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The Pennsylvanian World
 300 Million Years Ago
If you look carefully at the beautiful illustration below, you can see the ghosted gray outline of the United States and Canada to the upper left of center in the picture. The white line acrossed the picture represents the equator, which is north of most of  the continental U.S.  Notice the rivers flowing southwest out of Canada forming deltas in  the light blue inland sea. The river emptying into Illinois is the ancient Michigan River that will be  discussed in the "Pennsylvanian Period in Illinois" section.
Illustration borrowed from the web pages of Dr. Ronald Blakey, professor of Geology, Northern 
Arizona University.

North America and Europe from the northern hemisphere smashed together along the cost of northeastern Canada and Greenland, forming the continent of Laurussia. This continent moved southward towards the equator finally colliding with the continent of Gondwana, formed from the collision of South America Africa. This created the super continent known as Pangea.

Drawing borrowed from the web pages of Dr. Ronald Blakey,  professor of Geology, Northern Arizona University

What is listed on the illustration as the Appalachian Orogeny and the Variscan Orogeny, are the Appalachian Mountains in the U.S. and the Variscan in north Africa, which were formed by this collision. The Yucatan peninsula, Florida, and part of Central America were jammed into the gulf cost, so the Gulf of Mexico did not exist.  If you look carefully above the "O" following the label Marathon Ouachita, you can see the outline of Illinois and Missouri, mostly in light blue, with the green delta of the ancient Michigan River. 
The blue represents relatively shallow coastal water, or in this case an inland sea connected to the west coast.  Notice the location of the equator which is almost completely into Canada.

The collision between Siberia and Eastern Europe (Upper right) created the Ural Mountains, and China was formed with the collision of several micro continents and Siberia.

In the bottom right corner, on the east cost of Africa are Iran, Arabia, Turkey, and further northwest is the outline of Italy and Greece.