Washington Facts and History

Abbreviated as WA on abbreviationfinder.org, Washington is one of the 48 states of the North American Confederation; it is located in the extreme northwestern corner of the Confederation itself and is bathed in the west by the Pacific Ocean. Washington is bordered to the north by British Columbia (Canada) along the 49th parallel; to the east, the 117th meridian and the Snake River divide its territory from that of Idaho; to the south, Washington’s border with Oregon is marked by the 46th parallel and largely by the course of the Columbia River.

The astronomical limits of Washington are as follows: from 45 ° 32 ‘to 49 ° lat. north, and from 116 ° 57 ′ to 124 ° 48 ′ long. West; its surface is 179,032 sq km. The state presents in its physical structure a varied and tormented landscape, dominated by two powerful individualities: the Cascade Range, which forms its backbone, and the Columbia River, which crosses it from the north-east to the south corner. -west: from the Rocky Mountains that is to the Pacific. More particularly we can distinguish the following natural regions: the coastal zone; internal depression; the Cascade Range; the great Columbia plateau; the Rocky Mountains.

From the Columbia estuary to Cape Flattery, the coast is interrupted to the south by two bays (Willapa Harbor, Grays Harbor) fringed by coastlines, where oyster farming is practiced; to the north it is uniform and poor in landings. Beyond Cape Flattery, turning decidedly to the east, you enter through the Juan de Fuca canal, in that marvelous and complex fjord that constitutes the Puget Sound, a tectonic depression, shaped, in the northern part, by the great Columbian Quaternary glacier. Close to the coast runs the chain of the same name, dense with forests, which forms the quadrangular massif of the Olympic Mountains to the north (M. Olympus m. 2478).

To the east of this mountainous complex opens the internal depression, a deep furrow, which from Puget Sound reaches Columbia and continues into Oregon. To the east flank this depression of the waterfalls, rich in volcanic manifestations and imposing for their peaks covered with eternal snow; they culminate with Mount Rainier (4391 m).

The vast and semi-arid Columbian plateau, which extends from the mountains of the Cascades to the Rocks, was covered and leveled by large basalt flows in the tertiary era: it is therefore an immense ocean of lava, which, after its cooling, underwent the action of the glaciation and was engraved by the watercourses descending from the Rocky and Cascades chain. Among these the most imposing is the Columbia, rich in rapids and with a bed deeply carved into the rock: it forcefully opens a passage in the mountainous diaphragm of the Falls, and turns to the ocean with a long, wide and deep estuary. The Rocky Mountains, separated from the Cascade Range by the Okanogan Valley, a right tributary of Columbia, occupy only the northeastern edge of the state.

The climate of the state of Washington has two fundamental aspects: to the west of the Cascade Range it is mainly cool oceanic; semi-arid continental east. The coastal region is strongly affected by the mitigating influence of the warm current of the Kuro Shio, the winters are therefore mild with an average January temperature above 2 °, 3 and the summers are cool; the rains, very abundant, especially on the western slopes of the Olympic mountains, where they exceed 2500 mm., are distributed in all seasons, even though they present minimum summer and maximum autumn and winter.

Olympia (lat. 47 °) offers us an average annual temperature of 10 °, 3; the January average is 3 °, 7; that of July of 17 °, 2; the average annual rainfall is 1384 mm. (max. December 249 mm; min. July 17 mm.). Continuing eastward, beyond the coastal range, and even further beyond that of the Cascades, the oceanic characters rapidly diminish, until in the Columbian plateau we are faced with a semi-arid continental climate: winters are harsh, summers hot and rainfall, especially in the most depressed areas, becomes very scarce, ie below the annual average of 500 mm. Walla Walla (lat. 46 ° 2 ‘; alt. 302 m) has an average annual rainfall of around 450 mm; in summer the drought is accentuated (only 40 mm. of rain in the three months); in the central region of the basin, rainfall drops by 400 mm. to 250 mm. nodded.

The forest reserves of Washington are still large, which together with Oregon and California constitutes the group of states richest in timber in the Union: numerous national forests.

Agriculture, in which small ownership prevails, organized in cooperative systems, is closely linked in the large plateau to hydrography, since a soil that is inherently fertile corresponds, as we have observed, to a climate that is too stingy in humidity: they have therefore arisen by irrigation of the flourishing oases: the most important is that of Yakima with an area of ​​150,000 hectares; those of Spokane, Walla Walla, Pendleton and Ellensburg follow.

For some time the cultivation of wheat practiced by means of dry – farming has spread in Washington ; however, it has suffered a crisis in the face of competition from other states, where this crop is cheaper. On the other hand, fruit plants, particularly pome fruits, legumes, and then potatoes, are of great importance, especially for export. The extension of the prairies and the cultivation of oats favor farming: the state has 151,000 horses, 382,000 cows, 646,000 cattle, 720,000 sheep, 242,000 pigs.

