This classic 29-episode HISTORY series tells the story of the evolution of many of the United States, border by border. See if you can find the story of your state! Use our study guides to develop discussion, and check out short videos and text stories to answer common questions. For more quality history videos, get a free, extended trial of HISTORY Vault, with 2000+ hours of commercial-free, premium content including documentaries, series and specials.
With commentary from historians and compelling visuals, 'How The States Got Their Shapes' gives teachers and students an informative and unique window into the American past.
The philosophy drove 19th-century U.S. territorial expansion and was used to justify the forced removal of Native Americans and other groups from their homes.
In 1804, Lewis and Clark set off on a journey filled with harrowing confrontations, harsh weather and fateful decisions as they scouted a route across the American West.
Though mocked by some at the time, the 1867 purchase of Alaska came to be regarded as a masterful deal.
Arguably one of the most significant events to shape American history during the first half of the 19th century.
After the Mexican-American War, the Mormon settlement of Deseret was claimed by the U.S. government.
With the discovery of gold in 1848, thousands of prospectors poured into California. When it came time to create a state, the new residents wanted to make sure California included all potential gold fields in the Sierra Nevada range, and so drew their own borders.
Florida once was part of the Spanish empire and covered much more territory. Its panhandle stretched from the Savannah River to the Mississippi, but over time, the Spanish relinquished land and the entire area came under American control.
The Illinois Territory’s northern boundary originally ended at the southernmost point of Lake Michigan, leaving it with no port on the Great Lakes—and crucially, no access to the proposed Erie Canal. Congress shifted the border north, taking land from Wisconsin and giving Chicago to Illinois.