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The United States
United States
of America was created on July 4, 1776, with the declaration of independence of thirteen British colonies. Their independence was recognized by Great Britain with the Treaty of Paris of 1783, following the American Revolutionary War. This effectively doubled the size of the colonies, now able to stretch west past the Proclamation Line to the Mississippi
Mississippi
River. This land was organized into territories and then states, though there remained some conflict with the sea-to-sea grants claimed by some of the original colonies. In time, these grants were ceded to the federal government. The first great expansion of the country came with the Louisiana Purchase of 1803, which doubled the country's territory, but brought it into minor conflict with the colonies of Spain
Spain
which eventually resulted in the acquisition of Spanish Florida.[1] The Oregon
Oregon
Country gave the United States
United States
access to the Pacific Ocean, though it was shared for a time with the United Kingdom.[2] The annexation of the Republic of Texas
Republic of Texas
in 1845 led directly to the Mexican-American War, after which the victorious United States
United States
obtained the northern half of Mexico's territory, including what was quickly made the state of California.[3] However, as the development of the country moved west, the question of slavery became too much to ignore, as there was a struggle to keep the number of northern abolitionist states equal to the number of southern slave states, with vigorous debate over whether the new territories would allow slavery and events such as the Missouri Compromise
Missouri Compromise
and Bleeding Kansas. This came to a head in 1860 and 1861, when the governments of the southern states proclaimed their secession from the country and formed the Confederate States of America. The American Civil War
American Civil War
led to the defeat of the Confederacy in 1865 and the eventual readmission of the states to the United States Congress. The country's expansion beyond North America began in 1856 with the passage of the Guano Islands Act, causing many small and uninhabited, but economically important, islands in the Pacific Ocean
Pacific Ocean
and Caribbean Sea to be claimed.[4] Most of these claims were eventually abandoned due to competing claims from other countries or the guano having been mined out. The Pacific expansion culminated in the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii
Kingdom of Hawaii
in 1893 and its annexation in 1898. Alaska, the last major acquisition in North America, was purchased from Russia
Russia
in 1867. Desires for expansion into Spanish territories like Cuba
Cuba
led to the Spanish–American War
Spanish–American War
in 1898, in which the United States
United States
gained Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines, and occupied Cuba
Cuba
for several years. American Samoa
American Samoa
was acquired by the United States
United States
in 1900 after the end of the Second Samoan Civil War.[5] The United States
United States
purchased the U.S. Virgin Islands
U.S. Virgin Islands
from Denmark
Denmark
in 1917.[6] Guam
Guam
and Puerto Rico remain territories; the Philippines
Philippines
became independent in 1946, after being a major theater of World War II. Following the war, many islands were entrusted to the U.S. by the United Nations,[7] and while the Northern Mariana Islands
Northern Mariana Islands
remain a U.S. territory, the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, and Palau
Palau
emerged from the trust territory as independent nations. The last major international change was the acquisition in 1904, and return to Panama
Panama
in 1979, of the Panama
Panama
Canal Zone, a region of American sovereignty to build and run the Panama
Panama
Canal. The final cession of power over the region was made to Panama
Panama
in 1999. Regarding internal borders, while territories could shift wildly in size, once established a state has commonly remained within its borders, barring small changes due to river shifts. Only four states – Maine, Kentucky, Vermont, and West Virginia
West Virginia
– have been created from land claimed by another state; all of the others were created from territories or directly from acquisitions. Four states - Louisiana, Missouri, Nevada, and Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
- have expanded significantly by acquiring additional federal territory after their initial admission to the Union. The last state of the contiguous United States, commonly called the "lower 48," was admitted in 1912; the fiftieth and most recent state was admitted in 1959.

Contents

1 Table of changes

1.1 1776–1784 (American Revolutionary War) 1.2 1784–1803 (Organization of territory) 1.3 1803–1818 (Purchase of Louisiana) 1.4 1819–1845 (Northwest expansion) 1.5 1845–1860 (Southwest expansion) 1.6 1860–1865 (American Civil War) 1.7 1866–1897 (Reconstruction and western statehood) 1.8 1898–1945 (Pacific and Caribbean expansion) 1.9 1946–Present (Decolonization)

2 Bancos along the Rio Grande 3 See also 4 References 5 Further reading

Table of changes[edit]

Key to map colors

   United States
United States
states (domestic maps), undisputed area of United States
United States
(dispute maps)

   United States
United States
territories (domestic maps)

  disputed area of United States

  area changed by event

1776–1784 (American Revolutionary War)[edit]

Date Event Change Map

July 4, 1776 Thirteen colonies of the Kingdom of Great Britain
Kingdom of Great Britain
in North America collectively declared their independence as the United States
United States
of America, though several colonies had already individually declared independence:[8]

The Colony of Connecticut, becoming the State of Connecticut The Counties of New Castle, Kent, and Sussex, upon Delaware, commonly known as the Lower Counties of Delaware, which was Delaware
Delaware
Colony before their declaration of independence on June 15, 1776[9] The Province of Georgia, becoming the State of Georgia The Province of Maryland, becoming the State of Maryland The Province of Massachusetts
Massachusetts
Bay, becoming the State of Massachusetts Bay The State of New Hampshire, which was the Province of New Hampshire before their declaration of independence on June 15, 1776[10] The Province of New Jersey, becoming the State of New Jersey The Province of New York, becoming the State of New York The Province of North Carolina, becoming the State of North Carolina; some believe the colony declared independence on May 20, 1775, but this is disputed The Province of Pennsylvania, becoming the State of Pennsylvania The State of Rhode Island
Rhode Island
and Providence Plantations, commonly known as Rhode Island, which was the Colony of Rhode Island
Rhode Island
and Providence Plantations before declaring independence on May 4, 1776[11] The Province of South Carolina, becoming the State of South Carolina The Colony of Virginia, becoming the Commonwealth of Virginia

The capital was not specifically established; at the time, the Continental Congress
Continental Congress
met in Philadelphia.[12][13] Many states had vaguely defined and surveyed borders; these are not noted as contested in the maps unless there was an active dispute. The borders of North Carolina
North Carolina
were particularly poorly surveyed, its border with South Carolina
South Carolina
having been done in several pieces, none of which truly matched the spirit of the charter,[14][15] and its border with Virginia
Virginia
was only surveyed roughly halfway inland from the sea. Several northeastern states had overlapping claims: Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York all claimed land west of their borders, overlapping with each other and with a sizable claim by Virginia. Of the three, only Connecticut
Connecticut
seriously pursued its claims, while Virginia
Virginia
is considered to have had the most legitimate claim to the vast northwest, dividing it into counties and maintaining some limited control. The entirety of the new United States
United States
was claimed by Great Britain. Of particular note are Machias Seal Island
Machias Seal Island
and North Rock, two small islands off the northeast coast which remain disputed up to the present.

Disputes:

September 20, 1776 The Counties of New Castle, Kent, and Sussex, upon Delaware
Delaware
enacted a constitution, renaming itself the Delaware
Delaware
State.[16]

September 28, 1776 The State of Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
enacted a constitution, renaming itself the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.[17] no change to map

December 20, 1776 To avoid British forces who were advancing on Philadelphia, the Continental Congress
Continental Congress
began meeting in Baltimore.[12][13]

January 15, 1777 The northeastern region of New York, known as the New Hampshire Grants, declared independence as New Connecticut.[18][19][20] Disputes:

March 4, 1777 The Continental Congress
Continental Congress
returned to Philadelphia
Philadelphia
after the threat to it by British forces was ended.[12][13]

June 4, 1777 New Connecticut
Connecticut
was renamed Vermont.[19] Disputes:

September 27, 1777 The Continental Congress
Continental Congress
fled Philadelphia
Philadelphia
after the American defeat at the Battle of Brandywine, and briefly met in Lancaster, Pennsylvania[12][13]

September 30, 1777 The Continental Congress
Continental Congress
continued to move away from Philadelphia, settling in York, Pennsylvania.[12][13]

July 2, 1779 The Continental Congress
Continental Congress
returned to Philadelphia
Philadelphia
following British withdrawal.[12][13]

August 31, 1779 Virginia
Virginia
surrendered its claim to southwest Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
when the two states agreed to extend the Mason–Dixon line
Mason–Dixon line
westward to five degrees west of the Delaware
Delaware
River, with the border turning north from there.[21][22]

March 1780 North Carolina
North Carolina
and Virginia
Virginia
surveyed their border further inland. Virginia's survey reached to the Tennessee
Tennessee
River, but North Carolina's only went as far as the Cumberland Gap, and as the two surveys were roughly two miles apart, this created a thin area claimed by both states. Since the dispute only technically went as far west as the Cumberland Gap, beyond that point North Carolina's line is faded to show that it was more an assumption, and beyond the Tennessee
Tennessee
River both lines are faded. While the border was intended to follow parallel 36°30′ north, early surveying errors caused it to veer north of that, reaching a distance of seventeen miles off by the time it reached the Tennessee
Tennessee
River.[23]

October 25, 1780 The State of Massachusetts
Massachusetts
Bay enacted a constitution, renaming itself the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

March 1, 1781 The Articles of Confederation
Articles of Confederation
entered into force.[24] no change to map

April 4, 1781 Vermont
Vermont
claimed what was called the "East Union," consisting of some towns in New Hampshire
New Hampshire
that wished to join with Vermont
Vermont
due to a concern that their state was focusing too much on its coastal region. Vermont
Vermont
never gained full control over the area.[20][25][26][27] The specific extent of the towns annexed is unknown, as township borders were often delineated only when a dispute arose; the map uses the maximal interpretation. Disputes:

June 16, 1781 Vermont
Vermont
claimed what was called the "West Union," consisting of some towns in New York, mainly to counterbalance Vermont's attempt at eastward expansion. Vermont
Vermont
never gained full control over the area.[20][26][28][29] (The specific date this occurred is unclear; sources suggest June 16, June 26, and July 18). Disputes:

February 22, 1782 Vermont
Vermont
abandoned its attempts to annex the East Union from New Hampshire and the West Union from New York.[20][27][29][30] Disputes:

October 29, 1782 The federal government accepted the cession from New York of its western claims, which the state ceded on February 17, 1780. At its maximum interpretation, New York claimed an area bordered by Lake Erie, Lake Huron
Lake Huron
and Lake Michigan; to the Illinois, Mississippi, and Tennessee
Tennessee
Rivers; and north along the Appalachian Mountains, ending at the border with Pennsylvania. It is unclear from where this claim came; many sources state that New York had surrendered it, but very few elaborate on how it was obtained. One source states that it was a cession by the Six Nations, who had conquered much of the region.[31] However, New York never seriously enforced these claims. The cession included the western tip of New York, the Erie Triangle, formed by moving the western border of New York to a line 20 miles east of Presque Isle on Lake Erie.[32][33]

December 30, 1782 The Congress of the Confederation
Congress of the Confederation
declared that the land that Connecticut
Connecticut
claimed in northern Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
was part of Pennsylvania, thus attempting to end the Pennamite–Yankee War.[34] The claim was an extension of Connecticut's northernmost and southernmost borders westward, skipping New Jersey
New Jersey
and New York, though as Connecticut's northern border was a few miles north of Pennsylvania's northern border, a small sliver of New York was also claimed. While conflict would continue for some time, this was the end of the formal claim by Connecticut.

June 30, 1783 The Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
Mutiny of 1783, and the Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
government reaction to it, caused the Congress of the Confederation
Congress of the Confederation
to leave Philadelphia
Philadelphia
for Princeton.[12]

November 26, 1783 The Congress of the Confederation
Congress of the Confederation
reconvened in Annapolis.[12]

March 1, 1784 Virginia
Virginia
ceded its claims northwest of the Ohio River
Ohio River
to the federal government.[35][36] Connecticut
Connecticut
continued to claim its western lands that had overlapped Virginia's cession.

