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#1
Guest_chelsea_*

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I
am helping my 11 year old niece do her first research paper. She
wonders about the states in the U.S. She wants to know why they are not
all the same size and how their boundaries are chosen. Iwould
appreciate any help you guys could give me.

Also, does anyone know why Carolina and Dakota and the Virginias are split in two?

She
is trying to learn to do research and as a computer professsional, i
find expert help forums invaluable. i would like to teach her to use
them as a resource.

Thanks.

Chelsea and her niece Jackie

#2
benbakelaar

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"This may not be useful for the report, but it sure is interesting. First time I've seen it too!

[url="http://"http://www.ac.wwu.edu/%7Estephan/48states.html"]http://www.ac.wwu.edu/~stephan/48states.html[/url] "

#3
Hans van der Maarel

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"There's
an interesting book on this subject: ""Measuring America"". It actually
covers the history of mapmaking in America, but also at times goes into
why borders are where they are.

It's a combination of historic
treaties, rivers and other natural features (Hudson River, Mississippi)
and man-made delineations (lines of latitude/longitude). "
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
Red Geographics
Email: hans@redgeographics.com / Twitter: @redgeographics

#4
DaveB

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"


am helping my 11 year old niece do her first research paper.  She 
wonders about the states in the U.S.  She wants to know why they 
are not all the same size and how their boundaries are chosen.
Iwould appreciate any help you guys could give me.

Also, does anyone know why Carolina and Dakota and the Virginias are split in two?

http://


It's
an interesting subject and it encompasses most of the history of North
America, the American colonies, and the United States. :)

The
split of Virigina came about when Viriginia seceded with other southern
states to form the Confederacy in the 1860's. The West Virginians
declined to secede with them. "
Dave Barnes
Esri
Product Engineer
Map Geek

#5
Guest_chelsea_*

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Thanks so much for your input so far. Can't wait to show this to my niece.

Chelsea

#6
Dennis McClendon

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As
mentioned, the history of state borders is the history of the US, so
it's a complicated subject. If you have any specific questions about
specific borders, I'll be happy to help.

It's interesting to
compare North American boundaries with those of Europe. In Europe, I
don't believe any boundary (longer than a few kilometers) is fixed
along a straight line. But every US state save one has some part of its
border that's a straight line. Care to guess which one doesn't?
Dennis McClendon, Chicago CartoGraphics
chicagocarto.com

#7
Rob

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hmmmm, where could that be? B)

#8
Hans van der Maarel

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Starts with an 'h' B)

As
for European boundaries, I just did a check and the longest section of
straight border for Holland is almost 18.5 km, up in the north. But we
have other wicked things, such as the Baarle-Nassau/Baarle Hertog
situation. That's a couple of Belgian enclaves within Holland. Making
it more complex is the fact that some of those little pieces of Belgium
have even smaller pieces of Holland inside... It gets absolutely wild
when you realize that the town of Baarle was constructed with total
disregard for these borders and consequently some houses are in 2
countries... Heck, some front doors are in 2 countries...
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
Red Geographics
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#9
Rick Dey

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"

... every US state save one has some part of its border that's a straight line.  Care to guess which one doesn't?

http://

That should be Hawaii since it's all coastlines, but are the extents of the state defined that way? "
Rick Dey

#10
Rob

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"

but are the extents of the state defined that way?

http://


private
property lines extend seaward to the upper reaches of the the wash of
the waves, which is usually the vegetation or debris line. From this
line seaward there is unrestricted public access and the state has
jurisdiction to 3 miles offshore. in which case dennis' claim seems to
hold up. interesting little factiod. "

#11
gmo

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"


am helping my 11 year old niece do her first research paper.  She 
wonders about the states in the U.S.  She wants to know why they 
are not all the same size and how their boundaries are chosen.
Iwould appreciate any help you guys could give me.

Also, does anyone know why Carolina and Dakota and the Virginias are split in two?

She 
is trying to learn to do research and as a computer professsional, i 
find expert help forums invaluable.  i would like to teach her to 
use them as a resource.

Thanks.

Chelsea and her niece Jackie

http://



Hi,

Why
should all the states be the same size? They aren't anyplace else in
the world? On the other hand, in the western regions, many of the
states have straight edges and are nearly rectangular.

Older
states in the eastern US were delineated on the basis of land grants
going back to the first settlements by Europeans, and rivers were often
used as natural borders. The grants were often made to settlers, their
organizers and rulers, that is, starting at the ocean and extending
indefinitely to the west.

Jefferson purchased the Louisiana
Terriortory from Napoleon in 1803, and he was determined to impose some
rational and scientific mapping scheme on the huge area. That's why
everything is mapped into squares and rectangles. If you look at a map
of Michigan, Iowa, Indiana, etc., you will see a large portion of the
roads are perpendicular. They define township, range, and larger blocks
of land that he set out his scheme. Natural borders sometimes ""mess"" up
the orderly mapping plan, but as any plane trip over the USA on a clear
day will prove, he did have a trendous impact. As territories were
admitted to statehood in the Union, they maintained those borders,
internal and external.

The area (size) of the newer states was
determined in large part by the need to have a certain minimum
population to get statehood. The west was thinly populated, so the
states are big in area.

States that are split in two, Dakotas,
Virginias, Carolinas, all have their own stories. Usually, there was an
original grant or terriorty formed, but for political reasons, one part
developed faster, and sought statehood before the other. I'm not sure,
but in some states, the slavery issue may have been active - certainly
not in Carolina, however, which were both slave states.

Have fun!

gmo "

#12
Guest_chelsea_*

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Thanks
to everyone who helped me with my report. I guessed correctly that
Hawaii was the state with no artificial boundaries. I think it's funny
a front door can be in 2 countries.

jackie

Chelsea




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