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Old 03-04-2012, 02:54 PM
 
Location: Jefferson City 4 days a week, St. Louis 3 days a week
2,713 posts, read 2,259,978 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbear182 View Post
The countryside of Ohio and North Dakota are very different. In the great plains it's much drier and thus not a lot of trees etc - very different than Ohio.
I could say the same thing when comparing Texas to Georgia or Virginia...why the topographic or climate debates? It's a state of mind and culture, not a state of appearance.
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Old 03-04-2012, 02:56 PM
 
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Originally Posted by stlouisan View Post
The Midwest to me is pretty much as it's described by the census bureau. Yes, it's a diverse region, but if you look at the south, that's not exactly a uniform group either. I think the twelve states included by the U.S. Census Bureau is as close to an accurate approximation as you'll get. In Missouri there are many ways to classify it. I usually include all of those states, except that I exclude the extreme western portions of KS, NE, SD, and ND, and also generally exclude the far southern portions of MO. Anything east or north of these areas is either definitively classifiable, or very debatable, which i take as minimum for justifiable inclusions to those who believe they should be included.

I actually will often include the far western portions of Pennsylvania and New York, especially along the Great Lakes. Erie, Pittsburgh, Buffalo, Syracuse, and Rochester, as those are clearly more part of the Rust Belt, and all have virtually nothing in common with the cities of the BOS/WASH corridor. Click on the thumbnail below for a more accurate description. For me it would be this map, except I would exclude all of Oklahoma and move the pink a bit further north into south Kansas to about Wichita's latitude, and the gray a bit farther north into the southernmost portions of Missouri, and the far southern tips of Illinois, Indiana, and SE Ohio. I'd also shift the pink farther south in SE southeast Indiana and into the northern tip of Kentucky to allow Cincy to be included in the yellow area. Other than that, I like this map as a representation. The yellow is a good indication of what is beyond debate Midwestern IMO, although I'd shift the yellow to much further east in KS, NE, SD, and ND.
I'd nix the Plains altogether (especially Oklahoma), and maybe the southern quarter of Missouri. I'd also get rid of the Central Midwest and draw the boundary between Upper Midwest and Lower Midwest from a Des Moines to Mansfield, Ohio line.
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Old 03-04-2012, 02:57 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stlouisan View Post
The South is pretty ambiguous as well. You have a region which stretches from the border of New Mexico to the Atlantic Ocean, from the Gulf of Mexico to the Ohio River, and from Florida all the way up to (IMO) just below DC. You're incorporating the southern Plains, Southern Appalachia, and the Deep South together....all with enough cultural similarities, some which are transitional between the southwest and south, and the south and north, but many, many differences as well.
Good observations. I just think that when people on the coasts think of the interior of the country, the Midwest immediately comes to mind and so they all lump everything in as one ambiguous category.
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Old 03-04-2012, 02:58 PM
 
Location: Jefferson City 4 days a week, St. Louis 3 days a week
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colts View Post
I'd nix the Plains altogether (especially Oklahoma), and maybe the southern quarter of Missouri. I'd also get rid of the Central Midwest and draw the boundary between Upper Midwest and Lower Midwest from a Des Moines to Mansfield, Ohio line.
I suppose I could live with most of that definition, although my personal opinion is that if one is to include Oklahoma and Texas in the south, that KS, NE, SD, and ND should be included in the Midwest.
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Old 03-04-2012, 02:59 PM
 
Location: Jefferson City 4 days a week, St. Louis 3 days a week
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colts View Post
Good observations. I just think that when people on the coasts think of the interior of the country, the Midwest immediately comes to mind and so they all lump everything in as one ambiguous category.
I can't argue with that, as I've observed much of this.
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Old 03-04-2012, 03:06 PM
 
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Originally Posted by stlouisan View Post
I suppose I could live with most of that definition, although my personal opinion is that if one is to include Oklahoma and Texas in the south, that KS, NE, SD, and ND should be included in the Midwest.
I'd throw the Plains states in with eastern Colorado, Wyoming etc...and geographically speaking, that area is about as large as the Midwest.
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Old 03-04-2012, 03:09 PM
 
Location: Jefferson City 4 days a week, St. Louis 3 days a week
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Originally Posted by Colts View Post
I'd throw the Plains states in with eastern Colorado, Wyoming etc...and geographically speaking, that area is about as large as the Midwest.
I'd have to agree there. The biggest contrast of these areas to the rest of the Midwest is how few trees there are and how sparsely populated they are. Also, wheat is the primary crop, not corn and soybeans. Plus, the soil has to be irrigated, something you almost never see in MO, IA, MN, and states further east.
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Old 03-04-2012, 03:16 PM
 
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Originally Posted by stlouisan View Post
I'd have to agree there. The biggest contrast of these areas to the rest of the Midwest is how few trees there are and how sparsely populated they are. Also, wheat is the primary crop, not corn and soybeans. Plus, the soil has to be irrigated, something you almost never see in MO, IA, MN, and states further east.
You know, the more I think about it, the real difference in the Midwest is not upper vs lower, but rather east vs west. There are a lot of differences going from the Plains to the eastern Midwest compared to the upper and lower Midwest.
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Old 03-04-2012, 03:27 PM
 
Location: Jefferson City 4 days a week, St. Louis 3 days a week
2,713 posts, read 2,259,978 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colts View Post
You know, the more I think about it, the real difference in the Midwest is not upper vs lower, but rather east vs west. There are a lot of differences going from the Plains to the eastern Midwest compared to the upper and lower Midwest.
Exactly my sentiments...I believe one reason the Great Plains have been linked to the Midwest is the fact that many Midwesterners settled them, but also the fact that many similar crops are grown....the Great Plains and the Eastern Midwest together form the bread basket of the U.S....not to mention, the Catholic Belt, which continues into the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic. The upper and lower isn't the issue for me...it's far northern and far southern portions...for example, far northern Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, vs. southern Illinois, southern Indiana, and southern Ohio (Below Cincy), and obviously vs. southern missouri (transition part), and then southern missouri (definitively southern part. The transitional zones make it difficult to include the southernmost parts of the midwest with the northernmost parts, however, you encounter this same problem with every other region in the country.

In any event, any edge state of any region is going to be different from one another..the problem is that when you create regions, and can't do it loosely, you get all kinds of inconsistencies which ruffle people's feathers.
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Old 03-04-2012, 08:54 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stlouisan View Post
I'd have to agree there. The biggest contrast of these areas to the rest of the Midwest is how few trees there are and how sparsely populated they are. Also, wheat is the primary crop, not corn and soybeans. Plus, the soil has to be irrigated, something you almost never see in MO, IA, MN, and states further east.
I could say the same thing when comparing Texas to Georgia or Virginia...why the topographic or climate debates? It's a state of mind and culture, not a state of appearance.
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