Anonymous asked in Science & MathematicsGeography · 7 years ago

How come so many US cities are exactly on the border between various states?

For example: Philadelphia (Pennsylvania and New Jersey), New York (New York and New Jersey), Washington (Maryland and Virginia), St. Louis (Missouri and Illinois), Kansas City (Kansas and Missouri), Cincinnati (Ohio and Kentucky), Louisville (Indiana and Kentucky), Omaha (Nebraska and Iowa), Columbus (Georgia and Alabama), Portland (Oregon and Washington), Davenport (Iowa and Illinois), Providence (Rhode Island and Massachusetts), Memphis (Tennessee and Arkansas) and other cities.

And I'm not talking about international border cities with Canada and Mexico. Just those internal state borders.

4 Answers

  • KennyB
    Lv 7
    7 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Often (but not always) geographic borders of the states are set in consideration of local populations -- especially populations across natural barriers (rivers typically) where the cities on each side of the barrier are viewed separately -- Omaha, Neb and Council Bluffs, Iowa for example.

    Before the advent of air travel, these "gateway" cities were used as a jumping off points for paths to the interior of the state.

    There are exceptions, of course. Kansas City straddles the border between Kansas and Missouri. Further, most cities are placed at a transportation hub and waterways were the predominant form of travel when the borders were set. Hence, the borders were close to the cities (and not, necessarily, the other way around).

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  • ?
    Lv 7
    7 years ago

    Most of the cities you've mentioned are on major rivers. It makes sense to set borders along rivers because there is a natural dividing line, its just a coincidence cities seem to be on the same rivers the borders are drawn on

    Plus, Washington doesn't count. It isn't in Maryland or Virginia, its in the District of Columbia

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  • 3 years ago

    The Canadian border could be secured, besides because of the fact the Mexican border. The Canadian border is longer, yet there are some geographical beneficial components that make it very complicated to flow in places alongside Canada. yet, for the protection of the country, ie terrorists, particular, we could continually have entire border administration.

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  • 7 years ago

    Most of those cities are on rivers or other waterways. That was the mode of transportation when they were founded. Seaports and riverports handled the commerce of the area. Merchants sold the goods that came by boat.

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