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Boundaries of the midwest

38 posts in this topic

Posted

Where do you think the midwest begins and ends. This is from north to south, east to west, geographically, culturally, and you don't just have to use states as boundaries.

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Posted

Well... it depends on what you mean midwest?

Midwest means: The Dakotas, Nebraska, Kansas, northern Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio

But within this you have the "Northern plains" which are the Dakotas and western Minnesota. You have the "upper Midwest" which is The Dakotas, Minnesota, Iowa, and Wisconsin...

You can also classify Minnesota and Wisconsin as "western Great Lakes"

Politically, the line runs in a curve from the ND/MN boder south into Iowa and then turning east in central Iowa towards Chicago. The area north and east of this tends to be more liberal and has a more diversified economy (more mining, forestry, etc.)

Culturally.. North Dakota, northern Minnesota, and northern Wisconsin are very Scandinavian culturally.

Central and southern Minnesota, much of Iowa, and Wisconsin are very German.

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Posted

And where does Michigan fall in your classifications?

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Posted

I would consider Michigan purely "Great Lakes" but still part of the midwest.

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Posted

To me, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio and even Illinois, if only because of Chicago, never really fit with the rest of the Midwest.

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Posted

Illinois outside of Chicago is no different than Kansas or Nebraska.

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Posted

Michigan is part of the Midwest, even though its not 100% in line with its politics...

We may vote blue, but on the philosophies like on personal economy we fit right into the Midwestern mold. We just arent as vocal on the hotbed non economic issues of the day, which seem to drive most other states in voting.

Although if someone wanted to sump the Midwest moniker, and call MI, ILL, WI, MN, OH, IN, NY, and PA the "Great Lakes States", I don't think you'd find much objection to that. Because truth be told I feel much more closer to the opinions of a New Yorker, then I do the opinions of a Nebraskan, or a North/South Dakotan

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Posted

To me the Midwest comprised of the following states:

Michigan

Ohio

Indiana

Illinois

Wisconsin

Minnesota

UP includes states like Kansas and Iowa in the midwest catagory. But they should really be placed in a "Great Plains" catagory.

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Posted

To me the Midwest comprised of the following states:

Michigan

Ohio

Indiana

Illinois

Wisconsin

Minnesota

UP includes states like Kansas and Iowa in the midwest catagory. But they should really be placed in a "Great Plains" catagory.

I agree, I feel that the midwest (a crazy moniker by the way since really, all the states of the Mississippi, I imagine this was coined early on when there was the east coast, the midwest and California back in the early years) and the plains state are two seperate regions within the country.

Midwest

-Michigan, Illinois, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Indiana & Ohio

Plains States

-Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, the Dakotas, & Montana

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Posted

Where does Louisville, and for that matter, the rest of Kentucky fit?

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Posted

Where does Louisville, and for that matter, the rest of Kentucky fit?

Kentucky is South, not Midwest (Southern Ohio and Indiana could be considered "South"). They certainly have Southern accents.

Jdkacz, you forgot Missouri (Midwest).

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Posted

Kentucky is South, not Midwest (Southern Ohio and Indiana could be considered "South"). They certainly have Southern accents.

Jdkacz, you forgot Missouri (Midwest).

I wouldn't say Kentucky is really south either, and they don't have the same kinds of accents. And Louisville, what I was really asking about, to me feels somwhat like rust belt/midwest town, feel free to dispute that, but it can't really be south either. There are places in southern Ohio that share much in common with WV, but even they are differnent than most of the south. Perhaps Appalachian is a better term for some of these areas. And if southern Ohio is "South", does that apply to Cincinnati?

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Posted

I wouldn't say Kentucky is really south either, and they don't have the same kinds of accents. And Louisville, what I was really asking about, to me feels somwhat like rust belt/midwest town, feel free to dispute that, but it can't really be south either. There are places in southern Ohio that share much in common with WV, but even they are differnent than most of the south. Perhaps Appalachian is a better term for some of these areas. And if southern Ohio is "South", does that apply to Cincinnati?

Kentucky absolutely cannot be categorized as one thing or the other, no matter what anyone tells you. Eastern KY east of Lexington is most definitely Appalachian, and it is one of the poorest regions in the country. This area is a large reason KY has not hit the "new south" boom in stride bc many of the urban area tax dollars go to bailing this poverty out. The people in Appalachia have distinct nasally southern accents that are different than anywhere else.

Lexington is the best example of a "new south" city in KY. It is growing fast, has a major research university, and is diversifying its economy. It also is famous for horses, and girls in southern dresses and greek life, etc. Lexington could easily be a twin of Columbia, SC, or Jackson, MS, etc.

Then you have Louisville, which was a mid nineteenth and early twentieth century metropolis. In fact New Albany, IN, a current suburb of Louisville, was the largest city in Indiana until 1850! At a time, Louisville was the nation's leading producer of rubber and tires, and was highly regarded for shipbuilding, distilling, textiles, etc. The only major city in KY, Louisville cannot be clasified as south nor midwest. It has certain southern elements but many people here do not have southern accents, do not like grits, and do NOT associate with the south or the rest of KY for that matter. And I am talking about lifelong Louisvillians who grew up in the actual city which is really bouded by the Olmstead Park System (Shawnee in the west end, Iroquois on the south end, and Cherokee on the east end). Many of the southern elements in the city are brought here by people from down state who move here. At the same time, many of the Midwestern elements are brought by transplants from places like Chicago and Cleveland who are beginning to flock here as the city slowly begins its "new south" boom. The most "southern aspect" of the city's history is the persistent availability of slaves that were used by the region's steamboat, railroad, and distilling aristocracy. In contrast to the true south, slaves were not as concentrated in Louisville nor would you find any plantations in the region. They merely served as household servants who would live in "cariage houses" in alleys behind the wealthy mansions. In fact, when you think about it, these early neighborhoods were ironically "integrated" withe the wealthy whites living on tree lined streets in mansions and their slaves living in servant quartes in densely packed carriage houses on back alleys.

