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The Midwestern United States, also referred to as the American Midwest, Middle West, or simply the Midwest, is one of four geographic regions defined by the United States
United States
Census Bureau. It occupies the northern central part of the United States
United States
of America.[2] It was officially named the North Central region by the Census Bureau until 1984.[3] It is located between the Northeastern U.S.
Northeastern U.S.
and the Western U.S., with Canada
Canada
to its north and the Southern U.S.
Southern U.S.
to its south. The Census Bureau's definition consists of 12 states in the north central United States: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. The region generally lies on the broad Interior Plain between the states occupying the Appalachian Mountain range and the states occupying the Rocky Mountain range. Major rivers in the region include, from east to west, the Ohio
Ohio
River, the Upper Mississippi River, and the Missouri
Missouri
River.[4] A 2012 report from the United States Census put the population of the Midwest at 65,377,684. The Midwest is divided by the Census Bureau into two divisions. The East North Central Division includes Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio
Ohio
and Wisconsin, all of which are also part of the Great Lakes region. The West North Central Division includes Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Nebraska, and South Dakota, several of which are located at least partly, within the Great Plains
Great Plains
region. Chicago
Chicago
is the most populated city in the American Midwest and the third most populous in the entire country. Other large Midwest cities include (in order by population): Columbus, Indianapolis, Detroit, Milwaukee, Kansas
Kansas
City, Omaha, Minneapolis, Wichita, Cleveland, St. Louis, St. Paul, and Cincinnati. Chicago
Chicago
and its suburbs form the largest metropolitan statistical area with 9.8 million people, followed by Metro Detroit, Minneapolis–St. Paul, Greater St. Louis, Greater Cleveland, Greater Cincinnati, the Kansas
Kansas
City
City
metro area, and the Columbus metro area.[5]

Contents

1 Background 2 Definition 3 Physical geography 4 Prehistory 5 History

5.1 Native Americans

5.1.1 Great Lakes Native Americans 5.1.2 Great Plains
Great Plains
Indians

5.2 European exploration and early settlement

5.2.1 New France 5.2.2 Marquette and Jolliet

5.3 American settlement

5.3.1 Lewis and Clark 5.3.2 Indian wars 5.3.3 Yankees
Yankees
and ethnocultural politics

5.4 Development of transportation

5.4.1 Waterways 5.4.2 Railroads and the automobile

5.5 American Civil War

5.5.1 Slavery prohibition and the Underground Railroad 5.5.2 Bleeding Kansas

5.6 Immigration
Immigration
and industrialization

5.6.1 German Americans

5.7 History of the term Midwest

6 Economy

6.1 Farming and agriculture 6.2 Financial

7 Culture

7.1 Religion 7.2 Education 7.3 Music 7.4 Sports 7.5 Cultural overlap 7.6 Linguistic characteristics

8 Health 9 Major metropolitan areas 10 State population 11 Politics

11.1 Historical 11.2 Recent trends

12 See also 13 Bibliography 14 References 15 Further reading

15.1 Historiography

16 External links

Background[edit] The term Midwestern has been in use since the 1880s to refer to portions of the central United States. A variant term, Middle West, has been used since the 19th century
19th century
and remains relatively common.[6][7] Another term sometimes applied to the same general region is the heartland.[8] Other designations for the region have fallen out of use, such as the Northwest or Old Northwest (from "Northwest Territory") and Mid-America. The Northwest Territory
Northwest Territory
(1787) was one of the earliest territories of the United States, stretching northwest from the Ohio
Ohio
River to northern Minnesota
Minnesota
and the upper-Mississippi. The upper-Mississippi watershed including the Missouri
Missouri
and Illinois
Illinois
Rivers was the setting for the earlier French settlements of the Illinois
Illinois
Country.[9] Economically the region is balanced between heavy industry and agriculture (large sections of this land area make up the United States' Corn Belt), with finance and services such as medicine and education becoming increasingly important. Its central location makes it a transportation crossroads for river boats, railroads, autos, trucks and airplanes. Politically the region swings back and forth between the parties, and thus is heavily contested and often decisive in elections.[10][11] After the sociological study Middletown (1929), which was based on Muncie, Indiana,[12] commentators used Midwestern cities (and the Midwest generally) as "typical" of the nation. Earlier, the rhetorical question, 'Will it play in Peoria?', had become a stock phrase using Peoria, Illinois
Illinois
to signal whether something would appeal to mainstream America.[13] The region has a higher employment-to-population ratio (the percentage of employed people at least 16 years-old) than the Northeast, the West, the South, or the Sun Belt
Sun Belt
states as of 2011[update].[14] Definition[edit]

Divisions of the Midwest by the U.S. Census Bureau into East North Central and West North Central, separated by the Mississippi River.[1]

Traditional definitions of the Midwest include the Northwest Ordinance Old Northwest states and many states that were part of the Louisiana Purchase. The states of the Old Northwest are also known as Great Lakes states and are east-north central in the United States. The Ohio River runs along the southeastern section while the Mississippi River runs north to south near the center. Many of the Louisiana Purchase states in the west-north central United States, are also known as Great Plains
Great Plains
states, where the Missouri
Missouri
River is a major waterway joining with the Mississippi. The Midwest lies north of the 36°30′ parallel that the 1820 Missouri
Missouri
Compromise established as the dividing line between future slave and non-slave states.[citation needed] The Midwest Region is defined by the U.S. Census Bureau as these 12 states:[2]

Illinois: Old Northwest, Mississippi River
Mississippi River
( Missouri
Missouri
River joins near the state border), Ohio
Ohio
River, and Great Lakes state Indiana: Old Northwest, Ohio
Ohio
River, and Great Lakes state Iowa: Louisiana Purchase, Mississippi River, and Missouri
Missouri
River state Kansas: Louisiana Purchase, Great Plains, and Missouri
Missouri
River state Michigan: Old Northwest and Great Lakes state Minnesota: Old Northwest, Louisiana Purchase, Mississippi River, part of Red River Colony
Red River Colony
before 1818, Great Lakes state Missouri: Louisiana Purchase, Mississippi River
Mississippi River
( Ohio
Ohio
River joins near the state border), Missouri
Missouri
River, and border state Nebraska: Louisiana Purchase, Great Plains, and Missouri
Missouri
River state North Dakota: Louisiana Purchase, part of Red River Colony
Red River Colony
before 1818, Great Plains, and Missouri
Missouri
River state Ohio: Old Northwest (Historic Connecticut Western Reserve), Ohio River, and Great Lakes state. The southeastern part of the state is part of northern Appalachia South Dakota: Louisiana Purchase, Great Plains, and Missouri
Missouri
River state Wisconsin: Old Northwest, Mississippi River, and Great Lakes state

Various organizations define the Midwest with slightly different groups of states. For example, the Council of State Governments, an organization for communication and coordination among state governments, includes in its Midwest regional office eleven states from the above list, omitting Missouri, which is in the CSG South region.[15] The Midwest Region of the National Park Service
National Park Service
consists of these twelve states plus the state of Arkansas.[16] The Midwest Archives Conference, a professional archives organization, with hundreds of archivists, curators, and information professionals as members, covers the above twelve states plus Kentucky.[17] Physical geography[edit] Main articles: Geography of Illinois, Geography of Indiana, Geography of Iowa, Geography of Kansas, Geography of Michigan, Geography of Minnesota, Geography of Missouri, Geography of Nebraska, Geography of North Dakota, Geography of Ohio, Geography of South Dakota, and Geography of Wisconsin

Typical terrain of the Driftless Area
Driftless Area
as viewed from Wildcat Mountain State Park in Vernon County, Wisconsin

