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Old 09-08-2007, 12:12 PM
 
Location: The Heart of Dixie
7,820 posts, read 12,326,456 times
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Forgot which state, either Missouri or Indiana calls itself the "Crossroads of America".

But are Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Montana, and Nevada and Colorado considered "Middle American". I know a lot of people who include these in that definition.

And another question is, is Middle America more typical of America or the coastal fringe? I think so at least. Terms like "heartland" or "Middle America" conjures up images of the kind of places that most people in the U.S. live in and the kind of lives they lead.
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Old 09-08-2007, 12:37 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 18 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,996 posts, read 102,581,357 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terrapin2212 View Post
Kentucky is definitely southern. West Virginia is Appalachian, and I think that cultural definition also covers parts of Maryland, Virginia (if you go to Winchester its nothing like Richmond or Norfolk), and Pennsylvania. That Appalachian definition I think takes precedence over any other regional definition.

I'm not sure where Pittsburgh is. I've heard it described as both East Coast but sometimes as the beginning as the Midwest.
Pittsburgh is considered "The Gateway to the West". So are St. Louis and Omaha. The east coast doesn't consider Pittsburgh east and the midwest doesn't consider it midwestern. It's a no-man's land.

Re: your idyllic image of the heaartland and where you would like to raise a family, first off, to actually support that family, you have to have a job. In some professions, that poses some limitations. Engineers, etc ususally have to work in cities. Nurses, doctors, lawyers and the like have a little more choice. And you can get your ideal lifestyle in the suburbs of many cities.
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Old 09-08-2007, 01:34 PM
 
Location: Kentucky
6,749 posts, read 19,952,023 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terrapin2212 View Post
Forgot which state, either Missouri or Indiana calls itself the "Crossroads of America".

But are Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Montana, and Nevada and Colorado considered "Middle American". I know a lot of people who include these in that definition.

And another question is, is Middle America more typical of America or the coastal fringe? I think so at least. Terms like "heartland" or "Middle America" conjures up images of the kind of places that most people in the U.S. live in and the kind of lives they lead.
It's Indiana
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Old 09-08-2007, 03:29 PM
 
Location: the midwest
492 posts, read 2,149,132 times
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In my mind the Midwest is all the states that touch the Great Lakes. When I hear the term "Heartland", I immediately think of Iowa, for some odd reason. Any place where they grow corn would be "Heartland" in my book. And Middle America would be anything between the Bos-Wash Corridor and California.

I have no justifications for any of my above statements. Those are just the images that pop into my mind when I hear those three terms.
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Old 09-08-2007, 04:10 PM
 
Location: IN
20,847 posts, read 35,948,307 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terrapin2212 View Post
Its surprising that people are leaving the Plains. Is it because illegal immigrants are taking all the agricultural jobs?

I spent most of my life (22 years) in the suburbs of DC and am desperate to flee this place. A lot people I know from more rural areas here hate suburbanization/urbanization and aspire to the rural lifestyle. I thought American culture and mentality has always been about leaving the East and moving West and leaving the cold, soulless, crowded cities for the wide open spaces of the heartland.

Well the "heartland" has a special appeal. Whether its the Americana imagery of Friday night football in small towns, to Main Street businesses, to grain silos and cornfields. Its always the backdrop for presidential elections and "heartland values" are something candidates ignore that their own risk.

As a recent college grad whose applying to professional school most likely in another major urban area, I can say that cities are good to visit. its a good place to party, go to bars and sports games and concerts. College here was fun and the bar scene around DC is fantastic. But when it comes to settling down and raising a family, woudln't you want to be away from the pollution, crime, corruption, vices, coldness and dangers of the city? Especially the East and West Coast cities?
The central plains have had dramatic advances in farm-related technology over the years. As technology has advanced, the amount of labor and workers needed on a farm has diminished considerably over time. With advances in technology the productivity has increased along with size of the farm. The big farms get bigger, and the small less efficient farms and ranches lose out. The big agri business companies are known as commericalized agriculture. Those are prevalant in some areas of the Great Plains and often require huge amounts of irrigated water and energy to produce the product. Also, most of the population is concentrated in larger cities and towns in the Great Plains states. The population is highly centralized and not dispersed in the rural areas. The only big exception to this is the Indian Reservations. The total percent of the population living in rural areas is now very low. The towns that are not regional centers will continue to decline as the diversity of jobs is not enough to convince many younger people to stay. Therefore, you have cycles of decline in the rural Great Plains; more young people leave, more local businesses close because their is not enough business, more old people stay, and the population declines sharply.
The idealized view of living in the Great Plains is not for the weak at heart. The climate is extreme, and often their are few trees to block the strong winds that blow nearly every day. Drought and water shortages are a constant problem in some areas of Kansas because they are in the rain shadow of the Rocky Mountains. Other natural hazards include dust storms, hailstorms, blizzards, extreme heat, and extreme cold. The reason why the housing prices are so low in many rural areas of the Great Plains is because many of the houses have been abandoned, and have deteriorated for over 50 years in some areas. Also, because you have so many people leaving the housing stock is quite old and very few newer houses are ever built.
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Old 09-08-2007, 04:42 PM
 