The Louisville of today has recently hit a "new south" boom with a knowledge based economy and is becoming a major distribution and biomedical/informatics center. Condos are sprouting everywhere, downtown is growing fast, and you can feel the momentum in the city. However, if you take a stroll along the Ohio River to Shippingport, a major 1800's warehouseing district, you can almost hear the steamboats blowing as if you were in another time. Or you can travel east to Butchertown and hear the hogs squealing in the meat packing district and the stench of blood in Beargrass Creek. It is a colorful city full of a history of massive influxes of German and Irish immigrants with a distinct neighborhood known as Germantown that still has a tavern on almost every corner. Seidenfaden's is my favorite. You can feel the Midwest grit and industrial grime amidst the new south boom, the infill condos, and the coastal transplants. But you can also see the southern charm of the city with bourbon, Churchill Downs, and some friendly neighbors with a southern accent who will offer to cut your grass while you are on vacation. It is a melting pot of culture, and thats why I love the city.

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Posted

^Informative, thank you, though the "New South" term I find weird as usual, since it really just means 'newer growth', 'renaissance' or is referring to a certain part of the south (usually the SE of the south...) as opposed to other "fringe" south areas. Anyway, no point in debating something that has a fluid meaning, but maybe one should say Louisville is experiencing "New Central" growth. :) Anyway, thanks again.

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Posted

Being a football junkie, I've more assumed regions based on their conference. One reason GRdad, I left out Missouri -- they're in the Big 12. Also, why I personally feel that Kentucky is in the south as they're in the SEC. I know its simple thinking, but it keeps things straight for me.

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Posted

^ That may work for college, but try that with the NFL divisions... :blink:

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Posted

Indiana is more like half and half. From Indianapolis on north looks and feels like the midwest to me while anything south of the capital city seems to have a southern feel that only gets stronger the closer to the Kentucky border one gets. My Grand Parents and my mother were born and rised in the southwest corner of the state and they have strong southern accents.

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Posted

Indiana is more like half and half. From Indianapolis on north looks and feels like the midwest to me while anything south of the capital city seems to have a southern feel that only gets stronger the closer to the Kentucky border one gets. My Grand Parents and my mother were born and rised in the southwest corner of the state and they have strong southern accents.

I was thinking about posting that same thought yesterday. I had a history professor once who claimed the real dividing point between the north and south was the old national highway. If you search in Wikipedea for "National Old Trails Highway" you can see a map of where this road went. It bisected Indiana through Indianapolis. After he had mentioned that I noticed that the people I knew that came from that area, even just a little south of Indianapolis, had accents and attitudes more typical of people from Kentucky or Tennessee

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Posted (edited)

Is there a magical transformation that takes place as you cross anywhere along the roughly 120 miles of shared border between WV and Pennsylvania? Probably not, but neighbors on either side of it will enjoy a life time of radically different judgments based on it anyway.

Edited by nowensone

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Posted

Kentucky absolutely cannot be categorized as one thing or the other, no matter what anyone tells you.

No one tells me anything about Kentucky. In fact, I don't think I've heard anyone talk about Kentucky. It's one of those States that's stuck in the middle of a bunch of other States, like a five of diamonds laying in a pile of playing cards. I've only been to Kentucky on the way to Spring Break back in the 90's. I may have stopped at a Flap Jack Shack as I passed through.

With the mountains, the Flap Jack Shacks, and the waitresses with the Southern accents, it was all South to me.

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Posted (edited)

Iowa is not a part of the Great Plains states. The "Great Plains" are shown by the green on this map.

800px-Map_of_Great_Plains.svg.png

Here is another image from wikimedia.org that shows in red what is normally always considered "midwest". The striped states may be considered Midwest or may not, from source to source.

US_map-Midwest.PNG

For me, I wouldn't consider WV or KY to be midwest (although KY is questionable). Missouri is Midwest. KS, NE, SD, and ND can fall within either Great Plains or Midwest.

Edited by Ingersoll1978

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Posted

I'm sure I don't speak for all Michiganders, but if you take a general survey of people here, I would bet that many or most of them would consider KY in the South. Perhaps it doesn't have a classification, but I certainly don't consider it a Midwest state. Like GRDad said, the southern accent kinda gives it away.

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Posted

I'm sure I don't speak for all Michiganders, but if you take a general survey of people here, I would bet that many or most of them would consider KY in the South. Perhaps it doesn't have a classification, but I certainly don't consider it a Midwest state. Like GRDad said, the southern accent kinda gives it away.

Another take would be to ask other forumers in the South & West what they perceive the boundaries to be. For example, if Midwesterners think Kentucky is more South than Midwest, do the Southern forumers think so too? That would strengthen the arguments one way or another.

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Posted

I would wager to bet most southerners and Kentuckians (outside of perhaps some in Louisville and Covington/NKY) would consider Kentucky a Southern state. Thats not to say there aren't midwestern tinges in several areas in Kentucky along the Ohio River, but conversely most people would not consider Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois potentially Southern because there are southern tinges in areas in their southern portions.

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Posted

I guess I'm a bit confused here: Western Minnesota is not part of the great plains?

Here is a picture of the Red River Valley in NW Minnesota/E. North Dakota. Looks pretty "plain" to me.

airview_red_river_valley_2000.jpg

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