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Cobblestone American History and Current Events for Kids and ChildrenCobblestone American History and Current Events for Kids and Children

Cobblestone American History and Current Events for Kids and Children May-June 2015

COBBLESTONE is the award-winning and respected leader in the study of American history for young people. COBBLESTONE tells America’s story through a unique mix of captivating articles, lively graphics, historical photographs, primary sources, and maps. Each themed-issue examines historical events in detail making them exciting and relevant to today. A must-have for every history classroom and media center. Grades 5-9.

United States
Cricket Media, Inc.
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9 Issues


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consulting editor about the cover

Mark Stein, author and playwright, began his writing career in the theater composing plays, but his longtime curiosity about why states have the shapes they do motivated him to author two books about the stories behind our state borders. How the States Got Their Shape gives the history of each of the 50 states’ evolution. That book became the basis for a History Channel documentary by the same name. How the States Got Their Shapes Too: The People Behind the Borderlines introduces readers to the people who played a role in locating state lines. Ever wonder how the individual states in our country got their shapes? They didn’t just fall into place, as this month’s cover shows. The stories behind those shapes are more interesting than that! (a1vector/Shutterstock.com) www.facebook.com/cricketmedia…

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taking shape, state by state

A map of the United States is so familiar that not many people stop to think about the fascinating stories behind its combination of straight and wiggly boundaries. But someone or something decided where those lines should be drawn or which winding rivers and mountain ranges would serve as natural borders. By Royal Decree European monarchs initiated a few of those shapes. Some of the first British colonies evolved from havens set up by religious groups, such as Massachusetts (Puritans), Maryland (Catholics), and Pennsylvania (Quakers). The British also encouraged the settlement of colonies in Virginia and South Carolina for economic reasons: Virginia produced tobacco, and South Carolina produced rice. Before Louisiana became a state in 1812, it was part of a vast territory that had first been settled and claimed by the…

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did you know?

The line on a map that most Americans associate with slavery is the Mason–Dixon Line. That line, however, had nothing to do with dividing free states from slave states. Before the Revolutionary War (1775–1783), British authorities were responsible for settling disagreements between colonial governments. Pennsylvania and Maryland had been involved in a long dispute over the location of the boundary between their two colonies. Two British men, astronomer Charles Mason and surveyor Jeremiah Dixon, were hired to resolve the problem. Mason and Dixon spent four years (1763–1767) establishing an official border between the colonies of Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Delaware. And at the time, all of those colonies allowed slavery.…

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let’s make a deal

Most of this issue is about how the United States’ internal boundaries were created. Here’s a list of dates and descriptions of how the United States’ external boundaries—those with other countries—took shape. Can you match the date and event with the correct description? Answers on page 48. 1. 1783 Treaty of Paris 2. 1803 Louisiana Purchase 3. 1818 Convention Treaty 4. 1819 Adams–Onis Treaty 5. 1842 Webster–Ashburton Treaty 6. 1845 Texas Annexation 7. 1846 Oregon Territory 8. 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo 9. 1854 Gadsden Purchase 10. 1867 Alaska Purchase 11. 1898 Hawaiian Annexation A. Resolves the border between United States and British Canada between Maine/New Hampshire and New Brunswick, establishes the border between Lake Superior and the Lake of the Woods, and affirms original agreement of latitude 49° north westward to the Rocky Mountains. B. United States annexes the Hawaiian Islands, forcing…

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maryland just can’t win

Inaccurate maps, human error, and being on the losing side of most disputes are all part of Maryland’s state boundary story. When Maryland was created in 1632 as a haven for Catholics in the New World, King Charles I of England set its northern boundary at latitude 40° north. Later, in 1681, William Penn was granted a charter for Pennsylvania, which used the same latitude 40° north line as Pennsylvania’s southern border. But that line ran right through the middle of Philadelphia, which quickly became the largest city in Pennsylvania. When Pennsylvania argued for the line to be relocated south of its major city, it raised another dispute—over access to the ocean and Delaware. The Dutch had settled present-day Delaware in the 1630s. By 1674, the British had pushed the Dutch out…

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texas the super-sized state

After the Revolutionary War ended in 1783, the United States hoped to establish a way to create future states with more uniform sizes. So why is Texas so much bigger than most states? The answer is that Texas had already created itself when it applied for statehood. Spain claimed the area that is now Texas in 1519. Gradually, the Spanish established villages and missions there. In 1819, the Adams–Onis Treaty between Spain and the United States defined the boundary between Spanish land and the Louisiana Territory. That treaty determined much of the eastern border of Texas. Two years later, Mexico won its independence from Spain, and Texas became a province of that new country. Mexico allowed Americans to immigrate to Texas, and those settlers brought their culture and way of life with…