A “territory” is a land area that has not yet been divided into states. In 1783 the United States received a huge territory from Great Britain as part of the peace treaty ending the revolutionary war. This new region stretched from the Appalachian Mountains to the Mississippi River, and from Canada to Spanish Florida. No additional land was acquired by the American government during the next 20 years. Then, from 1803 to 1853, seven more territories were added to the country. These acquisitions fulfilled the “manifest destiny” of the United States – that is, the belief that the nation should expand to the Pacific coast.