Location: Missouri
6,047 posts, read 21,651,948 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terrapin2212 View Post
Well the "heartland" has a special appeal. Whether its the Americana imagery of Friday night football in small towns, to Main Street businesses, to grain silos and cornfields. Its always the backdrop for presidential elections and "heartland values" are something candidates ignore that their own risk.

As a recent college grad whose applying to professional school most likely in another major urban area, I can say that cities are good to visit. its a good place to party, go to bars and sports games and concerts. College here was fun and the bar scene around DC is fantastic. But when it comes to settling down and raising a family, woudln't you want to be away from the pollution, crime, corruption, vices, coldness and dangers of the city? Especially the East and West Coast cities?
That line of thinking was a huge factor in my husband's and my decision to relocate from New Jersey to the midwest (Missouri). We have traveled the around country a bit and couldn't believe what a difference there is in the midwest. People are so warm and friendly. We've only been here for a bit over a month but we don't regret our decision at all, and we are looking forward to raising a family in a place with such friendly people. Don't forget, there are cities in the midwest too! I spent a few hours today reading in a lovely park somewhere in Kansas City, MO...it's the "city of fountains" and it was very nice to walk around, see the architecture and beauty of the buildings downtown, and then sit and read near a fountain.

The term "heartland" makes me think of a Chevy commercial.
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Old 09-08-2007, 04:44 PM
 
Location: St. Louis, MO
3,742 posts, read 6,903,922 times
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I think there is one common ground that heartland, middle America, and Midwest all hold in common to together. The Heartland and Middle America encompass the Midwest and the Great Plains. THat is how the terms are identical.
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Old 09-08-2007, 04:47 PM
 
Location: St. Louis, MO
3,742 posts, read 6,903,922 times
Reputation: 660
Quote:
Originally Posted by Terrapin2212 View Post
Forgot which state, either Missouri or Indiana calls itself the "Crossroads of America".

But are Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Montana, and Nevada and Colorado considered "Middle American". I know a lot of people who include these in that definition.

And another question is, is Middle America more typical of America or the coastal fringe? I think so at least. Terms like "heartland" or "Middle America" conjures up images of the kind of places that most people in the U.S. live in and the kind of lives they lead.
Indiana may call itself the crossroads of America, but Missouri is the true crossroads of America IMO. That title should belong to us and us alone. Wyoming, Colorado, and Montana and Idaho are absolutely not middle american. They are mountain/great plains states (excluding Idaho), that make up the greater American west and northwest.
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Old 09-08-2007, 04:54 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 18 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,996 posts, read 102,581,357 times
Reputation: 33059
I do not think residents of the "Heartland of America", whatever it is, are any better people than any of the rest of us.
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Old 09-08-2007, 04:59 PM
 
Location: IN
20,847 posts, read 35,948,307 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajf131 View Post
I think there is one common ground that heartland, middle America, and Midwest all hold in common to together. The Heartland and Middle America encompass the Midwest and the Great Plains. THat is how the terms are identical.
Once again, their are severe differences between the Midwest and Great Plains. I prefer to use the terms Midwest and Great Plains and avoid the term Heartland all together. The Great Plains has lost population rapidly in the rural areas while the rural areas of the Midwest have a more stable or slightly declining population. The Midwest has a better climate and includes the cornbelt, while the Great Plains relies on irrigation and dryland agriculture. The Great Plains does not have many trees or bodies of water, but the Midwest has both of these. Nearly all of the areas in the central Great Plains have reservoirs instead of lakes until you get to the far northern areas.
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