constructionstarted in 1915, and

                   some sections were opened as theywere completed,

                   but the entire line, running fromSeward to Fairbanks,

                   was not completed until July 15,1923.

October 25

— In 1918,the coastal steamer Princess Sophia sunk near

              Juneau, killing 463 people, about 10% of the

                    Yukon's white population.

— In 1919,the Yukon finally allowed women to vote in Territorial

             elections. Manitoba had been the first province to

                   enfranchise women.

July 10

— In 1919,Louis Beauvette staked the first silver claim at Keno

             Hill, in the central Yukon; by 1930 this district was

                   producing 14% of all the silver minedin Canada.

                   enfranchisement was passed in May1918.


 July 15

— In 1923,the Alaska Railroad was completed, following 8 years

             of construction.

February 24

— In 1924,Carl Ben Eielson made Alaska's first Air Mail flight.        

June 3

— In 1942, a large carrier-basedJapanese force attacked

             Dutch Harbour.

June 7

— In 1942,the Japanese landed almost 2,500 troops on the

             Aleutianislands of Attu and Kiska. It took a huge

                   Allied force until August 15, 1943 toregain control.

September 24

— In 1942,the Alaska Highway opened at Contact Creek, 305

             miles north of Fort Nelson, B.C.

February 22

— In 1951,after 3 years of rumours, the federal government

             approvedmoving the capital of the Yukon from

                  Dawson City to Whitehorse. A new Federal Building

                  was constructed in 1952, and theTerritorial

                  Council chambers were moved thefollowing year,

                  with the first meeting held in Whitehorse in April.

— In 1951,the Alaska Highway was turned over to Canada, in a

             ceremonyat Whitehorse.

January 3

— In 1959, Alaska became the 49th State.

 March 27

— In 1964, anearthquake with a magnitude of 8.4 on the

              Richter scale hits the Anchorage area, killing 115

                   people and destroying hundreds ofhomes.

November 6

— In 1967,Jean Gordon, the Yukon's first female member of

              theTerritorial Council, takes her seat.

— In 1968,the oil riches of Alaska's North Slope, first

             reported almost 100 years ago, were confirmed by

                   a drilling program at Prudhoe Bay. The following

                   year, a total of $990,220,590 was bidin a one-day

                   lease sale of those properties.

January 23

— In 1971,the temperature at Prospect Creek, Alaska,

             dropped to 80 degrees below zero, the lowest

                    temperature ever recorded in the United States.

 December 18

— In 1971,the Alaska Native Claim Settlement Act (ANCSA)

             was signed into law by the President. Among the

                   major provisions were the transfer oftitle to 40

                   million acres of land to nativecorporations, and a

                   cash payment of $962.5 million.

February 14

— In 1973,the Yukon Native Brotherhood presented a

             Statement of Claim to the federal government,

                    stating their position on landclaims, self-

                    government and other issues whichhad been

                    published in January in«Together Today For Our

                    Children Tomorrow».

In 1975, the first section of pipe for theTrans-Alaska

             Pipelinefrom Prudhoe Bay to Valdez was laid. By

                  August, 21,600 people were working onthe project.

                  The first oil was put through the800-mile line on

                  June 20, 1977.

February 3

— In 1988, PL100-241, the Alaska Native Claim Settlement

             Act Amendments, was signed by President Regan.

                   The amendments gave more flexibilityto the

                   corporations managing Settlementlands.

March 24

— In 1989,the oil tanker Exxon Valdez went aground on Bligh

             Reef, pouring almost 11 million gallons of oil into

                    Prince William Sound.

May 29

— In 1993,the Umbrella Final Agreement is signed by

                representativesof the Council for Yukon Indians

                    and the Yukon and federal governments,

                    establishing the basic format forall 14 Yukon First

                    Nations land claims agreements.


Summing up to the aforesaid, it would be desirable to emphasize,that Alaska is a crossroads of a sea, air truck transport between Northern America,Asia and the Europe, that’s why Alaska is one of the most perspective states ofUSA by way of development of economy and tourism. The variety of riches ofculture, an abundance of national parks attracts tourists from the world.

The considerable contribution to development of Alaska was broughtby Russian empire. The general past, the general cultural wealth is what unites Russia and Alaska and today.

The list of literature.

1. Джеймс Микэнер  «Аляска».

2. Боб Черрай «Дух Ворона».

3. Marcia Simpson «Rogue's Yarn»,«Crow in Stolen Colors»,

  «Sound Tracks».

4. Gore Vidal «Williwaw».

5. Borneman «The Native People of Alaska»

6. www.encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com

7. www.alaskacam.com

8. www.alaska.com

9. www.goingtoalaska.com

10. www.mapquest.com

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