The United States has changed in size and shape greatly from our founding in 1776 to the present day. Starting with the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, the country doubled in size and throughout the first half of the 19th century it continued to grow but the question of slavery in newly formed states brought into question the foundation of the American government and the U.S Constitution. This issue of Slave versus Free states and the role of the federal government versus state government caused some of the tension that would thrust the country into the Civil War.
During this time of crisis, the nation continued through the addition of states, but also losing states as they left the union to form the Confederate States of America. Territories would change shapes as well, coming close to what we now know as the current state shape. But when did these states secede, when did territories change names? This activity is meant to help students understand the changes in our nation’s boundaries.