Northern United States
The states shown in red are included in the general term Northern United States.
|o Total||625,897.06 sq mi (1,621,065.9 km2)|
|o Land||540,298.08 sq mi (1,399,365.6 km2)|
|o Density||180/sq mi (69/km2)|
Geographically, the term includes the U.S. states and regions of the United States of America that are located across the northernmost part of the country. It includes, but is not limited to, states along the Canada-United States border.
The United States Census Bureau divides some of the northernmost United States into the Midwest Region and the Northeast Region. The Census Bureau also includes the northernmost states of the Northwest, that are within the West Region.
Before 1865, the North was distinguished from the South on the issue of slavery. In Southern states, slavery was legal until the ratification of the Emancipation Proclamation in 1865. Northern states had all passed some form of legislation to abolish slavery by 1804. However, abolition did not mean freedom for some existing slaves. Due to gradual abolition laws, slaves would still appear in some Northern states as far as the 1840 United States Census. Slavery would ultimately lead to the main cause of the American Civil War.
During the American Civil War, the Northern United States was composed of the U.S. states that supported the United States of America, the Union states. In this context, "The North" is synonymous with the Union. In this context, "The South" is composed of the states that attempted secession from the U.S. to form the Confederate States of America. However, which states comprised "The North" in this context can be the subject of historical disagreement. Five slave-holding states, called the Border states, that remained with the Union - Missouri, Kentucky, West Virginia, Maryland and Delaware (along with the disputed Indian Territory) - may be excluded.