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View Poll Results: Are the Great Plains part of the Midwest?
Yes, the Plains are Midwestern 20 32.79%
No, they are a distinct region 30 49.18%
No, they are part of the West 6 9.84%
Other 5 8.20%
Voters: 61. You may not vote on this poll

 
 
Old 10-07-2010, 03:34 PM
 
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I agree with the map, although i tend to think of DE, MD, and parts of VA as Mid atlantic and NY is kind of borderline between mid-atlantic and new england. But I haven't spent much time in the midwest outside Chicago and a couple of days in Indianapolis so I can't really say.
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Old 10-07-2010, 03:52 PM
 
9,174 posts, read 13,669,824 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kazoopilot View Post
What do you think about Iowa and Minnesota? They're sort of in-between the Great Lakes and Great Plains states. How would you classify them? Personally, I think Iowa and Minnesota are split between the Great Lakes/Eastern Midwest and Great Plains.

In my opinion, if you're going to split the Midwest, you should probably include western PA and upstate New York in the "Great Lakes" region, as they really aren't all that different from Ohio or Michigan.
Having grown up in Iowa, I would say that the eastern 3/5 of Iowa are solidly "Great Lakes" in mentality and culture. They might not physically have the lakes, but it's more collections of cities, it's greener, it's democratic, and there's a huge connection to Wisconsin/Minnesota and Chicago. That's over 3/4 of the state population as well. It's only around 100 miles from far eastern Iowa to the suburbs of Chicago.

The other 2/5 of the state out west is more flat and unpopulated, and while it's not the Great Plains, the mentality starts to shift.

I would say Minnesota is a Great Lakes state except for maybe the extreme western areas. Certainly the population centers are great lakes.
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Old 10-08-2010, 04:54 PM
 
Location: Southern Minnesota
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There's nothing Great Lakes about Southern or Western Minnesota. It is all prairie and farmland (except for the Minnesota River valley). It may not technically be part of the Great Plains, but it is very similar -- sparse population, tiny towns, wide-open feel, big sky. In Southern Minnesota, I'd say I-35 is the big dividing line. East of I-35 is much more like the Great Lakes -- more trees, more hills, bigger towns, denser population. West of I-35 is more like the Plains -- sparse population, fewer trees, more grassland, totally flat (except the river valley and ridges in SW Minnesota), wider temperature swings (hot AND cold).

I'm from Michigan originally and while I didn't notice a big cultural difference living in the Twin Cities, I certainly noticed it here in Mankato. East Central and SE Minnesota are very much like Michigan -- same tree types, similar cultural outlook (more liberal), more hills, no Western influence. Mankato (and points west) seems more like South Dakota than Michigan to me -- it's more "conservative" (not politically, just as an outlook on life), very few naturally-growing trees (most trees are obviously planted or near rivers/lakes), grassland and a much more "Western" feel (there are two Western clothing stores here, rodeo supply stores, many people drive pickup trucks, etc.). It's still Midwestern, but with more "Western" influence.
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Old 10-08-2010, 07:34 PM
 
Location: Chicagoland
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Simple, just like any of the other major regions of the United States (West, Midwest, South, and Northeast) the Midwest is split into multiple regions and the Great Plains is part of the Midwest as well as the West.
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Old 10-09-2010, 04:38 AM
 
2,778 posts, read 5,474,779 times
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No, heavens no.

As a Chicagoan born and raised, I have no conception of those places being even remotely similar.

They are so sparsely populated, and what population there is happens to be very spread out. Other than that, when you leave the Great Lakes area for any other area in the US, it becomes glaringly obvious. Especially by plane; the lands west of Chicago are so brown and lifeless. Gray, even, the further west you go.