Flint Hills
Flint Hills
grasslands of Kansas

Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota

Prairie
Prairie
in Effigy Mounds National Monument, Iowa

The vast central area of the U.S., into Canada, is a landscape of low, flat to rolling terrain in the Interior Plains. Most of its eastern two-thirds form the Interior Lowlands. The Lowlands gradually rise westward, from a line passing through eastern Kansas, up to over 5,000 feet (1,500 m) in the unit known as the Great Plains. Most of the Great Plains
Great Plains
area is now farmed.[18] While these states are for the most part relatively flat, consisting either of plains or of rolling and small hills, there is a measure of geographical variation. In particular, the following areas exhibit a high degree of topographical variety: the eastern Midwest near the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains; the Great Lakes Basin; the Ozark Mountains
Ozark Mountains
of southern Missouri; the rugged topography of Southern Indiana
Indiana
and Southern Illinois; and the Driftless Area
Driftless Area
of northwestern Illinois, southwestern Wisconsin, southeastern Minnesota, and northeastern Iowa.[citation needed] Proceeding westward, the Appalachian Plateau
Appalachian Plateau
topography gradually gives way to gently rolling hills and then (in central Ohio) to flat lands converted principally to farms and urban areas. This is the beginning of the vast Interior Plains
Interior Plains
of North America. As a result, prairies cover most of the Great Plains
Great Plains
states. Iowa
Iowa
and much of Illinois
Illinois
lie within an area called the prairie peninsula, an eastward extension of prairies that borders conifer and mixed forests to the north, and hardwood deciduous forests to the east and south.[citation needed] Geographers subdivide the Interior Plains
Interior Plains
into the Interior Lowlands and the Great Plains
Great Plains
on the basis of elevation. The Lowlands are mostly below 1,500 feet (460 m) above sea level whereas the Great Plains to the west are higher, rising in Colorado
Colorado
to around 5,000 feet (1,500 m). The Lowlands, then, are confined to parts of Minnesota, Iowa, Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Tennessee, and Kentucky. Missouri
Missouri
and Arkansas
Arkansas
have regions of Lowlands elevations, but in the Ozarks
Ozarks
(within the Interior Highlands) are higher. Those familiar with the topography of eastern Ohio
Ohio
may be confused by this; that region is hilly, but its rocks are horizontal and are an extension of the Appalachian Plateau.[citation needed] The Interior Plains
Interior Plains
are largely coincident with the vast Mississippi River Drainage System (other major components are the Missouri
Missouri
and Ohio
Ohio
Rivers). These rivers have for tens of millions of years been eroding downward into the mostly horizontal sedimentary rocks of Paleozoic, Mesozoic, and Cenozoic
Cenozoic
ages. The modern Mississippi River system has developed during the Pleistocene Epoch of the Cenozoic.[citation needed] Rainfall decreases from east to west, resulting in different types of prairies, with the tallgrass prairie in the wetter eastern region, mixed-grass prairie in the central Great Plains, and shortgrass prairie towards the rain shadow of the Rockies. Today, these three prairie types largely correspond to the corn/soybean area, the wheat belt, and the western rangelands, respectively.[citation needed] Although hardwood forests in the northern Midwest were clear-cut in the late 19th century, they were replaced by new growth. Ohio
Ohio
and Michigan's forests are still growing. The majority of the Midwest can now be categorized as urbanized areas or pastoral agricultural areas.[citation needed] Prehistory[edit] Main article: Mississippian culture Among the American Indians Paleoindian
Paleoindian
cultures were the earliest in North America, with a presence in the Great Plains
Great Plains
and Great Lakes areas from about 12,000 BCE to around 8,000 BCE.[citation needed]

Monks Mound, located at the Cahokia Mounds
Cahokia Mounds
near Collinsville, Illinois, is the largest Pre-Columbian
Pre-Columbian
earthwork in America north of Mesoamerica.

Following the Paleo-Indian
Paleo-Indian
period is the Archaic period (8,000 BCE to 1,000 BCE), the Woodland Tradition (1,000 BCE to 100 CE), and the Mississippian Period (900 to 1500 CE). Archaeological evidence indicates that Mississippian culture
Mississippian culture
traits probably began in the St. Louis, Missouri
Missouri
area and spread northwest along the Mississippi and Illinois
Illinois
rivers and entered the state along the Kankakee River system. It also spread northward into Indiana
Indiana
along the Wabash, Tippecanoe, and White Rivers.[19] Mississippian peoples in the Midwest were mostly farmers who followed the rich, flat floodplains of Midwestern rivers. They brought with them a well-developed agricultural complex based on three major crops—maize, beans, and squash. Maize, or corn, was the primary crop of Mississippian farmers. They gathered a wide variety of seeds, nuts, and berries, and fished and hunted for fowl to supplement their diets. With such an intensive form of agriculture, this culture supported large populations.[citation needed] The Mississippi period was characterized by a mound-building culture. The Mississippians suffered a tremendous population decline about 1400, coinciding with the global climate change of the Little Ice Age. Their culture effectively ended before 1492.[20] History[edit] Native Americans[edit] Main article: Native Americans
Americans
in the United States

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Great Lakes Native Americans[edit] The major tribes of the Great Lakes region
Great Lakes region
included the Hurons, Ottawa, Chippewas
Chippewas
or Ojibwas, Potawatomis, Winnebago (Ho-chunk), Menominees, Sacs, Neutrals, Fox, and the Miami. Most numerous were the Hurons
Hurons
and Chippewas. Fighting and battle were often launched between tribes, with the losers forced to flee.[21] Most are of the Algonquian language family. Some tribes—such as the Stockbridge-Munsee and the Brothertown—are also Algonkian-speaking tribes who relocated from the eastern seaboard to the Great Lakes region in the 19th century. The Oneida belong to the Iroquois
Iroquois
language group and the Ho-Chunk
Ho-Chunk
of Wisconsin
Wisconsin
are one of the few Great Lakes tribes to speak a Siouan language.[22] American Indians in this area did not develop a written form of language.[citation needed]

Winnebago family (1852)

In the 16th century, American Indians used projectiles and tools of stone, bone, and wood to hunt and farm. They made canoes for fishing. Most of them lived in oval or conical wigwams that could be easily moved away. Various tribes had different ways of living. The Ojibwas were primarily hunters and fishing was also important in the Ojibwas economy. Other tribes such as Sac, Fox, and Miami, both hunted and farmed.[citation needed] They were oriented toward the open prairies where they engaged in communal hunts for buffalo (bison). In the northern forests, the Ottawas and Potawatomis
Potawatomis
separated into small family groups for hunting. The Winnebagos and Menominees
Menominees
used both hunting methods interchangeably and built up widespread trade networks extending as far west as the Rockies, north to the Great Lakes, south to the Gulf of Mexico, and east to the Atlantic Ocean.[citation needed] The Hurons
Hurons
reckoned descent through the female line, while the others favored the patrilineal method. All tribes were governed under chiefdoms or complex chiefdoms. For example, Hurons
Hurons
were divided into matrilineal clans, each represented by a chief in the town council, where they met with a town chief on civic matters. But Chippewa people's social and political life was simpler than that of settled tribes.[citation needed] The religious beliefs varied among tribes. Hurons
Hurons
believed in Yoscaha, a supernatural being who lived in the sky and was believed to have created the world and the Huron people. At death, Hurons
Hurons
thought the soul left the body to live in a village in the sky. Chippewas
Chippewas
were a deeply religious people who believed in the Great Spirit. They worshiped the Great Spirit through all their seasonal activities and viewed religion as a private matter: each person's relation with his personal guardian spirit was part of his thinking every day of life. Ottawa and Potawatomi people had very similar religious beliefs to those of the Chippewas.[19] Great Plains
Great Plains
Indians[edit] Main article: Plains Indians

Young Oglala Lakota
Oglala Lakota
girl in front of tipi with puppy beside her, probably on or near Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, South Dakota

Cumulus clouds hover above a yellowish prairie at Badlands National Park, South Dakota, native lands to the Sioux.

