This is roughly 200 years of American history in one mesmerizing GIF.

There’s a ton of juicy stuff in this incredible map. Couple of takeaways for me:

1. How about that neutral territory between Oklahoma and Texas that went away around 1890? Trying to get mail there must’ve been a real bummer.

2. Maybe all this crowing about securing our borders is missing about 200 years of rich context about just how flexible these borders have been.

What caught your eye about this map, Internet? Or am I just nerding out by myself over here?

If this whole show is moving a little too quickly for you, here it is broken down frame-by-frame.

Clarification: This map takes on history from the lens of how America became 50 states. There are other rich, painful, and bloody perspectives on that history that get lost in a GIF like this. The intention was to show how the borders of the USA that we now recognize as ironclad and immovable are really anything but, and that we should give that more consideration in our public discussion of issues like immigration and who we consider American.


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