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Author Topic: How do you define the Midwest?  (Read 4199 times)

mrsman

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Re: How do you define the Midwest?
« Reply #50 on: August 28, 2018, 07:51:35 PM »

I like a definition that would keep whole parts of states.  In that vein, OH, IN, MI, IL, WI, MN, IA, and MO are the midwest to me.  Yes some parts of OH and MO have a southern feel to them, but since a majority is midwestern, it should be associated with the midwest.

ND, SD, NE, KS are Plains states.  KY and WV are Southern states. PA is wholly a Mid-Atlantic state.
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Re: How do you define the Midwest?
« Reply #51 on: August 28, 2018, 08:00:49 PM »

I like a definition that would keep whole parts of states.  In that vein, OH, IN, MI, IL, WI, MN, IA, and MO are the midwest to me.  Yes some parts of OH and MO have a southern feel to them, but since a majority is midwestern, it should be associated with the midwest.

ND, SD, NE, KS are Plains states.  KY and WV are Southern states. PA is wholly a Mid-Atlantic state.

I guess we can keep the southern parts of MO, IL, IN, and OH in the Midwest. I'm guessing they have more in common with the northern/central parts of those states than they do with their neighbors to the south.
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Flint1979

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Re: How do you define the Midwest?
« Reply #52 on: August 28, 2018, 08:03:32 PM »

I like a definition that would keep whole parts of states.  In that vein, OH, IN, MI, IL, WI, MN, IA, and MO are the midwest to me.  Yes some parts of OH and MO have a southern feel to them, but since a majority is midwestern, it should be associated with the midwest.

ND, SD, NE, KS are Plains states.  KY and WV are Southern states. PA is wholly a Mid-Atlantic state.

I guess we can keep the southern parts of MO, IL, IN, and OH in the Midwest. I'm guessing they have more in common with the northern/central parts of those states than they do with their neighbors to the south.
Southern Missouri is the Ozarks which is more in common with Arkansas than any of the Midwest states. The Bootheel of Missouri has more in common with Tennessee and Arkansas.
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MantyMadTown

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Re: How do you define the Midwest?
« Reply #53 on: August 28, 2018, 08:05:16 PM »

I like a definition that would keep whole parts of states.  In that vein, OH, IN, MI, IL, WI, MN, IA, and MO are the midwest to me.  Yes some parts of OH and MO have a southern feel to them, but since a majority is midwestern, it should be associated with the midwest.

ND, SD, NE, KS are Plains states.  KY and WV are Southern states. PA is wholly a Mid-Atlantic state.

I guess we can keep the southern parts of MO, IL, IN, and OH in the Midwest. I'm guessing they have more in common with the northern/central parts of those states than they do with their neighbors to the south.
Southern Missouri is the Ozarks which is more in common with Arkansas than any of the Midwest states. The Bootheel of Missouri has more in common with Tennessee and Arkansas.

Makes sense. But the rest of the state is still Midwest though?
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hbelkins

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Re: How do you define the Midwest?
« Reply #54 on: August 28, 2018, 10:02:27 PM »

Southern and southeastern Ohio have a lot more in common with Kentucky and West Virginia than they do the northern and northwestern parts of their own state -- geographically, economically, socially, and in just about every other way.
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Re: How do you define the Midwest?
« Reply #55 on: August 28, 2018, 10:17:57 PM »

Theory:  US50 is the border between the Midwest and the South.
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Re: How do you define the Midwest?
« Reply #56 on: August 29, 2018, 03:00:11 PM »

I like a definition that would keep whole parts of states.  In that vein, OH, IN, MI, IL, WI, MN, IA, and MO are the midwest to me.  Yes some parts of OH and MO have a southern feel to them, but since a majority is midwestern, it should be associated with the midwest.

ND, SD, NE, KS are Plains states.  KY and WV are Southern states. PA is wholly a Mid-Atlantic state.

I guess we can keep the southern parts of MO, IL, IN, and OH in the Midwest. I'm guessing they have more in common with the northern/central parts of those states than they do with their neighbors to the south.

Southern Indiana is much more like Kentucky than it is like Northern Indiana.
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Re: How do you define the Midwest?
« Reply #57 on: August 30, 2018, 10:46:31 PM »

Are we using state borders to define the Midwest? Because I'm wondering if we can count a whole state as midwestern even if some parts of it are not.
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hbelkins

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Re: How do you define the Midwest?
« Reply #58 on: August 31, 2018, 11:20:27 AM »

To me, the Midwest is more geographical than anything else. If it's flat to rolling farmland between the Appalachians, the Ozarks and the Rockies, to me it's pretty much the Midwest.
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Re: How do you define the Midwest?
« Reply #59 on: August 31, 2018, 11:46:29 AM »

Are we using state borders to define the Midwest? Because I'm wondering if we can count a whole state as midwestern even if some parts of it are not.

