Historic regions of the United States

The territory of the United States and its overseas possessions has evolved over time, from the colonial era to the present day. It includes formally organized territories, proposed and failed states, unrecognized breakaway states, international and interstate purchases, cessions, and land grants, and historical military departments and administrative districts. The last section lists informal regions from American vernacular geography known by popular nicknames and linked by geographical, cultural, or economic similarities, some of which are still in use today.

Map showing North American territorial boundaries leading up to the American Revolution and the founding of the United States: British claims are indicated in red and pink, while Spanish claims are in orange and yellow.

For a more complete list of regions and subdivisions of the United States used in modern times, see List of regions of the United States.

Map showing mid 17th century claims and land grant boundaries. Some colonies seen here are: Nova Scotia (NSc), Territory of Sagadahock (TS), First Province of Maine (Me), New Hampshire (NH), Plymouth (PC), Massachusetts Bay (MBC), New Netherland (NN), New Sweden (NSw), and Lord Baltimore's Land (Md; Maryland)
New World settlements of The Netherlands, collectively called New Netherland