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View Poll Results: Does the Midwest get short changed on people's perceptions of it?
Yes 39 68.42%
No 18 31.58%
Voters: 57. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 09-18-2019, 08:21 AM
 
1,325 posts, read 1,089,165 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IowanFarmer View Post
The Midwest basically has two subregions, Great Lakes and Plains. It basically follows the Mississippi River

Great Lakes states: Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana

Plains states: North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa

Toss up: Minnesota

Minnesota is really a split between the two and most will probably put it Great Lakes due to it's presence along Superior, iron ore mining, logging industry, and the University of Minnesota's ties to the Big 10. But much as the Mississippi River runs through the state, so does the Plains/Lakes divide. Minneapolis got it's start as a grain milling center for crops grown in southern/western Minnesota and the Dakotas. In the 1860's, Minnesota was home to the Sioux Uprising, where one of the most well known Plains Native American tribes clashed with the federal government as they were being removed from the area. It was definitely the Wild West in the not-that-distant past. It's a state that really has valid, strong connections to both regions.

Iowa is sometimes associated with the eastern Midwest because the University of Iowa was a flagship member of the Big 10. However, until Nebraska was added, it was the only one west of the Mississippi. At the same time, Iowa State (the largest university in Iowa) has always been a member of the Big 8/12, a conference based decidedly in the Plains region. Des Moines, Iowa's largest city, is more tied to Omaha and Kansas City than any place east of the Mississippi. Iowa's landscape is open, and predominantly either gently rolling or quite flat (with a handful of notable exceptions), and it is dominated by agriculture - not industry. The far eastern part of the state has a lot in common with points east of the Mississippi, but that fades quickly as you go west. Iowa too was the Wild West at one point. The James Gang robbed their first train in Adair, and a fall out from the Minnesota Sioux Uprising was the infamous Spirit Lake Massacre, where a band of Sioux clashed with settlers in NW IA.

Missouri is the oldest Midwest state west of the Mississippi, and St Louis is known as the Gateway to the West. It has some Rust Belt characteristics and history that sometimes associate it with points east, but I again think it belongs more to the Plains. The James Gang originated here. The Pony Express started here. The University of Missouri spent most of it's history associated with the Big 8/12. Kansas City is all but universally recognized as a Great Plains city.

And these areas have bordering areas of other regions that share a lot of commonality. Western Pennsylvania, parts of western New York, and parts of West Virginia have a lot in common with Ohio. Eastern Montana, eastern Colorado, and northern Oklahoma are very similar to North Dakota, Nebraska, and Kansas respectively.
As a 20+ year resident, MN calls itself "upper midwest"
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Old 09-18-2019, 08:22 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cornsnicker3 View Post
I would add “Heartland” to your list of sub-regions. The Great Plains are much different than say the corn or soy fields of inland Ohio, Illinois, and Indiana. I tend to distinguish these inland regions as heartland. I would also say Minnesota is uniquely straddled on those regions with MSP, lusher farmland, and southeastern MN as heartland, the Red River valley as Great Plains, and the Arrowhead as Great Lakes.

Midwest also includes the small amounts of what I would consider western mountains in SD.
You can keep parsing it down to smaller and smaller subsets that get more accurate, but there's a general Lakes/Plains divide in the Midwest that makes for a pretty logical sub-grouping of the states, and closely mirrors what the census bureau lists as "West North Central" (the Plains states) and "East North Central" (Lakes states).

The Black Hills are definitely small mountains and bear more in common with the Rockies than anything in the Midwest.
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Old 09-18-2019, 08:27 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Citykid3785 View Post
As a 20+ year resident, MN calls itself "upper midwest"
I refer to Minnesota by that terminology as well, and think it's accurate. I think of Minnesota, Wisconsin, and the Dakotas as Upper Midwest. Iowa and Nebraska can sort of be (particularly northern Iowa) included, but probably not completely.

To me, the Upper Midwest is the area where the Minnesota/Wisconsin accent is most prevalent.

I still think the Plains/Lakes dichotomy is a logical one for the region and understanding why perceptions of what Midwestern is vary so much. There's a reason many people think of places like eastern Colorado or Oklahoma as Midwestern, and there's also a reason many people see places like western Pennsylvania as Midwestern, when clearly many people from solidly Midwestern places scoff at the inclusion of these other areas.
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Old 09-18-2019, 08:39 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2Easy View Post
If your state doesn't have a B10 team, then your midwestern status is subject to revocation.
Kansas will accept your B10 invite as perhaps the most quintessential Midwest state this side of Iowa.
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Old 09-18-2019, 01:11 PM
 
Location: Minneapolis
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Minnesota tends to think of itself as the center of a subregion of the Midwest that also includes western Wisconsin, northern Iowa and the Dakotas. I would add that almost all Minnesotans think of the Dakotas as Midwestern but some don't really think of Ohio as being Midwestern and see it as being more similar to northeastern areas like upstate NY and central/western Pennsylvania.

I think the general trend is that wherever you are in the Midwest you tend to see the opposite fringe as not very Midwestern. People in Ohio and Michigan are more likely to not consider the Great Plains Midwestern because they are so far away and so different, while people in Omaha or Kansas City may think the same of Cleveland or Cincinnati.
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Old 09-18-2019, 02:13 PM
 
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Fivethirtyeight made that point when they did a survey of Midwestern states. The responders felt strongest that the Midwest was their state and whatever states bordered their state. A region that claims Ohio and North Dakota is bound to look a little messy. Sometimes the Midwest feels like a catchall for misfit toys. Basically the huge landmass between the Appalachians, Rockies, and the Ohio River, it’s the leftovers of fit.
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Old 09-18-2019, 02:16 PM
 
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Much of the farm land has a pastoral beauty.
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Old 09-18-2019, 02:21 PM
 
507 posts, read 161,289 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Somnifor View Post
Minnesota tends to think of itself as the center of a subregion of the Midwest that also includes western Wisconsin, northern Iowa and the Dakotas. I would add that almost all Minnesotans think of the Dakotas as Midwestern but some don't really think of Ohio as being Midwestern and see it as being more similar to northeastern areas like upstate NY and central/western Pennsylvania.

I think the general trend is that wherever you are in the Midwest you tend to see the opposite fringe as not very Midwestern. People in Ohio and Michigan are more likely to not consider the Great Plains Midwestern because they are so far away and so different, while people in Omaha or Kansas City may think the same of Cleveland or Cincinnati.
This is 100% accurate.
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Old 09-20-2019, 06:10 PM
 
Location: Midwest
4,660 posts, read 4,047,334 times
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People think flat and farms with good reason, but there are some really stunting places in the Midwest. I actually prefer they're under the national radar. It helps preserve them.
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Old 09-20-2019, 06:49 PM
 
Location: IN
21,023 posts, read 36,392,136 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heel82 View Post
Kansas will accept your B10 invite as perhaps the most quintessential Midwest state this side of Iowa.
Kansas is not solidly Midwest compared to Iowa. Most of the western 1/3 of the state is much more western. Only the NE 1/3 of Kansas is solidly Midwest overall.
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