The definition can be whatever you want it to be. This entire thread is opinion.
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Re: How do you define the Midwest?
« Reply #60 on: August 31, 2018, 12:36:29 PM »

I'm reading Larry McMurtry's ROADS right now and I think that he said that the Midwest starts in Columbus, O, but I can't find the cite.
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jon daly

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Re: How do you define the Midwest?
« Reply #61 on: September 02, 2018, 10:58:20 AM »

I found the cite. On page 80 McMurtry writes in 2000, "I spent the day in Ohio, Indiana, Illimois, Missourri answering, at least to my own satisfaction, where the midwest begins. Its eastern edge would seem to me to be Columbus, Ohio, after which the great cornfields appear and continue all the way to St. Louis. Western Ohio still has the look of Appalachia, with narrow frame houses on steep hillsides, but after Columbus there are no hillsides. just the flat midwestern plain."

Earlier on page 16 he has the northeastern megalopolis annex Cleveland. "To see the Culture of Congestion at its most intense, just go east of Cleveland, north of Richmond, Virginia, south of Maine."

Larry McMurtry is a plainsman from Archer, Texas. From my New England POV, my gut tells me that the midwest starts in Pittsburgh, but that's not widely accepted and I'll admit that I could be wrong. I just think that it is too similar to Cleveland for them not to be part of the same region and I think McMurtry's wrong focusing on cornfields. There's also the Great Lakes and the Ohio and I think those define the Midwestern boundaries. (Hence, I sometimes half-kiddingly mentally place Louisville within its orbit.)

I'll agree that the upper Ohio Valley is part of Appalachia, but I consider that too be a subregion that meanders through other regions; including the Midwest and the South.
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Re: How do you define the Midwest?
« Reply #62 on: September 02, 2018, 01:51:15 PM »

From the northeast, as one travels from east to west, the midwest begins at the point at which sales of yellow mustard outweigh sales of brown mustard.
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jon daly

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Re: How do you define the Midwest?
« Reply #63 on: September 02, 2018, 08:22:53 PM »

I once spent a few days in Cleveland and the highlight of my trip was Stadium Mustard. By your reckoning, I didn't leave the northeast when I went to northeast Ohio.
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Re: How do you define the Midwest?
« Reply #64 on: September 04, 2018, 12:18:18 PM »

I like a definition that would keep whole parts of states.  In that vein, OH, IN, MI, IL, WI, MN, IA, and MO are the midwest to me.  Yes some parts of OH and MO have a southern feel to them, but since a majority is midwestern, it should be associated with the midwest.

ND, SD, NE, KS are Plains states.  KY and WV are Southern states. PA is wholly a Mid-Atlantic state.

I guess we can keep the southern parts of MO, IL, IN, and OH in the Midwest. I'm guessing they have more in common with the northern/central parts of those states than they do with their neighbors to the south.
Southern Missouri is the Ozarks which is more in common with Arkansas than any of the Midwest states. The Bootheel of Missouri has more in common with Tennessee and Arkansas.

The Ozarks truly are their own region. Much more an exclave of Appalachia with a weird smattering of New England revivalism than like any of their regional neighbors.
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SP Cook

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Re: How do you define the Midwest?
« Reply #65 on: September 04, 2018, 02:16:38 PM »

From the northeast, as one travels from east to west, the midwest begins at the point at which sales of yellow mustard outweigh sales of brown mustard.

I read a book one time, cannot remember the name, and it used barns as a dividing line.  Traditionally New Englanders painted barns, generally red because red paint was the least expensive 200 years ago.  Virginians used unpainted rough lumber, in later times treated with creosote and thus black, later black paint.  As the two groups moved west, they mostly followed their father's traditions. 

It does form a rough dividing line between the upper south and the lower midwest.
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qguy

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Re: How do you define the Midwest?
« Reply #66 on: September 05, 2018, 09:45:57 AM »

From the northeast, as one travels from east to west, the midwest begins at the point at which sales of yellow mustard outweigh sales of brown mustard.
I read a book one time, cannot remember the name, and it used barns as a dividing line.  Traditionally New Englanders painted barns, generally red because red paint was the least expensive 200 years ago.  Virginians used unpainted rough lumber, in later times treated with creosote and thus black, later black paint.  As the two groups moved west, they mostly followed their father's traditions. 

It does form a rough dividing line between the upper south and the lower midwest.

My observation of barns in Pennsylvania is that most are painted white, with a minority painted red, and a relatively tiny percentage black. It would be interesting to see actual statistics as well as distribution.
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Re: How do you define the Midwest?
« Reply #67 on: September 05, 2018, 01:55:54 PM »

Theory:  US50 is the border between the Midwest and the South.

I've always maintained that it's I-70, and I would suggest that the space in between the two is a touch more Southern than Midwestern, but that's really splitting hairs and I think either works.
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abefroman329

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Re: How do you define the Midwest?
« Reply #68 on: September 05, 2018, 02:07:58 PM »

I had a college professor who was from MO and thought I-70 was the diving line between “Southern Missouri” and “Midwestern Missouri.” It appears to be the case at least with accents.
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Re: How do you define the Midwest?
« Reply #69 on: September 06, 2018, 06:09:15 AM »

I had a college professor who was from MO and thought I-70 was the diving line between “Southern Missouri” and “Midwestern Missouri.” It appears to be the case at least with accents.

