Visual History of US State Boundaries

36" x 24"


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Panhandles, stovepipes, strips, corridors, heels, peninsulas, notches — the fascinating history and geography of state borders converge in this definitive visual map of the shape of every US state.

Visual History of US State Boundaries allows you to follow the 250-year story of how and why states have their current shapes. This chart explains the important events and people behind the border locations. Every border line is clearly detailed using one or more of twelve boundary types including natural features, treaties, cession lines, and charters. 

Found out why:

  • Michigan has an upper peninsula that is separate from the rest of the state.
  • West Virginia has two notches of land cradling southwestern Pennsylvania. 
  • The Florida panhandle is not part of Alabama.
  • The Dakota territory was split into two states.
  • Idaho has a northern stovepipe. 

This chart was created by Timeplots designers of fine political and business information graphics.