Download How the States Got Their Shapes by Mark Stein PDF

By Mark Stein

America's first century was once outlined through growth and the negotiation of territories between parts colonized via the French and Spanish, or occupied by way of natives. the precise situation of borders grew to become paramount; playwright and screenwriter Stein amasses the tale of every state's border, channeling them right into a cohesive complete.

Proceeding during the states alphabetically, Stein takes the cutting edge step of addressing every one border-north, south, east, west-separately. Border tales shine a focus on many points of yank background: the forty ninth parallel was once selected for the northern borders of Minnesota, North Dakota, and Montana simply because they ensured England's entry to the good Lakes, important to their fur exchange; in 1846, Washington D.C. citizens south of the Potomac effectively petitioned to rejoin Virginia (called either "retrocession" and "a crime") for you to hold out loose African-Americans.

Aside from stories of violent conquest and political glad-handing, there's early, breathtaking stories of yank politicos' favourite recreation, gerrymandering (in 1864, Idaho pass judgement on Sidney Edgerton single-handedly "derailed" Idaho's proposed boundary, to Montana's gain, with $2,000 in gold). American heritage lovers will be captivated via this enjoyable, informative textual content.

Mark Stein is a playwright and screenwriter. His performs were played off-Broadway and at theaters through the kingdom. His motion pictures comprise Housesitter, with Steve Martin and Goldie Hawn. He has taught at American collage and Catholic college.

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Extra resources for How the States Got Their Shapes

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The problem was providing New York with the agreed upon 20-mile buffer east of the Hudson while at the same time preserving for Connecticut its towns of Greenwich and Stamford. The solution turned out to be a panhandle. (Figure 40) Connecticut 20 mile buffer Hudson New York Stamford Greenwich la g Is Lon oun nd S New Jersey New York FIG. 40 Connecticut’s Southwest Panhandle d CON N EC T I C U T 49 Hudson Massachusetts The “oblong” New York New Jersey FIG. 41 Connecticut and g Isl Lon Sound Adjusted Western Border of Connecticut To compensate New York for the land claims it released in creating the panhandle, Connecticut gave to New York a strip of land along its western border.

Figure 37) This negotiation was prolonged by the fact that the towns of Enfield, Somers, Suffield, and Woodstock, which existed well before Connecticut, were located in the disputed zone. (Figure 38) Massachusetts Massachusetts Bay Nep ons et Neponset River: southernmost tributary to Massachusetts Bay 3 miles Connecticut FIG. 37 Rhode Island The Formula for Connecticut/Massachusetts Border CON N EC T I C U T Massachusetts Suffield Enfield Somers Connecticut according to Connecticut FIG. 38 47 Massachusetts Woodstock future Rhode Island Suffield Enfield Somers Connecticut according to Massachusetts Woodstock future Rhode Island Massachusetts Towns Inside Connecticut Border Finally, in 1804, the two sides agreed that, as compensation to Massachusetts for losing these towns, Connecticut would partition Congamond Lakes, farther west.

In fact, why isn’t Alaska just a continuation of Canada? Were the Canadians suckered? Or did we threaten them? And why is Alaska’s straight-line border where it is? In acquiring Alaska, the United States did not, despite appearances, take advantage of Canada. Alaska’s current borders were already set when the United States purchased Alaska from Russia in 1867. AL AS K A 19 Alaska’s Southern and Eastern Borders In 1821, the Russian-American Company, a fur trading corporation operating under a charter from the czar, laid claim to all the land along the Alaskan coast north of the 51st parallel.

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