The Plains are lumped in with the Midwest very often because they have to go somewhere. But the geographical differences, much less the cultural divide, are so startling to me that it's like another planet.
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Old 10-10-2010, 12:32 AM
 
Location: Washington D.C. By way of Texas
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I mentioned this before. But look at it in these terms.
Great Plains Midwest
Great Lakes Midwest

Great Plains Midwest= North and South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri
Great Lakes Midwest= Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio

They are different but at heart, they are all Midwestern.
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Old 10-11-2010, 04:41 PM
 
688 posts, read 811,551 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kazoopilot View Post
I don't know if this is a duplicate thread. If it is, I'm sorry.

Anyway, I've heard a lot of people on this forum (but not in real life) say that the Great Plains are not part of the Midwest. Usually, these people say it is its own region, or even part of the West (!). As a Midwesterner, I disagree. I'd say the Great Plains fit very nicely in the Midwest. The U.S. Census Bureau agrees with me:

Midwestern United States - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

What do you think? Are the northern Great Plains (excluding TX and OK) part of the Midwest? Are they Western? Part of their own region?
I can easily see Virginia and Louisiana, though far apart, as both being parts of the South, but it is beyond me how Ohio and North Dakota are both considered "Midwestern". Cleveland or Cincinnati, or for that matter even, St. Louis or Indianapolis being same "region" as Fargo or Bismarck, or Minot, or Williston? Come on.
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Old 10-11-2010, 04:47 PM
 
688 posts, read 811,551 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spade View Post
I mentioned this before. But look at it in these terms.
Great Plains Midwest
Great Lakes Midwest

Great Plains Midwest= North and South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri
Great Lakes Midwest= Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio

They are different but at heart, they are all Midwestern.
With possible exception of extreme Northwest Missouri, ain't too much I've seen in Missouri that is "Great Plains". Too green and too many trees, and trees I'm familiar with such as oak, hickory, and sycamore, ain't too many sycamores in North or South Dakota (cottonwoods replace them there, and ain't many of them either except along watecourses or planted). Also, Ozarks of Missouri look more like mini-Appalachians than they do the Black Hills or Badlands. Just my take on it.
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Old 10-11-2010, 06:04 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michigan83 View Post
They are probably both technically "in the midwest", according to the official definition of Midwest.

But this is my take, and I think it's unique: When I've crossed into the Great Plains while traveling west, it no longer feels like the eastern United States at all. The big sky and wide-open terrain tells me that I've just crossed into a region that is very different from anything I've seen in the Great Lakes region, Northeast, Southeast, Mid-Atlantic, Upper Midwest, or whatever. There are parts of Michigan that look similar to Florida, parts of Minnesota that look similar to Ohio, parts of North Carolina that look similar to Vermont, etc. But when you enter the high plains, it just looks completely foreign to me! It happens about halfway through Kansas, or Nebraska, or Texas, or any of those states. Anyone who has made a few long road trips cross-country knows what I'm talking about.

In a weird way, the high plains of western Kansas or Nebraska remind me more of the Nevada desert than they do of anything in the Great Lakes region. There's just something about that huge sky...

You can call the Great Plains part of the Midwest if you want, and it might technically be true, but to me it is the very beginning of "Out West."
A VERY distinct dividing line, in my opinion, is crossing the Missouri River in Chamberlain, South Dakota. East (I mean almost immediately east) of Chamberlain, reminds me of everything between there and Indianapolis (with exception of less trees out that way), and IMMEDIATELY west of Missouri River (Oacoma, Chamberlains' western neighbor) looks like around Little Big Horn, Montana. Lots of cornfields east of river (Corn Palace in Mitchell, not too far from there) like in Indiana and Iowa, lots of cattle and ranches west of river.
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Old 10-11-2010, 06:07 PM
 
688 posts, read 811,551 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mas23 View Post
I have a friend from kansas city and she kept talking about how it was so much different that michigan.
With that said i think they're basically 2 different regions in one.
To me, even Kansas City doesn't look all that western, have to get about 200 miles or so west of there to truly look like west (e.g. around Salina or west of Wichita or something like that).
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