The Plains Indians
Plains Indians
are the indigenous peoples who live on the plains and rolling hills of the Great Plains
Great Plains
of North America. Their colorful equestrian culture and famous conflicts with settlers and the US Army have made the Plains Indians
Plains Indians
archetypical in literature and art for American Indians everywhere.[citation needed] Plains Indians
Plains Indians
are usually divided into two broad classifications, with some degree of overlap. The first group were fully nomadic, following the vast herds of buffalo. Some tribes occasionally engaged in agriculture; growing tobacco and corn primarily. These included the Blackfoot, Arapaho, Assiniboine, Cheyenne, Comanche, Crow, Gros Ventre, Kiowa, Lakota, Lipan, Plains Apache
Plains Apache
(or Kiowa
Kiowa
Apache), Plains Cree, Plains Ojibwe, Sarsi, Shoshone, Stoney, and Tonkawa.[citation needed] The second group of Plains Indians
Plains Indians
(sometimes referred to as Prairie Indians) were the semi-sedentary tribes who, in addition to hunting buffalo, lived in villages and raised crops. These included the Arikara, Hidatsa, Iowa, Kaw (or Kansa), Kitsai, Mandan, Missouria, Nez Perce, Omaha, Osage, Otoe, Pawnee, Ponca, Quapaw, Santee, Wichita, and Yankton.[citation needed] The nomadic tribes of the Great Plains
Great Plains
survived on hunting, some of their major hunts centered on deer and buffalo. Some tribes are described as part of the 'Buffalo Culture' (sometimes called, for the American Bison). Although the Plains Indians
Plains Indians
hunted other animals, such as elk or antelope, bison was their primary game food source. Bison flesh, hide, and bones from Bison hunting
Bison hunting
provided the chief source of raw materials for items that Plains Indians
Plains Indians
made, including food, cups, decorations, crafting tools, knives, and clothing.[citation needed] The tribes followed the bison's seasonal grazing and migration. The Plains Indians
Plains Indians
lived in teepees because they were easily disassembled and allowed the nomadic life of following game. When Spanish horses were obtained, the Plains tribes rapidly integrated them into their daily lives. By the early 18th century, many tribes had fully adopted a horse culture. Before their adoption of guns, the Plains Indians hunted with spears, bows, and bows and arrows, and various forms of clubs. The use of horses by the Plains Indians
Plains Indians
made hunting (and warfare) much easier.[23] Among the most powerful and dominant tribes were the Dakota or Sioux, who occupied large amounts of territory in the Great Plains
Great Plains
of the Midwest. The area of the Great Sioux
Sioux
Nation spread throughout the South and Midwest, up into the areas of Minnesota
Minnesota
and stretching out west into the Rocky Mountains. At the same time, they occupied the heart of prime buffalo range, and also an excellent region for furs they could sell to French and American traders for goods such as guns. The Sioux
Sioux
(Dakota) became the most powerful of the Plains tribes and the greatest threat to American expansion.[24][25] The Sioux
Sioux
comprise three major divisions based on Siouan dialect and subculture:[citation needed]

Isáŋyathi or Isáŋathi ("Knife"): residing in the extreme east of the Dakotas, Minnesota
Minnesota
and northern Iowa, and are often referred to as the Santee or Eastern Dakota. Iháŋktȟuŋwaŋ and Iháŋktȟuŋwaŋna ("Village-at-the-end" and "little village-at-the-end"): residing in the Minnesota
Minnesota
River area, they are considered the middle Sioux, and are often referred to as the Yankton and the Yanktonai, or, collectively, as the Wičhíyena (endonym) or the Western Dakota (and have been erroneously classified as Nakota[26]). Thítȟuŋwaŋ or Teton (uncertain) : the westernmost Sioux, known for their hunting and warrior culture, are often referred to as the Lakota.

Today, the Sioux
Sioux
maintain many separate tribal governments scattered across several reservations, communities, and reserves in the Dakotas, Nebraska, Minnesota, and Montana in the United States, as well as Manitoba
Manitoba
and southern Saskatchewan
Saskatchewan
in Canada.[27] European exploration and early settlement[edit] New France[edit] Main article: New France European settlement of the area began in the 17th century following French exploration of the region and became known as New France. The French period began with the exploration of the Saint Lawrence River by Jacques Cartier
Jacques Cartier
in 1534 and ending with their expulsion by the British, who split New France
New France
with Spain
Spain
in 1763.[28] Marquette and Jolliet[edit] Main articles: Jacques Marquette
Jacques Marquette
and Louis Joliet

c. 1681 map of Marquette and Jolliet's 1673 expedition

In 1673, the governor of New France
New France
sent Jacques Marquette, a Catholic priest and missionary, and Louis Jolliet, a fur trader to map the way to the Northwest Passage to the Pacific. They traveled through Michigan's upper peninsula to the northern tip of Lake Michigan. On canoes, they crossed the massive lake and landed at present-day Green Bay, Wisconsin. They entered the Mississippi River
Mississippi River
on June 17, 1673.[29] Marquette and Jolliet soon realized that the Mississippi could not possibly be the Northwest Passage because it flowed south. Nevertheless, the journey continued. They recorded much of the wildlife they encountered. They turned around at the junction of the Mississippi River
Mississippi River
and Arkansas
Arkansas
River and headed back.[citation needed] Marquette and Jolliet were the first to map the northern portion of the Mississippi River. They confirmed that it was easy to travel from the St. Lawrence River through the Great Lakes all the way to the Gulf of Mexico by water, that the native peoples who lived along the route were generally friendly, and that the natural resources of the lands in between were extraordinary. New France
New France
officials led by LaSalle followed up and erected a 4,000-mile network of fur trading posts.[30] American settlement[edit] Main article: American frontier
American frontier
§ New Nation At the end of the American Revolution, there were few, if any, American settlers in the Midwest. However, the U.S. gained possession of the entire Midwest east of the Mississippi, and pioneers headed to Ohio, where large tracts had been awarded to war veterans.[citation needed]

Beaver hunting grounds, the basis of the fur trade

While French control ended in 1763 after their defeat by Britain, most of the several hundred French settlers in small villages along the Mississippi River
Mississippi River
and its tributaries remained and were not disturbed by the new British government. By the terms of the Treaty of Paris, Spain
Spain
was given Louisiana; the area west of the Mississippi. St. Louis and Ste. Genevieve in Missouri
Missouri
were the main towns, but there was little new settlement. France regained Louisiana from Spain
Spain
in exchange for Tuscany by the terms of the Treaty of San Ildefonso in 1800. Napoleon had lost interest in reestablishing a French colonial empire in North America
North America
following the Haitian Revolution
Haitian Revolution
and together with the fact that France could not effectively defend Louisiana from Great Britain, he sold the territory to the United States
United States
in the Louisiana Purchase
Louisiana Purchase
of 1803. Meanwhile, the British maintained forts and trading posts in U.S. territory, not giving them up until the mid-1790s by the Jay Treaty.[citation needed] American settlement began either via routes over the Appalachian Mountains or through the waterways of the Great Lakes. Fort Pitt (now Pittsburgh) at the source of the Ohio
Ohio
River became the main base for settlers moving into the Midwest. Marietta, Ohio
Ohio
in 1787 became the first settlement in Ohio, but not until the defeat of Indian tribes at the Battle of Fallen Timbers
Battle of Fallen Timbers
in 1794 was large-scale settlement possible. Large numbers also came north from Kentucky
Kentucky
into southern Ohio, Indiana
Indiana
and Illinois.[31] The region's fertile soil produced corn and vegetables; most farmers were self-sufficient. They cut trees and claimed the land, then sold it to newcomers and then moved further west to repeat the process.[citation needed] Lewis and Clark[edit] Main article: Lewis and Clark Expedition In 1803, President Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson
commissioned the Lewis and Clark expedition that took place between May 1804 and September 1806. The goal was to explore the Louisiana Purchase, and establish trade and U.S. sovereignty over the native peoples along the Missouri
Missouri
River. The Lewis and Clark Expedition
Lewis and Clark Expedition
established relations with more than two dozen indigenous nations west of the Missouri
Missouri
River.[32] The Expedition returned east to St. Louis
St. Louis
in the spring of 1806. Indian wars[edit] In 1791, General Arthur St. Clair
Arthur St. Clair
became commander of the United States Army and led a punitive expedition with two Regular Army regiments and some militia. Near modern-day Fort Recovery, his force advanced to the location of Indian settlements near the headwaters of the Wabash River, but on November 4 they were routed in battle by a tribal confederation led by Miami Chief Little Turtle
Little Turtle
and Shawnee chief Blue Jacket. More than 600 soldiers and scores of women and children were killed in the battle, which has since borne the name "St. Clair's Defeat." It remains the greatest defeat of a U.S. Army by Native Americans.[33][34][35] The British had a long-standing goal of building a "neutral", but pro-British Indian buffer state in the American Midwest.[36][37] They demanded a neutral Indian state at the peace conference that ended the War of 1812, but failed to gain any of it because they had lost control of the region in the Battle of Lake Erie
Battle of Lake Erie
and the Battle of the Thames in 1813, where Tecumseh
Tecumseh
was killed. The British then abandoned the Indians south of the lakes. The Indians were major losers in the War of 1812. Apart from the short Black Hawk War
Black Hawk War
of 1832, the days of Indian warfare east of the Mississippi River
Mississippi River
had ended.[citation needed] Yankees
Yankees
and ethnocultural politics[edit]

