Originally Posted by Pocket-full-of-gold
No bloody wonder nobody can place them all. Way too many states to begin with.
That is our history's fault. We didn't just show up and acquire all this land. The east coast states are all weird looking because the US only went as far west as the Appalachian mountains at first. As we spread west the boundaries were along rivers and mountain ranges and stuff. Once the country was past the Mississippi river, they started to become subdivided as squares.
California isn't square because it was a disconnected state. It precedes the square state era. There was gold there so we had to have it. We acquired it from Mexico.
Texas isn't square because it was part of Mexico and broke off. It was its own independent territory for a while. I don't remember exactly Texas's whole story.
I have no idea why Idaho looks like it does.
This map might make it easier to understand: