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A Russian Challenge

Type: Document

From 1725, Imperial Russia challenged the exclusive Spanish interest in the Pacific. With voyages of exploration, trade and small-scale settlement, the Russians established a presence in Alaska. The Spanish feared they would move south into northern California, too.

Site: National Defence

Soviet Spy Scandal - Cold War Canada

Type: Document

A young Russian clerk from the Soviet Embassy begins a spy scare in 1945. His search for asylum in Canada and the effect of the information he divulged is discussed in this article. Suspected spies were found in all levels of Canadian government. Excerpt from the television series "Canada: A People's History." Includes links to educational resources, bibliography, games, puzzles, and video clips.

Site: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

Spanish Reaction

Type: Document

The Spanish hoped to intercept Captain Cook's British expedition to the Pacific in 1778. They missed Cook, but were able to further map the northwest coast of America. In 1787, Spain renewed efforts to counter English, American and Russian traders in the region.

Site: National Defence

The Russian Presence

Type: Document

Although it worried authorities in New Spain during the 18th century, the Russian presence in Alaska was tiny and non-military. British, French and Spanish explorations in Alaska led to Russian plans for a military expedition. They were pre-empted by a Russian war with Sweden in 1787.

Site: National Defence

The Purported Russian Threat

Type: Document

When the Crimean War between Britain and Russia broke out in 1854, Governor Douglas of Vancouver Island sent frantic requests for troops, ships and weapons to defend against the Russian colony in Alaska. He was ignored in London, and no fighting took place on the Pacific coast.

Site: National Defence

Renewed Spanish ventures

Type: Document

Following up from the Spanish expedition of 1774, the Viceroy of New Spain sent two ships north along the coast in 1775. The intent was twofold: to make landings on the coast so that this region could be claimed as Spanish territory, and to identify any Russian settlements.

Site: National Defence