Ohio
Ohio
River near Rome, Ohio

Yankee settlers from New England
New England
started arriving in Ohio
Ohio
before 1800, and spread throughout the northern half of the Midwest. Most of them started as farmers, but later the larger proportion moved to towns and cities as entrepreneurs, businessmen, and urban professionals. Since its beginnings in the 1830s, Chicago
Chicago
has grown to dominate the Midwestern metropolis landscape for over a century.[38] Historian John Bunker has examined the worldview of the Yankee settlers in the Midwest:

Because they arrived first and had a strong sense of community and mission, Yankees
Yankees
were able to transplant New England
New England
institutions, values, and mores, altered only by the conditions of frontier life. They established a public culture that emphasized the work ethic, the sanctity of private property, individual responsibility, faith in residential and social mobility, practicality, piety, public order and decorum, reverence for public education, activists, honest, and frugal government, town meeting democracy, and he believed that there was a public interest that transcends particular and stick ambitions. Regarding themselves as the elect and just in a world rife with sin, air, and corruption, they felt a strong moral obligation to define and enforce standards of community and personal behavior....This pietistic worldview was substantially shared by British, Scandinavian, Swiss, English-Canadian and Dutch Reformed immigrants, as well as by German Protestants and many of the Forty-Eighters.[39]

Midwestern politics pitted Yankees
Yankees
against the German Catholics and Lutherans, who were often led by the Irish Catholics. These large groups, Buenker argues:

Generally subscribed to the work ethic, a strong sense of community, and activist government, but were less committed to economic individualism and privatism and ferociously opposed to government supervision of the personal habits. Southern and eastern European immigrants generally leaned more toward the Germanic view of things, while modernization, industrialization, and urbanization modified nearly everyone's sense of individual economic responsibility and put a premium on organization, political involvement, and education.[40][41]

Development of transportation[edit] Waterways[edit]

Lake Michigan
Michigan
is shared by four Midwestern states: Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin.

Three waterways have been important to the development of the Midwest. The first and foremost was the Ohio
Ohio
River, which flowed into the Mississippi River. Development of the region was halted until 1795 due to Spain's control of the southern part of the Mississippi and its refusal to allow the shipment of American crops down the river and into the Atlantic Ocean.[citation needed] The second waterway is the network of routes within the Great Lakes. The opening of the Erie Canal
Erie Canal
in 1825 completed an all-water shipping route, more direct than the Mississippi, to New York and the seaport of New York City. In 1848, The Illinois
Illinois
and Michigan
Michigan
Canal breached the continental divide spanning the Chicago
Chicago
Portage and linking the waters of the Great Lakes with those of the Mississippi Valley
Mississippi Valley
and the Gulf of Mexico. Lakeport and river cities grew up to handle these new shipping routes. During the Industrial Revolution, the lakes became a conduit for iron ore from the Mesabi Range
Mesabi Range
of Minnesota
Minnesota
to steel mills in the Mid-Atlantic States. The Saint Lawrence Seaway
Saint Lawrence Seaway
(1862, widened 1959) opened the Midwest to the Atlantic Ocean.[citation needed] The third waterway, the Missouri
Missouri
River, extended water travel from the Mississippi almost to the Rocky Mountains.[citation needed]

The Upper Mississippi River
Mississippi River
near Harpers Ferry, Iowa

In the 1870s and 1880s, the Mississippi River
Mississippi River
inspired two classic books— Life on the Mississippi
Life on the Mississippi
and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn—written by native Missourian Samuel Clemens, who used the pseudonym Mark Twain. His stories became staples of Midwestern lore. Twain's hometown of Hannibal, Missouri
Missouri
is a tourist attraction offering a glimpse into the Midwest of his time.[citation needed] Inland canals in Ohio
Ohio
and Indiana
Indiana
constituted another important waterway, which connected with Great Lakes and Ohio
Ohio
River traffic. The commodities that the Midwest funneled into the Erie Canal
Erie Canal
down the Ohio
Ohio
River contributed to the wealth of New York City, which overtook Boston
Boston
and Philadelphia.[citation needed] Railroads and the automobile[edit] During the mid-19th century, the region got its first railroads, and the railroad junction in Chicago
Chicago
became the world's largest. During the century, Chicago
Chicago
became the nation's railroad center. By 1910, over 20 railroads operated passenger service out of six different downtown terminals. Even today, a century after Henry Ford, six Class I railroads meet in Chicago.[42][43] In the period from 1890 to 1930, many Midwestern cities were connected by electric interurban railroads, similar to streetcars. The Midwest had more interurbans than any other region. In 1916, Ohio
Ohio
led all states with 2,798 miles (4,503 km), Indiana
Indiana
followed with 1,825 miles (2,937 km). These two states alone had almost a third of the country's interurban trackage.[44] The nation's largest interurban junction was in Indianapolis. During the 1900s (decade), the city's 38 percent growth in population was attributed largely to the interurban.[45] Competition with automobiles and buses undermined the interurban and other railroad passenger business. By 1900, Detroit
Detroit
was the world center of the auto industry, and soon practically every city within 200 miles was producing auto parts that fed into its giant factories.[46] In 1903, Henry Ford
Henry Ford
founded the Ford Motor Company. Ford's manufacturing—and those of automotive pioneers William C. Durant, the Dodge
Dodge
brothers, Packard, and Walter Chrysler—established Detroit's status in the early 20th century as the world's automotive capital. The proliferation of businesses created a synergy that also encouraged truck manufacturers such as Rapid and Grabowsky.[47] The growth of the auto industry was reflected by changes in businesses throughout the Midwest and nation, with the development of garages to service vehicles and gas stations, as well as factories for parts and tires. Today, greater Detroit
Detroit
remains home to General Motors, Chrysler, and the Ford Motor Company.[citation needed] American Civil War[edit] Main article: American Civil War Slavery prohibition and the Underground Railroad[edit]