May 12, 1784 Great Britain recognized the independence of the United States, ending its claim to the country,[37] though borders with Great Britain were poorly defined in several areas in the north of the country. The treaty ended the American Revolutionary War, though military action had largely ended after the Franco-American victory at Yorktown on October 19, 1781. The Peace of Paris also involved treaties with France
France
and Spain, with Great Britain ceding the Floridas to Spain. During their ownership of West Florida, the British had moved its border north, and the cession to Spain
Spain
appeared to apply to the full extent of the British colony. However, the British-American treaty granted the extension of West Florida
Florida
to the United States, where it enlarged Georgia south to the 31st parallel north, indicating that only the original definition of West Florida
West Florida
was to be ceded to Spain. The local Spanish governors also made a move to occupy forts along the Mississippi
Mississippi
River, with claims to everything south of the Tennessee
Tennessee
River; it is unknown how official or strong these claims were, and they are not mapped as they are in conflict with the other Spanish claim involving the border of West Florida.[38]

Disputes:

1784–1803 (Organization of territory)[edit]

Date Event Change Map

August 23, 1784 A region in central North Carolina, unhappy with the state's governance over the area, declared independence from the state as the State of Frankland.[39] The government of Frankland held some control over the area, and petitioned for statehood, receiving support from seven of the nine states required, but would only last a few years.[40] Unofficial change:

November 1, 1784 The Congress of the Confederation
Congress of the Confederation
moved for a short time to Trenton.[12]

January 11, 1785 The Congress of the Confederation
Congress of the Confederation
moved to New York, and would settle there for five years.[12]

April 19, 1785 The federal government accepted the cession from Massachusetts
Massachusetts
of its extreme western claim, which consisted of a strip of land west of Lake Huron and the Detroit
Detroit
River, bounded on the north by a line extending west from roughly halfway north through New Hampshire, and on the south by a line extending from the southern border of Massachusetts' western half. The claim was never seriously enforced.[41] Change on paper only:

June 1785 The State of Frankland was renamed the State of Franklin, to encourage Benjamin Franklin
Benjamin Franklin
to endorse the state, though he declined.[40] Unofficial change:

September 13, 1786 Connecticut
Connecticut
surrendered its western claim to the federal government except for its Western Reserve, though it is unclear how much control they held over the ceded region;[42][43] like the claim to Pennsylvania, this was a western extension of Connecticut's northernmost and southernmost points. Change on paper only:

December 16, 1786 Massachusetts
Massachusetts
surrendered its claim to western New York, though it is unclear if Massachusetts
Massachusetts
ever held control over the region, as the claim was to the "soil, not the sovereignty".[41] This land, which was the area west of a north-south line 82 miles west of where the Delaware
Delaware
River entered New York, was later known as the Phelps and Gorham Purchase. It is likely that Massachusetts
Massachusetts
also claimed the Erie Triangle, but since this treaty was directly with New York, and New York had already ceded it to the federal government, it is not marked as being ceded by Massachusetts
Massachusetts
on the map. Change on paper only:

July 13, 1787 The Territory Northwest of the Ohio
Ohio
River, ceded earlier by Virginia, was organized and commonly became known as the Northwest Territory.[44]

August 9, 1787 South Carolina
South Carolina
ceded its western claim to the federal government,[45] though it was a result of inaccurate geography and South Carolina never actually held claim to this land. The claim was of a strip of land between the border of North Carolina
North Carolina
and the source of the Savannah River
Savannah River
but, unknown at the time, the river originated in North Carolina. The eastern part of this cession would be given to Georgia in 1802, despite Georgia technically already having claim to the land. Change on paper only:

December 7, 1787 Delaware
Delaware
became the first state to ratify the United States Constitution.[46] no change to map

December 12, 1787 Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
became the second state to ratify the Constitution.[47] no change to map

December 18, 1787 New Jersey
New Jersey
became the third state to ratify the Constitution.[48] no change to map

January 2, 1788 Georgia became the fourth state to ratify the Constitution.[49] no change to map

January 6, 1788 Connecticut
Connecticut
became the fifth state to ratify the Constitution.[50] no change to map

February 6, 1788 Massachusetts
Massachusetts
became the sixth state to ratify the Constitution.[51] no change to map

April 28, 1788 Maryland
Maryland
became the seventh state to ratify the Constitution.[52] no change to map

May 23, 1788 South Carolina
South Carolina
became the eighth state to ratify the Constitution.[53] no change to map

June 21, 1788 New Hampshire
New Hampshire
became the ninth state to ratify the Constitution;[54] at this point, the Constitution became the active governing document of the country. no change to map

June 25, 1788 Virginia
Virginia
became the tenth state to ratify the Constitution.[55] no change to map

July 26, 1788 New York became the eleventh state to ratify the Constitution.[56] no change to map

February 1789 John Sevier, governor of the State of Franklin, pledged allegiance to North Carolina, effectively ending the claimed independence of Franklin.[40][57] Unofficial change:

August 7, 1789 The Northwest Territory
Northwest Territory
was reorganized under the Constitution.[58] no change to map

November 21, 1789 North Carolina
North Carolina
became the twelfth state to ratify the Constitution.[59] no change to map

April 2, 1790 North Carolina
North Carolina
ceded its western half to the federal government.[60][61]

May 26, 1790 The land recently ceded by North Carolina
North Carolina
was organized as the Territory South of the River Ohio, commonly known as the Southwest Territory.[61][62]

May 29, 1790 Rhode Island
Rhode Island
became the thirteenth state to ratify the Constitution.[63] no change to map

December 6, 1790 Per the Residence Act, the Congress of the United States
United States
relocated to Philadelphia
Philadelphia
for ten years until a federal district was built and ready.[12][13][64]

March 4, 1791 Vermont, which had been considered part of New York despite acting independently since 1777, was admitted as the fourteenth state.[20][65]

Disputes:

March 30, 1791 The District of Columbia, a federal district planned to house the federal government by 1800, was formed from land ceded by Maryland
Maryland
and Virginia,[66][67] consisting of a 100 square mile diamond straddling the Potomac River. However, it was not yet given that name, being simply referred to as the federal district. In September 1791, the commissioners in charge of planning the city would term it the "Territory of Columbia", and various laws refer to a District of Columbia, but sometimes informally. The area does not appear to have been formally named "District of Columbia" until at least the organic act of 1871.[68] Since the name "Columbia" was used from very early on, and at least informally by the government, the map will use "District of Columbia" starting from this date.

March 3, 1792 Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
purchased the Erie Triangle
Erie Triangle
from the federal government.[69]

June 1, 1792 The western half of Virginia, which the state had agreed in 1789 to cede to the federal government,[70] was admitted as the fifteenth state, Kentucky.[71][72]

June 12, 1792 The Delaware
Delaware
State enacted a new constitution, renaming itself the State of Delaware.[73] no change to map

February 29, 1796 Great Britain agreed to abandon several forts in the northwest that it still occupied, including Detroit.[74] no change to map

April 25, 1796 The northern half of West Florida
West Florida
was ceded by Spain, resolving the dispute over the region.[75][76] Disputes:

June 1, 1796 The Southwest Territory
Southwest Territory
was admitted as the sixteenth state, Tennessee.[61][77]

April 7, 1798 Due to the Yazoo Land Fraud, an act authorized President John Adams
John Adams
to appoint commissioners to negotiate with Georgia about ceding its western land. The act created Mississippi Territory
Mississippi Territory
from the southwestern quarter of Georgia in the region recently ceded by West Florida, while maintaining that Georgia still held rights over the territory.[78][79]

June 9, 1800 Connecticut
Connecticut
ceded its Western Reserve to the federal government, which assigned it to the Northwest Territory.[80] The act doing so was passed in Congress on April 28, 1800, and Connecticut
Connecticut
approved it on this date.[81]

July 4, 1800 Indiana Territory
Indiana Territory
was organized from the Northwest Territory, west of a line from the mouth of the Kentucky
Kentucky
River to Fort Recovery, and a line north from there.[82][83]

November 17, 1800 The Congress of the United States
United States
moved to Washington in the District of Columbia, now built and ready to be the capital.[12] This was two weeks before the December 1 date established in the Residence Act; President John Adams
John Adams
urged Congress to move early in hopes of securing enough Southern votes to be re-elected, though this failed.[84]

January 1, 1801 The Kingdom of Great Britain
Kingdom of Great Britain
united with the Kingdom of Ireland, renaming itself the United Kingdom.[85]

February 27, 1801 The District of Columbia
District of Columbia
was organized.[67][86] no change to map

April 26, 1802 Georgia ceded its western half, known as the Yazoo Lands, to the federal government; this region was west of the Chattahoochie River
Chattahoochie River
up to its great bend (near West Point), then a line from there towards and past Nickajack. At the same time, the federal government ceded to Georgia the eastern portion of the land previously ceded by South Carolina, though in reality Georgia technically already held title to the land, as the description of the earlier cession was based on an erroneous understanding of geography.[87]

March 1, 1803 The southern half of the Northwest Territory, along with a thin sliver of Indiana
Indiana
Territory, was admitted as the seventeenth state, Ohio. The remainder of the Northwest Territory
Northwest Territory
was transferred to Indiana Territory.[88][89] The western border was a line due north from the mouth of the Great Miami River
Great Miami River
to a point east from the southern tip of Lake Michigan. The federal description then said it should go east from there, whereas the Ohio
Ohio
Constitution stated it should intersect with the most northerly cape of Maumee Bay, essentially the western tip of Lake Erie. The confusion caused by these varying descriptions of the state's borders, combined with inaccurate knowledge of geography, as no one at the time knew just how far south Lake Michigan extended, would lead to the conflict over the Toledo Strip.

November 3, 1803 The border between Tennessee
Tennessee
and Virginia
Virginia
was resurveyed and established, ending the dispute over that part of the border. The border between Kentucky
Kentucky
and Tennessee, despite following the original survey, remained vaguely defined.[23][90]

1803–1818 (Purchase of Louisiana)[edit]

Date Event Change Map

December 20, 1803 The United States
United States
purchased Louisiana
Louisiana
from France. This is the date of the formal turnover in New Orleans; the purchase was completed on April 30, 1803.[91] The transfer would be recognized in St. Louis
St. Louis
in Upper Louisiana
Louisiana
on March 10, 1804, known as Three Flags Day. The extent of what constituted Louisiana
Louisiana
was disputed with Spain: the United States
United States
claimed the purchase included the part of West Florida west of the Perdido River, and the southwestern border with New Spain was disputed, as the United States
United States
claimed the Sabine River as the border, but Spain
Spain
maintained it was the Calcasieu River
Calcasieu River
and others.

Disputes:

1804 The "Southwick Jog" was transferred from Connecticut
Connecticut
to Massachusetts, to put to rest long-standing disagreements over the border between the two states.[41]

March 27, 1804 The land between Tennessee
Tennessee
and Mississippi Territory
Mississippi Territory
previously ceded by Georgia was assigned to Mississippi
Mississippi
Territory.[79][92]

October 1, 1804 Orleans Territory
Orleans Territory
was organized from the Louisiana Purchase
Louisiana Purchase
south of the 33rd parallel north, with the remainder being designated the District of Louisiana
Louisiana
and placed under the jurisdiction of Indiana Territory.[93][94]

June 30, 1805 Michigan Territory
Michigan Territory
was organized from Indiana
Indiana
Territory, defined as north of a line east from the southern tip of Lake Michigan, and east of a line north from the lake's northern tip.[95][96] The southeastern portion of the border technically conflicted with the definition of Ohio, which claimed the Toledo Strip
Toledo Strip
north of that line; however, the exact position of Lake Michigan
Lake Michigan
was not yet known.

July 4, 1805 The District of Louisiana
Louisiana
was organized as Louisiana Territory.[94][97]

March 1, 1809 Illinois Territory
Illinois Territory
was organized from Indiana
Indiana
Territory, west of the Wabash River
Wabash River
and a line north from Post Vincennes.[98][99]

September 26, 1810 The Republic of West Florida
West Florida
declared independence from Spain. It maintained some control over its territory.[100] Disputes:

December 10, 1810 Armed forces led by William C. C. Claiborne
William C. C. Claiborne
took possession of the portion of West Florida
West Florida
west of the Pearl River, following a proclamation on October 27, 1810, by President James Madison
James Madison
to do so. The United States
United States
had considered the region part of the Louisiana Purchase, including the area which had revolted against Spanish Florida
Florida
and formed the Republic of West Florida. Madison's proclamation stated that it was to be "taken as part" of Orleans Territory.[1][91][101] The land west of Mobile Bay to the Pearl River was occupied and annexed de facto by the military in 1811.[102]:2a(map) Disputes:

April 30, 1812 Most of Orleans Territory
Orleans Territory
was admitted as the eighteenth state, Louisiana. It was defined as the portion of the territory east of a line north from where the Sabine River crosses the 32nd parallel north, and west of the Mississippi
Mississippi
and Iberville Rivers.[94][103] The remainder presumably became unorganized territory, as it had no definition for a while.

May 14, 1812 The claimed portion of West Florida
West Florida
east of the Pearl River was assigned to Mississippi
Mississippi
Territory, though the area around Mobile Bay remained under the control of Spanish Florida.[79][104] The United States militarily occupied Mobile and the surrounding area up to the Perdido River
Perdido River
in April 1813.

