Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Review of "American Expansion: A Book of Maps," by Randall D. Sale and Edwin D. Karn

Review of

American Expansion: A Book of Maps, by Randall D. Sale and Edwin D. Karn

Five out of five stars

 In this book, the authors move stepwise through the decades, starting at 1790 through 1900. At each step, there is a page of text on one side and a map of the continental United States on the other. The map has the borders of the states and territories imposed on the regions along with three levels of color-coded population density. They are: less than 2 per square mile, 2 to 6 per square mile and more than 6.

 The color coding gives the reader a clear indication of how the population of the country moved generally westward from the Atlantic coast, sometimes bypassing large regions that were filled in later. Territories that were in dispute at that time are also marked with hatching.

 The textual supplement states some high points of the past decade as well as giving the basic population numbers and the percentage of growth. Specific locations where the Europeans established settlement, conducted explorations and the specifics of land grants, offices and key actions such as the establishment of railroad lines are explained.

 The westward movement of higher densities of population often exhibits the characteristics of tendrils following the paths of least resistance. The most notable exception is the thousand-mile leap from Missouri to California as a consequence of the gold rush in 1849. If you are looking for an understandable overview of the expansion of the United States from one coast to another, this is the book for you.

No comments:

Post a Comment