What is now the United States of America, including all 50 states and the state capitals, was home to native populations long before the the earliest settlers arrived. The Mayflower, a ship only 100 feet long, left Plymouth, on the south coast of England, in September of 1620 with 102 passengers aboard and a crew of thirty men.
Many of the passengers were Pilgrims fleeing religious persecution, but others were variously farmers, hired hands and servants recruited by London merchants, and their original destination was Virginia, an English colony that had been established during the 16th century.
When they arrived in the New World, however, strong winds interfered with their attempts to sail south from Cape Cod, so they settled where they had landed. During that first harsh winter, with just what they had brought with them to work with, and trying to scrape a living in a totally alien environment, almost half of the settlers died, and about half the crew.
A map of the USA states, and their capitals
All 50 states and their capital cities. Note: Alaska and Hawaii are NOT to scale.
Birth of a nation
Eventually, struggling against the odds, those first few settlers, together with others that followed, started the process that eventually formed an embryonic government and built a nation. The story of their struggles has been told and retold in countless films and documentaries.
Perhaps the greatest achievement of those early years was the Constitution of the United States, which not only forged a bond between disparate states, but formed the basis of democracy and federal government for the whole of the New World.
The Constitution is also important in that it defends the ‘God-given’ rights of the people. The Bill of Rights also states that, even if a right is not specifically listed, you still retain that right. It does not bestow rights, it merely recognises and defends them. It also limits the powers of the government, by granting it specific powers that are carefully listed in the Constitution.
The Constitution of the United States of America
The United States Constitution is the supreme law of the United States of America. The Constitution was adopted in 1787, by the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and went into effect in 1789. The Constitution has been amended a total of 27 times, and its principles are applied in courts of law by judicial review.
The Constitution is the backbone of the US legal system, and is the highest law in the country. It defines the stucture of the government, guarantees rights to the citizens, and provides the basis on which all American laws are made.
The Bill of Rights
The Bill of Rights is the collective name for the first ten amendments to the Constitution. These serve to protect the natural rights to liberty and property. They guarantee certain specific freedoms and limit the government’s power in judicial and other proceedings. Originally, the Bill of Rights was understood to only apply to white men. Native Americans and ‘black’ men (now referred to as African Americans), and women, were understood to be excluded. Over the years, these exclusions
have been eroded until now all men and women are seen
as free and equal in the eyes of the law.
List of states and their capitals
If you’d like to learn the state capitals, the table below should prove useful to you. It lists all 50 states and their capitals, together with each state’s abbreviation, the year it attained statehood, and the year the city became the state capital.
|U.S. STATE CAPITALS|
|STATE||ABBR||STATE SINCE||STATE CAPITAL||CAPITAL SINCE|
|New Mexico||NM||1912||Santa Fe||1610|
|Utah||UT||1896||Salt Lake City||1858|
Map puzzles to help you learn the state capitals
There’s a terrific site that can help you learn the state capitals (and a lot more besides), and it’s well worth a visit. If you go to the map puzzles section of YourChildLearns.com, you’ll have the opportunity to learn the capitals interactively, and test yourself on your knoweldge.
You can choose to try to place the states with their outlines in place on the map, or (much harder!) to put the states in place without the outlines to help you. You can also test yourself to see if you really did learn the state capitals. This is a brilliant learning resource, and I highly recommend it. I would imagine it would present quite a challenge even for U.S residents. And to make it even more interesting, the tests are timed, so you can see how long you took, and whether you beat your earlier time.
The largest city is not necessarily the state capital
The largest city in a state is not not automatically the state capital. The following table shows some cities that are the largest in their respective states, but are NOT among the list of the state capitals (although often assumed to be).
|LARGEST CITIES THAT ARE NOT THE STATE CAPITALS|
|Jacksonville||FL||New York City||NY|
|NOTE: These are NOT the state capitals!|
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