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How to Use
the Map


Inquiry Question

Historical Context

Map 2




Table of

Locating the Site

Map 1: Map of the United States and neighboring British and Spanish possessions, 1783.

[Map 1: Map of the United States and neighboring British and Spanish possessions, 1783] with link to larger version of map.
(Library of Congress)

The United States territory, shown in green, at the end of the Revolutionary War. Before 1800, the U.S. did not have a permanent capital city. The president, Congress, and the Supreme Court met in different cities in the northeast until the government moved to Washington, D.C.

Questions for Map 1

1) Locate and name the original 13 states on the eastern coast.

2) If you could choose the location for the capital of the United States of 1783, where on this map would you place it? Why?

3) Would you choose to build a capital city from the ground up or choose to turn an existing city into a capital? What do you think would be the advantages and disadvantages for founding a new city?

4) Americans chose land on a river that creates the border between Maryland and Virginia to build a new capital city. Find this region on the map. What do you think the benefits would be to have a national capital at this place?

5) Who do you think would benefit the most from a capital between Maryland and Virginia? Who do you think would be disadvantaged? Why?

* Click for larger versions of Map 1.



Comments or Questions

National Park Service arrowhead with link to NPS website.