How the States Got Their Shapes

  • 2010
  • TV Show
  • TV-PG

The origins of the shapes of America's states are traced, with examinations of the geographical, political and social factors that determined the borders.

Where to Watch

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How The States Got Their Shapes Season 2
The U.S. is like a giant jigsaw puzzle, where every line on the map tells a different story.
Washington, D.C.
02:29 — George Washington picked out the location and laid out a perfect diamond shape for the city, spanning parts of Maryland and Virginia. But a looming fi (more…)
Illinois
02:22 — The Illinois Territory’s northern boundary originally ended at the southernmost point of Lake Michigan, leaving it with no port on the Great Lakes, an (more…)
Utah
03:02 — Originally called Deseret by its Mormon founders, the territory stretched across much of the West. A suspicious Congress cut the state down to size, r (more…)
California
01:52 — With the discovery of gold in 1848, thousands of prospectors poured into California. When it came time to create a state, the new residents wanted to (more…)
Puritanism
02:42 — How did the differences between Pilgrims and Puritans help shape the states of New England?

Cast & Details

  • Premiered: April 6, 2010
  • Rating: TV-PG
  • Premise: The origins of the shapes of America's states are traced, with examinations of the geographical, political and social factors that determined the borders.

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