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Old 07-12-2010, 09:30 AM
 
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One issue that is brought up is weather or not the Great Plains is more of a Midwestern or Western region? (personally I see it as both, though the southern parts of the plains are Southern and Western)
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Old 07-12-2010, 10:25 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Ghengis View Post
Driving west across North and South Dakota it's plain to see the West begins at the Missouri River. In front of you...west looking terrain, behind you...non-west looking terrain.
Agreed, also. You start to see mountains in western South Dakota, and the feel is more western than the eastern part of the state. Rapid City feels western, Sioux Falls feels midwestern.

Some might say the Continental Divide is a good border, but there are plenty of places east of the divide that feel western.
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Old 07-12-2010, 11:44 AM
 
Location: Terramaria
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The eastern boundary of "the west" has moved westward between the Louisiana Purchase in 1803 until around the 1920s when the frontier was just a memory. At one time, anything west of the Appalachain mountains was considered "The West", providing the "sea to sea" idelogology at the time. Of course, the western boundary of the US from 1783 to 1803 was the Mississippi River, so it made sense back then. Even western PA was included as well as present day WV. But after the Louisiana Purchase, vagnuess started to appear, so the term "Middle West" began to emerge to distinguish from areas west of the Mississippi; while the western part of the current South was considered "The Southwest". Still, up until the time of the Civil War, the states between the Appalachians and Mississippi river were frequently desrived as western states according to some old books from that era. By the time of the Civil War, most people considered the West to begin at the Mississippi river. By the end of the century, it shifted to the eastern boundary of the Frontier Strip, and around the 1920s reverted to its present definition.

The buffer zone is highly evident however; South Dakota's badlands and low mountains definately feel quite western in feel; another marker is when pivot irrigation replaces general irrigation in farming which is clearly visible on a clear day from the air at cruising altitude.

Last edited by Borntoolate85; 07-12-2010 at 11:52 AM..
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Old 07-12-2010, 12:47 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
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I'm definitely in the minority here, but I would not consider ANY of the great plains the west. to me, the central united states begins at the rocky mountain front.
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Old 07-12-2010, 01:48 PM
 
Location: 602/520
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MimzyMusic View Post
I'm definitely in the minority here, but I would not consider ANY of the great plains the west. to me, the central united states begins at the rocky mountain front.

So Since Denver aand Cheyenne are technically east off the Rockies, they are not part of the West?
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Old 07-12-2010, 02:30 PM
 
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Originally Posted by miamiman View Post
So Since Denver aand Cheyenne are technically east off the Rockies, they are not part of the West?
Yeah I agree with you. Cheyenne is most definitely part of the West even though it's east of the Rockies.

When I drive on I-40 headed west, to me the border is Oklahoma City. Headed into Oklahoma City from the east, it still feels like I'm in the South. But once I get through OKC, it's almost immediately the West. By the time I get to Amarillo I am most definitely in the West.

Dodge City, that quintessential Western town, is in Kansas.
The Ponderosa Dude Ranch and Buffalo Bill Cody's ranch are in Nebraska.

It seems the West extends quite a bit farther east than many people realize.
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Old 07-12-2010, 05:49 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JMT View Post
Yeah I agree with you. Cheyenne is most definitely part of the West even though it's east of the Rockies.

When I drive on I-40 headed west, to me the border is Oklahoma City. Headed into Oklahoma City from the east, it still feels like I'm in the South. But once I get through OKC, it's almost immediately the West. By the time I get to Amarillo I am most definitely in the West.

Dodge City, that quintessential Western town, is in Kansas.
The Ponderosa Dude Ranch and Buffalo Bill Cody's ranch are in Nebraska.

It seems the West extends quite a bit farther east than many people realize.
The Great Plains is a broad transiton zone here. You can see some Western elements as far East as I-35 from Texas to Iowa, it doesn't become dominant until near 100 degrees West in longitude.
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Old 07-12-2010, 05:56 PM
 
Location: New England & The Maritimes
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The West begins in Worcester.
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Old 07-12-2010, 06:06 PM
 
Location: roaming gnome
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st. louis
gateway to the west and your wildest dreams
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Old 07-12-2010, 06:49 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imperialmog View Post
The Great Plains is a broad transiton zone here. You can see some Western elements as far East as I-35 from Texas to Iowa, it doesn't become dominant until near 100 degrees West in longitude.
It all depends if you want to follow the state boundaries as demarcation lines.

If taken as a whole, then Nebraska would be a Midwestern state. But in truth, if you ignored boundaries, then it would be divided into a Midwestern part and a Western (Great Plain) part, about halfway through the state ( maybe around North Platte).

Another way of demarcating the change from Midwestern to Western would be to follow the change in the type of crop grown in the area. If the crop is corn, then you're probably in the eastern portion of Nebraska; if the crop is wheat ( or if you're a rancher), then you're in western Nebraska. The grass is shorter, and the climate is too dry to support a crop like corn, which needs a certain level of moisture.

Also, the population centers of Nebraska are in eastern NE, with Omaha and Lincoln dominating the landscape, perhaps affecting the minds of demographers when they decided that Nebraska would be classified as a Midwestern state.
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