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Old 03-26-2017, 10:00 AM
 
Location: Austin, TX
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If you look at the Great Plains, which I would describe as the following area (I'm excluding Canada for this discussion as this is General US):

Northwestern side 48.48840,-103.029461
Northeastern side 48.48840,-99.5718931
Southwestern side 32.978,-103.029461
Southeastern side 32.978,-99.5718931

I defined it this way because this is the semi-arid region of the Plains that is not on the Front Range. The Front Range to me is a separate region because it gets its water supply from the mountains and also the mountains provide amenities the Great Plains don't. I also excluded regions further south of there because it starts to become desert.

Within that region there are only two medium sized cities, Lubbock (240K) and Amarillo (200K). Both are located in Texas. There is also a small city, Rapid City (70K). The success of Rapid City is due to Mt. Rushmore, so it is an exception. Indeed I should probably exclude the Black Hills of SD because they are not part of the Great Plains topographically.

So, if you then exclude that, the question becomes:

My question is: Why was Texas successful in developing decent sized cities in the Great Plains but none of the other states were?

I realize there are some oil towns like Williston that are growing quickly, but neither Lubbock nor Amarillo developed because of oil. Lubbock was a cotton center and Amarillo was a trading area for the region.

Thoughts?
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Old 03-26-2017, 10:54 AM
 
Location: New Mexico
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Southern rail routes (that happened to be crossing Texas) were better at attracting people to hub cities like Lubbock and Amarillo -- the climate was better than the Dakotas. Cattle ranchers needed rail centers to ship cattle. Rail routes and climate were important. Also, Texas Tech is in Lubbock and Amarillo is a regional service/medical center. Outside of Texas, Bismark, ND, might be the largest city in that designated strip -- also a railroad town and a state capital.


The railroads were the key to settlement patterns and further north you will see a number of small cities strung out along the rail lines. You can see them in the distance by their tallest structures...grain elevators. Cattle could walk to the rail hub...wheat and corn, not so much. Besides, Texas has 25 million people so you have to stick them somewhere.
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Old 03-26-2017, 11:20 AM
 
Location: Austin, TX
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SunGrins View Post
Southern rail routes (that happened to be crossing Texas) were better at attracting people to hub cities like Lubbock and Amarillo -- the climate was better than the Dakotas. Cattle ranchers needed rail centers to ship cattle. Rail routes and climate were important. Also, Texas Tech is in Lubbock and Amarillo is a regional service/medical center. Outside of Texas, Bismark, ND, might be the largest city in that designated strip -- also a railroad town and a state capital.


The railroads were the key to settlement patterns and further north you will see a number of small cities strung out along the rail lines. You can see them in the distance by their tallest structures...grain elevators. Cattle could walk to the rail hub...wheat and corn, not so much. Besides, Texas has 25 million people so you have to stick them somewhere.
So it's mainly climate you believe? Lubbock and Amarillo are much hotter but not as cold as the Dakotas.

They are all harsh though. Not uncommon for the Dakotas to be 100 in the summer and for the Panhandle of Texas to be 0 in the winter.

Texas in general has been able to develop almost all regions of it, you have El Paso in the desert, Midland/Odessa in arid, Amarillo/Lubbock and Brownsville in semi-arid and then of course the triangle which is in the more humid region.
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Old 03-26-2017, 12:45 PM
 
17,650 posts, read 4,055,214 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cBach View Post
So it's mainly climate you believe? Lubbock and Amarillo are much hotter but not as cold as the Dakotas.

They are all harsh though. Not uncommon for the Dakotas to be 100 in the summer and for the Panhandle of Texas to be 0 in the winter.

Texas in general has been able to develop almost all regions of it, you have El Paso in the desert, Midland/Odessa in arid, Amarillo/Lubbock and Brownsville in semi-arid and then of course the triangle which is in the more humid region.
Midland/Odessa is semi-arid.
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Old 03-26-2017, 04:25 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
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Originally Posted by C24L View Post
Midland/Odessa is semi-arid.
Have you been there?

This is what the countryside looks like. I included a rural area because the city areas tend to irrigate.