June 4, 1812 Since its name was now shared with the state of Louisiana, Louisiana Territory was renamed Missouri
Missouri
Territory.[105][106]

August 4, 1812 The remaining claimed portion of West Florida
West Florida
was added to Louisiana, following the assent of that state to an act passed by Congress on April 14, 1812.[107][108]

August 16, 1812 During the War of 1812, the garrison at Fort Detroit
Detroit
surrendered, leading the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
to occupy Detroit, the capital and population center of Michigan
Michigan
Territory.[109] Disputes:

September 29, 1813 Fort Detroit
Detroit
was recaptured by American forces following the Battle of Lake Erie, regaining control over Michigan
Michigan
Territory.[109][110] Disputes:

August 24, 1814 British forces capture and burn Washington, but are forced to withdraw the next day. The functions of the capital were only momentarily suspended, though President James Madison
James Madison
took refuge in Brookville, Maryland.[111] no change to map

December 11, 1816 The southern part of Indiana
Indiana
Territory, along with small parts of Illinois Territory
Illinois Territory
and Michigan
Michigan
Territory, were admitted as the nineteenth state, Indiana. The state was defined as the territory north of the Ohio River
Ohio River
and east of the Wabash River, but while the territory's line turned north at Post Vincennes, the state's border continued up the Wabash until it reached the point where a line drawn north from Post Vincennes would last intersect the river as it weaved back and forth. The northern border of the state was a line east from 10 miles north of the southern tip of Lake Michigan, until it reached the meridian that formed Ohio's western border. Thus, a very small portion of Indiana Territory
Indiana Territory
was transferred to Illinois
Illinois
Territory around the Wabash, Indiana
Indiana
took its northern slice from Michigan Territory, and the remainder of Indiana Territory
Indiana Territory
across Lake Michigan became unorganized territory.[83][112]

March 3, 1817 Alabama Territory
Alabama Territory
was organized from the eastern half of Mississippi Territory.[113][114] Its western border was, from the north: the Tennessee River
Tennessee River
to Bear Creek (around today's Pickwick Lake); a line from there to the northwestern corner of Washington County, Mississippi
Mississippi
Territory; and a line south from there.

December 10, 1817 Mississippi Territory
Mississippi Territory
was admitted as the twentieth state, Mississippi.[79][115]

February 6, 1818 Alabama Territory
Alabama Territory
created Tuskaloosa County with a description that inadvertently overlapped with Mississippi. It described the border of the county as running "a due west course to, the Tombeckbe river; thence up the same to the Cotton Gin Port".[116] Unknown at the time, the origin of the Tombigbee River
Tombigbee River
and Cotton Gin Port were in Mississippi. Change on paper only:

June 30, 1818 Per the terms of the Treaty of Ghent
Treaty of Ghent
ending the War of 1812, the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
returned Moose Island to Massachusetts, and the United States returned Campobello Island, Deer Island, and Grand Manan Island to the United Kingdom, all of which were captured from the other side during the war.[117] no change to map

December 3, 1818 The half of Illinois Territory
Illinois Territory
south of the parallel 42°30′ north was admitted as the twenty-first state, Illinois. The remainder of the territory, along with the unorganized territory that was recently part of Indiana
Indiana
Territory, was assigned to Michigan
Michigan
Territory.[99][118]

1819–1845 (Northwest expansion)[edit]

Date Event Change Map

January 30, 1819 The Treaty of 1818
Treaty of 1818
went into effect, setting the 49th parallel north as the border with the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
west of the Lake of the Woods, and also establishing the Oregon Country
Oregon Country
as a shared region with the United Kingdom.[2][119][120] Oregon Country
Oregon Country
had no defined northern limit, but it can be assumed that it did not encroach much upon Russian-held lands; this map uses the later-established line at the parallel 54°40′ north for simplicity.

Northwestern North America:

July 4, 1819 Arkansaw Territory was organized from Missouri
Missouri
Territory south of the parallel 36°30′ north.[121][122]

December 14, 1819 Alabama Territory
Alabama Territory
was admitted as the twenty-second state, Alabama.[114][123] The statehood act provided for a survey of the southern part of the border with Mississippi
Mississippi
for correction if it was discovered to encroach upon Mississippi's defined borders; it was later discovered to do so.

March 15, 1820 As part of the Missouri
Missouri
Compromise, the District of Maine, the northern and separate part of Massachusetts, was admitted as the twenty-third state, Maine.[124][125]

April 21, 1820 This is the earliest known date of the name " Arkansas
Arkansas
Territory" being officially used instead of "Arkansaw Territory".[126]

May 12, 1820 The border between Kentucky
Kentucky
and Tennessee
Tennessee
was established. To make up for the fact that the border between the Cumberland Gap
Cumberland Gap
and the Tennessee River
Tennessee River
veered north as much as 17 miles from 36°30′ north, a new survey was conducted starting at that point on the Mississippi River and moving east to the Tennessee
Tennessee
River, hence granting Kentucky an addition in its southwest.[23]

July 19, 1820 The overlap of the longitudinal southern border between Alabama
Alabama
and Mississippi
Mississippi
was resolved, as per the act admitting Alabama
Alabama
as a state, because the provisional border encroached on Mississippi.[127][128] As the result of a survey, the southern border terminus was moved about 3.8 miles to the east, which changed the border up to the then-northwest corner of Alabama's Washington County. The date when this happened is unclear; the sources available give either an unpublished report dated May 29, 1820, or the completion of the demarcation of the new line on July 19, 1820. Change on paper only:

December 19, 1820 Alabama
Alabama
redefined some county borders, ending its erroneous overlap of Mississippi
Mississippi
created on February 6, 1818.[129] Change on paper only:

February 22, 1821 The Adams–Onís Treaty
Adams–Onís Treaty
with Spain
Spain
took effect.[1] The many changes included:

The border with the holdings of Spain
Spain
was concretely defined; previously, it had been the watershed of the Mississippi River
Mississippi River
and, for Oregon
Oregon
Country, the Columbia River, whereas now it followed specific rivers and parallels. The new border was defined as, starting in the south: The Sabine River to the 32nd parallel north, then north to the Red River of the South, following that to the 100th meridian west, then north to the Arkansas River
Arkansas River
to its source, then north from there to the 42nd parallel north
42nd parallel north
and west to the ocean. The new border placed the "Neutral Ground" in Louisiana. Florida
Florida
was ceded to the United States, although the formal transfer would not happen until July. Arkansas Territory
Arkansas Territory
had created Miller County south of the Red River, and this area was now on the Spanish side of the border. However, as this was a change made solely by the territory, and not by the federal government, in this map it is considered a domestic dispute. With Spanish West Florida
West Florida
being ceded, the dispute between it and Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi
Mississippi
was resolved.

Disputes:

July 10, 1821 East Florida
Florida
was formally transferred to the United States
United States
by Spain.[130]

July 17, 1821 West Florida
West Florida
was formally transferred to the United States
United States
by Spain.[130]

August 10, 1821 The southeastern corner of Missouri
Missouri
Territory was admitted as the twenty-fourth state, Missouri, the rest becoming unorganized territory.[106][131] It was defined as the area south of a line west from the Des Moines Rapids, and east of a line south from the mouth of the Kansas
Kansas
River.

March 30, 1822 The former East Florida
Florida
and West Florida
West Florida
were organized as Florida Territory.[132][133]

May 26, 1824 The western half of Arkansas
Arkansas
Territory, bordered by a line south from a point 40 miles west of Missouri's western border, was returned to unorganized territory.[122][134]

January 12, 1825 A treaty with the Russian Empire
Russian Empire
established the parallel 54°40′ north as the northern border of Oregon Country
Oregon Country
for American purposes; a separate treaty created the same border between Russia
Russia
and the United Kingdom.[135] As this was likely the de facto border anyway, the region is already mapped with this line. no change to map

May 6, 1828 A treaty with the Cherokee
Cherokee
moved the western border of Arkansas Territory, returning part of it to unorganized territory.[122][136] The new border was defined as starting from where the land of the Eastern Choctaw
Choctaw
met the Red River of the South, then north from there to the mouth of the Arkansas
Arkansas
River, and from there to the southwestern corner of Missouri.

July 1, 1829 The border between Maine
Maine
and New Hampshire
New Hampshire
was surveyed. The report was submitted by the surveyors on November 13, 1828, was approved by Maine
Maine
on February 28, 1829, and approved by New Hampshire
New Hampshire
on this date.[125] survey caused no appreciable changes

July 9, 1832 The northernmost region of New Hampshire, which was disputed with the United Kingdom, declared independence as the Republic of Indian Stream.[137] While tiny, it does appear to have maintained some control over its territory. Disputes:

June 28, 1834 Michigan Territory
Michigan Territory
gained a large parcel of land from unorganized territory on its west, extending to the Missouri
Missouri
River.[96][138]

August 5, 1835 The Republic of Indian Stream
Republic of Indian Stream
recognized the jurisdiction of New Hampshire, thus ending its claimed independence. The date given is of a communication sent to British authorities;[139] other sources note a resolution passed by the citizens of Indian Stream on April 2, 1836.[137] Disputes:

June 15, 1836 Arkansas Territory
Arkansas Territory
was admitted as the twenty-fifth state, Arkansas.[122][140]

July 3, 1836 Wisconsin Territory
Wisconsin Territory
was organized from the western bulk of Michigan Territory.[141][142] The two large peninsulas between the Great Lakes remained in Michigan
Michigan
Territory; the upper peninsula was included in exchange for the territory abandoning its claim to the Toledo Strip. The territory initially rejected this plan, but would accept it on December 14.

December 14, 1836 Michigan Territory
Michigan Territory
agreed to abandon its claim to the Toledo Strip, ending its dispute with Ohio.[143]

January 26, 1837 Michigan Territory
Michigan Territory
was admitted as the twenty-sixth state, Michigan.[96][144]

March 28, 1837 The Platte Purchase
Platte Purchase
transferred some land from unorganized territory to northwest Missouri, extending its northern border west to the Missouri
Missouri
River.[106][145]

July 3, 1838 Iowa Territory
Iowa Territory
was organized from Wisconsin Territory
Wisconsin Territory
west of the Mississippi
Mississippi
River.[146][147]

February 11, 1839 Missouri
Missouri
claimed an area north of its border in Iowa
Iowa
Territory, initiating the long dispute known as the Honey War.[148]

May 21, 1840 Proper surveying was conducted along the border between Arkansas
Arkansas
and Texas, and the area claimed by Arkansas
Arkansas
for Miller County was held not to belong to Arkansas.[149]

November 10, 1842 The Webster–Ashburton Treaty
Webster–Ashburton Treaty
defined the border with the United Kingdom east of the Rocky Mountains.[150][151] One source also mentions it very slightly altering the maritime boundary between Michigan
Michigan
and Wisconsin
Wisconsin
Territory.[152] The treaty resolved the disputes over the northern borders of Maine, Michigan, New Hampshire, and Wisconsin
Wisconsin
Territory. The border between New York and Vermont
Vermont
on the one side, and the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
on the other, was clarified by the treaty. In 1816, construction began on an unnamed fort nicknamed "Fort Blunder" on a peninsula in Lake Champlain
Lake Champlain
that, while south of the surveyed border, was discovered to be north of the 45th parallel north, which was the border set by the Treaty of Paris and thus in British territory. Consequently, construction on the fort was abandoned. The Webster–Ashburton Treaty
Webster–Ashburton Treaty
specified that section of the border was to follow the surveyed line, rather than the exact parallel, thus moving the fort's area into the United States, and a new fort, Fort Montgomery, would be built on the spot in 1844.[153] As the earlier line was surveyed, even though it did not match the definition, it was deemed to be the legitimate border.

Disputes:

July 5, 1843 Local settlers created a provisional government for Oregon
Oregon
Country. While not official, it did maintain some jurisdiction over the area.[154] Unofficial change:

Northwestern North America:

March 3, 1845 Florida Territory
Florida Territory
was admitted as the twenty-seventh state, Florida.[133][155]

1845–1860 (Southwest expansion)[edit]

Date Event Change Map

December 29, 1845 The Republic of Texas
Republic of Texas
was annexed and admitted as the twenty-eighth state, Texas.[156][157] Texas
Texas
brought with it a substantial territorial dispute with Mexico. While many sources state that Mexico recognized the independence of the eastern portion of Texas, the treaties were rejected by the Mexican government. Texas
Texas
formally handed over sovereignty to the United States
United States
in a ceremony on February 19, 1846.[158] The annexation led to the beginning of the Mexican–American War
Mexican–American War
a few months later.[158]

Disputes:

June 15, 1846 The Oregon Treaty
Oregon Treaty
established the 49th parallel north
49th parallel north
west of the Lake of the Woods as the continental border (so it did not include Vancouver Island) with land held by the United Kingdom. The sharing of Oregon Country
Oregon Country
ended, and the United States
United States
portion became unorganized territory.[159] The treaty was vague on which strait should be the border between Vancouver Island
Vancouver Island
and the continent, thus causing a dispute over ownership of the San Juan Islands.[160] It specified "through the middle of the said channel and of Fuca Straits, to the Pacific Ocean".

