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View Poll Results: Do you think Minnesota is a Great Plains state or an Upper Midwest state?
Upper Midwest 72 92.31%
Great Plains 6 7.69%
Voters: 78. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 09-09-2010, 07:33 PM
 
Location: Ohio, USA
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Would you say Minnesota is a Great Plains state or an Upper Midwest state?

While it's west of the Mississippi, I'd say it has more in common with the Upper Midwest because the "lake" culture and the Twin Cities are culturally similar to Great Lakes cities. Minnesota also borders one of the Great Lakes.
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Old 09-09-2010, 08:41 PM
 
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Well, pretty much every definition of the Midwest includes all of Minnesota and in the Midwest it's hard to get much more 'upper' than Minnesota. And most definitions of the Great Plains don't include Minnesota at all, or just a small portion of it.



Given those two choices, Minnesota is definitely an Upper Midwestern state. Arguably, it's a Great Plains state, too, but barely. And I wouldn't call it one (though I might call extremely southwestern Minnesota part of the Great Plains). But even SW Minnesota isn't all that flat - it's still low, rolling hills in most places.
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Old 09-09-2010, 09:02 PM
 
Location: Southern Minnesota
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Really, it's both. Upper Midwest and Great Plains aren't mutually exclusive (see the Dakotas, which are clearly both). Most of Minnesota is more Great Plains than Great Lakes in economy and culture, including the Cities. Also, about 40% of the state is in the true Great Plains. Certainly, where I live (Mankato) is 100% Great Plains, and that goes for all of south central Minnesota, as well as western Minnesota. Draw a line from west of Roseau to Thief River Falls to Fergus Falls to Willmar to Hutchinson to Janesville to Albert Lea. Anything west of that line is the Great Plains. Anything east of the line is an Upper Midwestern forested area, while only the Duluth area and Arrowhead are the true Great Lakes. See this map from the Minnesota DNR:

ECS: Prairie Parkland Province: Minnesota DNR

However, the whole state is Upper Midwest. Upper Midwest is more about culture and geography than topography. Western ND is definitely Great Plains, but it is still very much a culturally and geographically Upper Midwestern area.

I voted Great Plains since there was no option for both. I'm happy to be a Great Plains and Upper Midwest resident.
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Old 09-09-2010, 09:03 PM
 
Location: Southern Minnesota
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Also, Voyageur, your map relies too heavily on state lines. Geographical features don't stop at state lines. The Plains/Prairie extends well into Minnesota.
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Old 09-09-2010, 09:34 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyingwriter View Post
Also, Voyageur, your map relies too heavily on state lines. Geographical features don't stop at state lines. The Plains/Prairie extends well into Minnesota.
It's not my map - it's a map of the Great Plains from the Center for Great Plains Studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The USGS also declines to put any part of Minnesota in the Great Plains.

The Great Plains are a sub-region of the Interior Plains region of North America. Minnesota has plains, certainly (though they're not nearly as flat as much of the Great Plains). But borders of such a region are imprecise, and generally by consensus. I'm not claiming any personal opinions - I'm just pointing out what the people who study these things generally agree upon.
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Old 09-09-2010, 10:29 PM
 
Location: Southern Minnesota
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I understand. I didn't mean "your" map in that sense, just the map you used. Here's some maps that include Minnesota:



http://www.peakbagger.com/map/premade/r151.gif (broken link)



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Old 09-09-2010, 10:46 PM
 
Location: Moose Jaw, in between the Moose's butt and nose.
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Basically both. Eastern MN for sure is Upper Midwest, while Western MN, looks more like North and South Dakota, those more more Great Plains.
Overall, if you have to say or another, Upper Midwest.
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Old 09-09-2010, 10:47 PM
 
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Minnesota certainly has plains, but I would never consider it a true Great Plains state. It's solidly in the Upper Midwest category. I agree that Upper Midwest has more to do with culture than topography, but in that sense I also think that "Great Plain" state also is about more than just topography, and I do think that there's a distinct difference between the Upper Midwest and Great Plains region (although also agree that state borders don't mean much; I think the shift happens at the Missouri River in South Dakota.)

Last edited by uptown_urbanist; 09-09-2010 at 11:43 PM..
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Old 09-09-2010, 11:27 PM
 
Location: Southern Minnesota
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I'd agree with you about the river in South Dakota. Upper Midwest goes much further west in North Dakota. Also, there's a difference between northern and southern Great Plains. Texas has little in common with Saskatchewan (culturally, at least).
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Old 09-09-2010, 11:31 PM
 
Location: Southern Minnesota
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What exactly makes Midwestern/central plains "Great Plains?" I can't seem to find a clear answer online. I've always thought it had to do with the interior prairie: that covers all of ND, SD, NE, IA, and KS, eastern CO, western MN, northern MO, northern and western OK, and northern TX.
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