How The States Got Their Shapes

How The States Got Their Shapes

  • TV-PG
  • 2011
  • 2 Seasons
  • 8.1  (601)

How the States Got Their Shapes is a television show that currently plays on the History channel. The show is based on a book by Mark Stein with the same title but delivers the message in a unique style. How the States Got Their Shapes tells the story of how the separate states in the United States established their borders, thus literally getting their shape, but it also delivers interesting and less known aspects of the history of the United States of America. Some of the interesting details they bring to light are failed attempts at becoming states, proposed ideas for new states or states in the future, among other things. What makes the show interesting and different than most history shows is it also shows us how certain modern-day U.S. states became the way they are. The show is hosted by Brian Unger, who provides various historically accurate commentary. Each individual episode offers a basis for the storyline for that particular episode, such as dialects and how they formed from region to region and then state to state. Unger travels all over America and not only supplies narrative, but also interviews people in the area and interacts with them in various ways. Unger visits important historical and cultural sites in the U.S., and intertwined within his commentary and storytelling are other historians' input to help push the story forward. Originally airing as just a two-hour-long special, after receiving high critical praise, the history channel decided to bring it into show format. The first season consisted of hour-long episodes; however in the following season the show has been moved to a half-hour format instead.

How The States Got Their Shapes
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Seasons
The United Shapes of America
19. The United Shapes of America
December 22, 2012
A closer look at American values.
Big vs. Small
18. Big vs. Small
December 15, 2012
What is the impact of the size of states?
Rich vs. Poor
17. Rich vs. Poor
December 8, 2012
The impact of the quest for resources.
State vs. State
16. State vs. State
December 8, 2012
Conflict between the states.
Mess with Texas
15. Mess with Texas
November 24, 2012
Everything is bigger in Texas. It's the only state that acts like a country, but has it grown too big for its britches? We'll mess with Texas to settle this ten-gallon rivalry.
Rebels & Outlaws
14. Rebels & Outlaws
November 17, 2012
A closer look at misconduct within states.
East vs. West
13. East vs. West
November 10, 2012
A closer look at the differences between the East Coast and West Coast.
City vs. Country
12. City vs. Country
November 3, 2012
A closer look at city living vs. country living.
Is West Best?
11. Is West Best?
November 3, 2012
Americans have been racing to tame the West since they first set foot on the continent, but now that the West has been won, what's next? Is the West still the best.
Is West Best
11. Is West Best
November 3, 2012
Exploring the American West.
Midwest vs. the Rest
10. Midwest vs. the Rest
October 27, 2012
A closer look at the Midwest.
Vice vs. Virtue
9. Vice vs. Virtue
October 27, 2012
A closer look at vices within each state.
Battle of the Bible Belt
8. Battle of the Bible Belt
October 20, 2012
A closer look at how the influence of religion shaped the U.S.
Great Lakes, Big Stakes
7. Great Lakes, Big Stakes
October 20, 2012
A closer look at the value of property in the Great Lakes region.
Bigfoot vs. Aliens
6. Bigfoot vs. Aliens
October 13, 2012
How geographic location stirs up fear of unexplained phenomena.
North vs. South
5. North vs. South
October 13, 2012
A closer look at cultural differences that exist between the northern and southern U.S. states.
Hatfields vs. McCoys
4. Hatfields vs. McCoys
October 6, 2012
The influence of the Hatfield-McCoy family feud of the 1880s on West Virginia and Kentucky.
Hillbilly vs. Redneck
3. Hillbilly vs. Redneck
October 6, 2012
A closer look at the influence of rural communities on American culture.
White Collar vs. Blue Collar
2. White Collar vs. Blue Collar
September 29, 2012
It's a rivalry that tears us apart every four years, but how did our nation divide into red states vs. blue states, and what happens to the states caught in the middle?
Red State vs. Blue State
1. Red State vs. Blue State
September 29, 2012
It's a rivalry that tears us apart every four years, but how did our nation divide into red states vs. blue states, and what happens to the states caught in the middle?
How The States Got Their Shapes
How The States Got Their Shapes

Slideshow - 21 sec

Description

How the States Got Their Shapes is a television show that currently plays on the History channel. The show is based on a book by Mark Stein with the same title but delivers the message in a unique style. How the States Got Their Shapes tells the story of how the separate states in the United States established their borders, thus literally getting their shape, but it also delivers interesting and less known aspects of the history of the United States of America. Some of the interesting details they bring to light are failed attempts at becoming states, proposed ideas for new states or states in the future, among other things. What makes the show interesting and different than most history shows is it also shows us how certain modern-day U.S. states became the way they are.

The show is hosted by Brian Unger, who provides various historically accurate commentary. Each individual episode offers a basis for the storyline for that particular episode, such as dialects and how they formed from region to region and then state to state. Unger travels all over America and not only supplies narrative, but also interviews people in the area and interacts with them in various ways. Unger visits important historical and cultural sites in the U.S., and intertwined within his commentary and storytelling are other historians' input to help push the story forward.

Originally airing as just a two-hour-long special, after receiving high critical praise, the history channel decided to bring it into show format. The first season consisted of hour-long episodes; however in the following season the show has been moved to a half-hour format instead.How The States Got Their Shapes is a series that is currently running and has 2 seasons (31 episodes). The series first aired on May 3, 2011.

Where to Watch How The States Got Their Shapes

How The States Got Their Shapes is available for streaming on the History website, both individual episodes and full seasons. You can also watch How The States Got Their Shapes on demand at Amazon Prime, Amazon, Vudu, History Vault, Microsoft Movies & TV, The Roku Channel, Hoopla and Apple TV.

  • Premiere Date
    May 3, 2011
  • IMDB Rating
    8.1  (601)