The state boundaries of the United States of America are all wrong. They don't reflect the natural, logical, physical or cultural boundaries, or the way that people spend their lives.
For example, I used to live in northern New Jersey about 35 miles from New York City. The city and its suburbs span parts of New York, Connecticut and New Jersey and form a much stronger natural geographical entity than the arbitrary state boundaries based on ancient land grants and colonial history. I sailed on the Jersey shore, the south and north shores of Long Island (NY), and was a member of a frostbiting fleet in Connecticut. New Jersey was a meaningless abstraction to me.
Now I live in Rhode Island. The state boundaries are so weird round here that the most natural route for me to our state's capital is through another state. I sail mainly on Narragansett Bay (RI), and on Buzzards Bay and Cape Cod both of which are in Massachusetts. The center of this region socially, culturally and sportsteamally is undoubtedly Boston (MA). Rhode Island and eastern Massachusetts are a logical unit. But because of some disagreement about religion over 300 years ago there is a nonsensical state line a couple of miles north of my house. (Though it is kind of cool to be able to go for a run and say I ran all the way to the next state.)
So I was pleased to discover at Strange Maps that back in the 1970s, geography professor C. Etzel Pearcy proposed redrawing the borders of the US states, reducing them from 50 to 38. Each new state’s name was chosen to represent a physical of cultural aspect of each new territory. This realignment was supposed to be more organic and more logical than the current 50 state mish-mash.
For this week's Map on Monday, I give you the 38 States of the USA...
So what do you think? Does this map make more sense?
The other good things about this map... only 76 senators, only 38 governors (but 2 from Alaska god help us), and a shorter presidential primary season.