America's Territory

Enduring Understandings and Essential Questions

Enduring Understandings

Essential Questions

Since the U.S. acquired the territory in 1867, Alaska's economy has been dependent on resource extraction and dominated by large outside corporations.

What were the principal industries in Alaska in 1867, 1890, 1940, and 1959?

How did technology change Alaska's whaling, fishing, and mining industries between 1867 and 1959?

How and why did large corporations, financed by non-Alaskans, dominate the resource extraction industries?

The U.S. Government has been a major participant in Alaska's economic development by helping development of marine, land and air transportation and communication systems.

What were some of the ways the U.S. Government participated in Alaska's economic development between 1867 and 1959?

Why was it appropriate for the federal government to support and undertake construction of "internal improvements" in Alaska?

How did the U.S. Government's involvement in economic development in Alaska reflect its changing role from encouraging business to regulating business?

How did Alaskans view the role of the U.S. Government in their economic development?

Through land management and legislation, the federal government plays a significant role in exploration, use and conservation of Alaska's resources.

What was the U.S. Government's role in exploration and mapping Alaska during the late 1800s?

How did the ability to acquire land in Alaska change in 1900?

What reserves did the federal government establish in Alaska between 1890 and 1959? Why was each established and for what purposes were they managed?

What events made many Alaskans charge the U.S. Government "locked up Alaska," and kept control of development in the territory?

The non-Native population has dominated Alaska politics, economics, and society, yet Natives influenced territorial events.

How did Alaska's population change between 1867 and 1950, in numbers, ethnicity, and location?

How has Alaska's non-Native population dominated Alaska politics, economics, and society?

Did Euro-Americans perspectives on Alaska Natives and their rights and treatment change between 1867 and 1959? What Alaskans, groups, events and places influenced changes?


Alaska has been impacted by and had a role in national and world events.

How did world events (including international sea mammal hunting, two world wars, and the Cold War) impact Alaska?

How did national events (including the western gold rushes, the Progressive movement, and the Great Depression) impact Alaska?

What contributions has Alaska made to scientific understanding (biology, geology, anthropology) and Arctic engineering?

How did aviation change Alaska/s role in world and national events?