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The Gold Rush & Aftermath. Transportation in Alaska Following the rumors of Gold thousands of people flocked to Alaska Early birds encountered deadly.

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Presentation on theme: "The Gold Rush & Aftermath. Transportation in Alaska Following the rumors of Gold thousands of people flocked to Alaska Early birds encountered deadly."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Gold Rush & Aftermath

2 Transportation in Alaska Following the rumors of Gold thousands of people flocked to Alaska Early birds encountered deadly routes to the Klondike over the Chilkoot pass & White Pass Longer all water routes over the Yukon River were time consuming and costly In the 1898 work began on the White Pass & Yukon Railway. The last track was laid in Other Railways were sought after work was completed on the (WPYR) in order to create easier travel in the state.

3 Alaska Syndicate Wealthy businessmen like JP Morgan & the Guggenheim brothers backed the Valdez Chamber of Commerce in building a railway They backed the railways connecting Cordova and Kennicott copper mines in Wrangle The Syndicate also purchased steam ships which allowed them a monopoly on shipping in goods and people

4 Government in Alaska Following the purchase of Alaska the US Government placed the US Army in Charge. Responsibility for the district would change hands several times prior to civilian government being established. Prior to the gold rush the US Congress believed that Alaska was too far away and had too few people to have its own government. In 1881 residents of Juneau and other Southeastern communities came together to elect an unofficial representative to the US Congress Upon his arrival in Washington Congress refused to accept his credentials

5 The First Organic Act In 1884 Congress passed the First Organic Act providing Alaska with its first civilian government Created a temporary capital at Sitka Allowed a district court, a governor, a district attorney, a U.S. marshal and other official offices. Acknowledged the land rights of Alaska Natives Created funds for education The governors were appointed by the President and they would enforce the laws of Oregon as they stood in The Organic Act did not call for a legislature or elected representatives

6 Civil Code of 1900 Prior to formal local governments many communities operated around miners codes Miners would host town meetings and discuss local issues and develop town rules and regulations After noticing a need for laws to be revised and apply to Alaskans Congress passed the Civil Code of 1900 Communities of 300 or more to incorporate with seven- member city councils and three-member school boards. The major towns took steps to organize under the provisions of this law and elect local officials. new judicial districts, important for filing legal papers. a code specifying what activities were illegal and the punishment for violations was also adopted.

7 Lack of Progress The Civil Code of 1900 also allowed for businesses to be taxed Alaskans protested these taxes since they did not have a representative in Congress In 1903 a campaign to receive a representative spurred In 1904 on President Teddy Roosevelts inauguration Valdez residents sent a telegram saying, "On behalf of 60,000 American citizens who are denied the right of representation in any form, we demand, in mass meeting assembled, that Alaska be annexed to Canada."

8 Alaska Gets a Representative In 1906 Congress allowed Alaska a non-voting representative to Congress Alaska became a territory instead of a district because of its member in Congress James Wickersham became the first elected member from Alaska to serve in the US Congress He worked tirelessly to get rights for Alaskans despite not having a vote He encouraged Congress to allow Alaskans to choose their own representatives He got the Second Organic Act of 1912 passed

9 Second Organic Act The Act created a Legislature for Alaska The people of Alaska were allowed to appoint their own representatives However there was a long list of things they could not do control matters related to fish and game, borrow money, create counties, or deal with the management or disposition of land. This meant that powers dealing with natural resources, land, and money would remain with the federal government The Federal Government or the Governor were allowed to Veto laws passed by this Legislature The Act officially moved the capital to Juneau The Alaska Railroad Commission was also created

10 The Alaska Railroad A 5 month Study was conducted under President William H. Taft which concluded that Cordova would be the site of the Alaska Railroad connecting South Central to Fairbanks When President Wilson took over he conducted another study and decided on Seward In 1914 President Wilson signed a bill allowing for the Federal Government Railroad to be built Railroad camps were built in what is now Anchorage to complete the task The Railroad was finished in 1923 by President Warren Harding, who drove the last stake.


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