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Old 06-14-2012, 06:39 AM
 
Location: Lehigh Valley, PA
2,311 posts, read 3,462,249 times
Reputation: 5304

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I've heard this about Pittsburgh as well and I think it is one of the most laughable and absurd things one could say.

Why not just move the line a little farther east and just call New Jersey part of the midwest.

This isn't aimed at you but if you look at a map of the U.S. even the western border of Ohio can be considered the eastern part of the United States.

I've also heard people call Idaho the beginning of the midwest when traveling east.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
I am from Pittsburgh. Some people say that Pittsburgh is the beginning of the midwest. I have long heard that Denver is the western terminus of the MW. So I have lived in both the eastern and western ends of the midwest, as well as Illinois, which, like Mississippi in the south, no one would say was not the midwest. There are some similarities in the two cities, Pittsburgh and Denver.
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Old 06-14-2012, 07:21 AM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
84,958 posts, read 98,776,620 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CAVA1990 View Post
I think CO used to have a more Midwestern flavor, and still does in the North Eastern and Central Eastern parts, although even there it's more like the Great Plains states of the Dakotas, Kansas and Nebraska than the bible thumper Midwestern states like Indiana, Missouri, and Arkansas. I like to think it's because the more progressive elements moved West leaving behind the more narrow minded. In recent years the large influx of Easterners, Californians, and Texans has made it much less so.
Arkansas is not the midwest! Maybe we need a category called "southern midwest" that would encompass KY, TN, Ark, etc, but until then, Arkansas is the south. When I was a kid (in Pittsburgh, remember) we thought MO was the south, too. It's been hard for me to accept it as the midwest.

Quote:
Originally Posted by julian17033 View Post
I've heard this about Pittsburgh as well and I think it is one of the most laughable and absurd things one could say.

Why not just move the line a little farther east and just call New Jersey part of the midwest.

This isn't aimed at you but if you look at a map of the U.S. even the western border of Ohio can be considered the eastern part of the United States.

I've also heard people call Idaho the beginning of the midwest when traveling east.
And I've heard Idaho called the Pacific coast, too!

FWIW, I am one who argues for Pittsburgh being its own area, not the midwest, over on the Pgh forum. It may seem midwestern to an east coaster, but it's not really midwestern.
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Old 06-14-2012, 07:42 AM
 
Location: Na'alehu Hawaii/Buena Vista Colorado
4,621 posts, read 9,107,160 times
Reputation: 4497
I haven't seen anyone define what they mean by "Midwest". Are we talking geographically or culturally?

Geographically, Midwest is defined as "north central United States". That's not Colorado. The US Census defines the midwest states as Illinois, Ohio, Iowa, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.

Culturally, Denver is a real melting pot. I think that there has been more in-migration from the east and west coast than many other Midwest cities, giving Denver a more cosmopolitan feel. But we have a lot more growing up to do to outgrow our cow town roots.
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Old 06-14-2012, 08:03 AM
 
Location: Fort Collins, CO
166 posts, read 357,760 times
Reputation: 288
Being from Michigan, I always considered the Midwest to be the great lakes region and a few bordering states (OH, IN, IL, IA, MN.) Everything else is 'back east', 'down south', 'great plains' and 'out west', lol. CO is always 'out west' on my map
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Old 06-14-2012, 10:32 AM
 
Location: Littleton, CO
3,108 posts, read 4,658,992 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreaming of Hawaii View Post
I haven't seen anyone define what they mean by "Midwest". Are we talking geographically or culturally?

Geographically, Midwest is defined as "north central United States". That's not Colorado. The US Census defines the midwest states as Illinois, Ohio, Iowa, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.

Culturally, Denver is a real melting pot. I think that there has been more in-migration from the east and west coast than many other Midwest cities, giving Denver a more cosmopolitan feel. But we have a lot more growing up to do to outgrow our cow town roots.
Geography lesson #2: Definitions and perceptions of regions change over time.

The term "Midwest" is not geographical; it is relative to location and time. It depends on the person's point of view. Since Midwest means "middle west," it has to be in the middle of something. It is like the term Middle East. It comes from the British perspective. Asia Minor is the "Near East," southwest Asia is the "Middle East," and China and Japan is the "Far East." These distinctions make no sense to others (Why would someone in India consider Israel to be the Middle East?).

The term "Midwest" comes from an Easterner's point of view. The Census Bureau has its definition of the Midwest, but so does Little League Baseball (see map),
the Laborers International Union of America (see map), and regionally-based businesses (see example).

