Washington (state)

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For the United States Capital, see Washington, D.C.
For the U.S. President see George Washington

Capital Olympia
Nickname The Evergreen State
Official Language None
Governor Christine Gregoire, D
Senator Patty Murray, D
(202) 224-2621
Senator Maria Cantwell, D
(202) 224-3441
Ratification of Constitution/or statehood November 11, 1889 (42nd)
Flag of Washington Motto: "Al-ki" (bye and bye)

Washington, often referred to as Washington State, was the forty-second state to enter into the Union, on Nov. 11, 1889. The state is named after the first president George Washington. Its capital is Olympia, and its largest city is Seattle. It is located at the extreme northwest corner of the 48 contiguous American states.



The state has a notably wide variety of terrain and boasts of three national parks. The western edge of Washington borders the Pacific Ocean and has the only temperate rain forests in the country, the Hoh, Queets, and Quinault. The Olympic Mountains rise from sea level to nearly 8,000 feet in elevation. Puget Sound, gouged by the Vashon sheet in the last ice age, brings ocean access to ports far inland. The Cascade Mountain Range bisects the state from north to south and contains several large volcanoes, both active and dormant. The eastern half of Washington is much drier, with a continental climate and much farmland irrigated by Columbia River dams and irrigation works constructed in the time of the New Deal.


Washington was the first state to allow women to vote in local elections, since 1855.

The 2004 election created controversy due to a virtual tie between candidates conservative Republican Dino Rossi and liberal Democrat Christine Gregoire. Rossi won both the original election and the first recount, but the second recount gave the election to Christine Gregoire by a mere 129 votes.[1] Controversially, on the second "recount," more votes were counted than ballots were cast in Washington state.

Since 2007, Washington has offered domestic partnerships, which are similar to same sex marriage.[1]

In 2009, Washington was the first state in the United States to affirm civil unions by a public vote (Ref. 71). In 2012, they continued this continued this trajectory by fully implementing marriage equality by a vote of the people. The same year, they fully legalized marijuana possession.

Washington state has consistently been a blue state since 1988, with the last winning Republican being Ronald Wilson Reagan.


Eastern Washington

Eastern Washington is in the libertarian conservative preparedness and liberty-minded red state part of the liberal blue state of Washington. Eastern Washington is part of the American Redoubt.

Eastern Washington is the portion of the US state of Washington east of the Cascade Range. The region contains the city of Spokane (the second largest city in the state), the Tri-Cities, the Columbia River and the Grand Coulee Dam, the Hanford Nuclear Reservation and the fertile farmlands of the Yakima River Valley and the Palouse. Unlike Western Washington, the climate of Eastern Washington is dry, including some near-desert environments.

Statehood - 51st State?

There have been sporadic movements to create a 51st state out of Eastern Washington by splitting the current state down the Cascades, but proposals have rarely progressed out of the state legislature's committees. Recent proposals were made in 1996, 1999, and 2005. Proposed names for the new state have included Lincoln, and Columbia, or simply Eastern Washington. Many of these proposals were to include the Idaho Panhandle.

Eastern Washington tends to vote Republican, whereas Western Washington usually supports the Democrats.


Compared to Western Washington, Eastern Washington has roughly twice the land area and one-third the population. According to the United States Census Bureau the population estimate as of 2004 was 1,371,802. The population growth rate between the two is roughly the same.


The most significant difference between Eastern Washington and the western half of the state is its climate. While the west half of the state is located in a rainy oceanic climate, the eastern half receives little rainfall due to the rainshadow created by the Cascade Mountains. Also, due to being farther from the sea, the east side has both hotter summers and colder winters than the west. Most communities in Eastern Washington, for example, have significant yearly snowfall, while in the west snowfall is minimal and not seen every year. The east and west do still have some climatic traits in common, though: more rainfall in winter than summer, a lack of severe storms, and milder temperature ranges than more inland locations.

There is some variation in both rainfall throughout Eastern Washington. Generally, lower elevations are both hotter and drier than higher elevations. This is easily seen in the comparison between low-elevation Richland with higher elevation Spokane.

See Also


  1. The Miami Herald Online
  2. 237 word quotation: Fair Use Source: Rawles, James Wesley. Rawles on Retreats and Relocation. 1st. Clearwater, Idaho: The Clearwater Press, 2007. p. 13. Print. see James Wesley Rawles on Fair Use
  3. http://www.survivalblog.com/retreatareas.html Recommended Retreat Areas accessed March 30, 2014

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