A map of various Underground Railroad
Underground Railroad
routes

The Northwest Ordinance
Northwest Ordinance
region, comprising the heart of the Midwest, was the first large region of the United States
United States
that prohibited slavery (the Northeastern United States
United States
emancipated slaves in the 1830s). The regional southern boundary was the Ohio
Ohio
River, the border of freedom and slavery in American history and literature (see Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
Harriet Beecher Stowe
and Beloved by Toni Morrison). The Midwest, particularly Ohio, provided the primary routes for the Underground Railroad, whereby Midwesterners assisted slaves to freedom from their crossing of the Ohio
Ohio
River through their departure on Lake Erie to Canada. Created in the early 19th century, the Underground Railroad was at its height between 1850 and 1860. One estimate suggests that by 1850, 100,000 slaves had escaped via the Underground Railroad.[48] The Underground Railroad
Underground Railroad
consisted of meeting points, secret routes, transportation, and safe houses and assistance provided by abolitionist sympathizers. Individuals were often organized in small, independent groups; this helped to maintain secrecy because individuals knew some connecting "stations" along the route, but knew few details of their immediate area. Escaped slaves would move north along the route from one way station to the next. Although the fugitives sometimes traveled on boat or train, they usually traveled on foot or by wagon.[49] The region was shaped by the relative absence of slavery (except for Missouri), pioneer settlement, education in one-room free public schools, democratic notions brought by American Revolutionary War veterans, Protestant
Protestant
faiths and experimentation, and agricultural wealth transported on the Ohio
Ohio
River riverboats, flatboats, canal boats, and railroads.[citation needed] Bleeding Kansas[edit] Main article: Bleeding Kansas The first violent conflicts leading up to the Civil War occurred between two neighboring Midwestern states, Kansas
Kansas
and Missouri, involving anti-slavery Free-Staters and pro-slavery "Border Ruffian" elements, that took place in the Kansas
Kansas
Territory and the western frontier towns of Missouri
Missouri
roughly between 1854 and 1858. At the heart of the conflict was the question of whether Kansas
Kansas
would enter the Union as a free state or slave state. As such, Bleeding Kansas
Kansas
was a proxy war between Northerners and Southerners over the issue of slavery. The term "Bleeding Kansas" was coined by Horace Greeley
Horace Greeley
of the New York Tribune; the events it encompasses directly presaged the Civil War.[citation needed]

1855 Free-State poster

Setting in motion the events later known as "Bleeding Kansas" was the Kansas- Nebraska
Nebraska
Act. The Act created the territories of Kansas
Kansas
and Nebraska, opened new lands that would help settlement in them, repealed the Missouri
Missouri
Compromise, and allowed settlers in those territories to determine through popular sovereignty whether to allow slavery within their boundaries. It was hoped the Act would ease relations between the North and the South, because the South could expand slavery to new territories, but the North still had the right to abolish slavery in its states. Instead, opponents denounced the law as a concession to the slave power of the South.[citation needed] The new Republican Party, born in the Midwest (Ripon, Wisconsin, 1854) and created in opposition to the Act, aimed to stop the expansion of slavery and soon emerged as the dominant force throughout the North.[50] An ostensibly democratic idea, popular sovereignty stated that the inhabitants of each territory or state should decide whether it would be a free or slave state; however, this resulted in immigration en masse to Kansas
Kansas
by activists from both sides. At one point, Kansas
Kansas
had two separate governments, each with its own constitution, although only one was federally recognized. On January 29, 1861, Kansas
Kansas
was admitted to the Union as a free state, less than three months before the Battle of Fort Sumter
Battle of Fort Sumter
officially began the Civil War.[51] The calm in Kansas
Kansas
was shattered in May 1856 by two events that are often regarded as the opening shots of the Civil War. On May 21, the Free Soil town of Lawrence, Kansas
Kansas
was sacked by an armed pro‐slavery force from Missouri. A few days later, the Sacking of Lawrence led abolitionist John Brown and six of his followers to execute five men along the Pottawatomie Creek in Franklin County, Kansas, in retaliation.[52] The so-called "Border War" lasted for another four months, from May through October, between armed bands of pro‐slavery and Free Soil men. The U.S. Army had two garrisons in Kansas, the First Cavalry Regiment at Fort Leavenworth
Fort Leavenworth
and the Second Dragoons and Sixth Infantry at Fort Riley.[53] The skirmishes endured until a new governor, John W. Geary, managed to prevail upon the Missourians to return home in late 1856. A fragile peace followed, but violent outbreaks continued intermittently for several more years.[citation needed] National reaction to the events in Kansas
Kansas
demonstrated how deeply divided the country had become. The Border Ruffians were widely applauded in the South, even though their actions had cost the lives of numerous people. In the North, the murders committed by Brown and his followers were ignored by most and lauded by a few.[54] The civil conflict in Kansas
Kansas
was a product of the political fight over slavery. Federal troops were not used to decide a political question, but they were used by successive territorial governors to pacify the territory so that the political question of slavery in Kansas
Kansas
could finally be decided by peaceful, legal, and political means.[citation needed]

An animation depicting when United States
United States
territories and states forbade or allowed slavery, 1789–1861

The election of Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln
in November 1860 was the final trigger for secession by the Southern states.[55] Efforts at compromise, including the "Corwin Amendment" and the Crittenden Compromise, failed. Southern leaders feared that Lincoln would stop the expansion of slavery and put it on a course toward extinction.[citation needed] The U.S. federal government was supported by 20 mostly-Northern free states in which slavery already had been abolished, and by five slave states that became known as the border states. All of the Midwestern states but one, Missouri, banned slavery. Though most battles were fought in the South, skirmishes between Kansas
Kansas
and Missouri
Missouri
continued until culmination with the Lawrence Massacre
Lawrence Massacre
on August 21, 1863. Also known as Quantrill's Raid, the massacre was a rebel guerrilla attack by Quantrill's Raiders, led by William Clarke Quantrill, on pro-Union Lawrence, Kansas. Quantrill's band of 448 Missouri
Missouri
guerrillas raided and plundered Lawrence, killing more than 150 and burning all the business buildings and most of the dwellings. Pursued by federal troops, the band escaped to Missouri.[56] Lawrence was targeted due to the town's long support of abolition and its reputation as a center for Redlegs and Jayhawkers, which were free-state militia and vigilante groups known for attacking and families in Missouri's pro-slavery western counties.[citation needed] Immigration
Immigration
and industrialization[edit] Main articles: Immigrants to the United States
United States
and Industrialization

The Gateway Arch
Gateway Arch
in St. Louis
St. Louis
on the Mississippi River

Omaha, Nebraska
Nebraska
is on the Missouri
Missouri
River

By the time of the American Civil War, European immigrants bypassed the East Coast of the United States
United States
to settle directly in the interior: German immigrants to Ohio, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, Illinois, Kansas, and Missouri; Irish immigrants to port cities on the Great Lakes, especially Chicago; Danes, Czechs, Swedes, and Norwegians to Iowa, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and the Dakotas; and Finns
Finns
to Upper Michigan
Michigan
and northern/central Minnesota. Poles, Hungarians, and Jews
Jews
settled in Midwestern cities.[citation needed] The U.S. was predominantly rural at the time of the Civil War. The Midwest was no exception, dotted with small farms all across the region. The late 19th century
19th century
saw industrialization, immigration, and urbanization that fed the Industrial Revolution, and the heart of industrial domination and innovation was in the Great Lakes states of the Midwest, which only began its slow decline by the late 20th century.[citation needed] A flourishing economy brought residents from rural communities and immigrants from abroad. Manufacturing and retail and finance sectors became dominant, influencing the American economy.[57] In addition to manufacturing, printing, publishing, and food processing also play major roles in the Midwest's largest economy. Chicago
Chicago
was the base of commercial operations for industrialists John Crerar, John Whitfield Bunn, Richard Teller Crane, Marshall Field, John Farwell, Julius Rosenwald
Julius Rosenwald
and many other commercial visionaries who laid the foundation for Midwestern and global industry.[citation needed] In the 20th century, African American
African American
migration from the Southern United States
United States
into the Midwestern states changed Chicago, St. Louis, Cleveland, Milwaukee, Kansas
Kansas
City, Cincinnati, Detroit, Omaha, Minneapolis
Minneapolis
and many other cities in the Midwest, as factories and schools enticed families by the thousands to new opportunities. Chicago
Chicago
alone gained hundreds of thousands of black citizens from the Great Migration and the Second Great Migration.[citation needed] The Gateway Arch
Gateway Arch
monument in St. Louis, clad in stainless steel and built in the form of a flattened catenary arch,[58] is the tallest man-made monument in the United States,[59] and the world's tallest arch.[59] Built as a monument to the westward expansion of the United States,[58] it is the centerpiece of the Gateway Arch
Gateway Arch
National Park, which was known as the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial until 2018, and has become an internationally famous symbol of St. Louis
St. Louis
and the Midwest.[citation needed] German Americans[edit] Main article: German American