Northwestern North America:

Disputes:

September 22, 1846 Following the capture on August 18, 1846, of Santa Fe, the capital of the Mexican territory of Santa Fe de Nuevo México,[161] a code of laws known as the Kearny Code was created for the area.[162][163] The region overlapped with Texas' claim, though Texas
Texas
had little to no control over the area outside of its eastern quarter. Unofficial change:

December 28, 1846 The southern portion of Iowa
Iowa
Territory, south of parallel 43°30′ north and east of the Big Sioux
Sioux
River, was admitted as the twenty-ninth state, Iowa. The remainder became unorganized territory.[147][164]

March 13, 1847 The District of Columbia
District of Columbia
retroceded Alexandria County back to Virginia.[67] Congress passed the act on July 9, 1846,[165] residents of Alexandria County were proclaimed by the president to have agreed to it on September 7, 1846,[166] and Virginia
Virginia
took possession of the land on this date.[167]

May 29, 1848 The southern bulk of Wisconsin
Wisconsin
Territory, mainly east of the St. Croix River, was admitted as the thirtieth state, Wisconsin. The remainder became unorganized territory.[142][168] However, the citizens of the remainder decided to continue on with a civil government, and even elected a delegate to the United States
United States
House of Representatives who would be seated on January 15, 1849, essentially making this region a de facto continuation of Wisconsin
Wisconsin
Territory.[169]

July 4, 1848 The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo
Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo
ended the Mexican–American War
Mexican–American War
and ceded a large parcel of land from Mexico, consisting of its territories of Alta California
California
and Santa Fe de Nuevo México, and its claim to Texas.[170] Due to a disagreement over the southern border of Santa Fe de Nuevo México, a border dispute began.[171]

Disputes:

August 14, 1848 Oregon Territory
Oregon Territory
was organized from the unorganized territory that was formerly part of Oregon
Oregon
Country.[172][173]

February 13, 1849 The boundary dispute between Iowa
Iowa
and Missouri
Missouri
known as the Honey War was resolved by the Supreme Court of the United States. The resulting border was the Sullivan Line
Sullivan Line
that existed before the dispute, roughly splitting the two claims.[174]

March 3, 1849 Minnesota Territory
Minnesota Territory
was organized from unorganized territory east of the Missouri
Missouri
River and the region that had been operating as de facto Wisconsin
Wisconsin
Territory.[175][176]

March 12, 1849 A local government formed the State of Deseret
State of Deseret
and claimed a vast portion of the southwest, including most of the Mexican Cession. Though it petitioned to be admitted to the United States, the proposal was rejected and, in 1850, Utah Territory
Utah Territory
was formed instead.[177] The claimed area overlapped slightly with Texas' claimed area, as well as part of Oregon
Oregon
Territory. Unofficial change:

September 9, 1850 The western portion of the Mexican Cession, west of the 120th meridian west, a diagonal line from where that intersects the 39th parallel north to where the Colorado River
Colorado River
intersects the 35th parallel north, and the Colorado
Colorado
River, was admitted as the thirty-first state, California.[3][178] The portion of the remainder north of the 37th parallel north and west of the summit of the Rocky Mountains
Rocky Mountains
was organized as Utah
Utah
Territory.[179][180] Part of Utah
Utah
Territory overlapped with the portion of Texas
Texas
that would be purchased on December 13, 1850, but the law authorizing the purchase was passed on this day, so the borders of Utah Territory
Utah Territory
assumed the purchase will go through.

December 9, 1850 The United Kingdom
United Kingdom
ceded less than one acre of underwater rock known as Horseshoe Reef in Lake Erie
Lake Erie
near Buffalo, New York
Buffalo, New York
for a lighthouse. It was surrounded by British waters, thus creating a form of enclave.[181]

December 13, 1850 The federal government purchased the western claims of Texas. New Mexico
Mexico
Territory was organized from the part of this land east of the Rio Grande, along with the remaining unorganized territory from the Mexican Cession.[182][183] New Mexico
Mexico
Territory included all of the area that had been governed under the Kearny Code.

April 5, 1851 The State of Deseret
State of Deseret
dissolved itself, its functions and territory largely having been superseded by Utah
Utah
Territory.[184] Unofficial change:

March 2, 1853 Washington Territory
Washington Territory
was organized from the half of Oregon
Oregon
Territory north of the 46th parallel north
46th parallel north
and the Columbia River.[185][186]

May 30, 1854 Kansas Territory
Kansas Territory
was organized from unorganized territory north of the 37th parallel north, and Nebraska Territory
Nebraska Territory
was organized north of 40th parallel north.[187][188][189] Much of the remaining unorganized territory, east of the 100th meridian west, became known as Indian Territory, designated as a place to resettle Indian tribes. A small strip between the Texas
Texas
Panhandle and Kansas Territory
Kansas Territory
was unclaimed, due to falling south of Kansas
Kansas
Territory's border but north of the 36°30′ latitude established in the Missouri Compromise
Missouri Compromise
as the northern limit of slavery, and thus Texas
Texas
could not have it. This became known as the Public Land Strip, or sometimes "No Man's Land".[190]

June 30, 1854 The United States
United States
purchased a large parcel from Mexico
Mexico
known as the Gadsden Purchase, as it offered a much better route for a southern transcontinental railroad.[191] This resolved the border dispute, since the disputed land was included in the purchase.[171] The purchase was defined as: starting from where the Rio Grande
Rio Grande
crosses parallel 31° 47' north; then west 100 miles; then south to parallel 31° 20' north; then west to the 111th meridian west; then a line from there to a point on the Colorado River
Colorado River
20 miles below the mouth of the Gila River; and the Colorado
Colorado
River.

Disputes:

August 4, 1854 The recently obtained Gadsden Purchase
Gadsden Purchase
was assigned to New Mexico Territory.[183][192]

January 11, 1855 Due to its remote location, Boston Corner was transferred from Massachusetts
Massachusetts
to New York.[193][194][195]

March 6, 1855 The Supreme Court ruled in favor of Florida
Florida
in a boundary dispute with Georgia, setting the state boundary line along McNeil's line.[196] no change to map

October 28, 1856 Baker Island
Baker Island
and Jarvis Island
Jarvis Island
were claimed under the Guano Islands Act.[4] Pacific Ocean:

May 11, 1858 The half of Minnesota Territory
Minnesota Territory
east of the Red River of the North, the Bois de Sioux
Sioux
River, and a line south from the southern tip of Big Stone Lake, was admitted as the thirty-second state, Minnesota. The remainder became unorganized territory.[176][197]

August 31, 1858 Navassa Island
Navassa Island
was claimed under the Guano Islands Act.[4] Caribbean Sea:

December 3, 1858 Howland Island
Howland Island
was claimed under the Guano Islands Act.[4] Pacific Ocean:

February 14, 1859 The half of Oregon Territory
Oregon Territory
west of the Snake River
Snake River
and a line south from the mouth of the Owyhee River
Owyhee River
was admitted as the thirty-third state, Oregon. The remainder was transferred to Washington Territory.[173][198]

July 6, 1859 A team of surveyors created the "Middleton Offset," a small notch in the border between Kentucky
Kentucky
and Tennessee. It is unknown exactly why this was done.[199][200]

September 6, 1859 Johnston Atoll
Johnston Atoll
was claimed under the Guano Islands Act,[4] though it had been claimed by Hawaii
Hawaii
in 1858.[201] Pacific Ocean:

November 7, 1859 A local government was set up encompassing parts of the territories of Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, Utah, and Washington, with the name of Jefferson Territory, bounded by the 37th and 43rd parallels north, and 102nd and 110th meridians west. While never recognized by the federal government, it generally held control over the area until Colorado Territory was established, which adopted most of its laws.[202] Unofficial change:

December 27, 1859 Enderbury Island, McKean Island, Phoenix Island, and Starbuck Island were claimed under the Guano Islands Act.[4] Pacific Ocean:

December 29, 1859 Christmas Island and Malden Island
Malden Island
were claimed under the Guano Islands Act.[4] Pacific Ocean:

February 8, 1860 Texas
Texas
created Greer County, claiming part of Indian Territory
Indian Territory
based on a different understanding from the federal government of which river was the border between the two.[203] Atafu, Birnie Island, Butaritari, Caroline Island, Fanning Island, Flint Island, Gardner Island, Canton Island, Kingman Reef, Manihiki, Marakei, Nukunono, Palmyra Atoll, Penrhyn, Pukapuka, Rakahanga, Swains Island, Sydney Island, Vostok Island, and Washington Island were all claimed under the Guano Islands Act.[4] Many additional islands were listed as bonded on this date, but based on the coordinates they were either phantoms or duplicates. In addition, Sarah Ann Island was claimed, which may have existed and would be sighted as late as 1917, but has since disappeared.[204]

Pacific Ocean:

1860–1865 (American Civil War)[edit]

Date Event Change Map

December 20, 1860 In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln, South Carolina proclaimed its secession from the Union, withdrawing from the Congress of the United States.[205]

Disputes:

January 9, 1861 Mississippi
Mississippi
proclaimed its secession from the Union, withdrawing from Congress.[205]

Disputes:

January 10, 1861 Florida
Florida
proclaimed its secession from the Union, withdrawing from Congress.[205]

Disputes:

January 11, 1861 Alabama
Alabama
proclaimed its secession from the Union, withdrawing from Congress.[205]

Disputes:

January 19, 1861 Georgia proclaimed its secession from the Union, withdrawing from Congress.[205]

Disputes:

January 26, 1861 Louisiana
Louisiana
proclaimed its secession from the Union, withdrawing from Congress.[205] However, the 1st and 2nd congressional districts, around New Orleans, maintained representation in Congress.

Disputes:

January 29, 1861 The bulk of Kansas
Kansas
Territory, east of the 25th meridian west from Washington, was admitted as the thirty-fourth state, Kansas. The remainder became unorganized territory.[188][206]

February 8, 1861 The Confederate States of America
Confederate States of America
was formed by representatives of the seceded states of Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and South Carolina.[207] Disputes:

February 28, 1861 Colorado Territory
Colorado Territory
was organized from portions of Nebraska
Nebraska
Territory, New Mexico
Mexico
Territory, and Utah
Utah
Territory, along with unorganized territory.[208][209] It was bounded by the 32nd and 37th parallels north, and the 25th and 32nd meridians west from Washington.

March 2, 1861 Texas
Texas
proclaimed its secession from the Union and was admitted to the Confederate States,[205][210] withdrawing from Congress. Dakota Territory
Dakota Territory
was organized from Nebraska Territory
Nebraska Territory
and unorganized territory north of the Missouri, Keya Paha, and Niobrara Rivers, and 43rd parallel north. Nebraska
Nebraska
Territory's western border was extended to the 104th meridian west, gaining small portions of Utah
Utah
Territory and Washington Territory.[189][211][212] Nevada
Nevada
Territory was organized from Utah Territory
Utah Territory
west of the 39th meridian west from Washington.[213][214]

Disputes:

March 28, 1861 Representatives in the southern half of New Mexico
Mexico
Territory proclaimed an independent Arizona Territory
Arizona Territory
south of the 34th parallel north.[215] Disputes:

April 12, 1861 The Battle of Fort Sumter
Battle of Fort Sumter
in South Carolina
South Carolina
begins the American Civil War. Disputes:

April 17, 1861 Following the Battle of Fort Sumter
Battle of Fort Sumter
and President Abraham Lincoln's call for troops to respond, Virginia
Virginia
proclaimed its secession from the Union, withdrawing from Congress.[205] However, the 1st (along the Eastern Shore), 7th (near Washington, D.C.), and 10th, 11th, and 12th (in the northwest of the state) congressional districts maintained representation in Congress.

Disputes:

May 6, 1861 Arkansas
Arkansas
proclaimed its secession from the Union, withdrawing from Congress.[205]

Disputes:

May 7, 1861 Virginia
Virginia
was admitted to the Confederate States.[216] Disputes:

May 16, 1861 Kentucky
Kentucky
declared itself neutral in the American Civil War. no change to map

May 20, 1861 Arkansas
Arkansas
was admitted to the Confederate States.[217] North Carolina
North Carolina
proclaimed its secession from the Union, withdrawing from Congress.[205]

Disputes:

May 21, 1861 North Carolina
North Carolina
was admitted to the Confederate States. The law admitting the state required a presidential proclamation before it was to take effect,[218] which sources say took place on this date;[219] the only primary source found so far is a statement from Jefferson Davis on July 20 stating that the proclamation had been made.[220] Disputes:

June 6, 1861 Robert Williamson Steele, governor of Jefferson Territory, declared the territory disbanded and handed over the government to the first governor of Colorado
Colorado
Territory.[202] Unofficial change:

June 8, 1861 Tennessee
Tennessee
proclaimed its secession from the Union, withdrawing from Congress.[205] However, the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th congressional districts in the central part of the state maintained representation in Congress.

