Treaty of Saint Petersburg

Partitioning the North Pacific

the Arctic 1875.0507

Treaty of Saint Petersburg

Alaska Purchase, Rupert's Land Act, Amur, Opening of Japan (7 May 1875)

Historical Map of the Arctic & the Far North

While the Canadians were expanding westward across their new territories, Russian and Japanese settlers were coming into conflict in Sakhalin. To resolve this situation the two empires signed the Treaty of St Petersburg, giving Russia all of Sakhalin in exchange for complete Japanese control over the Kuril Islands.

Main Events

Franco-Prussian War

An alliance of German states led by the Kingdom of Prussia defeated the Second French Empire in the Franco-Prussian War. The war unified Germany under Otto von Bismarck's Prussia, and led to the abdication of French Emperor Napoleon III and the German annexation of Alsace-Lorraine.

Proclamation of German Empire

William I of Prussia was proclaimed German Emperor by the German princes and senior military commanders gathered in the Hall of Mirrors at the Palace of Versailles, currently under Prussian occupation while they besieged Paris. The act marked the unification of Germany under the Kingdom of Prussia and the beginning of the Second German Reich.

British Columbia joins Canada

After almost two years of negotiations, in which the Dominion of Canada agreed to take on the colony's debts and promised to build a transcontinental railway connecting Vancouver to eastern Canada within ten years, the United Colony of British Columbia and Vancouver Island entered the Canadian Federation as the Province of British Columbia.

Numbered Treaties

In accordance with the Royal Proclamation of 1763 and the British North America Act of 1867, the Dominion of Canada signed eleven Numbered Treaties with the indigenous peoples of the northwest. The treaties allowed for the Canadian settlement and exploitation of what had been Rupert's Land and the North-Western Territory.

Austro-Hungarian North Pole Expedition

The Austro-Hungarian North Pole Expedition sailed from Tromsø, Norway, into the Arctic aboard the Tegetthoff in an attempt to find the North-East Passage. After being trapped in ice north of Novaya Zemlya in August 1872, the ship drifted into hitherto unexplored polar regions, in the process discovering an archipelago which they named Franz Josef Land after the Austro-Hungarian Emperor Franz Joseph I. In May 1874, they decided to abandon the still ice-locked ship, eventually making their way to Novaya Zemlya by sledges and small boats.

San Juan Islands award

Under the terms of the 1871 Treaty of Washington, the United States and the United Kingdom agreed to resolve the San Juan Islands dispute by international arbitration, with Kaiser Wilhelm I of Germany chosen to act as arbitrator. After almost a year of discussion, the three-man arbitration commission set up by the Kaiser decided in favor of the United States on 21 October 1872. This decision ended the so-called Pig War, leading the British to withdraw from the islands on 25 November 1872, but angered the Canadians, whose interests had been overruled by the British.

Prince Edward I. joins Canada

Despite hosting the 1864 Charlottetown Conference on Canadian Confederation, the British colony of Prince Edward Island refused to join Canada when it was created in 1867. For a time the colony threatened to join the United States, before finally entering the Canadian Confederation in July 1873, after the Canadian government had agreed to take on its railway debts.

British Arctic Territories

In response to an information request from the British Colonial Office about the status of the Arctic islands north of Canada, the Hydrographer of the Admiralty confirmed that the coast north of Cumberland Gulf had been visited and claimed by Captain Ross in 1818. This confirmation was the first real government acknowledgement of the British claim to the region, leading to the designation of the area as the British Arctic Territories.

Mounties march west

Twenty-two officers and 287 men of the newly formed Canadian North-West Mounted Police marched from Fort Dufferin, Manitoba, westward across the Canadian prairies to suppress Fort Whoop-Up, a notorious American whiskey trading post in what is now Alberta. The fort had been forewarned and was largely deserted, but the Mounties eventually caught up with and fined the perpetrators. This act asserted Canadian authority in the prairies north of the United States.

Treaty of Saint Petersburg

The Empire of Japan signed the Treaty of Saint Petersburg with the Russian Empire. By the terms of the treaty, Japan gave up all claims to the island of Sakhalin in exchange for the Russian Empire's recognition of Japanese sovereignty over the Kuril Islands. Ratifications were exchanged in Tokyo on 22 August 1875.

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