Distribution of German Americans
Americans
according to the 2000 Census

German population density in the United States, 1870 census

German Immigration
Immigration
to the United States
United States
(by decade 1820–2004)

Decade Number of Immigrants Decade Number of Immigrants

1820–1840 160,335 1921–1930 412,202

1841–1850 434,626 1931–1940 114,058

1851–1860 951,667 1941–1950 226,578

1861–1870 787,468 1951–1960 477,765

1871–1880 718,182 1961–1970 190,796

1881–1890 1,452,970 1971–1980 74,414

1891–1900 505,152 1981–1990 91,961

1901–1910 341,498 1991–2000 92,606

1911–1920 143,945 2001–2004 61,253

Total: 7,237,594

As the Midwest opened up to settlement via waterways and rail in the mid-1800s, Germans
Germans
began to settle there in large numbers. The largest flow of German immigration to America occurred between 1820 and World War I, during which time nearly six million Germans
Germans
immigrated to the United States. From 1840 to 1880, they were the largest group of immigrants.[citation needed] The Midwestern cities of Milwaukee, Cincinnati, St. Louis, and Chicago were favored destinations of German immigrants. By 1900, the populations of the cities of Cleveland, Milwaukee, Hoboken, and Cincinnati
Cincinnati
were all more than 40 percent German American. Dubuque and Davenport, Iowa, had even larger proportions; in Omaha, Nebraska, the proportion of German Americans
Americans
was 57 percent in 1910. In many other cities of the Midwest, such as Fort Wayne, Indiana, German Americans were at least 30 percent of the population.[60][61] Many concentrations acquired distinctive names suggesting their heritage, such as the "Over-the-Rhine" district in Cincinnati
Cincinnati
and "German Village" in Columbus, Ohio.[62] A favorite destination was Milwaukee, known as "the German Athens". Radical Germans
Germans
trained in politics in the old country dominated the city's Socialists. Skilled workers dominated many crafts, while entrepreneurs created the brewing industry; the most famous brands included Pabst, Schlitz, Miller, and Blatz.[63] While half of German immigrants settled in cities, the other half established farms in the Midwest. From Ohio
Ohio
to the Plains states, a heavy presence persists in rural areas into the 21st century.[64][65][66] Throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, German Americans
Americans
showed a high interest in becoming farmers, and keeping their children and grandchildren on the land. Western railroads, with large land grants available to attract farmers, set up agencies in Hamburg
Hamburg
and other German cities, promising cheap transportation, and sales of farmland on easy terms. For example, the Santa Fe Railroad
Santa Fe Railroad
hired its own commissioner for immigration, and sold over 300,000 acres (1,200 km2) to German-speaking farmers.[67] History of the term Midwest[edit]

Scotts Bluff National Monument
Scotts Bluff National Monument
in western Nebraska

The term West was applied to the region in the early years of the country. In 1789, the Northwest Ordinance
Northwest Ordinance
was enacted, creating the Northwest Territory, which was bounded by the Great Lakes and the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. Because the Northwest Territory
Northwest Territory
lay between the East Coast and the then-far-West, the states carved out of it were called the Northwest. In the early 19th century, anything west of the Mississippi River
Mississippi River
was considered the West. The first recorded use of the term Midwestern to refer to a region of the central U.S. occurred in 1886, Midwest appeared in 1894, and Midwesterner in 1916.[68] Following the settlement of the western prairie, some considered the row of states from North Dakota
North Dakota
to Kansas
Kansas
to be part of the Midwest.[69] The states of the "old Northwest" are now called the "East North Central States" by the United States Census Bureau
United States Census Bureau
and the "Great Lakes region" is also a popular term. The states just west of the Mississippi River
Mississippi River
and the Great Plains
Great Plains
states are called the "West North Central States" by the Census Bureau.[citation needed] Some entities in the Midwest are still referred to as "Northwest" due to historical reasons (for example, Northwestern University
Northwestern University
in Illinois).[citation needed] Economy[edit] Farming and agriculture[edit]

A pastoral farm scene near Traverse City, Michigan, with a classic American red barn

Central Iowa
Iowa
cornfield in June

Standing wheat in Kansas, part of America's Breadbasket

Soybean
Soybean
fields at Applethorpe Farm, north of Hallsville in Ross County, Ohio

Further information: Corn Belt
Corn Belt
and Wheat
Wheat
production in the United States Agriculture
Agriculture
is one of the biggest drivers of local economies in the Midwest, accounting for billions of dollars worth of exports and thousands of jobs. The area consists of some of the richest farming land in the world.[70] The region's fertile soil combined with the steel plow has made it possible for farmers to produce abundant harvests of grain and cereal crops, including corn, wheat, soybeans, oats, and barley, to become known today as the nation's "breadbasket."[71] Farms spread from the colonies westward along with the settlers. In cooler regions, wheat was often the crop of choice when lands were newly settled, leading to a "wheat frontier" that moved westward over the course of years. Also very common in the antebellum Midwest was farming corn while raising hogs, complementing each other especially since it was difficult to get grain to market before the canals and railroads. After the "wheat frontier" had passed through an area, more diversified farms including dairy and beef cattle generally took its place.[citation needed] The very dense soil of the Midwest plagued the first settlers who were using wooden plows, which were more suitable for loose forest soil. On the prairie, the plows bounced around and the soil stuck to them. This problem was solved in 1837 by an Illinois
Illinois
blacksmith named John Deere who developed a steel moldboard plow that was stronger and cut the roots, making the fertile soils of the prairie ready for farming.[citation needed] The tallgrass prairie has been converted into one of the most intensive crop producing areas in North America. Less than one tenth of one percent (<0.09%) of the original landcover of the tallgrass prairie biome remains.[72] States formerly with landcover in native tallgrass prairie such as Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Nebraska, and Missouri
Missouri
have become valued for their highly productive soils and are included in the Corn Belt. As an example of this land use intensity, Illinois
Illinois
and Iowa
Iowa
rank 49th and 50th out of 50 states in total uncultivated land remaining.[citation needed] The introduction and broad adoption of scientific agriculture since the mid- 19th century
19th century
contributed to economic growth in the United States. This development was facilitated by the Morrill Act
Morrill Act
and the Hatch Act of 1887
Hatch Act of 1887
which established in each state a land-grant university (with a mission to teach and study agriculture) and a federally funded system of agricultural experiment stations and cooperative extension networks which place extension agents in each state. Iowa
Iowa
State University became the nation's first designated land-grant institution when the Iowa
Iowa
Legislature accepted the provisions of the 1862 Morrill Act
Morrill Act
on September 11, 1862, making Iowa the first state in the nation to do so.[73] The Corn Belt
Corn Belt
is a region of the Midwest where corn has, since the 1850s, been the predominant crop, replacing the native tall grasses. The "Corn Belt" region is defined typically to include Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, southern Michigan, western Ohio, eastern Nebraska, eastern Kansas, southern Minnesota, and parts of Missouri.[74] As of 2008, the top four corn-producing states were Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska, and Minnesota, together accounting for more than half of the corn grown in the United States.[75] The Corn Belt
Corn Belt
also sometimes is defined to include parts of South Dakota, North Dakota, Wisconsin, and Kentucky.[76] The region is characterized by relatively level land and deep, fertile soils, high in organic matter.[77] Former Vice President Henry A. Wallace, a pioneer of hybrid seeds, declared in 1956 that the Corn Belt
Corn Belt
developed the "most productive agricultural civilization the world has ever seen".[78] Today, the U.S. produces 40 percent of the world crop.[79] Iowa
Iowa
produces the largest corn crop of any state. In 2012, Iowa farmers produced 18.3 percent of the nation's corn, while Illinois produced 15.3 percent.[80] In 2011, there were 13.7 million harvested acres of corn for grain, producing 2.36 billion bushels, which yielded 172.0 bu/acre, with US$14.5 billion of corn value of production.[81] Soybeans
Soybeans
were not widely cultivated in the United States
United States
until the early 1930s, and by 1942, it became the world's largest soybean producer, due in part to World War II and the "need for domestic sources of fats, oils, and meal". Between 1930 and 1942, the United States' share of world soybean production skyrocketed from three percent to 46.5 percent, largely due to the Midwest, and by 1969, it had risen to 76 percent.[82] Iowa
Iowa
and Illinois
Illinois
rank first and second in the nation in soybean production. In 2012, Iowa
Iowa
produced 14.5 percent, and Illinois
Illinois
produced 13.3 percent of the nation's soybeans.[80] Wheat
Wheat
is produced throughout the Midwest and is the principal cereal grain in the country. The U.S. is ranked third in production volume of wheat, with almost 58 million tons produced in the 2012–2013 growing season, behind only China
China
and India
India
(the combined production of all European Union nations is larger than China)[83] The U.S. ranks first in crop export volume; almost 50 percent of total wheat produced is exported.[citation needed] The U.S. Department of Agriculture
Agriculture
defines eight official classes of wheat: durum wheat, hard red spring wheat, hard red winter wheat, soft red winter wheat, hard white wheat, soft white wheat, unclassed wheat, and mixed wheat.[84] Winter wheat accounts for 70 to 80 percent of total production in the U.S., with the largest amounts produced in Kansas
Kansas
(10.8 million tons) and North Dakota
North Dakota
(9.8 million tons). Of the total wheat produced in the country, 50 percent is exported, valued at US$9 billion.[85] Midwestern states also lead the nation in other agricultural commodities, including pork (Iowa), beef and veal (Nebraska), dairy (Wisconsin), and chicken eggs (Iowa).[80] Financial[edit]

