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    • 1.1: Washington – Our Land
      One thing evident as you travel through the state of Washington is the variety of landscapes and ecosystems you will encounter. In a few hours, starting from the Pacific Ocean beaches of Western Washington, you can travel east through dense evergreen forests, through high mountain passes with glaciers, to the dry hills and plateaus of Eastern Washington. This state has distinct geographic regions and geological formations that will be explored in this lesson.
    • 1.2: Washington – Our Native American Heritage
      In the long march of history, “Washington” is a recent creation. For thousands of years before white settlers came, native people lived in this part of the world without creating the boundaries that define our state today. The pattern of their lives was shaped by the natural world – by where the rivers flowed, where the berries grew, and where the best fishing spots were located.
    • 1.3: Washington – Cultural and Economic Change
      In 1900, about half a million people were counted in the census in Washington. (A census is a count of how many people live here, conducted by the U.S. government once every ten years.) In the 2010 census, nearly seven million people were counted (6,897,012 people, to be exact). That’s a lot of people – and a lot of change for our state.
    • 1.4: Washington – Our State Government
      It is important to understand state government because the decisions of state leaders and state elections impact each of us directly, daily. For example, in the Fall 2012 elections, the people of Washington state approved initiatives legalizing marijuana for recreational purposes, same sex marriage, and the establishment of charter schools. These are very important changes decided by the people of our state, for our state.
    • 1.5: Washington – Local Governments
      Washington state is divided into 39 counties, and each of these counties has a government structure. Each county has an Executive Branch led by a County Executive, a Legislative Branch called a County Council, and a County Judicial or Court system. Each county has many towns or cities, and each incorporated town or city also has a government structure.
    • 1.6: Washington’s Current Economy
      Lesson 3 chronicled the gradual transition of our state’s economy from natural resource based jobs as in lumber and mining to manufacturing and technology jobs. In this lesson, you will be visiting the Washington state government site to look at the business sectors influencing commerce and job growth in our state.

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