During the early history of the US (which was confined to the East Coast), the area west of the Appalachian Mountains was simply known as the west. As the country grew westward, the west was redefined and the area became the Midwest.

I might remind everyone that the Gateway Arch in St. Louis is a monument to the fact that St. Louis was once the gateway to the west, which means that at one time everything west of the Mississippi River was once the "West."

I should also remind everyone that the Mason-Dixon Line once marked the boundary between the North and the South. That line is the Pennsylvania-Maryland border. No one would consider Maryland and Delaware to be the south, but they were states where slavery was legal at the beginning of the Civil War (as was Missouri).

I don't see Colorado changing regions so much as it is the place where several different regions converge, thus the problem with defining it.

Last edited by davidv; 06-14-2012 at 10:44 AM..
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Old 06-14-2012, 11:20 AM
 
Location: Western Colorado
10,519 posts, read 11,623,635 times
Reputation: 24168
I never thought Colorado was midwest. Now the front range may as well be in Kansas, nothing there much to look at. The western slope is "the west".
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Old 06-14-2012, 02:15 PM
 
Location: Southeastern Colorado
319 posts, read 619,917 times
Reputation: 439
davidv, I hope your students appreciate your knowledge and your passion for geography!
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Old 06-14-2012, 05:56 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
84,958 posts, read 98,776,620 times
Reputation: 31371
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidv View Post
Geography lesson #2: Definitions and perceptions of regions change over time.

The term "Midwest" is not geographical; it is relative to location and time. It depends on the person's point of view. Since Midwest means "middle west," it has to be in the middle of something. It is like the term Middle East. It comes from the British perspective. Asia Minor is the "Near East," southwest Asia is the "Middle East," and China and Japan is the "Far East." These distinctions make no sense to others (Why would someone in India consider Israel to be the Middle East?).

The term "Midwest" comes from an Easterner's point of view. The Census Bureau has its definition of the Midwest, but so does Little League Baseball (see map),
the Laborers International Union of America (see map), and regionally-based businesses (see example).

During the early history of the US (which was confined to the East Coast), the area west of the Appalachian Mountains was simply known as the west. As the country grew westward, the west was redefined and the area became the Midwest.

I might remind everyone that the Gateway Arch in St. Louis is a monument to the fact that St. Louis was once the gateway to the west, which means that at one time everything west of the Mississippi River was once the "West."

I should also remind everyone that the Mason-Dixon Line once marked the boundary between the North and the South. That line is the Pennsylvania-Maryland border. No one would consider Maryland and Delaware to be the south, but they were states where slavery was legal at the beginning of the Civil War (as was Missouri).

I don't see Colorado changing regions so much as it is the place where several different regions converge, thus the problem with defining it.
Actually, Pittsburgh was once considered the "Gateway to the West". You will find the word "gateway" used frequently there. The Allegheny and the Monongahela rivers join to form the Ohio, which was once the road west.
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Old 06-14-2012, 06:01 PM
 
Location: The heart of Cascadia
1,328 posts, read 2,538,159 times
Reputation: 812
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreaming of Hawaii View Post

Geographically, Midwest is defined as "north central United States". That's not Colorado.
Really. If you look at a map, Denver looks pretty damn central to me. And while it's exactly halfway between Canada and Mexico, it has more of what I'd call a 'northern' climate for sure.

Denver is closer to the geographic center of the lower 48 than Chicago is.
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Old 06-14-2012, 06:04 PM
 
Location: The heart of Cascadia
1,328 posts, read 2,538,159 times
Reputation: 812
Quote:
Originally Posted by julian17033 View Post
Having grown up since age 12 in Sterling which is in far northeastern Colorado most from that area consider this part of the state a no man's land encompassing this area along with southwestern Nebraska and northwestern Kansas.
It defies description .
The high plains is a very interesting place devoid of trees and natural water sources like lakes.

The midwest does not look anything like this area whatsoever.

I moved to Sterling from the St. Louis Mo area so I have a good reference point.
True, it's very much different from most of the Midwest. I would say even Kansas City and Lincoln look and feel more like Ohio than they do like the western parts of the westernmost Midwestern states. Now with that said, I would still consider the Great Plains, except for the part in Wyoming, Midwestern, because after all, no region is monolithic. West Texas is still the South even though it has an arid landscape atypical of the region.
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