Cover image for Historical atlas of the United States
Historical atlas of the United States
Carnes, Mark C. (Mark Christopher), 1950-
Publication Information:
New York : Routledge, 2003.
Physical Description:
1 atlas (304 pages) : color maps ; 31 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
G1201.S1 H5 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize Non-Circ

On Order



Designed for all libraries, this large-format, full-color atlas is an authoritative guide to the history of the United States. From the formation of the continent up through current events and information based on the most recent census, this work uses the geography of the United States to portray the history of the land and its people. The 300-plus maps tell the engaging story of America with detailed, clear information; accompanying text highlights key information presented in each map.

An indispensable tool for students and educators alike, the Historical Atlas of the United Statesis destined to become a classic in the field.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

More than 300 maps divided into 21 chronologically arranged parts cover the history of the U.S. from the formation of the North American continent to the September 11, 2001, attacks. There are special sections for presidential elections and territorial growth. The maps are in color and are generally easy to read. They include the expected maps of territorial changes and military campaigns but also include some more unusual additions, such as Harlem during the period of the Harlem Renaissance, Hollywood movie studios in 1919, and Lower Manhattan on September 11, 2001. Overall, this atlas is a useful companion to the study of American history. Unfortunately, it is marred by mistakes that could have been avoided with more careful editing. For example, on the map "The Fate of Empire Loyalists, 1776-92," the king of England is identified as James III rather than George III. On "Civil Aviation, 1918-30," the beginning date for air service to Havana, Haiti, and Venezuela is given as 1839. On "New European States Emerge, 1991-93," the Estonian islands of Hiiumaa and Saaremaa are given a different color from the rest of the country. The Eastern Shore of Virginia is often not delineated or is given the wrong color. The Canadian Manitoulin Island is sometimes mistakenly shown as U.S. territory. These mistakes and others detract from an otherwise useful source. There is no shortage of good, if older, atlases of American history. The excellent Atlas of the Historical Geography of the United States (Greenwood, 1975) is a reliable source. Newer sources, such as Atlas of American History (Facts On File, 1993), also give good service. If the many errors are corrected, Historical Atlas of the United States will be an extremely valued addition to reference collections. Even with the errors, most of the information is accurate. The currency and unique content make it worth considering, and it is recommended with reservations for public and academic libraries. -- RBB Copyright 2003 Booklist

Choice Review

Carnes and Swanston's atlas depicts the history of the US from Asian migrations 18,000 years ago to the September 2001 terrorist attacks, using over 300 maps and little else. There are no illustrations or photographs. Each of the 21 chapters consists of one or two pages of introductory text followed by five to 22 pages of maps. A collection of presidential election maps and territorial growth maps, and a bibliography and index, follow the main body of maps. The chapter introductions are well written. Explanatory text boxes accompany some maps, and sequence-of-events notes accompany maps of battle scenes. Compiling a set of maps like this is a major undertaking, and the cartography, by Swanston (Cartographica Ltd.), clearly depicts the subject matter. Unfortunately, the base maps have minor errors and flaws, such as inaccurate depiction of rivers, lines that have no purpose, inaccurate bar scales, occasional mislabeling, and occasional features that are not explained. Despite these flaws, the atlas is balanced and comprehensive in coverage of subject matter. Summing Up: Recommended. General readers and undergraduates. J. A. Coombs Southwest Missouri State University

Table of Contents

Sections include: North America
First Americans
Contact, Exploration by Europeans
Colonial Expansions and Settlements
Colonial Contention
The Eve of War
Revolution and War
The New State
People of the New Nation
The State Expands
War of 1812
Westward Ho
War in the West Discovery and Migrations
The State of Union
The Civil War
Reconstruction and Expansion
Course of Empire
The American Crusade
The Engine of War
Post-War America, At Home and Abroad
The New World Order