Washington Geography


The Mount Rainier seen from Gig Harbor (the snowy peaks are the usual background in Puget Sound).

The State of Washington is located on the Pacific coast of the United States; It is bordered to the north by the Canadian province of British Columbia, to the east by Idaho, to the south by Oregon, and to the west by the Pacific Ocean. A series of canals, to the northwest, separate the Canadian island state from Vancouver. See topschoolsintheusa for GRE test centers in Washington.

Puget Sound turns the northwestern part of the state into a very rugged area. The Columbia River shapes much of the southern border. Its main cities are Olympia (the capital), Seattle, Spokane, Tacoma, Bellevue and Everett. Washington has an area of ​​184,666 km². The altitude of the territory varies from sea level to 4,392 m at the top of Mount Rainier.

Washington is divided into four distinctive geographic regions: the Coastal Ranges, the Puget Trough, the Cascade Range, and the Columbia Plateau. Washington’s climate varies greatly from west to east. In the western part of the state a temperate and humid climate predominates, and to the east of the Cascade range the climate is cooler and drier.

The main rivers are the Columbia (the longest in the western United States) and its tributaries, the Snake and the Spokane. Puget Sound is a Pacific inlet with many arms and the largest body of water in the state.

Forests cover about half the surface of the state. The most prominent tree species are the false fir, silver fir, Douglas fir, ponderosa pine and cedar, which develop together with other plant species, such as hemlock, ferns and mosses. In these forests, as well as in the mountains in general, there are bears, elk, cougars, cats and mountain goats, and mule deer. Other smaller mammals include the beaver, mink, marten, muskrat, weasel, squirrel, porcupine, chipmunk, and squirrel. The predominant birds are the raven, the western lark, the grouse, and the prairie hawk.

The lead, the zinc, the magnesium, the gold and carbon are the main minerals found in the state.


In 1846, the United States and the United Kingdom reached an agreement, which delimited the border between the United States and the British colonies in the region along the 49th parallel. The well-known Oregon Treaty of that year established that all lands south of the 49th parallel of the Oregon Country would come under the control of the United States — with the exception of Vancouver Island.

Two years later the pressure of the settlers installed in the northwest of the United States makes the government of this country establish the Oregon Territory, and implements a government in the region. This territory included all the present states of Oregon, Idaho and Washington. During the 1850s, Seattle was founded. In 1859, Oregon was elevated to the status of a state and the Oregon Territory was renamed the Washington Territory in honor of George Washington. Later, the government of the Territory of Washington would begin to pressure the indigenous natives to settle in reservations, and thus, provide land to the white settlers. After the attempted purchase of Indian lands by the President of the USA Franklin Pierce Of special importance is the response of the chief Seattle of the Duwamish tribe, where the chief of the tribe presents a particular vision of the world and a way of understanding nature. The Salishians accepted, but not the Penutians, who went to war with the white settlers in the region in 1855. The war between the American settlers and the Indians lasted until 1858, when the Penutians were defeated and forced to move to Indian reservations.

Starting in the early 1860s, the number of settlers who settled in the Washington Territory grew, thanks to the discovery of large gold mines in the region. The demographic growth of the territory led to the secession of several areas west of Washington, for the formation of the Idaho Territory. The territorial limits of Washington, since then, no longer changed. Washington’s strong population growth would continue into the 1870s and 1880s. Seattle became a great port hub. In 1883, the Northern Pacific Railway was inaugurated, which connected Washington with the east of the country. The Nov. 11 In 1889, the territory was elevated to the category of state becoming the forty-second state of the United States of America.


Main article: Flag of Washington .

The state flag and the state seal are similar. The Flag of Washington was approved in 1923, this is described in the State Constitution, it indicates that the background of the flag is dark green or silk bunting with a seal (shield) of the state in the center. In the late 1890s, an existing flag was unofficial and was characterized by a blue background and a gold profile of George Washington being used on state buildings in many cities and towns throughout the state. But it was not until the aforementioned year 1923 when the current one was approved by the Legislative Assembly [8] [9] .

Under applicable law, the United States flag and the state flag must be prominently displayed in schools, courtrooms, and state buildings.


Main article: Shield of Washington .

The seal or shield of the State of Washington features the portrait of President George Washington adapted in 1967 by graphic designer Richard Nelms from the famous portrait of the American independence leader by Gilbert Stuart. The shield is circular in shape and in the second ring is the text “Great Seal of the State of Washington 1889” (The Seal of the State of Washington 1889, the year identifies the entry of the Shield of Washington to the Union), this text was proposed by L. Grant Talcott, while another brother, GN Talcott, was commissioned to cut the printing dye.

The first version of the shield was created in 1889 by jeweler George Talcott [10] , who created the postage stamp with the photograph of Washington inside two rings drawn from an inkwell and a silver dollar.

Washington Geography