American Boundaries: The Nation, the States, the Rectangular Survey (Google eBook)

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University of Chicago Press, Nov 15, 2008 - Science - 472 pages
2 Reviews
For anyone who has looked at a map of the United States and wondered how Texas and Oklahoma got their Panhandles, or flown over the American heartland and marveled at the vast grid spreading out in all directions below, American Boundaries will yield a welcome treasure trove of insight. The first book to chart the country’s growth using the boundary as a political and cultural focus, Bill Hubbard’s masterly narrative begins by explaining how the original thirteen colonies organized their borders and decided that unsettled lands should be held in trust for the common benefit of the people. Hubbard goes on to show—with the help of photographs, diagrams, and hundreds of maps—how the notion evolved that unsettled land should be divided into rectangles and sold to individual farmers, and how this rectangular survey spread outward from its origins in Ohio, with surveyors drawing straight lines across the face of the continent.     Mapping how each state came to have its current shape, and how the nation itself formed within its present borders, American Boundaries will provide historians, geographers, and general readers alike with the fascinating story behind those fifty distinctive jigsaw-puzzle pieces that together form the United States.
  

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American boundaries: the nation, the states, the rectangular survey

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Hubbard (architecture, MIT) introduces readers to the history of surveying in the United States as it evolved owing to the need to subdivide the vast continent. In Part I, "Assembling a National ... Read full review

Review: American Boundaries: The Nation, the States, the Rectangular Survey

User Review  - Conrad Houser - Goodreads

What an amazing well written and edited volume. If you have any interest in American history related to development of the US this is the book. Read full review

Contents

ASSEMBLING A NATIONAL DOMAIN
1
The Colonies Stake Claims to Land in the West
7
The Idea of a National Domain Emerges
39
The National Domain Expands
57
APPORTIONING THE DOMAIN INTO STATES
99
A Method of Forming New States Emerges
101
The Evolution of the Territories and States
123
APPORTIONING THE STATES INTO RECTANGULAR PARCELS
181
The Rectangular Survey Evolves into Its Final Form
263
The Survey Is Extended across the Public Domain
291
The Spread of the Survey across Montana
349
Other Ways to Apportion a Public Domain
403
Notes
433
Bibliography
439
Illustration Credits
441
Index
443

Inventing a Rectangular Survey in the Ordinance of 1785
183
Putting a Rectangular Survey on the Ground in Ohio
215

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About the author (2008)

Bill Hubbard Jr. is the author of two books on architecture, Complicity and Conviction and A Theory for Practice. For twenty years he has taught the introductory design studio for undergraduates in MIT’s Department of Architecture.
 
 

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