The West

By: Linura Aliyeva

Location

Bordering states

The states of Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, and North Dakota. Mexico also borders the western part of the U.S.

Physical Characteristics

Mountains

The west is the biggest region in the United States. It includes the Rocky Mountains, Sierra Nevada Mountain Range, and the Cascade Range. The Rocky Mountains collect a lot of the moisture coming from the Ocean. The Sierra Nevada lies in the south and north of that is the Cascade Range. Mount Whitney, at 14,505 feet, the tallest peak in the contiguous 48 states, is in the Sierra Nevada. The Cascades are volcanic. Mount Saint Helens, a volcano in the Cascades, erupted explosively in 1980.

Rivers

The West has several long rivers that empty into the Pacific Ocean. The Mississippi River forms the eastern boundary for the West. The Missouri River flows from the Rocky Mountains eastward across the Great Plains and it empties into the Mississippi. The Colorado River coils through the Mountain states, forming the Grand Canyon. The Columbia River is the largest river in volume flowing into the Pacific Ocean from North America.

HIstory

The Gold Rush

The California Gold Rush began on January 24, 1858. When James W. Marshall found a gold nugget in the American River, news spread fast and soon immigrants from other states and countries came rushing toward California. The gold miners were known as the "49ers." Due to the immigration of the 49ers, the population of California increased rapidly.

Economics

Agriculture/Irrigation

Agriculture varies depending on rainfall, irrigation, soil, elevation, and temperature extremes. The abundance or scarcity of water is the major factor shaping the West's natural vegetation. Most of the west has a semiarid or arid climate. San Diego, California, averages 9 inches of rain per year. In dry areas, natural vegetation consists of short grasses, hardy shrubs, sagebrush, and cactus. Some areas of the west generally receive a decent amount of rainfall and contain deciduous and coniferous forests.

Natural Resources

Beneath the Rocky mountain and the Sierra Nevada is a storehouse of minerals such as gold, silver, uranium, and other minerals. Western lands also contain valuable deposits if natural gas and oil. The natural resources of the west support forestry and commercial farming. Nearly half of the nation's lumber is harvested from eh forests of the Pacific Northwest. The billions of tons of fish caught in the water of Alaska, Hawaii, and other Pacific Coast states bring in billion of dollars annually from throughout the world.

People/Culture

Hollywood

In the late 1800'a Hollywood was a successful agricultural community. By 1900, Hollywood had a population of 500, a post office, a newspaper, a hotel and two markets. By 1902, the first portion of the famous Hollywood Hotel was built. By 1902, the first portion of the famous Hollywood Hotel was built. in the early 1900's moviemakers began to arrive in Los Angeles to make their films because they wanted to escape Thomas Edison's strict rules.

Politics

Major urban centers on the Pacific Coast lean toward the Democratic Party. San Francisco's two main political parties are the Green Party and the Democrats. Interior areas, especially in the Rocky Mountains, lean toward the Republican Party.

Tourism

California

Facts on California

Abbreviation- Calif.

Capital- Sacramento

Largest city- Los Angeles

Area- 163,696 miles squared

Population- 38.8 million people

Symbols of California

State nickname- The Golden State

State motto- Eureka! I have found it!

State song- I Love You, California

State bird- California quail

State flower- California poppy

State tree- Coast redwood and Sequoia

California's Flag

Designed by William Todd, the historic bear flag was raised at Sonoma, California in 1846 by American settlers in revolt against Mexican rule. The flag was officially adopted as the state flag of California in 1911. The grizzly bear portrays strength, the star represents sovereignty, the red color signifies courage, and the white background stands for purity.

Hawaii

Facts on Hawaii

Abbreviation- Hawaii

Capital- Honolulu

Largest city- Honolulu

Area- 4,028 miles squared

Population- 1.42 million

Symbols of Hawaii

State nickname- The Aloha State

State motto- Ua Mau ke Ea o ka Aina i ka Pono (the life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness)

State song- Hawai'i Pono'i

State bird- Nene

State flower- Yellow hibiscus

State tree- Candlenut

Hawaii's Flag

The flag of Hawaii resembles the Union Jack of Great Britain because many of King Kamehameha's advisers were British and the islands were once placed under England's protection. The field of the flag is composed of eight horizontal stripes symbolizing the eight inhabited islands (Hawaii, Oahu, Kauai, Kahoolawe, Lānai, Maui, Molokai and Niihau). Flag of Hawaii is a mix of the British flag and the American flag to display the roles played by Great Britain and United States in the history of Hawaii.