How the States Got Their Shapes
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Mark Stein is a playwright and screenwriter. His plays have been performed off-Broadway and at theaters throughout the country. His films include Housesitter, with Steve Martin and Goldie Hawn. He has taught at American University and Catholic University.
Maryland got nothing (as it did in every border dispute in which it engaged). Delaware’s Northern and Western Borders England stipulated the borders of Delaware in the 1682 deed from King Charles II to his brother, the future King James II. Charles defined Delaware’s northern border as a 12-mile radius surrounding the Dutch settlement at New Castle. The rest of Delaware, he stated, comprised the land south of that circle as far as Cape Henlopen. (Figure 46) Maryland lodged a formal protest. In
Kansas but also its width in order that Colorado could fulfill its prototype, too. KENTUCKY 88° 89° 87° 86° 85° 84° Ohio 82° 83° 39° Indiana Ohio Louisville sissippi Owensboro 38° ork 37° Virginia essee Tenn Ohi o West Virginia gF Tu Mis Mo. Frankfort Lexington Big Sandy Illinois Tennessee 36° Why does Kentucky’s southern border suddenly sidestep to the south? How come Kentucky’s southern border is the same (almost) as Virginia’s? And since it’s almost the same as
Nebraska Territory—1854 different from that of the earlier, agricultural settlers. And the vast numbers of mining people who flooded into these regions threatened the established power structure. It was thought to be better, perhaps, that they have their own territory. Moreover, a different economic asset captured the imagination of Nebraskans. In 1861, Nebraska’s territorial governor, Alvin Saunders, revealed that particularly prized asset in his opening address to the legislature: A mere
years later, the rejuvenated 7th Calvary massacred the Sioux at Wounded Knee, South Dakota. The revised northern border of Nebraska preserves one piece of this unhappy history. NEVADA Oregon 42° Idaho 41° 40° Reno 39° Lake Tahoe Utah Ely Carson City 38° California 37° Las Vegas 36° Colorado 35° 121° 120° 119° 118° 117° 116° 115° Arizona 114° 113° Is there any question as to why Nevada has the borders that it has? Aren’t they obviously just straight lines that follow the
T H E STATE S GO T TH E IR SH A PE S When Congress created Arizona in 1863, it did so by dividing the New Mexico Territory vertically instead of horizontally. The vertical border demonstrated the quest by Congress to create equal states (a telling contrast to the horizontal border proposed by the territory’s pro-slavery Confederates). The vertical border gave both Arizona and New Mexico access to the Gadsden Purchase with its valuable rail connections. In addition, the location of Arizona’s