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Old 01-04-2018, 12:02 PM
 
363 posts, read 617,103 times
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Living in the midwest, I consider it basically being from the central part of the great plains out until Ohio. I'd count Pittsburgh but to me its more appalachian and northeastern. I don't know why, but for some reason in Nebraska I don't count anything past Lexington in the midwest. Honestly it almost depends on town. Towns like Grand Island and Hastings feel more midwestern. Kearney does somewhat but its at that halfway point. Whats interesting is the Sandhills do go east a bit. I lived about an hour north of Grand Island for a year and that was the closest to a dividing line but the line shifts a lot. The town felt midwestern but the west was literally about 5 miles to the west with cowboys and all that. But the town was mostly a farm town.

Also i find it hard to put the Black Hills in the midwest. Granted there are a lot of midwesterners who vacation there. But it feels more like the mountain west.

As for a southern border, i don't really know. I count Springfield MO as the midwest,and the more i travel in Missouri it seems a lot more like southern illinois and Indiana. Its not the "dontcha know" part of the midwest up north and its not the great plains, and only northern missouri is really part of the corn belt, but its more what i call the "lower midwest" the area around Saint Louis, indianapolis, Cincinnati, Columbus and that area. Its got a lot of the flavor of places like Kentucky and Tennessee but still is more or less midwestern due to the landscape.
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Old 01-05-2018, 08:04 AM
 
Location: Reno, NV
1,516 posts, read 702,434 times
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IMHO, state borders are a wee bit broad. I'd include Western PA, Upstate NY, and parts of WV, but leave off the western halves of the four Great Plains states.
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Old 01-05-2018, 10:58 AM
 
2,164 posts, read 1,459,725 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheTimidBlueBars View Post
IMHO, state borders are a wee bit broad. I'd include Western PA, Upstate NY, and parts of WV, but leave off the western halves of the four Great Plains states.

lol -- so you think the Northeast should be only about 150 miles wide , but the midwest should be close to 1,000 miles wide? And even though western PA and upstate NY were settled during colonial times, were part of the original 13 colonies, and have much different landscapes than most of the actual midwest?

Last edited by _Buster; 01-05-2018 at 11:24 AM..
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Old 01-06-2018, 06:35 AM
 
Location: Chicago
5,853 posts, read 6,524,415 times
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Once on Wikipedia, there was a map of the midwest (I don't believe it is still there), divided into states. Two categories were given:

1. always considered Midwest

2. sometimes/usually considered Midwest

I do remember the groupings:

always midwest: MN, IA, WI, IL, IN, MI, OH

sometimes/usually: ND, SD, NE, KS, MO, KY, WV

Everyone has their own definition of what is the Midwest, but mine is basically the same as the "always Midwest" category.

Here's why:

I see all the Great Lakes states west of New York and Pennsylvania as being "midwestern". The Great Lakes are integral to the Midwest. So basically that puts those midwest states as the first ones west of the Appalachians and not part of the original 13 Atlantic bound states, the trans appalachian west.

Furthermore, I would consider the old Northwest Territory from which the midwestern states were carved as being the essence of midwestern. That would bring in OH, MI, IN, IL, WI, and a part (an important part) of MN.

So if the "heart of the midwest" is east of the Mississippi, then, to a degree, I see Minnesota's location as being somewhat peripheral, although it certainly shares much in common with the northern regions of Wisconsin and Michigan.

Minnesota is a part of a tier of north/south states: MN, IA, MO, AR, LA

Of these, I would include along with Minnesota only Iowa. Why? Because culturally, the Midwest is "north" and was never slave country. So Missouri, for me, gets eliminated. It's why I don't consider MO, KY, WV to be midwestern, all border states.

The next tier west from MN, IA is the one that stretched from North Dakota to Texas. By location, only the following may be considered midwestern: ND, SD, NE, KS

This area is, of course, the Great Plains and in many ways I see the Great Plains as not being the midwest. To start with, it is sparsely populated, shorter on precipitation and where that precipitation drops is mainly in the far eastern fringes of those states. Much of these states is sparsely populated.

