US Borders 1585-1865


English show up in North America


The English show up in North America and Queen Elizabeth I sets up the Roanoke Island Colony.



Virginia is founded by John Smith and the Virginia Company.



The English set up the first permanent settlement in North America at Jamestown, settling on what they call the James River.

New Netherland


Henry Hudson claims New Netherland for the Dutch, founds what will become New York City.

Plymouth Colony


Settled in 1620 by the Pilgrims. Plymouth was merged into the Province of Massachusetts Bay in the charter of 1691.

Massachusetts Bay Colony


Puritans from England settle in what they call the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

Maryland Founded


Maryland was founded in 1632 as a proprietary colony.



Connecticut is established by Royal Charter in 1636 with Thomas Hooker.

Rhode Island Establishment


Rhode Island is established in 1636 by Roger Williams because he was banished from Massachusetts.

Delaware Establishment


A group of Dutch merchants establish Dutch Delaware in 1638.

Province of Carolina


Founded in 1663. Carolina colony was divided into two colonies, North Carolina and South Carolina, in 1712. Both colonies became royal colonies in 1729.

New Amsterdam no longer


The Dutch formally turn over New Amsterdam to the British in 1667 who name it New York.

William Penn's Pennsylvania


King Charles II of England formally grants William Penn a land charter in the New World which he turns into Pennsylvania.

Dominion of New England


Great Britain created the Dominion of New England in the present day New England in the United States. It composed of present-day Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey.

Territory of the Original 13 States


At the end of the American Revolution, Great Britain ceded what we know as the original 13 states to the United States.

Treaty of Paris

March 5, 1783

This treaty ended the French and Indian War during which the British gave up everything from the Atlantic to the Mississippi River. Loyalist were offered a free trip to Canada.

Louisiana Purchase

March 5, 1803

In the Louisiana Purchase, the United States bought all of Louisiana from France for $15 million. With this purchase, they more than doubled their landmass and they now controlled the port of New Orleans.

Treaty of 1818

October 20, 1818

In the Treaty of 1818, the United States gained land from Britain in present day North Dakota and Minnesota. In exchange, both nations were granted joint control in the Oregon Country for ten years.

Adams-Onís Treaty


The Adams-Onís Treaty was a treaty between the United States and Spain in which Spain ceded Florida to the US in two parts, East Florida (modern day Florida) and West Florida (the southernmost parts of Mississippi and Alabama). The US also redefined their territory line along the 32N, the Sabine and Arkansas Rivers, and the 42N all the way to the Pacific Ocean.

Texas Annexation


The United States annexed Texas in 1845 and admitted it into the Union as its 28th state. With this new state, the US also adopted Texas' border scuffles which lead to the Mexican-American War of 1848-1848.

Oregon Treaty

June 15, 1846

The Oregon Treaty was a treaty between Britain and the United States. In this treaty, the border between British and American claims was set at the 49th parallel. It was negotiated by James Buchanan and Richard Pakenham.

Mexican Cession


In the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo, Mexico ceded what is now the southwest United States to the United States.

Gadsden Purchase

December 30, 1853

The US purchased what is now southern Arizona and southwest New Mexico in the Gadsden Purchase. The treaty was signed by the then US ambassador to Mexico, James Gadsden, for $10 million.

Secession of South Carolina

December 20, 1860

South Carolina was the first state to secede from the Union.

Secession of Mississippi

January 9, 1861

Mississippi was the second state to secede from the Union and later formed the Confederate States of America.

Secession of Florida

January 10, 1861

Florida was the third state to secede from the Union only one day after Mississippi.

Secession of Alabama

January 11, 1861

Alabama was the fourth state to secede from the Union, only a day behind Florida.

Secession of Georgia

January 19, 1861

Georgia was the fifth state to secede from the Union and join the Confederacy.

Secession of Louisiana

January 26, 1861

Louisiana was the sixth state to secede from the Union and join the Confederacy.

Secession of Texas

February 1, 1861

Texas was the seventh state to secede from the Union and join the Confederacy.

Secession of Virginia

April 17, 1861

Virginia was the eigth state to secede from the Union and join the Confederacy.

Secession of Arkansas

May 6, 1861

Arkansas was the ninth state to secede from the Union and join the Confederacy.

Secession of Tennessee

May 7, 1861

Tennessee was the tenth state to secede from the Union and join the Confederacy.

Secession of North Carolina

May 20, 1861

North Carolina was the eleventh and final state to secede from the Union and join the Confederacy.

End of the American Civil War

April 9, 1865

General Lee surrenders to Grant and the Union is restored.