Disputes:

June 25, 1861 The federal government recognized the Restored Government of Virginia in Wheeling as the legitimate government of Virginia.[221]

July 2, 1861 Tennessee
Tennessee
was admitted to the Confederate States.[222] Disputes:

August 1, 1861 Following Confederate victory in the First Battle of Mesilla, Arizona Territory was proclaimed as part of the Confederate States.[223] Disputes:

September 13, 1861 Following the Confederate occupation of Columbus, Kentucky, on September 3, 1861, the state abandoned neutrality and aligned with the Union government.[224] no change to map

October 31, 1861 A splinter government in Neosho, Missouri, declared the secession of the state from the United States.[205] Disputes:

November 20, 1861 A convention in Russellville, Kentucky, declared the formation of a splinter government in Bowling Green and the secession of Kentucky from the United States.[205] Disputes:

November 28, 1861 The splinter Neosho government of Missouri
Missouri
was admitted to the Confederate States. The Confederate States never held much power over the state, but it was given full representation in the legislature.[225] Disputes:

December 10, 1861 The splinter Bowling Green government of Kentucky
Kentucky
was admitted to the Confederate States. The Confederate States never held much power over the state, but it was given full representation in the legislature.[226] Disputes:

December 21, 1861 The Confederate States ratified treaties with the Osage, and the Seneca and Shawnee.[227][228] Disputes:

December 23, 1861 The Confederate States ratified treaties with the Cherokee, granting them a delegate to the Congress of the Confederate States, and with the Seminole, granting them a delegate to be shared with the Creek.[227][228] Disputes:

December 31, 1861 The Confederate States ratified treaties with the Choctaw
Choctaw
and Chickasaw, granting them a delegate in the Congress of the Confederate States; with the Comanche; with the Creek, granting them a delegate to be shared with the Seminole; and the Quapaw.[227][228] Disputes:

March 1, 1862 A decree by the Supreme Court of the United States
United States
took effect, modifying the border between Massachusetts
Massachusetts
and Rhode Island.[41][229]

April 15, 1862 Palmyra Atoll
Palmyra Atoll
was annexed by Hawaii, and the American claim falls dormant.[230] Pacific Ocean:

July 14, 1862 The western slice of Utah Territory
Utah Territory
was transferred to Nevada Territory, moving their border east to the 38th meridian west from Washington.[214][231]

December 30, 1862 The Swan Islands were claimed under the Guano Islands Act.[4] Caribbean Sea:

February 24, 1863 Arizona Territory
Arizona Territory
was organized from the half of New Mexico
Mexico
Territory west of the 32nd meridian west from Washington.[127][232]

March 3, 1863 Idaho Territory
Idaho Territory
was organized from the portions of Dakota Territory and Nebraska Territory
Nebraska Territory
west of the 104th meridian west, and the portion of Washington Territory
Washington Territory
east of the Snake River
Snake River
and a line north from the mouth of the Clearwater River.[233][234]

March 4, 1863 Due to disruption in voting and low turnout, no one was allowed to take the seats in the United States
United States
House of Representatives held by the Unionist areas of Louisiana, Tennessee, and Virginia, effectively expelling the states.[235]

June 20, 1863 The northwestern counties of Virginia, represented by the Restored Government of Virginia
Virginia
in Wheeling, were split from the rest of Virginia
Virginia
and admitted to the Union as the thirty-fifth state, West Virginia.[236][237] The Restored Government of Virginia
Virginia
was relocated to Alexandria.

August 5, 1863 Berkeley County was transferred by the federal government from Virginia
Virginia
to West Virginia;[238]

November 2, 1863 Jefferson County was transferred from Virginia
Virginia
to West Virginia.[239]

May 26, 1864 Montana Territory
Montana Territory
was organized from the northeast third of Idaho Territory, with the border being, from the east: West along the 45th parallel north to the 34th meridian west from Washington; south to the parallel 44°30′ north; west to the crest of the Rocky Mountains; following that north to the crest of the Bitterroot Mountains; to the 39th meridian west from Washington; and north from there. The remaining portion of Idaho Territory
Idaho Territory
east of the Rocky Mountains
Rocky Mountains
and the 33rd meridian west from Washington was transferred to Dakota Territory.[240][241]

October 15, 1864 Malden Island
Malden Island
was claimed by the United Kingdom.[242] Pacific Ocean:

October 31, 1864 Nevada
Nevada
Territory was admitted as the thirty-sixth state, Nevada.[214][243]

May 5, 1865 The Confederate States cabinet met in Washington, Georgia, and dissolved.[244] Military surrenders were scattered throughout 1865, but the most important is regarded as that of the Army of Northern Virginia
Virginia
following the Battle of Appomattox Court House
Battle of Appomattox Court House
on April 9. Disputes:

1866–1897 (Reconstruction and western statehood)[edit]

Date Event Change Map

May 5, 1866 The western slice of Utah Territory
Utah Territory
was transferred to Nevada, moving its border east to the 37th meridian west from Washington.[245]

July 24, 1866 Tennessee
Tennessee
was readmitted to Congress.[246]

December 26, 1866 Starbuck Island
Starbuck Island
was claimed by the United Kingdom.[242] Pacific Ocean:

January 18, 1867 The northwestern corner of Arizona
Arizona
Territory, west of the Colorado River and the 37th meridian west from Washington, was transferred to Nevada. The law transferring the land was approved May 5, 1866, but unlike the Utah Territory
Utah Territory
transfer of that day, this transfer was contingent on the state accepting it.[245][247]

March 1, 1867 Nebraska Territory
Nebraska Territory
was admitted as the thirty-seventh state, Nebraska.[189][248]

July 1, 1867 Canada
Canada
was formed from several British colonies, including New Brunswick, thus inheriting the dispute over Machias Seal Island
Machias Seal Island
and North Rock. Disputes:

August 28, 1867 Midway Atoll
Midway Atoll
was claimed.[249] The largest island of Midway, Sand Island, had been claimed under the Guano Islands Act
Guano Islands Act
in 1858, but nothing more is known about this.[250] Pacific Ocean:

October 18, 1867 Alaska
Alaska
was purchased from the Russian Empire
Russian Empire
and designated the Department of Alaska.[251] Due to a lack of quality surveying, the southeastern border with British holdings was unclear and disputed.[252] Northwestern North America:

June 22, 1868 Arkansas
Arkansas
was readmitted to Congress.[253]

June 25, 1868 Florida
Florida
was readmitted to Congress.[254]

July 4, 1868 North Carolina
North Carolina
was readmitted to Congress.[255]

July 9, 1868 Louisiana
Louisiana
and South Carolina
South Carolina
were readmitted to Congress.[256] Caroline Island
Caroline Island
was claimed by the United Kingdom.[242]

Pacific Ocean:

July 13, 1868 Alabama
Alabama
was readmitted to Congress.[257]

July 25, 1868 Georgia was readmitted to Congress.[258] Wyoming Territory
Wyoming Territory
was organized from portions of Dakota, Idaho, and Utah
Utah
Territories, bounded by 41st and 45th parallels north, and the 27th and 34th meridians west from Washington.[259][260] The territory would remain under the jurisdiction of the Dakota Territory
Dakota Territory
until its own government was organized on May 19, 1869.[261] The act organizing Wyoming Territory
Wyoming Territory
became law on this date, but it is unclear if the territory could be considered "organized" until May 19, 1869, as the act specifies it was not to take effect until a government is organized; however, all sources use this date as the creation, and most use it for the organization, of the territory. A tiny portion of the Dakota Territory
Dakota Territory
was erroneously left behind on the western side of Wyoming
Wyoming
Territory.[262]

August 12, 1868 The list of bonded guano island claims mentions "Islands in Caribbean Sea not named" bonded on this date, but it is unknown what this is referring to.[4] no change to map

December 11, 1868 Serrana Bank
Serrana Bank
was claimed under the Guano Islands Act.[4] Colombia
Colombia
has claimed it throughout its history. Caribbean Sea:

March 3, 1869 Georgia was again expelled from Congress following failures of Reconstruction in the state.[263]

November 22, 1869 Bajo Nuevo Bank, Pedro Cays, Quita Sueño Bank, and Roncador Bank
Roncador Bank
were claimed under the Guano Islands Act.[4][249] Except for Pedro Cays, Colombia
Colombia
has claimed them throughout its history. Caribbean Sea:

January 26, 1870 Virginia
Virginia
was readmitted to Congress.[264]

February 23, 1870 Mississippi
Mississippi
was readmitted to Congress.[265]

March 30, 1870 Texas
Texas
was readmitted to Congress.[266]

July 15, 1870 Georgia was again readmitted to Congress.[267] The North-Western Territory
North-Western Territory
was transferred by the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
to Canada, thus transferring its portion of the Alaska
Alaska
boundary dispute.[268]

Northwestern North America:

February 9, 1871 A small parcel was transferred from Dakota Territory
Dakota Territory
to Nebraska following a sudden change in course of the Missouri
Missouri
River.[189][269]

July 20, 1871 British Columbia
British Columbia
joined Canada, transferring the dispute over the San Juan Islands as well as its portion of the Alaska
Alaska
boundary dispute.[270] Disputes:

Northwestern North America:

April 9, 1872 Congress approved the newly surveyed Orr and Whitner Line as part of the border between Georgia and Florida.[271] survey caused no appreciable changes

October 21, 1872 The dispute with Canada
Canada
over the San Juan Islands
San Juan Islands
was resolved in the favor of the United States
United States
claim.[160] Disputes:

1873 Vostok Island
Vostok Island
was claimed by the United Kingdom.[272] Pacific Ocean:

February 17, 1873 The small portion of Dakota Territory
Dakota Territory
that was left behind when Wyoming Territory
Wyoming Territory
was created was transferred to Montana Territory.[262][273]

August 1, 1876 Colorado Territory
Colorado Territory
was admitted as the thirty-eighth state, Colorado.[209][274]

August 13, 1877 The United Kingdom
United Kingdom
created the British Western Pacific Territories, including Atafu
Atafu
and Nukunono.[275] Pacific Ocean:

March 3, 1879 The border across the Chesapeake Bay
Chesapeake Bay
between Maryland
Maryland
and Virginia
Virginia
was decided via arbitration. The new border cuts across Smith Island, likely meaning that the southern portion of the island was transferred to Virginia, but due to the general lack of concrete borders in the area for so long due to surveying errors, it is unknown if any land actually changed hands.[276] too vague to map

September 8, 1879 Arenas Key, claimed by Mexico, and Serranilla Bank, claimed by Colombia, were claimed by the United States
United States
under the Guano Islands Act;[4] according to the Office of Insular Affairs, Serranilla Bank was claimed again on September 13, 1880.[249] Caribbean Sea:

April 7, 1880 A very small area of Vermont
Vermont
near Fair Haven was transferred to New York due to a change in the course in the Poultney River.[20][277] The specific area was very small and poorly documented, so it is not mapped. too small to map

September 13, 1880 Western Triangle Island, claimed by Mexico, was claimed by the United States under the Guano Islands Act.[4] The list of bonded claims also mentions a "De Anes" island claimed on this date, with coordinates matching Isla de Aves; however, the same list points out that the claim to "Aves Island" was found to be invalid. Caribbean Sea:

1881 Flint Island
Flint Island
was claimed by the United Kingdom.[278] Pacific Ocean:

May 23, 1882 The area between the 43rd parallel north
43rd parallel north
and the Keya Paha and Niobrara Rivers was transferred from Dakota Territory
Dakota Territory
to Nebraska.[212][279] The act was passed in Congress on March 28 and accepted by the Nebraska
Nebraska
legislature on this date.[280]

June 1, 1882 The Morant Cays and Pedro Cays
Pedro Cays
were annexed by the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
to Jamaica; it appears they were no longer claimed by the United States after this.[281] Caribbean Sea:

May 17, 1884 The Department of Alaska
Alaska
was organized into the District of Alaska.[282] Northwestern North America:

June 21, 1884 The Alacrans Islands, claimed by Mexico, were claimed under the Guano Islands Act.[4] Caribbean Sea:

March 15, 1888 Fanning Island was annexed by the United Kingdom; it appears the island was no longer claimed by the United States
United States
after this.[283] Pacific Ocean:

March 17, 1888 Christmas Island was claimed by the United Kingdom.[242] Pacific Ocean:

October 26, 1888 The Cook Islands
Cook Islands
became a protectorate of the United Kingdom, thus initiating a claim on the atolls of Pukapuka, Manihiki, Penrhyn, and Rakahanga.[242] Pacific Ocean:

May 29, 1889 Washington Island was annexed by the United Kingdom; it appears the island was no longer claimed by the United States
United States
after this.[283] Pacific Ocean:

June 3, 1889 Jarvis Island
Jarvis Island
was claimed by the United Kingdom.[242] Pacific Ocean:

June 26, 1889 Sydney Island was claimed by the United Kingdom.[242] Pacific Ocean:

June 29, 1889 Phoenix Island
Phoenix Island
was claimed by the United Kingdom.[242] Pacific Ocean:

July 10, 1889 Birnie Island
Birnie Island
was claimed by the United Kingdom.[242] Pacific Ocean:

November 2, 1889 Dakota Territory
Dakota Territory
was split in half along an east-west line a few miles south of the 46th parallel north
46th parallel north
and admitted as the thirty-ninth state, North Dakota, and the fortieth state, South Dakota.[212][284]

November 8, 1889 Montana Territory
Montana Territory
was admitted as the forty-first state, Montana.[240][284]

November 11, 1889 Washington Territory
Washington Territory
was admitted as the forty-second state, Washington.[186][284]

May 2, 1890 Oklahoma Territory
Oklahoma Territory
was organized from the Public Land Strip
Public Land Strip
and the western half of Indian Territory, except for the Cherokee
Cherokee
Outlet, which would be added later upon cession from the Cherokee.[285][286]

July 3, 1890 Idaho Territory
Idaho Territory
was admitted as the forty-third state, Idaho.[234][287]

July 10, 1890 Wyoming Territory
Wyoming Territory
was admitted as the forty-fourth state, Wyoming.[260][288]

March 8, 1892 The Gilbert Islands
Gilbert Islands
became a protectorate of the United Kingdom, thus initiating a claim on Butaritari
Butaritari
and Marakei.[242] No record of a United States
United States
claim exists after this point, so it is assumed this is when the claim fell dormant. Pacific Ocean:

May 28, 1892 Gardner Island was claimed by the United Kingdom.[242] Pacific Ocean:

September 16, 1893 Per a treaty with the Cherokee, the federal government purchased the Cherokee
Cherokee
Outlet in the Indian Territory
Indian Territory
and opened it to settlement, transferring it to Oklahoma Territory
Oklahoma Territory
as provided in the Oklahoma Organic Act.[286][289]

November 17, 1894 The Alacrans Islands, Arenas Key, and Western Triangle Island were stricken from the list of claimed guano islands.[4] Caribbean Sea:

January 4, 1896 Utah Territory
Utah Territory
was admitted as the forty-fifth state, Utah.[180][290]

March 16, 1896 The dispute between the federal government, on behalf of Oklahoma Territory, and Texas
Texas
over Greer County was resolved in favor of the federal claim.[203]

July 24, 1897 Due to an earlier shift in the course of the Missouri
Missouri
River, an island was transferred from Nebraska
Nebraska
to South Dakota.[291]

1898–1945 (Pacific and Caribbean expansion)[edit]

Date Event Change Map

August 12, 1898 The Republic of Hawaii
Republic of Hawaii
was annexed.[292] The ceremony to transfer sovereignty occurred on this date; the act was signed on July 7, 1898.[293] Johnston Atoll
Johnston Atoll
was not included with Hawaii, nor was Sikaiana
Sikaiana
Atoll, which had been ceded to Hawaii
Hawaii
in 1856 by its residents and approved by King Kamehameha IV. However, the annexation was based on the islands named in a report of the Hawaiian Commission, which omitted Sikaiana.[294][295] Pacific Ocean:

January 17, 1899 Wake Island
Wake Island
was claimed.[296] Pacific Ocean:

April 11, 1899 Guam, Porto Rico, and, after a payment of $20 million, the Philippines were ceded by Spain
Spain
following the Spanish–American War.[297] The Philippines
Philippines
were claimed by the First Philippine Republic. The ceded region for the Philippines
Philippines
included the island of Palmas, which was administered by the Netherlands. This overlap would not be noticed until January 21, 1906.[298] While the United States
United States
occupied Cuba
Cuba
for a time, it was not ceded nor claimed. Pacific Ocean:

Caribbean Sea:

February 16, 1900 The United States
United States
took ownership of the Samoan Islands
Samoan Islands
east of the 171st meridian west, per the terms of the Tripartite Convention.[299] Pacific Ocean:

February 19, 1900 The newly acquired Samoan islands were established as Naval Station, Tutuila. It included all of the islands granted by the Tripartite Convention, though formal cession of the islands by local authorities would take place later in 1900 and 1904.[299] Pacific Ocean:

April 12, 1900 Porto Rico was organized into a civil territory.[300] no change to map

April 17, 1900 The island of Tutuila
Tutuila
was formally ceded to the United States
United States
and added to Naval Station, Tutuila
Tutuila
(present-day American Samoa).[299][301] As the United States
United States
had already claimed the island on February 19, 1900, no change is mapped. The treaty would be ratified by Congress on February 20, 1929. no change to map

June 14, 1900 The former Republic of Hawaii
Republic of Hawaii
was organized into Hawaii Territory.[302] Pacific Ocean:

March 3, 1901 The transfer for a thin sliver of Bristol, Tennessee, to Bristol, Virginia, was approved by Congress after having been approved by both states.[303][304] The location of the border along Main Street (now State Street) between the two cities was either the northern sidewalk of the street, or down the middle of the street; Tennessee's cession of the northern half of the street laid the issue to rest. too small to map

March 22, 1901 The border between Massachusetts
Massachusetts
and New Hampshire
New Hampshire
was resurveyed. The survey was approved by Massachusetts
Massachusetts
on May 12, 1899, and approved by New Hampshire
New Hampshire
on this date.[305] survey caused no appreciable changes

March 23, 1901 The president of the First Philippine Republic, Emilio Aguinaldo, was captured, and the republic was dissolved. The islands of Cagayan de Sulu and Sibutu, and their associated islands, were purchased from Spain
Spain
and assigned to the Philippines. The borders specified in the Treaty of Paris of 1898 had excluded these islands; the new treaty simply ceded "any and all islands belonging to the Philippine Archipelago".[306][307]

Pacific Ocean:

February 23, 1903 Land along southern Guantánamo Bay
Guantánamo Bay
was leased in perpetuity from Cuba for use as a naval base.[308] no change to map

October 20, 1903 The Alaska
Alaska
boundary dispute with Canada
Canada
was resolved, generally in favor of the United States
United States
claim.[252] Northwestern North America:

May 4, 1904 The United States
United States
took ownership of the Panama
Panama
Canal Zone. At this stage, only the most basic borders were defined; it was a zone surrounding the canal on each side for five miles, but excluded the cities of Colón and Panama
Panama
City, which remained exclaves of Panama, as well as the water for their harbors.[309] The Hay–Bunau-Varilla Treaty granting it to the United States
United States
was ratified on February 26, 1904.[310] A formal border agreement, which also gave the Canal Zone some land and a lighthouse in northwest Colón, would be ratified on June 15, 1904.[311][312] Caribbean Sea:

July 16, 1904 The Manuʻa
Manuʻa
islands were formally ceded to the United States
United States
and added to Naval Station, Tutuila.[299] As the United States
United States
had already claimed the islands on February 19, 1900, no change is mapped. The treaty would be ratified by Congress on February 20, 1929. no change to map

December 12, 1904 The "Taft Agreement" was made with Panama
Panama
on December 3, with one of its sections refining the maritime boundary of the harbor of Panama City and the Panama
Panama
Canal Zone.[313][314] It became effective December 12. no change to map

February 10, 1905 The border between Arkansas
Arkansas
and Indian Territory
Indian Territory
was slightly adjusted near Fort Smith, Arkansas, transferring a small amount of land on the east side of the Poteau River
Poteau River
to Arkansas.[315][316]

November 16, 1907 Indian Territory
Indian Territory
and Oklahoma Territory
Oklahoma Territory
were combined and admitted as the forty-sixth state, Oklahoma.[286][317]

April 11, 1908 A boundary treaty with the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
on behalf of Canada redefined the maritime borders between the United States
United States
and Canada.[318] Among other changes, this "de-enclaved" Horseshoe Reef in Lake Erie
Lake Erie
by making the water around it contiguous with the water on the American side of the border.[181][319] no change to map

January 1, 1909 The new Constitution of Michigan
Michigan
included some area of Wisconsin within its definition of Michigan.[320]

August 20, 1910 A boundary treaty with the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
on behalf of Canada addressed a slight uncertainty in the maritime border in Passamaquoddy Bay between Maine
Maine
and Canada.[321][322] The border was adjusted to run east of Pope's Folly Island, which previously lay on the border line, and had been the subject of some debate for many years.[323][324]

July 17, 1911 Naval Station, Tutuila, was renamed American Samoa;[325] the station continued to operate separate from territorial governance until 1951. Pacific Ocean:

January 6, 1912 New Mexico
Mexico
Territory was admitted as the forty-seventh state, New Mexico.[183][326]

February 14, 1912 Arizona Territory
Arizona Territory
was admitted as the forty-eighth state, Arizona.[127][327]

August 24, 1912 The District of Alaska
Alaska
was reorganized as the Alaska
Alaska
Territory.[328] Northwestern North America:

January 31, 1913 New Mexico
Mexico
filed suit in the Supreme Court against Texas
Texas
over the "Country Club Dispute," questioning whether the present course or the 1850 course of the Rio Grande
Rio Grande
should be their border.[329]

August 5, 1914 The Corn Islands
Corn Islands
were leased from Nicaragua
Nicaragua
for a period of 99 years; however, this was not a full transfer of sovereignty, and the islands were never administered as an insular area.[330] no change to map

May 1, 1915 The borders of the Panama
Panama
Canal Zone were explicitly defined. Whereas the original definition was a simple corridor surrounding the canal, this treaty specified the actual border. Among the changes this caused were: a slice of Canal Zone was ceded to Panama
Panama
so Panama
Panama
City would be connected with the rest of the country; the middle island of the Las Tres Hermanas Islands, which marked the border of Panama
Panama
City's harbor, was wholly made part of Canal Zone; Gatun Lake
Gatun Lake
and other surrounding waters were formally annexed to the territory; and an area of northwest Colón was ceded to Canal Zone.[331][332][333] Caribbean Sea:

May 27, 1915 Under Article II of the 1903 Treaty, the United States
United States
expropriated from Panama
Panama
several areas around the mouth of the Rio Chagres, annexing them to the Panama
Panama
Canal Zone.[334] too small to map

December 8, 1915 The United States
United States
expropriated from Panama
Panama
a triangle of land, which included the historic Fort San Lorenzo, between the Rio Chagres, Caribbean Sea
Caribbean Sea
and the Panama
Panama
Canal Zone, to which it was annexed.[334] too small to map

January 17, 1916 Navassa Island
Navassa Island
was formally claimed for lighthouse purposes.[335] no change to map

March 31, 1917 The Danish Virgin Islands
Danish Virgin Islands
were purchased from Denmark[336] and renamed the United States
United States
Virgin Islands.[337] Caribbean Sea:

July 12, 1918 The United States
United States
expropriated from Panama
Panama
2.6 hectares of land at Punta Paitilla in Panama
Panama
City and annexed it to the Panama
Panama
Canal Zone.[338] That area was enlarged to about 50 hectares within several months.[334][339][340][341] too small to map

August 21, 1918 The United States
United States
expropriated from Panama
Panama
land between the Rio Chagres and the Quebrada Majagual and annexed it to the Panama
Panama
Canal Zone.[334][341] Caribbean Sea:

September 13, 1918 Minnesota
Minnesota
and Wisconsin
Wisconsin
exchanged islands in the Mississippi
Mississippi
River: Island Seventytwo was transferred from Wisconsin
Wisconsin
to the Minnesota
Minnesota
town of Winona, and Barron's Island was transferred from Minnesota
Minnesota
to the Wisconsin
Wisconsin
town of La Crosse.[142][342]

September 18, 1919 The island of Largo Remo was annexed to the Panama
Panama
Canal Zone under the United States
United States
right of expropriation in the 1903 Canal Treaty.[343] Caribbean Sea:

June 16, 1920 Fifteen hectares on the island of Taboga Island
Taboga Island
were annexed to the Panama
Panama
Canal Zone.[344] too small to map

June 30, 1921 The "Wedge" dispute between Delaware
Delaware
and Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
was resolved in Delaware's favor. The disputed land had generally been administered by Delaware, even electing a member of the Delaware
Delaware
legislature in the mid-19th century,[345] but federal maps had included the land as part of Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
at least as late as 1900.[346] The states had agreed on a resolution, and it was affirmed by an act of Congress on this date.[347][348] Some sources, contemporary and modern, note that, in the original process of resurveying the border in 1892, a very thin, horn-shaped region along the arc was transferred from Delaware
Delaware
to Pennsylvania;[345][348][349] however, no federal maps found reflect this, and it is unclear if this transfer actually occurred.