The Chicago
Chicago
Board of Trade Building

Chicago
Chicago
is the economic and financial heartbeat of the Midwest and has the third largest gross metropolitan product in the United States—approximately $532 billion according to 2010 estimates,[86][87] after only the urban agglomerations of New York City
City
and Los Angeles, in the first and second place, respectively. Chicago
Chicago
was named the fourth most important business center in the world in the MasterCard Worldwide Centers of Commerce Index.[88] The 2017 Global Financial Centres Index ranked Chicago
Chicago
as the fifth most competitive city in the country and twenty-fourth in the world.[89] The Chicago
Chicago
Board of Trade (established 1848) listed the first ever standardized "exchange traded" forward contracts, which were called futures contracts.[90] As a major world financial center, the city is home to the headquarters of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago
Chicago
(the Seventh District of the Federal Reserve). The city is also home to major financial and futures exchanges, including the Chicago
Chicago
Stock Exchange, the Chicago
Chicago
Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and the Chicago
Chicago
Mercantile Exchange (the "Merc"), which is owned, along with the Chicago
Chicago
Board of Trade (CBOT) by Chicago's CME Group. The CME Group, in addition, owns the New York Mercantile Exchange
New York Mercantile Exchange
(NYMEX), the Commodities Exchange Inc. (COMEX) and the Dow Jones Indexes.[91] Culture[edit] Religion[edit] Like the rest of the United States, the Midwest is predominantly Christian.[92] The majority of Midwesterners are Protestants, with rates from 48 percent in Illinois
Illinois
to 63 percent in Iowa.[93] However, the Roman Catholic Church is the largest single denomination, varying between 18 percent and 34 percent of the state populations.[94][95] Lutherans are prevalent in the Upper Midwest, especially in Minnesota
Minnesota
and the Dakotas
Dakotas
with their large Scandinavian and German populations.[96] Southern Baptists compose about 15 percent of Missouri's population,[97] but much smaller percentages in other Midwestern states. Judaism
Judaism
and Islam
Islam
are collectively practiced by 2 percent of the population, with higher concentrations in major urban areas. 35 percent of Midwesterners attend religious services every week and 69 percent attend at least a few times a year. People with no religious affiliation make up 22 percent of the Midwest's population.[98] Education[edit] Many Midwestern universities, both public and private, are members of the Association of American Universities
Association of American Universities
(AAU), an international organization of leading public and private research universities devoted to maintaining a strong system of academic research and education. Of the 62 members from the U.S. and Canada, 16 are located in the Midwest including private schools Case Western Reserve University, Northwestern University, the University of Chicago, and Washington University in St. Louis. Member public institutions of the AAU include the University of Illinois
Illinois
at Urbana-Champaign, Indiana University Bloomington, the University of Iowa, Iowa
Iowa
State University, the University of Kansas, the University of Michigan, Michigan
Michigan
State University, the University of Minnesota, the University of Missouri, the Ohio
Ohio
State University, Purdue University, and the University of Wisconsin–Madison.[99] Other notable major research-intensive public universities include the University of Cincinnati, Kansas
Kansas
State University, and the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.[citation needed] Numerous state university systems have established regional campuses statewide. The numerous state teachers colleges were upgraded into state universities after 1945.[100] Other notable private institutions include the University of Notre Dame, John Carroll University, Saint Louis University, Loyola University Chicago, DePaul University, Creighton University, Drake University, Marquette University, and Xavier University. Local boosters, usually with a church affiliation, created numerous colleges in the mid-19th century.[101] In terms of national rankings, the most prominent today include Carleton College, Denison University, DePauw University, Earlham College, Grinnell College, Hamline University, Kalamazoo College, Kenyon College, Knox College, Macalester College, Lawrence University, Oberlin College, St. Olaf College, Wheaton College, and The College of Wooster.[102] Music[edit]

