Spain sold Florida for $ 5 million .. What do you know about the sale of land between countries?

Spain sold Florida for $ 5 million


How does one feel if he wakes up one morning and finds himself and the land on which he lives has been transferred to another country? Some were surprised by reports that US President Donald Trump wanted to buy Greenland from Denmark, That desire has sparked much controversy in official and media circles among opponents and supporters of the idea, and some even accused the US president of madness.

However, the president's desire is not a fad of history. The United States has long tried to buy Greenland. In 1946, President Harry Truman offered $ 100 million to the island, of which the United States was interested in 1867.

Not only was the United States buying land from other countries - although America remains the lion's share of those deals - but the world has historically witnessed many cases in which countries sold or ceded their territory to other countries.

This report reviews a number of cases in which the inhabitants of those territories became affiliated with countries other than the ones they had become.


Alaska... The Russian Empire sells its territory because of want

On March 30, 1867, the United States reached an agreement to buy Alaska from Russia for $ 7.2 million (equivalent to about $ 115 million at present), and the treaty was negotiated with Russia and signed by Secretary of State William Seward and the Russian United States Edward Stockle.

At the time, the Russian Empire suffered from severe financial hardship after the end of the Crimean War, while Russian Tsar Alexander II's fears about the fate of the Russian Alaska region, which was located in the far east of the empire, were a catalyst for the deal.

However, the big objection did not come from the Russians, but from the Americans whose land was bought by the country.

The region and its natural resources, while some believe that the idea of ​​unpopular buying among Americans is "one of the strongest historical myths in American history."


(Map showing US regional acquisitions - Source: thomasgraz)

Louisiana... A sales deal that changed the course of history

Louisiana was the largest US purchase and one of the largest land deals ever, It bought it from France for only $ 15 million (less than three cents per acre) in 1801. Before that, Louisiana belonged to Spain, and French leader Napoleon Bonaparte regained control in 1800, Then the US president began negotiating with France to buy them at a time when France was suffering financially, and badly need to finance its war with England.

The purchase treaty between Napoleon and the US president was signed on April 30, 1803, and was announced in Washington on July 4, 1803.

In an article published by Smithsonian Magazine, the author, Joseph Harris, described the purchase as having changed the world.


A map dating from 1903 showing how large Louisiana was when it was purchased


Florida .. Spain sells the rest of the old province for $ 5 million

The US government also bought Florida from Spain in 1819 for $ 5 million. The then Spanish minister, de Luis de Onis, and US Secretary of State John Quincy Adams signed the Florida Purchase Treaty, under which Spain agreed to abandon the rest of the province. Old Florida to the United States.


US Virgin Islands .. or the former Danish West Indies

In 1917, Washington purchased the Danish West Indies for $ 25 million, dubbed the US Virgin Islands. Today, the islands are the most prominent tourist destination among the many US “isolated areas” that are not part of the 50 states, or federal provinces.


Guantanamo Bay .. rented naval base

Guantanamo Bay, one of the United States' "territories" in the Pacific and the Caribbean, was hired for use in a naval base in 1903 for $ 2,000 a year, then raised to $ 4,085 in 1974.

Since the 1959 revolution, the Cuban government has protested against America's oldest naval base, claiming that it was imposed by force and against international law. Since 2002, it has been home to the notorious internationally condemned prison, in which the United States holds without trial those who determine that they are dangerous terrorists.


Mexico gives up half of its territory for $ 15 million

The United States paid to Mexico about $ 30 million to buy different regions between 1848 and 1856, This began precisely when the Treaty of Hidalgo was signed in 1848, A treaty that ended the Mexican-American War, under which Mexico ceded about 1,359,744 square kilometers - about half of its territory - for $ 15 million and ending the war, The deal enabled the United States to expand westward to the Pacific Ocean, where California is now located, as US President James Polk wanted in the years before the war.



Five years after the Treaty of Hidalgo, in 1853, the United States continued to expand, and she buying the Gadsons of $ 10 million. Mexico still needed money in the aftermath of the Mexican-American War.


Kiribati government buys alternative land in Fiji

The Republic of Kiribati is a group of islands in the Pacific that are exposed to serious environmental risks due to climate change, prompting the Government of Kiribati to buy 6,000 acres on Fiji Island in 2014, It has also embarked on a program to help people migrate and find alternative places. Kiribati has a population of about 110,000, spread over 33 small islands.

As The Guardian pointed out, Kiribati's President Anote Tung was able to buy 20 square kilometers in Vanua Levu, one of the Fiji islands, about 2,000 kilometers, taking a serious and concrete step in buying alternative land as a refuge for his country's inhabitants. The Maldives first considered it in 2009, in anticipation of its gradual inundation.


China resolves a century-long border dispute and buys the Pamir Mountains


China emerges as one of the countries that have sold land or acquisitions. It signed a deal with Tajikistan in 2011 to buy 1,000 square kilometers in the Pamir Mountains.

China and Tajikistan said they had settled a border dispute a century ago after the latter agreed to relinquish disputed territory to China. The Tajik government has not released financial details of the deal. (Source : BBC news).

China's expansion to the West across its 2,800-kilometer border with Central Asia has fueled sentiment within the former Soviet region. Opposition activists say governments are giving up much of their precious resources.


Germany pays 25 million peseta for the Spanish islands

Germany, in turn, bought the Caroline and Mariana Islands from Spain in 1899. The Caroline and Mariana Islands were the subject of a long-running dispute between the two countries, and this dispute was referred to the arbitration of Pope Leon XIII in 1885, He ruled the islands in favor of Spain, but granted free trade rights to Germany, but Germany took control of the islands in 1899 and paid 25 million pesetas (approximately £ 1 million).


The Soviet Union buys Finnish territory after the end of the winter war

The former Soviet Union purchased the lands of Janiskuski Nskakuski from Finland for 700 million Finnish Marka in 1947.
In 1940, after its defeat in the so-called winter war with the Soviet Union and as a result of the treaty signed at the end of the war, Finland was forced to cede parts of the provinces of Karelia, Sila and Kuusamo to the Soviet Union, And the islands in the Gulf of Finland, the total area of ​​about 40 thousand square kilometers, three times larger than the area seized by the Soviet Union during the winter war itself.


Pakistan buys Gwadar after 174 years of Omani rule

When Pakistan gained independence in 1947, Gwadar was still under Omani rule, and with Pakistan's independence and all Baloch states joining Pakistan, Gwadar residents began to apply to join Pakistan.

In 1954, Pakistan contracted the US Geological Survey to conduct a survey of its coastal boundaries, and the survey referred to the area as suitable for a new deep-sea port. Pushing Pakistan to make an official request to the Sultan of Muscat and Oman Said bin Taimur, to transfer Gwadar to Pakistan.

On September 7, 1958, after four years of negotiations, Pakistan bought Gwadar from Oman for $ 3 million, and Gwadar officially became part of Pakistan on December 8, 1958, after 174 years of Omani rule.


France bought one of the Caribbean islands

France bought Saint Barthelemy in the West Indies from Sweden for 320,000 francs in 1878.

It is clear to the auditor in these buying and selling motives that money and the expansion of influence are the common denominator in all these transactions. 

Translate from: Sasapost by Hazem allagui



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