I may add that the seven "always" midwestern states (MN, IA, WI, IL, IN, MI, OH) share something else in common: they were the original footprint of the Big Ten Conference. I see them as quintessentially midwest.
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Old 01-06-2018, 10:58 AM
 
Location: North Dakota
7,721 posts, read 9,018,166 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenbay33 View Post
Living in the midwest, I consider it basically being from the central part of the great plains out until Ohio. I'd count Pittsburgh but to me its more appalachian and northeastern. I don't know why, but for some reason in Nebraska I don't count anything past Lexington in the midwest. Honestly it almost depends on town. Towns like Grand Island and Hastings feel more midwestern. Kearney does somewhat but its at that halfway point. Whats interesting is the Sandhills do go east a bit. I lived about an hour north of Grand Island for a year and that was the closest to a dividing line but the line shifts a lot. The town felt midwestern but the west was literally about 5 miles to the west with cowboys and all that. But the town was mostly a farm town.

Also i find it hard to put the Black Hills in the midwest. Granted there are a lot of midwesterners who vacation there. But it feels more like the mountain west.

As for a southern border, i don't really know. I count Springfield MO as the midwest,and the more i travel in Missouri it seems a lot more like southern illinois and Indiana. Its not the "dontcha know" part of the midwest up north and its not the great plains, and only northern missouri is really part of the corn belt, but its more what i call the "lower midwest" the area around Saint Louis, indianapolis, Cincinnati, Columbus and that area. Its got a lot of the flavor of places like Kentucky and Tennessee but still is more or less midwestern due to the landscape.
The Great Plains area is a transition zone to the Mountain West. The Black Hills straddle the border with Wyoming and of course western Nebraska is on the border with Wyoming as well. There was a discussion on here about where the west begins and the 100th meridian was what was mostly agreed on. You can see that transition in South Dakota and to a lesser extent Nebraska and North Dakota. I haven't visited Missouri nor Ohior nor southern Illinois to comment on that.
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Old 01-06-2018, 12:02 PM
 
Location: Tampa - St. Louis
1,090 posts, read 1,626,102 times
Reputation: 1508
Quote:
Originally Posted by edsg25 View Post
Once on Wikipedia, there was a map of the midwest (I don't believe it is still there), divided into states. Two categories were given:

1. always considered Midwest

2. sometimes/usually considered Midwest

I do remember the groupings:

always midwest: MN, IA, WI, IL, IN, MI, OH

sometimes/usually: ND, SD, NE, KS, MO, KY, WV

Everyone has their own definition of what is the Midwest, but mine is basically the same as the "always Midwest" category.

Here's why:

I see all the Great Lakes states west of New York and Pennsylvania as being "midwestern". The Great Lakes are integral to the Midwest. So basically that puts those midwest states as the first ones west of the Appalachians and not part of the original 13 Atlantic bound states, the trans appalachian west.

Furthermore, I would consider the old Northwest Territory from which the midwestern states were carved as being the essence of midwestern. That would bring in OH, MI, IN, IL, WI, and a part (an important part) of MN.

So if the "heart of the midwest" is east of the Mississippi, then, to a degree, I see Minnesota's location as being somewhat peripheral, although it certainly shares much in common with the northern regions of Wisconsin and Michigan.

Minnesota is a part of a tier of north/south states: MN, IA, MO, AR, LA

Of these, I would include along with Minnesota only Iowa. Why? Because culturally, the Midwest is "north" and was never slave country. So Missouri, for me, gets eliminated. It's why I don't consider MO, KY, WV to be midwestern, all border states.

The next tier west from MN, IA is the one that stretched from North Dakota to Texas. By location, only the following may be considered midwestern: ND, SD, NE, KS

This area is, of course, the Great Plains and in many ways I see the Great Plains as not being the midwest. To start with, it is sparsely populated, shorter on precipitation and where that precipitation drops is mainly in the far eastern fringes of those states. Much of these states is sparsely populated.

I may add that the seven "always" midwestern states (MN, IA, WI, IL, IN, MI, OH) share something else in common: they were the original footprint of the Big Ten Conference. I see them as quintessentially midwest.
Slavery wasn't really a North/South issue until the Civil War. Most Northern states on the East Coast ended slavery less than 40 years before the Civil War broke out. For Example, New York didn't officially abolish slavery until 1827. Slaves were also mostly responsible for clearing Manhattan island and slaves were literally sold on Wall St. Now the Northwest territory of the Midwest never had legal slavery, but it was very common for Southerners to rent out their slaves to Northern land owners in places like Ohio, Wisconsin, Illinois, etc. and be promptly returned to their owners in slave states. In fact, slave bounty hunters made a lot of money returning escaped slaves back to slave holding states. Especially in Illinois and Ohio. In fact, Dred Scott (who was from Missouri) tried to sue for his freedom claiming that he had worked in Wisconsin and Illinois as a free man, but he was promptly denied his freedom.
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Old 01-08-2018, 10:59 PM
 
