Kids' Assignment: The map on the right shows the development of the state boundaries beginning in early colonial times. Can you tell which coast was divided into states first by the English colonists? Reload the page to restart the map animation.
Also see the timeline of Spanish conquest.
Kids' Assignment: Here is a relief map showing the shape of the land in the Western United States. How much of it looks flat? Now compare it to the land along the Mississippi River through the Mid Section of the country, and to the Eastern United States. Are there more mountains in the East or West? Why does the middle appear to be flat? What effect does erosion have on the land?
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To see individual maps in the animation, choose a date below. A new window will open. Close it when you are finished to choose another map.
Coast to coast without boundries,
- 1804 A new boundary west of the Mississippi River (lands included in the Louisiana Purchase of 1803)
- 1845 Texas Statehood
- 1850 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo
- 1854 Gadsden Purchase