Ukase of 1821

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The Ukase of 1821 (Russian: Указ 1821 года) was a Russian proclamation of territorial sovereignty over northwestern North America, roughly present-day Alaska. It declared that the Russian Empire prohibited "all foreign vessels not only to land on the coasts and islands belonging to Russia, [...] but also to approach them within less than one hundred miles."[1] Also included in the ukase was a Russian claim to territory as far south as 51° N latitude in what is now British Columbia, but this claim was later challenged by the British and U.S. governments. After signing both the Russo-American Treaty of 1824 and the Anglo-Russian Convention of 1825, Russia agreed to cede all land south of 54°40′ N latitude to joint British-American control.[2]

The ukase was declared on September 4, 1821.[3] The only attempt to enforce the ukase occurred in 1822, when the American ship Pearl was seized by the Russian sloop Apollon on its way from Boston to Sitka. When the American government protested, the vessel was released and compensation was paid for the detention.[4]

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  1. ^ Higginson, Ella (1908). Alaska, The Great Country. Macmillian. p. 37. 
  2. ^ Haycox, Stephen W (2002). Alaska: An American Colony. University of Washington Press. pp. 1118–1122. ISBN 978-0-295-98249-6. 
  3. ^ Nichols, Irby C, Jr (February 1967). "The Russian Ukase and the Monroe Doctrine: A Re-Evaluation". Pacific Historical Review 36 (1): 13–26. doi:10.2307/3637088. 
  4. ^ Macmillan's magazine, Volume 77, Macmillan and Co., 1898, p. 68