May 10, 1922 Kingman Reef
Kingman Reef
was formally annexed.[350] no change to map

October 8, 1923 Michigan
Michigan
expanded its claim to Wisconsin
Wisconsin
territory, though Wisconsin never lost control over the area.[320]

November 15, 1923 The Swan Islands were claimed by Honduras.[351] Caribbean Sea:

February 1, 1924 The future area for Madden Lake was annexed to the Panama
Panama
Canal Zone under the United States
United States
right of expropriation in the 1903 Canal Treaty.[312][352][353] Caribbean Sea:

March 4, 1925 Swains Island
Swains Island
was added to American Samoa.[354] Pacific Ocean:

July 17, 1925 The border with Canada
Canada
was adjusted in several places.[355][356] The only change to a land border redefined how the border between the Lake of the Woods and the Rocky Mountains
Rocky Mountains
should be considered; previously, the border followed the curve of the parallel between each border monument, while the treaty changed this to straight lines between each monument. Through this, the United States
United States
netted a gain of between 30 and 35 acres of land. Due to the extremely small shift, the lack of specific documentation of where the changes occurred, and the lack of any human impact, this change is not mapped. There was also a change to the border in the Lake of the Woods; due to inaccurate surveying, the previous border intersected itself several times in the lake, creating enclaves of United States
United States
water surrounded by Canadian water. The treaty changed the border to use the southernmost intersection as the northwestern point of the Lake of the Woods. Finally, the maritime border in the Bay of Fundy
Bay of Fundy
was adjusted, netting Canada
Canada
roughly 9 acres of water. too small to map

March 1, 1926 The Supreme Court of the United States
United States
resolved the conflict between Michigan
Michigan
and Wisconsin
Wisconsin
in the favor of Wisconsin.[320]

July 29, 1926 Johnston Atoll
Johnston Atoll
was established as a federal bird refuge and placed under the jurisdiction of the United States
United States
Department of Agriculture.[357] The atoll had originally been claimed by both the United States
United States
and Hawaii
Hawaii
in 1858, but little activity apart from guano mining had taken place, and it had been largely abandoned for decades.[201] no change to map

November 22, 1926 The Supreme Court of the United States
United States
defined the border between Michigan
Michigan
and Wisconsin, transferring all islands south of the Quinnesec Falls on the Menominee River
Menominee River
to Wisconsin, and all islands north of the falls to Michigan; it is unknown specifically which islands were transferred in this fashion. However, an error in the border description introduced a small overlap between the two states over several islands in Lake Michigan
Lake Michigan
north of the Door Peninsula.[358]

July 18, 1927 The United States
United States
expropriated from Panama
Panama
another 33 hectares of land on the islands of Taboga and Taboguilla and annexed them to the Panama Canal Zone.[334] too small to map

October 26, 1927 Two bancos along the Colorado River
Colorado River
were ceded from Mexico
Mexico
to Arizona.[359][360] too small to map

December 5, 1927 The "Country Club Dispute" between New Mexico
Mexico
and Texas
Texas
was resolved in Texas's favor.[361]

April 4, 1928 The Island of Palmas Case
Island of Palmas Case
was decided in the favor of the Netherlands, ceding Palmas to the Dutch East Indies.[298] Pacific Ocean:

September 24, 1928 The United States
United States
expropriated from Panama
Panama
three hectares of land at El Cerro de Doscientos Pies ("200-Foot Hill") near Las Minas Bay and annexed it to the Panama
Panama
Canal Zone.[334][341] too small to map

July 22, 1930 The United States
United States
expropriated from Panama
Panama
25 hectares on Jicarita Island and 60 hectares at Punta Morro de Puercos and annexed them to the Panama
Panama
Canal Zone.[334] too small to map

April 15, 1931 The United States
United States
expropriated from Panama
Panama
additional areas around the soon-to-be-built Madden Dam
Madden Dam
and annexed them to the Panama
Panama
Canal Zone.[334][341] Caribbean Sea:

May 3, 1932 The United States
United States
adjusted the border at Punta Paitilla in the Canal Zone, returning a small amount of land to Panama. This was the site for a planned new American embassy, which had to be built on foreign soil.[362] too small to map

May 17, 1932 Porto Rico was renamed Puerto Rico.[363] Caribbean Sea:

December 13, 1932 The Mangsee Islands and seven of the Turtle Islands were ceded by the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
from North Borneo
North Borneo
to the Philippines. The islands were supposed to be included in the 1900 transfer of islands from Spain
Spain
to the United States. Per the terms of the treaty, the United Kingdom continued to administer the islands until requested, and after its independence, the Philippine government made such a request and took control.[364] Pacific Ocean:

November 13, 1933 A treaty created the Rio Grande
Rio Grande
Rectification Project, which, from 1935 to 1938, straightened and stabilized the path of the Rio Grande through the El Paso–Juárez Valley. By the end of the project, 174 parcels had been transferred between Mexico
Mexico
and Texas, each side receiving an equal area of land.[365][366] too small to map

December 29, 1934 Kingman Reef
Kingman Reef
was placed under the jurisdiction of the United States Department of the Navy.[350] no change to map

March 16, 1936 The de jure overlap between Michigan
Michigan
and Wisconsin
Wisconsin
was resolved by the Supreme Court of the United States.[367]

May 13, 1936 Baker Island, Howland Island, and Jarvis Island
Jarvis Island
were formally annexed and placed under the jurisdiction of the United States
United States
Department of the Interior,[368] ending the United Kingdom's claim to Jarvis Island.[242] Pacific Ocean:

June 22, 1936 The U.S. Virgin Islands
U.S. Virgin Islands
were organized into a civil territory.[369] no change to map

August 6, 1936 Canton Island, Enderbury Island, and McKean Island
McKean Island
were claimed by the United Kingdom.[242] Pacific Ocean:

April 6, 1939 The condominium of the Canton and Enderbury Islands
Canton and Enderbury Islands
was established with the United Kingdom.[370] Pacific Ocean:

July 27, 1939 Panama
Panama
gained a sovereign corridor that was carved out of the Panama Canal Zone connecting Colón with the rest of Panama, along with a three-dimensional "tube" of sovereignty for a future crossing over an American highway. A corridor consisting of the road from the Canal Zone boundary to Madden Dam
Madden Dam
was annexed to the Canal Zone.[371] Caribbean Sea:

August 16, 1939 This is the earliest date so far discovered for when the United States began claiming Fakaofo, Funafuti, Hull Island, Niulakita, Nukufetau, and Nukulaelae.[372] Pacific Ocean:

December 10, 1941 Governor George McMillin
George McMillin
surrendered Guam
Guam
to the Japanese military.[373] Pacific Ocean:

December 23, 1941 The garrison on Wake Island
Wake Island
surrendered to the Japanese military.[374] Pacific Ocean:

March 26, 1942 The government of the Commonwealth of the Philippines
Philippines
evacuated from the territory in the face of Japanese advance. A government-in-exile would be established in Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
on May 17, 1942. The United States Army Forces in the Far East would surrender on April 9, 1942, following the Battle of Bataan, and the final military holdouts would surrender on May 6, 1942, following the Battle of Corregidor.[375] Pacific Ocean:

October 14, 1943 The Second Philippine Republic
Second Philippine Republic
was established as a puppet state of Japan.[375] Pacific Ocean:

August 10, 1944 Guam
Guam
was captured from Japan.[373] Pacific Ocean:

August 17, 1945 The Second Philippine Republic, in exile in Tokyo
Tokyo
since April 3, 1945, was dissolved. The process of re-establishing the Commonwealth government on Philippine soil had started on October 23, 1944.[375] Pacific Ocean:

September 4, 1945 The Japanese garrison on Wake Island
Wake Island
surrendered to the United States.[374] Pacific Ocean:

1946–Present (Decolonization)[edit]

Date Event Change Map

July 4, 1946 The Commonwealth of the Philippines
Philippines
became independent as the Republic of the Philippines.[376] Pacific Ocean:

July 18, 1947 The United Nations
United Nations
entrusted the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands to the United States.[7] Pacific Ocean:

January 1, 1949 The Tokelau
Tokelau
Islands were incorporated into New Zealand, which inherited the claims on Atafu, Fakaofo, and Nukunono.[377] Pacific Ocean:

August 1, 1950 Guam
Guam
was organized into a civil territory.[378][379] no change to map

August 3, 1950 Kansas
Kansas
and Missouri
Missouri
exchanged small portions of land along the Missouri
Missouri
River, due to shifts in the river following a flood in 1944.[380]

April 11, 1955 Panama's corridor connecting Colón with the rest of Panama
Panama
was realigned within the Panama
Panama
Canal Zone. Several three-dimensional "tubes" of sovereignty were also created, allowing Panamanian bridges to pass over rivers and a highway at several locations within the Canal Zone.[381][382] too small to map

August 23, 1955 Several border locations of the Panama
Panama
Canal Zone were redefined. Punta Paitilla, the land held on Taboga Island, and the remaining American holdings in Colón and Panama
Panama
City were ceded to Panama.[312][383] Caribbean Sea:

January 3, 1959 The Alaska
Alaska
Territory was admitted as the forty-ninth state, Alaska.[384] Northwestern North America:

August 21, 1959 Most of Hawaii Territory
Hawaii Territory
was admitted as the fiftieth state, Hawaii. Palmyra Atoll
Palmyra Atoll
was excluded from statehood and remained a territory.[230][385] Pacific Ocean:

August 25, 1961 About 20 acres of land was transferred from Minnesota
Minnesota
to North Dakota near Fargo, North Dakota;[176][386] since the area was very small and poorly documented, it is not mapped. too small to map

January 14, 1964 The Chamizal, a tract of land between El Paso, Texas, and Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, was divided between the United States
United States
and Mexico.[387]

August 4, 1965 The Cook Islands
Cook Islands
became self-governing from New Zealand. It claimed the atolls of Pukapuka, Manihiki, Penrhyn, and Rakahanga.[388] Pacific Ocean:

April 25, 1971 The lease of the Corn Islands
Corn Islands
from Nicaragua
Nicaragua
was terminated.[330] no change to map

September 1, 1972 The United States
United States
recognized the sovereignty of Honduras
Honduras
over the Swan Islands.[330][389] Caribbean Sea:

March 1, 1977 The United States
United States
claimed maritime borders west of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, within the Dixon Entrance, and in the Beaufort Sea
Beaufort Sea
that conflicted with claims of Canada.[390] no change to map

May 26, 1977 Several parcels were exchanged between Texas
Texas
and Mexico
Mexico
along the Rio Grande in areas near Presidio and Hidalgo, Texas,[391] including the Horcón Tract, on which the town of Río Rico was located,[392] and Beaver Island near Roma, Texas. In addition, Mexico
Mexico
ceded 823 acres (3.33 km2) to the U.S., while the U.S. ceded 2,177 acres (8.81 km2) to Mexico, primarily to straighten sections of the Rio Grande for flood control.[393]

October 1, 1978 Tuvalu
Tuvalu
became independent from the United Kingdom. It claimed the atolls of Funafuti, Nukufetau, Nukulaelae, and Niulakita.[394] Pacific Ocean:

July 12, 1979 The Republic of Kiribati
Kiribati
became independent from the United Kingdom. It claimed Birnie Island, Canton Island, Caroline Island, Christmas Island, Enderbury Island, Flint Island, Gardner Island, Hull Island, Malden Island, McKean Island, Phoenix Island, Starbuck Island, Sydney Island, and Vostok Island. This dissolved the condominium of the Canton and Enderbury Islands.[395] Pacific Ocean:

October 1, 1979 The Panama
Panama
Canal Zone was ceded to Panama. The United States
United States
and Panama
Panama
continued to share operational control of the canal until December 31, 1999, when it would be fully turned over to Panama.[396] The United States
United States
retained control over several hundred specified areas to be turned over in piecemeal fashion over the years. Caribbean Sea:

November 24, 1980 The maritime border between the United States
United States
and Venezuela
Venezuela
was defined.[397] no change to map

September 17, 1981 The United States
United States
recognized the sovereignty of Colombia
Colombia
over Roncador Bank and Serrana Bank, and the claim on Quita Sueño Bank
Quita Sueño Bank
was abandoned by the United States, as it was no longer above the seas at high tide, and thus the government considered it unclaimable.[330][398] Caribbean Sea:

