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The American Territory (Russian: Американский Край, Amyerikanskiy Kray), commonly referred to as Russian America (Русская Америка, Russkaya Amyerika), was the former territory of the Russian Empire which comprised of its North American possessions. The territory was administered as a governor-generalship and was comprised of eight oblasts at its height.
Russia's presence in North America began in the late 18th Century along the coasts of the Bering Sea and later expanding to San Francisco Bay by the 1810s. Throughout much of its history, the Russian-American Company both operated the only fur trading company within the territory and as the de facto governing body of the colonies. By the late 19th Century, the Russian Empire controlled the entire northwestern coast of North America by means of ceasing or purchasing territory from both the Spanish and British Empires.
Following Russia's victory in the Russo-Japanese War (due in no small feet to their North American colonies), an autonomy movement began within Russian America. Despite hopes of greater autonomy and democratization, the territory would remain under autocratic control until February 1917 when Russian America declared their independence as the Alaskan Republic (which would later become the contemporary Alaskan Democratic Federative Republic).