The mineral resources consist of coal deposits (Bellingham region), gold, silver, copper, zinc, as well as various qualities of marble and granite.

The industries are mainly linked to the forestry and agricultural-pastoral character of the state: therefore those relating to timber stand out, for which Washington supplies the other states of the Union with timber – both for construction, particularly for the beams, and for furniture – and wood pulp. wood: Puget Sound is the center of this thriving economic activity; Seattle and Bremerton have major shipyards. The production of natural and condensed milk and butter is very abundant. There is also a great development in the fruit and fish preserves industry, which the state has in abundance. For heavy industry we remember Tacoma for its copper and lead smelters, and Irondale, on Puget Sound, for its steel mills.

Great is the importance of Puget Sound for trade with both Alaska and Asia and particularly with Japan: Seattle and Tacoma export timber, flour, machinery and raw cotton to the Far East.

Washington is crossed by the great Northern Pacific railway artery that touches Spokane, Seattle and Tacoma and is connected to the North with the Canadian network and to the South with Oregon, to continue in California as far as San Francisco.

Washington is divided into 39 counties. Its population, which in 1860 was just 11,594 inhabitants and in 1880 of 75,516 inhabitants, in 1900 had reached 518,103 inhabitants, to rise in 1920 to 1,356,621 inhabitants: the 1930 census gives us 1,563,396 inhabitants. with a density of 8.7 inhab. per sq. km. The Whites are 1,521,099, the Negroes 6840, the Indians 11,257 and the Asians 23,642. Whites born abroad rise to over 15% of the entire population: Canadians (34,084), Swedes (31,429), Norwegians (20,542), Germans (20,302) are more numerous, then the English.

The dominant religion is Catholic, followed by the various Protestant confessions among which the Methodist and the Lutheran prevail.

The state capital is Olympia, which has only 11,733 inhabitants, but the most important city is Seattle with a population of 3500 inhab. in 1880 it rose to 365,583 inhabitants in 50 years; followed in importance by Tacoma on the Puget Sound (106,817 inhab.) and in the interior, near the borders of Montana, Spokane, a very important railway junction. Many smaller centers come from a distance which owe their development, some to the progress of agriculture, others to their position on the ocean: among the first we remember Yakima (22,201 inhabitants), Walla Walla (15,976 inhabitants); among the latter Everet (30,567 inhab.), Bellingam (33,823 inhab.); Bremerton (pop. 10,200) on Puget Sound; Port Angeles on the Juan de Fuca Strait (10,200 inhab.); Aberdeen (21,723 inhab.) On Grays Harbor; Vancouver on Columbia (16,766 inhab.).


From Oregon (v.), With which the story had shared until then, the Washington was detached on March 2, 1853 and built into territory, then including today’s Idaho and part of Montana. In 1855 gold deposits were discovered in the eastern part of the state, and the enormous influx of population that ensued alarmed the Indians with whom a war broke out in 1856, which closed only in 1859. On February 14 of that one. year Oregon was admitted to the Union as a state with current borders, and the rest of its territory, including parts of present-day Idaho and Wyoming, was added to Washington. The conflict with the British authorities that arose in 1846 for the possession of the Haro archipelago (with the large island of San Juan) seemed in 1859 to lead to a war; American troops,

New discoveries of gold caused new influxes of immigrants, and this induced Congress in 1863 to detach the territory of Idaho, reducing Washington to its present borders, with which, after several unsuccessful attempts in 1876, 1878 and 1881-1883 , Washington was finally admitted to the Union as a state on 11 November 1889.

With few exceptions the state was always republican. Violent anti-Chinese agitations took place there in 1885-1886, which could only be quelled with the intervention of federal troops.

The territory’s first name was “Columbia”, which was later changed to avoid confusion with the District of Columbia.

Washington Facts and History


According to countryaah.com, Olympia is a city of the USA (44,645 inhabitants in 2007), and capital of the state of Washington. It lies in the southernmost cove of the Puget Sound, at the mouth of the Deschutes River. Active commercial and fishing port. Food and mechanical industries. Tourism.

Founded under the name of Smithfield in 1851, it was renamed O. and became the capital in 1853.


City in Washington State. Founded in 1852 by settlers from Illinois, it developed thanks to the railroad (1884) and the gold rush in Alaska (1897). It controls a good part of the traffic with the latter and with the Far East. Home of the Boeing aeronautical industry, in recent decades it has also become one of the largest concentrations of activities related to the computer sector in the United States, thanks to the presence of Microsoft.



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