Why Is The United States Located Where It Is Geographically, And What Natural Features Define Its Borders?
The United States is a whole big country located in North America. It is in the middle part of the continent, with Canada to the north and Mexico to the south. But have you ever wondered why the United States is in this spot? Well, one reason is because it has some pretty cool natural features that help define its borders. For example, there are big oceans on the east and west sides of the country. And on the north, there are even more big lakes and rivers. These natural features have played a big role in shaping the United States and making it the special place it is today.
The Geographic Location of the United States
The United States is located on the North American continent. The continent itself is situated in the Western Hemisphere of the Earth, bordered by the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Atlantic Ocean to the east.
North American Continent
The North American continent is one of the seven continents on Earth. It is the third largest continent and is comprised of three major countries: Canada, the United States, and Mexico. The United States is located in the central part of the continent.
Latitude and Longitude
Latitude and longitude are the geographical coordinates used to determine the exact location of a place on Earth. The United States spans a wide range of latitudes and longitudes, from approximately 24 degrees N to 49 degrees N latitude and 67 degrees W to 125 degrees W longitude.
In terms of global position, the United States is located in the Northern Hemisphere, above the Equator. It is situated to the west of Europe and Africa, and to the east of Asia. Being such a large country, the United States also has territories and islands scattered throughout the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea.
Surrounding Bodies of Water
The United States is surrounded by several bodies of water that play a significant role in defining its borders. To the east, the Atlantic Ocean borders the country, providing a vast coastline that stretches from Maine in the north to Florida in the south.
To the west, the United States is bordered by the Pacific Ocean. The Pacific coastline of the country is known for its stunning beaches and rugged cliffs, spanning from the state of Washington in the north all the way down to California in the south.
In the south, the Gulf of Mexico serves as a natural border between the United States and Mexico. This body of water is known for its warm waters, abundant marine life, and beautiful coastal areas, including the state of Florida.
The Natural Features That Define the Borders
The Atlantic Ocean is one of the world’s major oceans and serves as the eastern border of the United States. It is a vast body of saltwater known for its strong currents, diverse marine life, and crucial role in global trade and transportation.
The Pacific Ocean is the largest of the world’s oceans and forms the western border of the United States. Its name comes from the Latin word “pacificus,” meaning peaceful, as it was initially seen as a calm and tranquil ocean. The Pacific Ocean is known for its breathtaking sunsets, majestic marine creatures, and important role in international commerce.
Gulf of Mexico
The Gulf of Mexico is an arm of the Atlantic Ocean that lies to the south of the United States. It is bordered by several states, including Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas. The Gulf of Mexico is famous for its warm waters, sandy beaches, and vibrant marine ecosystems.
The northern border of the United States is shared with Canada. This vast border stretches for approximately 5,525 miles (8,891 kilometers) and is the longest international border in the world. It is defined by geographic features such as the Great Lakes, rivers, and mountain ranges.
To the south, the United States shares a border with Mexico. This border spans approximately 1,933 miles (3,145 kilometers) and is a critical area for trade and cultural exchange between the two neighboring countries. The border terrain varies from deserts to mountains.
The westernmost part of the United States is defined by the border with Alaska, which is the largest state in the country. Alaska shares a coastal border with the Pacific Ocean and a land border with Canada. This rugged and sparsely populated region is known for its stunning landscapes and unique wildlife.
The Hawaiian Islands are a group of volcanic islands located in the central Pacific Ocean. While geographically distant from the mainland, Hawaii is an integral part of the United States. The islands are recognized for their stunning beaches, lush tropical forests, and vibrant cultural heritage.
The Great Lakes are a group of five interconnected freshwater lakes located in the northeastern part of North America. These lakes, which include Lake Superior, Lake Michigan, Lake Huron, Lake Erie, and Lake Ontario, form a natural border between the United States and Canada. They are famous for their size, beauty, and recreational opportunities.
The Mississippi River is one of the longest and most iconic rivers in the United States. It flows through the country from its source in Minnesota down to the Gulf of Mexico. The river serves as a natural boundary for several states and has played a significant role in the country’s history and economy.
The Rocky Mountains, also known as the Rockies, are a vast mountain range that stretches from the northernmost part of British Columbia in Canada down to New Mexico in the southwestern United States. This majestic mountain range plays a crucial role in defining the western border of the United States, offering breathtaking landscapes, diverse wildlife, and recreational opportunities.
In conclusion, the United States is geographically located on the North American continent, has borders defined by several natural features, and is surrounded by the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, the Gulf of Mexico, and Canada and Mexico. Each of these natural features has unique characteristics that contribute to the beauty and diversity of the country.