September 3, 1983 The United States
United States
recognized the sovereignty of the New Zealand territory of Tokelau
Tokelau
over Atafu, Fakaofo, and Nukunono.[330][399] Pacific Ocean:

September 8, 1983 The United States
United States
recognized the sovereignty of the Cook Islands
Cook Islands
over Pukapuka, Manihiki, Penrhyn, and Rakahanga.[330][400] Pacific Ocean:

September 23, 1983 The United States
United States
recognized the sovereignty of Kiribati
Kiribati
over Birnie Island, Canton Island, Caroline Island, Christmas Island, Enderbury Island, Flint Island, Gardner Island, Hull Island, Malden Island, McKean Island, Phoenix Island, Starbuck Island, Sydney Island, and Vostok Island.[330][401] The United States
United States
recognized the sovereignty of Tuvalu
Tuvalu
over Funafuti, Nukufetau, Nukulaelae, and Niulakita.[330][402]

Pacific Ocean:

October 12, 1984 The International Court of Justice
International Court of Justice
made its judgment on where the maritime border should be in the Gulf of Maine
Maine
between the United States and Canada.[403] No land changed hands. The scope of the case did not include the sovereignty of Machias Seal Island, but the judgment enabled defining the extent of the disputed water area around that island (an area of 210 square nautical miles).[390] no change to map

October 21, 1986 The Marshall Islands
Marshall Islands
District of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands became independent as the Republic of the Marshall Islands.[404] The Marshall Islanders had claimed Wake Island
Wake Island
as part of their territory since at least 1973, and continued that after independence.[405] Pacific Ocean:

November 3, 1986 Most of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands
Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands
was dissolved by the United Nations. The districts of Chuuk, Pohnpei, and Yap became independent as the Federated States of Micronesia. The Mariana Islands District, having already been taking moves towards integration with the United States, became a territory of the United States, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.[404] Pacific Ocean:

June 1, 1990 The maritime border between the United States
United States
and the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
was provisionally defined. The two countries agreed on this date to abide by the terms of the treaty pending its ratification and entry into force,[406] but while it was ratified by the United States
United States
Senate on September 16, 1991,[407] it is unknown if either the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
or its successor state, Russia, ratified it. no change to map

October 1, 1994 The remaining district of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, the Palau
Palau
District, became independent as the Republic of Palau, dissolving the TTPI.[408] Pacific Ocean:

June 1, 1995 The maritime border between the United States
United States
and territories of the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
in the Caribbean Sea
Caribbean Sea
was defined.[409][410] no change to map

January 16, 1997 Navassa Island
Navassa Island
was transferred to the United States
United States
Department of the Interior.[411][412] no change to map

November 13, 1997 The maritime border between the United States
United States
and Mexico
Mexico
was defined.[413] no change to map

December 31, 1999 All former Panama
Panama
Canal Zone parcels not turned over since 1979, as well as all joint canal operations areas, were transferred to Panama. too small to map

January 17, 2001 The maritime border between the United States
United States
and Mexico
Mexico
on the continental shelf in the western Gulf of Mexico
Mexico
beyond 200 nautical miles was defined.[414] no change to map

November 24, 2009 Six islands along the Rio Grande
Rio Grande
were ceded from Texas
Texas
to Mexico, and three islands and two bancos were ceded from Mexico
Mexico
to Texas. The transfer, which had been pending for 20 years, was the first application of Article III of the 1970 Boundary Treaty.[360][415] too small to map

September 23, 2014 The maritime border between the United States
United States
and Niue
Niue
was defined.[416] The treaty was signed on May 13, 1997, but it was not ratified by the United States
United States
until at least 2002, and the United Nations shows it as entering into force on this date.[417] no change to map

January 1, 2017 The border between North Carolina
North Carolina
and South Carolina
South Carolina
was clarified following years of surveys and negotiation, moving 19 homes across state lines.[418][419] too small to map

Bancos along the Rio Grande[edit] Main articles: United States
United States
territorial acquisitions § Mexican boundary, and Banco Convention of 1905 The Banco Convention of 1905
Banco Convention of 1905
between the United States
United States
and Mexico allowed, in the event of sudden changes in the course of the Rio Grande (as by flooding), for the border to be altered to follow the new course.[420] The sudden changes often created bancos, land left behind when curves in the river are cut off by rapid erosion of the channel or are intentionally cut to re-align it. When these bancos are created, the International Boundary and Water Commission
International Boundary and Water Commission
investigates if land previously belonging to the United States
United States
or Mexico
Mexico
is to be considered on the other side of the border.[421] In all cases of these adjustments under the 1905 convention, which occurred on 37 different dates from 1910 to 1976, the transferred land was minuscule (ranging in size from 1 acre to 646 acres) and uninhabited.[422][423] See also[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to snapshots of the country at any given moment.

51st state Geography of the United States Historic regions of the United States List of U.S. states by date of statehood Manifest destiny National Atlas of the United States Territorial evolution of U.S. states:

Territorial evolution of Arizona Territorial evolution of California Territorial evolution of Colorado Territorial evolution of Idaho Territorial evolution of Montana Territorial evolution of Nevada Territorial evolution of New Mexico Territorial evolution of North Dakota Territorial evolution of Oregon Territorial evolution of South Dakota Territorial evolution of Utah Territorial evolution of Washington Territorial evolution of Wyoming

Territories of the United States
United States
on stamps United States
United States
territorial acquisitions

References[edit]

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Further reading[edit]

Van Zandt, Franklin K. (1976). Boundaries of the United States
United States
and the Several States: With Miscellaneous Geographic Information Concerning Areas, Altitudes, and Geographic Centers. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office. OCLC 69426475.  Stein, Mark (2008). How the States Got Their Shapes. New York: Smithsonian Books/Collins. ISBN 978-0-06-143138-8. OCLC 137324984. 

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History of the United States

Timeline

Prehistory Pre-Columbian Colonial 1776–89 1789–1849 1849–65 1865–1918 1918–45 1945–64 1964–80 1980–91 1991–2008 2008–present

Topics

American Century Cities Constitution Demographic Diplomatic Economic Education Immigration Medical Merchant Marine Military Musical Religious Slavery Southern Technological and industrial Territorial acquisitions Territorial evolution Voting rights Women This Is America, Charlie Brown

Category Portal

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American Old West

Notable people

Explorers and pioneers

John Bozeman Jim Bridger William Clark Davy Crockett John C. Frémont Liver-Eating Johnson Meriwether Lewis Joe Mayer William John Murphy John Wesley Powell Levi Ruggles Jedediah Smith Jack Swilling Trinidad Swilling Ora Rush Weed Henry Wickenburg Brigham Young

Native Americans

Black Hawk Black Kettle Bloody Knife Chief Joseph Cochise Crazy Horse Geronimo Irataba Mangas Coloradas Manuelito Massai Quanah Parker Red Cloud Sacagawea Sitting Bull Ten Bears Touch the Clouds Tuvi Victorio

Lawmen

Elfego Baca Charlie Bassett Roy Bean Morgan Earp Virgil Earp Wyatt Earp Henry Garfias Pat Garrett Jack Helm "Wild Bill" Hickok Bat Masterson "Mysterious Dave" Mather Bass Reeves George Scarborough John Selman John Horton Slaughter William "Bill" Tilghman James Timberlake Harry C. Wheeler

Outlaws

Billy the Kid Black Bart "Curly Bill" Brocius Butch Cassidy Billy Clanton Ike Clanton Bill Dalton Bill Doolin John Wesley Hardin Johnny Ringo Jesse James Tom Ketchum Frank McLaury Tom McLaury Joaquin Murrieta Cochise
Cochise
County Cowboys Belle Starr Soapy Smith Sundance Kid Cole Younger

Soldiers and scouts

Frederick Russell Burnham Kit Carson "Buffalo Bill" Cody Texas
Texas
Jack Omohundro James C. Cooney George Crook George Armstrong Custer Samuel P. Heintzelman Tom Horn Calamity Jane Luther Kelly Ranald S. Mackenzie Charley Reynolds Philip Sheridan Al Sieber

Others

John Jacob Astor William H. Boring Jonathan R. Davis George Flavel C. S. Fly John Joel Glanton George E. Goodfellow Doc Holliday Seth Kinman Nat Love Sylvester Mowry Emperor Norton Annie Oakley Thomas William Sweeny Jack Swilling

Native Americans

Apache Arapaho Arikara Assiniboine
Assiniboine
(Nakota) Blackfoot Cahuilla Cayuse Cheyenne Chinook Chippewa (Ojibwe) Caddo Cocopah Comanche Crow Dakota Five Civilized Tribes Hidatsa Hopi Hualapai Kickapoo Kiowa Ktunaxa Kumeyaay Lakota Mandan Maricopa Modoc Mohave Navajo Nez Perce Northern Paiute Nootka (Nuu-chah-nulth) Pawnee Pend d'Oreilles Pima Pueblo Shoshone Sioux Southern Paiute Tohono O'odham Tonkawa Umpqua Ute Washoe Yaqui Yavapai Yuma (Quechan)

Frontier culture

American bison Barbed wire Boot Hill Cattle drive Cowboy poetry Cattle rustling Cow town Fast draw Ghost town Gunfights Homesteading Land rush Manifest destiny Moonshine One-room schoolhouse Rodeo Stagecoach Train robbery Vigilante
Vigilante
justice Western saloon

Tack piano

Westward expansion Wild West shows

Transport and trails

Barlow Road Bozeman Trail Butterfield Trail California
California
Trail Chisholm Trail Great Platte River Road Great Western Cattle Trail Lolo Pass Meek Cutoff Mormon Trail Oregon
Oregon
Trail Pony Express Santa Fe Trail Southern Emigrant Trail Tanner Trail First Transcontinental Railroad

Folklore

Dead man's hand Dime novel John Henry Johnny Kaw Lone Ranger Long Tom's treasure Lost Dutchman's Gold Mine Lost Ship of the Desert Montezuma's treasure Paul Bunyan Pecos Bill Seven Cities of Gold

Gold rushes

Black Hills Gold Rush California
California
Gold Rush Confederate Gulch and Diamond City Klondike Gold Rush Pike's Peak Gold Rush

Gunfights

Battle of Coffeyville Battle of Lincoln Frisco shootout Gunfight at the O.K. Corral Long Branch Saloon gunfight Variety Hall shootout

Military conflicts

Battle of the Alamo Battle of Glorieta Pass Battle of the Little Bighorn Battle of San Jacinto Battle of Washita River First Battle of Adobe Walls Indian Wars Sand Creek massacre Wounded Knee Massacre

Range wars and feuds

Earp-Clanton feud Johnson County War Lincoln County War Mason County War Pleasant Valley War Sheep Wars Sutton–Taylor feud

Lists

Arizona
Arizona
Rangers Cowboys and cowgirls Gangs Gunfights Lawmen Mountain men Outlaws Timeline of the American Old West

Influence

Western genre Western lifestyle

Places

Alaska

Anchorage Iditarod Nome Seward Skagway

Arizona
Arizona
Territory

Canyon Diablo Fort Grant Prescott Phoenix Tombstone Tucson Yuma

California

Bakersfield Fresno Jamestown Los Angeles Sacramento San Diego San Francisco

Colorado

Creede Denver Telluride Trinidad

Dakota Territory

Bismarck Deadwood Fargo Pine Ridge Rapid City Yankton

Idaho
Idaho
Territory

Fort Boise Fort Hall

Illinois

Fort Dearborn

Kansas

Abilene Dodge City Ellsworth Hays Leavenworth Wichita

Missouri

Independence Kansas
Kansas
City St. Louis

Montana
Montana
Territory

Billings Bozeman Deer Lodge Fort Benton Fort Peck Helena Livingston Missoula Virginia
Virginia
City

Nebraska

Chadron Fort Atkinson Fort Robinson Nebraska
Nebraska
City Ogallala Omaha Valentine

Nevada

Carson City Virginia
Virginia
City Reno

New Mexico
Mexico
Territory

Alamogordo Albuquerque Cimarron Fort Sumner Gallup Las Vegas Lincoln Mesilla Mogollon Roswell Santa Fe Tucumcari

Oklahoma
Oklahoma
Territory and Indian Territory

Broken Arrow Fort Sill Oklahoma
Oklahoma
City

Oregon
Oregon
Territory

Astoria The Dalles La Grande McMinnville Oregon
Oregon
City Portland Salem Vale

Texas

Austin Abilene El Paso Fort Worth Gonzales Lubbock San Antonio

Utah
Utah
Territory

Salt Lake City

Washington Territory

Everett Port Townsend Seattle Vancouver

Wyoming
Wyoming
Territory

Fort Br

.