Today's Alaska Day, when Alaskans mark the anniversary of the completion of the US's purchase of Alaska from the Russians.
Which raises a question. Why don't countries buy territories from each other any more?
I guess the difference in income between the US and (say) Malawi or Zimbabwe is far greater now than was the gap between the US and Russia in 1867. That should make purchases more feasible.
And I suspect most Zimbabweans would happily accept a small sum for their share of Zimbabwean sovereignty, in exchange for US or European rule.
So, why do transactions like the Alaskan (or Louisiana) purchase no longer happen? Are Mugabe and his bandit allies really so powerful that they could render a takeover unenforceable?
Why is our choice limited to only tolerating bad governments or fighting colosally expensive wars? Succesful companies often buy badly managed ones, so why shouldn't successful states buy badly governed states? What's so great about national sovereignty that means it can't be traded? Are the obstacles here practical or ethical?