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Old 05-04-2013, 02:51 PM
 
Location: Toronto
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So many of the posts I read in this forum assume that once you are west of the "Northeast", you are automatically in the "Mid-West". As if those giant inland seas with all the large cities situated on them didn't exist, or weren't enough to make up their own unique region.

The Great Lakes Region has some of North America's largest cities, and is the second most heavily populated region in North America (not including the area around Mexico DF). Why does it always have to be lumped in with the Mid-West? Or is it just that people are fairly ignorant about both regions and see them as a kind of monolithic middle ground between the East Coast and the Rocky Mountains?

Perhaps someone could enlighten me, because I live in the Great Lakes Region, and feel that it is very different from the Mid-West. For example, it's more urban, it's economy more industrial, it's politics more progressive, it happens to be an important border region between Canada and the US where billions of dollars of goods roll through every week, and it is very much lake-oriented, meaning its cities and culture are a product of the Lakes even if its commerce is no longer defined by them. For me, the Mid-West is more defined by the upper reaches of the Mississippi and the Great Plains, and though some states can be both Mid-West and Great Lake (in the same way that New York can be both Northeast and Great Lake), I don't understand why the two regions are so often conflated.
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Old 05-04-2013, 03:22 PM
 
Location: Raccoon City
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As you can see, most of the regions of the US are pretty arbitrary. Nebraska has no more in common with Ohio than West Virginia does with Florida. And the divide between the Great Plains and the Great Lakes is difficult because many states share both qualities such as Illinois having vast grasslands, and Missouri being fairly urban.

Also the region I guess is just more decidedly Americana, from the red barns on the prairies to the Chicago being called "the most American of cities." The Midwest region is actually one of the most unique regions of the US. Our farmland and open space is sometimes the envy of other nations; some would kill for the fertile soil we've got right beneath our feet.

Even though Chicago is our urban heart, you can still see symbol within the cities that proudly display the bounty of the Midwest such as Ceres (the Roman goddess of agriculture) atop the Board of Trade, and her face etched on the wall of the library. I don't know why people are so up in arms about it sometimes... truth be told I've only seen it on City-Data. We've got the beautiful shores of Lake Michigan and the gorgeous peaks of the Black Hills.
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Old 05-04-2013, 03:38 PM
 
Location: Toronto
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thefallensrvnge View Post

As you can see, most of the regions of the US are pretty arbitrary. Nebraska has no more in common with Ohio than West Virginia does with Florida. And the divide between the Great Plains and the Great Lakes is difficult because many states share both qualities such as Illinois having vast grasslands, and Missouri being fairly urban.

Also the region I guess is just more decidedly Americana, from the red barns on the prairies to the Chicago being called "the most American of cities." The Midwest region is actually one of the most unique regions of the US. Our farmland and open space is sometimes the envy of other nations; some would kill for the fertile soil we've got right beneath our feet.

Even though Chicago is our urban heart, you can still see symbol within the cities that proudly display the bounty of the Midwest such as Ceres (the Roman goddess of agriculture) atop the Board of Trade, and her face etched on the wall of the library. I don't know why people are so up in arms about it sometimes... truth be told I've only seen it on City-Data. We've got the beautiful shores of Lake Michigan and the gorgeous peaks of the Black Hills.
Thank you for your response, but I don't see what it has to do with my question. However, the map you posted is exactly the problem I'm referring to - the Great Lakes Region being lumped in with the Midwest. Why? It makes a lot more sense - in many ways - for the Mid-West to begin at the Mississippi.
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Old 05-04-2013, 03:48 PM
 
Location: Raccoon City
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TOkidd View Post
Thank you for your response, but I don't see what it has to do with my question. However, the map you posted is exactly the problem I'm referring to - the Great Lakes Region being lumped in with the Midwest. Why?
In summary(imo): arbitrary regional boundaries, the Great Plains and Great Lakes being seen as Americana, historical ties between agricultural and industry within the region i.e. Chicago Board of Trade in the exchange of commodities from the Great Plains.
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Old 05-04-2013, 03:50 PM
 
Location: Raccoon City
812 posts, read 1,070,958 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TOkidd View Post
Thank you for your response, but I don't see what it has to do with my question. However, the map you posted is exactly the problem I'm referring to - the Great Lakes Region being lumped in with the Midwest. Why? It makes a lot more sense - in many ways - for the Mid-West to begin at the Mississippi.
Where do you think the Midwest should be?

Last edited by thefallensrvnge; 05-04-2013 at 04:00 PM..
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Old 05-04-2013, 04:04 PM
 
Location: Toronto
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I already answered your question....twice. But I'll answer it again - the Midwest should begin at the Mississippi River. Hell, it can even stretch a hundred miles or so east. Regions shouldn't be given such clear boundaries as state borders so that you cross from Pennsylvania into Ohio and you've suddenly gone from Northeast to Midwest. I doubt many Buffalo residents consider themselves to be living in the Northeast, but that's where the regional boundaries put them.

I mean, the Great Lakes comprise the largest inland body of fresh water on Earth, they are heavily urbanized and industrialized, rimmed by dozens of cities, among them some of the largest in North America, but no one thinks that maybe this Land o' Lakes might make up its own distinct region, that the cities and towns that grew up around the Lakes might have their own unique culture on account of our semi-maritime geography.
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Old 05-04-2013, 04:11 PM
 
Location: Denver
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The Great Lakes is to the Midwest what the Gulf Coast is to the south and the West Coast is to the West.
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Old 05-04-2013, 04:13 PM
 
Location: MN
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Start at the Mississippi? What about Minnesota? Minnesota boders a Great Lake and has a wonderful Great Lakes city/port town -- Duluth.
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Old 05-04-2013, 04:25 PM
 
Location: Raccoon City
812 posts, read 1,070,958 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TOkidd View Post
I already answered your question....twice. But I'll answer it again - the Midwest should begin at the Mississippi River. Hell, it can even stretch a hundred miles or so east. Regions shouldn't be given such clear boundaries as state borders so that you cross from Pennsylvania into Ohio and you've suddenly gone from Northeast to Midwest. I doubt many Buffalo residents consider themselves to be living in the Northeast, but that's where the regional boundaries put them.

I mean, the Great Lakes comprise the largest inland body of fresh water on Earth, they are heavily urbanized and industrialized, rimmed by dozens of cities, among them some of the largest in North America, but no one thinks that maybe this Land o' Lakes might make up its own distinct region, that the cities and towns that grew up around the Lakes might have their own unique culture on account of our semi-maritime geography.
Well, actually the Great Lakes is an existing bi-national region (or sub-region), and I'll say this again...for the 3rd time, the boundaries are ARBITRARY for most regions, not just the Midwest.

And sorry to disappoint, but the Chicago "culture" has little in common with Toronto "culture", not to mention the Canadian or American culture on both sides of the lakes. Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit have just as much (if not more) in common with places west of the Mississippi like Kansas City and St. Louis.
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Old 05-04-2013, 06:10 PM
 
Location: Toronto
1,570 posts, read 2,811,490 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thefallensrvnge View Post
Well, actually the Great Lakes is an existing bi-national region (or sub-region), and I'll say this again...for the 3rd time, the boundaries are ARBITRARY for most regions, not just the Midwest.

And sorry to disappoint, but the Chicago "culture" has little in common with Toronto "culture", not to mention the Canadian or American culture on both sides of the lakes. Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit have just as much (if not more) in common with places west of the Mississippi like Kansas City and St. Louis.
Don't worry. You did not "disappoint." Were you trying to?
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