Alaska (IPA: /əˈlæs.kə/, Russian: Аляска (Alyaska) is an exclave and a state of the United States of America that is located in the extreme northwest portion of North America, west of Canada. It is the largest U.S. state in terms of area (by a substantial margin), comprising approximately one-sixth of the country.
The area that became Alaska was purchased from Russian interests on October 18, 1867, for $7,200,000. The land went through several administrative changes before becoming an organized territory in 1912 and the 49th state of the U.S. on January 3, 1959. The name "Alaska" is derived from the Aleut alaxsxaq, meaning "the mainland", or more literally "the object towards which the action of the sea is directed".