Home » History » The United States Tried to Purchase Greenland from Denmark Twice. Once in 1946 and Then Again in 2019.

The United States Tried to Purchase Greenland from Denmark Twice. Once in 1946 and Then Again in 2019.

Greenland is an island country in Denmark’s Kingdom. It is located east of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, between the Arctic and Atlantic oceans. Greenland is the world’s largest island; it is one of three constituent countries that make up the Kingdom of Denmark, along with Denmark and the Faroe Islands; all citizens of these countries are Danish nationals. But how many times has the US tried to buy Greenland from Denmark?

Due to its strategic location in the Arctic, the United States has twice offered to buy Greenland from Denmark, once in 1946 and again in 2019. The United States also occupied the island during World War II from 1940 to 1945 after the fall of Denmark and built Thule Air Base.

How Much Money Did the United States Offer to Denmark on the First Try?

In 1946, the US offered Denmark $100 million in gold bullion in exchange for Greenland. In November 1945, US Senator Owen Brewster stated that purchasing the island was a military necessity. In April 1946, the Joint Chiefs of Staff’s planning and strategy committee determined that acquiring the completely worthless Denmark island was critical to the United States. (Source: AP News)

How Much Money Did the United States Offer to Denmark on the Second Try?

The Washington Post estimated in August 2019 that the purchase price of Greenland would range between $200 million and $1.7 trillion, with a middle estimate of $42.6 billion. The lower figure was based on inflation and size-adjusted valuation of what the US paid for Alaska, and the higher figure was based on an 847 price-to-earnings ratio, which the newspaper said could be justified based on future valuations of its mineral deposits combined with the possibility that it could become a residential destination as a result of climate change effects.

According to FT Alphaville, the territory is worth $1.1 trillion. Its sum-of-the-parts analysis assigned a value of $300 to $400 billion to potential oil fields, $500 to 700 billion to rare-earth minerals, and $200 to $220 billion to real estate. According to the newspaper, the United States has a history of accretive land acquisitions, with a 7.1 percent internal rate of return for the Louisiana Purchase, a 7.4 percent internal rate of return for Manhattan, and a 9.0 percent internal rate of return for Alaska. 24/7 Wall Street estimated a $533 billion purchase price for Greenland, using Wyoming as a comparable. If the US wants it for the strategic value of its property, both on land and offshore, and to project military power, the answer is that $500 billion is not excessively rich, according to 24/7 Wall Street. (Source: USA Today)

American Acquisition Objectives

The United States would gain permanent control of an island essential to its defense if Greenland were acquired. Whether discovered or anticipated, the nation will amass massive quantities of natural resources, including petroleum and rare minerals; the island possesses the greatest rare earth deposits outside of China. By 2030, climate change might cause the Northern Sea Route to be the first Arctic shipping route to be ice-free, linking the Atlantic and Pacific oceans and considerably enhancing Greenland’s resource accessibility. (Source: Politico)

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