I'd venture that the Missouri River itself is more a definitive divisor between Southern and Midwest influences in MO.  The metro area of St. Louis is sort of an amalgam of both (most of my mother's side of the family still live in that area); if you get to the northern exurbs (St. Peters, O'Fallon) they have characteristics similar to smaller towns in the northern tier of the state as well as Iowa or northern Illinois.  Some of the southern 'burbs, however (e.g. Kirkwood, Oakville) do seem more like small towns in Arkansas.  My 2nd cousin Curtis, who's just a bit older (71) than myself, lives on a farm in Hermann, on the south bank of the Missouri, raising mostly hops (and, of course, is very thankful for the IPA "craze" among beer aficionados!); his demeanor is decidedly Southern (except for his distinctly left-of-center politics). 

But I agree with separating out the N-S "strip" of states from OK north to ND as "plains" states -- but I'd actually also parse out the Great Lakes states (the "Chicagoland" part of IL, WI east of US 51, all of MI, IN north of IN 46, and OH northwest of I-71 and then north of US 30 to the PA state line) as a separate entity.  To me, the actual Midwest lies north of the Missouri River and actually begins at the exurban outskirts of Chicagoland. 
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Re: How do you define the Midwest?
« Reply #70 on: September 21, 2018, 04:43:17 AM »

For whatever it's worth, most Plains residents consider themselves Midwestern.
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Re: How do you define the Midwest?
« Reply #71 on: September 21, 2018, 01:15:30 PM »

I had a college professor who was from MO and thought I-70 was the diving line between “Southern Missouri” and “Midwestern Missouri.” It appears to be the case at least with accents.

I'd venture that the Missouri River itself is more a definitive divisor between Southern and Midwest influences in MO.  The metro area of St. Louis is sort of an amalgam of both (most of my mother's side of the family still live in that area); if you get to the northern exurbs (St. Peters, O'Fallon) they have characteristics similar to smaller towns in the northern tier of the state as well as Iowa or northern Illinois.  Some of the southern 'burbs, however (e.g. Kirkwood, Oakville) do seem more like small towns in Arkansas.  My 2nd cousin Curtis, who's just a bit older (71) than myself, lives on a farm in Hermann, on the south bank of the Missouri, raising mostly hops (and, of course, is very thankful for the IPA "craze" among beer aficionados!); his demeanor is decidedly Southern (except for his distinctly left-of-center politics). 

But I agree with separating out the N-S "strip" of states from OK north to ND as "plains" states -- but I'd actually also parse out the Great Lakes states (the "Chicagoland" part of IL, WI east of US 51, all of MI, IN north of IN 46, and OH northwest of I-71 and then north of US 30 to the PA state line) as a separate entity.  To me, the actual Midwest lies north of the Missouri River and actually begins at the exurban outskirts of Chicagoland.

Would this include the Madison area as part of the Great Lakes region? Because US 51 goes right through Madison (it runs along the east side as Stoughton Rd, west of I-39/90), and so would split Madison and separate the bulk of the city from its eastern suburbs.
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TXtoNJ

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Re: How do you define the Midwest?
« Reply #72 on: September 21, 2018, 06:54:30 PM »

So I found this image of Missouri, which I feel gives an accurate division:



The north is Midwestern, the west Plains, the middle Ozark, and the bootheel Southern.

However, this helped me to get a better sense of what makes the Midwest the Midwest: it's the glacial till that makes up its soil. You can see this in the below map of the previous glacial maximum:



At this point, it's possible to draw up a definition of the Midwest -

- Under ice at the last glacial maximum or surrounded by icebound areas
- Plains are the dominant landform
- It is east of 100 degrees West
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Re: How do you define the Midwest?
« Reply #73 on: September 21, 2018, 07:06:59 PM »

Whenever I would travel from Tennessee to Michigan, I considered everything south of I-64 to be the South, everything between I-64 to I-70 to be the transition zone, and north of I-70 to be the Midwest.  This also (usually) corresponded with whether or not I would see Krystal or White Castle on the blue logo signs and whether I would see Meijer stores, which I consider to be a staple of the Midwest.  The one exception that I know of is that there is a Meijer in Richmond (?), KY on I-75, which is south of I-64 and I believe it is in Berea that has both a White Castle and Krystal logo on their blue logo sign.
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Re: How do you define the Midwest?
« Reply #74 on: September 22, 2018, 04:38:31 PM »

Whenever I would travel from Tennessee to Michigan, I considered everything south of I-64 to be the South, everything between I-64 to I-70 to be the transition zone, and north of I-70 to be the Midwest.  This also (usually) corresponded with whether or not I would see Krystal or White Castle on the blue logo signs and whether I would see Meijer stores, which I consider to be a staple of the Midwest.  The one exception that I know of is that there is a Meijer in Richmond (?), KY on I-75, which is south of I-64 and I believe it is in Berea that has both a White Castle and Krystal logo on their blue logo sign.

There's a Meijer even farther south than Richmond now, but it's on I-65 at Bowling Green. And London, even farther south than Berea, has a Krystal (Exit 38) and White Castle (Exit 41).
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