6,127 posts, read 6,443,422 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NDak15 View Post
The Great Plains area is a transition zone to the Mountain West. The Black Hills straddle the border with Wyoming and of course western Nebraska is on the border with Wyoming as well. There was a discussion on here about where the west begins and the 100th meridian was what was mostly agreed on. You can see that transition in South Dakota and to a lesser extent Nebraska and North Dakota. I haven't visited Missouri nor Ohior nor southern Illinois to comment on that.
Yes, drive across South Dakota on I-90 and you will know when you've entered the west...as soon as you cross the river. West river is really not Midwestern. I moved to the Black Hills from eastern Nebraska and the difference is noticeable.
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Old 01-09-2018, 02:27 AM
 
Location: Virginia Beach
4,209 posts, read 2,823,898 times
Reputation: 4494
Quote:
Originally Posted by goat314 View Post
Slavery wasn't really a North/South issue until the Civil War. Most Northern states on the East Coast ended slavery less than 40 years before the Civil War broke out. For Example, New York didn't officially abolish slavery until 1827. Slaves were also mostly responsible for clearing Manhattan island and slaves were literally sold on Wall St. Now the Northwest territory of the Midwest never had legal slavery, but it was very common for Southerners to rent out their slaves to Northern land owners in places like Ohio, Wisconsin, Illinois, etc. and be promptly returned to their owners in slave states. In fact, slave bounty hunters made a lot of money returning escaped slaves back to slave holding states. Especially in Illinois and Ohio. In fact, Dred Scott (who was from Missouri) tried to sue for his freedom claiming that he had worked in Wisconsin and Illinois as a free man, but he was promptly denied his freedom.
One of the (many) great sins of America has been the large-scale revisioning of slavery as a strictly southern thing, and the impact that revisionist history has culturally had on the public consciousness...
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Old 01-09-2018, 03:06 AM
 
Location: Germantown, Philadelphia
4,948 posts, read 2,404,357 times
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I've always considered the entire region the Census Bureau labels "North Central" to be the Midwest.

It divides into two parts just as the "North Central" region does, with the Mississippi River the dividing line.

East of it is what I call the "industrial" Midwest. Sure, agriculture accounts for a large part of its economy too, but it's the industry of the Great Lakes conurbation that sets it apart from other regions of the country, and that conurbation spreads across every one of the states that make up the industrial Midwest (Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin).

West of it lies the "agricultural" Midwest. Again, industry is plenty present here just as agriculture is east of the Mississippi, with the bulk of the industry located in its largest cities (St. Louis, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Kansas City) and a handful of mid-sized and smaller ones (Duluth, Minn.; Wichita, Kan.). But this region's claim to fame is serving as the nation's breadbasket, in particular the corn-and wheat-growing states of Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, Kansas, and Missouri. (Yes, they grow corn and wheat in the other three states too: Minnesota, North and South Dakota.)

One city in each region served as a cattle-handling and meatpacking center: Chicago east of the Mississippi and Kansas City west of it.

And so on.
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Old 01-09-2018, 03:14 AM
 
Location: Germantown, Philadelphia
4,948 posts, read 2,404,357 times
Reputation: 3085
Quote:
Originally Posted by murksiderock View Post
One of the (many) great sins of America has been the large-scale revisioning of slavery as a strictly southern thing, and the impact that revisionist history has culturally had on the public consciousness...
I'm a native of the Midwest's one slave state.

The reason it's cast as "a strictly Southern thing" was because all of the states above the Mason-Dixon Line had either abolished slavery or were on the path to total abolition (having passed gradual emancipation laws) at the time the U.S. Constitution was drafted in 1787. Those states fought to limit the expansion of slavery into new territories, from the Northwest Ordinance of that same year (passed by the old national government under the Articles of Confederation) onward. My native state's existence as a slave state was the result of the best-known of the various "compromises" between those states that wished to halt the spread of slavery and those that wished to spread it further - and "the slave power" fought to upend that compromise in 1854, thus leading to "Bleeding Kansas" - "the dress rehearsal for the Civil War" that took place in the area around where I grew up.

All of those latter states that made up "the slave power" were in the Southeastern United States.

That said, as many African-American activist/scholar types will now point out, the entire country remained implicated in race-based slavery, as many Northern companies profited off of it.
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