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Mi...779146!6m1!1e1
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Old 03-26-2017, 07:34 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cBach View Post
Have you been there?

This is what the countryside looks like. I included a rural area because the city areas tend to irrigate.

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Mi...779146!6m1!1e1
I live there.Midland-Odessa is classified as semi-arid steppe.
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Old 03-27-2017, 02:36 PM
 
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Even outside the Great Plains, the northern central parts of the US are not heavily populated. Lubbock and Amarillo are bigger then any city in N Dakota, S Dakota, Wyoming, and Montana. Nebraska and Kansas only have a few cities larger and those are getting pretty far from the Great Plains.

There has never been any need for large populations out there. Agriculture, ranching, and a little more recently oil is all that is out there.

The CSA of Lubbock is half the size of either N Dakota or Wyoming.

I'm not sure why it's grown so much faster; maybe better weather, longer growing season, better access to the west. Maybe more immigration from the poorer South? More Mexican immigration?

The northern Great Plains are just a very remote region, you can drive all day and only reach cities of less then 50,000.
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Old 03-28-2017, 05:38 PM
 
Location: Oklahoma
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mattks View Post
Even outside the Great Plains, the northern central parts of the US are not heavily populated. Lubbock and Amarillo are bigger then any city in N Dakota, S Dakota, Wyoming, and Montana. Nebraska and Kansas only have a few cities larger and those are getting pretty far from the Great Plains.

There has never been any need for large populations out there. Agriculture, ranching, and a little more recently oil is all that is out there.

The CSA of Lubbock is half the size of either N Dakota or Wyoming.

I'm not sure why it's grown so much faster; maybe better weather, longer growing season, better access to the west. Maybe more immigration from the poorer South? More Mexican immigration?

The northern Great Plains are just a very remote region, you can drive all day and only reach cities of less then 50,000.
You kind of discounted the importance of oil in those Texas towns. Oil was huge in the growth of Lubbock/Amarillo and the surrounding areas.

Furthermore, another thing that hasn't been mentioned is that Lubbock and Amarillo have benefited from being in a large state like Texas which has plenty of resources to support them through tougher times. Also, it has a large population and during the good times in west Texas a lot of people from other parts of Texas relocate there.

In other parts of the great plains the state populations aren't large enough to support any growth in their great plains regions. I would even wonder how much migration there was from eastern North Dakota when Williston boomed compared to other parts of the country.
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Old 03-28-2017, 07:24 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eddie gein View Post
You kind of discounted the importance of oil in those Texas towns. Oil was huge in the growth of Lubbock/Amarillo and the surrounding areas.

Furthermore, another thing that hasn't been mentioned is that Lubbock and Amarillo have benefited from being in a large state like Texas which has plenty of resources to support them through tougher times. Also, it has a large population and during the good times in west Texas a lot of people from other parts of Texas relocate there.

In other parts of the great plains the state populations aren't large enough to support any growth in their great plains regions. I would even wonder how much migration there was from eastern North Dakota when Williston boomed compared to other parts of the country.
I was reading a little bit about it and I think you are exactly right about the oil. I knew there was some oil in NW Texas, but I didn't realize how much. The Northern Great Plains has some oil as well, but nothing remotely comparable. Even the relatively new discoveries in N Dakota don't compare.
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Old 03-28-2017, 07:55 PM
 
431 posts, read 748,703 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eddie gein View Post
You kind of discounted the importance of oil in those Texas towns. Oil was huge in the growth of Lubbock/Amarillo and the surrounding areas.

Furthermore, another thing that hasn't been mentioned is that Lubbock and Amarillo have benefited from being in a large state like Texas which has plenty of resources to support them through tougher times. Also, it has a large population and during the good times in west Texas a lot of people from other parts of Texas relocate there.

In other parts of the great plains the state populations aren't large enough to support any growth in their great plains regions. I would even wonder how much migration there was from eastern North Dakota when Williston boomed compared to other parts of the country.

Oil doesn't have much impact on the economy of either Lubbock or Amarillo. The great oil fields are further south towards the Permian Basin. The Midland/Odessa region is an example of an oil-based economy.
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