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
in Cleveland, Ohio

The heavy German immigration played a major role in establishing musical traditions, especially choral and orchestral music.[103] Czech and German traditions combined to sponsor the polka.[104] The African American
African American
migration from the South brought jazz to the Midwest, along with blues, and rock and roll, with major contributions to jazz, funk, and R&B, and even new subgenres such as the Motown Sound and techno from Detroit[105] or house music from Chicago. In the 1920s, South Side Chicago
Chicago
was the base for Jelly Roll Morton (1890–1941). Kansas
Kansas
City
City
developed its own jazz style.[106] The electrified Chicago
Chicago
blues sound exemplifies the genre, as popularized by record labels Chess and Alligator and portrayed in such films as The Blues
Blues
Brothers, Godfathers and Sons, and Adventures in Babysitting.[citation needed] Rock and roll
Rock and roll
music was first identified as a new genre in 1951 by Cleveland, Ohio, disc jockey Alan Freed
Alan Freed
who began playing this music style while popularizing the term "rock and roll" to describe it.[107] By the mid-1950s, rock and roll emerged as a defined musical style in the United States, deriving most directly from the rhythm and blues music of the 1940s, which itself developed from earlier blues, boogie woogie, jazz, and swing music, and was also influenced by gospel, country and western, and traditional folk music. Freed's contribution in identifying rock as a new genre helped establish the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, located in Cleveland. Chuck Berry, a Midwesterner from St. Louis, was among the first successful rock and roll artists and influenced many other rock musicians.[citation needed] Notable soul and R&B musicians associated with Motown
Motown
that had their origins in the area include Aretha Franklin, The Supremes, Mary Wells, Four Tops, The Jackson 5, Smokey Robinson & the Miracles, Stevie Wonder, The Marvelettes, The Temptations, and Martha and the Vandellas. These artists achieved their greatest success in the 1960s and 1970s. Michael Jackson, from the Jackson 5, went on to have an extremely successful solo career from the 1970s through the 2000s. Known as the "King of Pop", he went on to become one of the bestselling solo artists of all time and the most-awarded artist of all time. His sister, Janet Jackson, also had an extremely successful solo career in the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s.[citation needed] In the 1970s and 1980s, native Midwestern musicians such as John Mellencamp and Bob Seger
Bob Seger
found great success with a style of rock music that came to be known as heartland rock, which were characterized by lyrical themes that focused on and appealed to the Midwestern working class. Other successful Midwestern rock artists emerged during this time, including REO Speedwagon, Styx, and Kansas.[citation needed] In the 1990s, the Chicago-based band The Smashing Pumpkins
The Smashing Pumpkins
emerged and went on to become one of the most successful alternative rock artists of the decade. Also in the 1990s, the Midwest was at the center of the emerging Midwest emo
Midwest emo
movement, with bands like The Get Up Kids (Missouri), Cursive (Nebraska) and Cap'n Jazz
Jazz
(Illinois) blending earlier hardcore punk sounds with a more melodic indie rock sentiment. This hybrid of styles came to be known as Midwest emo. Chicago-based artists Fall Out Boy
Fall Out Boy
and Plain White T's popularized the genre in the early part of the 21st century.[citation needed] In the late 1990s, Eminem
Eminem
and Kid Rock
Kid Rock
emerged from the Detroit
Detroit
area. Eminem
Eminem
went on to become one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed rappers of all time. Meanwhile, Kid Rock successfully mixed elements of rap, hard rock, heavy metal, country rock, and pop in forming his own unique sound. Both artists are known for celebrating their Detroit
Detroit
roots.[citation needed] House Music
House Music
and Techno
Techno
both had their roots in Chicago
Chicago
and Detroit respectively in the mid to late 1980s. House music
House music
producers such as Frankie Knuckles
Frankie Knuckles
and Marshall Jefferson recorded early house music records at Chicago's Trax Records
Trax Records
while in Detroit, techno pioneers Juan Atkins, Derrick May, and Kevin Saunderson
Kevin Saunderson
created a sound that, while ignored mostly in America, became quite popular in Europe.[108] Numerous classical composers live and have lived in midwestern states, including Easley Blackwood, Kenneth Gaburo, Salvatore Martirano, and Ralph Shapey (Illinois); Glenn Miller
Glenn Miller
and Meredith Willson
Meredith Willson
(Iowa); Leslie Bassett, William Bolcom, Michael Daugherty, and David Gillingham (Michigan); Donald Erb (Ohio); Dominick Argento and Stephen Paulus (Minnesota). Also notable is Peter Schickele, born in Iowa
Iowa
and partially raised in North Dakota, best known for his classical music parodies attributed to his alter ego of P. D. Q. Bach.[citation needed] Sports[edit] Professional sports leagues such as the National Football League (NFL), Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball
(MLB), National Basketball Association (NBA), National Hockey League
National Hockey League
(NHL) and Major League Soccer
Major League Soccer
(MLS) have team franchises in several Midwestern cities:[citation needed]

Chicago: Bears (NFL), Cubs, White Sox (MLB), Bulls (NBA), Blackhawks (NHL), Fire SC (MLS) Cincinnati: Bengals (NFL), Reds (MLB) Cleveland: Browns (NFL), Indians (MLB), Cavaliers (NBA) Columbus: Blue Jackets (NHL), Crew SC (MLS) Detroit: Lions (NFL), Tigers (MLB), Pistons (NBA), Red
Red
Wings (NHL) Green Bay: Packers (NFL) Indianapolis: Colts (NFL), Pacers (NBA) Kansas
Kansas
City: Chiefs (NFL), Royals (MLB), Sporting (MLS) Milwaukee: Brewers (MLB), Bucks (NBA) Minneapolis–Saint Paul: Vikings (NFL), Twins (MLB), Timberwolves (NBA), Wild (NHL), United FC (MLS) St. Louis: Cardinals (MLB), Blues
Blues
(NHL)

Successful teams include the St. Louis
St. Louis
Cardinals (11 World Series titles), Cincinnati
Cincinnati
Reds (5 World Series titles), Chicago
Chicago
Bulls (6 NBA titles), the Detroit
Detroit
Pistons (3 NBA titles), the Green Bay Packers
Green Bay Packers
(4 Super Bowl titles, 13 total NFL championships), the Detroit
Detroit
Red
Red
Wings (11 Stanley Cup titles), and the Chicago
Chicago
Blackhawks (6 Stanley Cup titles).[citation needed] In NCAA college sports, the Big Ten Conference
Big Ten Conference
and the Big 12 Conference feature the largest concentration of top Midwestern Division I football and men's and women's basketball teams in the region, including the Illinois
Illinois
Fighting Illini, Indiana
Indiana
Hoosiers, Iowa Hawkeyes, Iowa
Iowa
State Cyclones, Kansas
Kansas
Jayhawks, Kansas
Kansas
State Wildcats, Michigan
Michigan
Wolverines, Michigan
Michigan
State Spartans, Minnesota
Minnesota
Golden Gophers, Nebraska
Nebraska
Cornhuskers, Northwestern Wildcats, Ohio
Ohio
State Buckeyes, Purdue Boilermakers, and the Wisconsin
Wisconsin
Badgers.[citation needed] Other notable Midwestern college sports teams include the Butler Bulldogs, Cincinnati
Cincinnati
Bearcats, Creighton Bluejays, Dayton Flyers, Indiana
Indiana
State Sycamores, Marquette Golden Eagles, Milwaukee
Milwaukee
Panthers, Missouri
Missouri
Tigers, Missouri
Missouri
State Bears, Northern Illinois
Illinois
Huskies, Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Western Michigan
Michigan
Broncos, Wichita State Shockers, and Xavier Musketeers. Of this second group of schools, Butler, Dayton, Indiana
Indiana
State and Missouri
Missouri
State do not play top-level college football (all playing in the second-tier Division I FCS), and Creighton, Marquette, Milwaukee, Wichita State and Xavier do not sponsor football at all.[109] The Milwaukee
Milwaukee
Mile hosted its first motor race in 1903, and is one of the oldest tracks in the world. The Indianapolis
Indianapolis
Motor Speedway, opened in 1909, is a prestigious auto racing track which annually hosts the Indianapolis
Indianapolis
500, the Brickyard 400, and the Indianapolis Motorcycle Grand Prix. The Road America
Road America
and Mid- Ohio
Ohio
road courses opened in the 1950s and 1960s respectively. Other motorsport venues in the Midwest are Indianapolis
Indianapolis
Raceway Park, Michigan
Michigan
International Speedway, Chicagoland Speedway, Kansas
Kansas
Speedway, Gateway International Raceway, and the Iowa
Iowa
Speedway. The Kentucky
Kentucky
Speedway is just outside the officially defined Midwest, but is linked with the region because the track is located in the Cincinnati
Cincinnati
metropolitan area.[citation needed] Notable professional golf tournaments in the Midwest include the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, Memorial Tournament, BMW Championship and John Deere Classic.[citation needed] Cultural overlap[edit]

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Mount Rushmore
Mount Rushmore
is located in the Black Hills of South Dakota.

The Milwaukee
Milwaukee
Art Museum is located on Lake Michigan.

Differences in the definition of the Midwest mainly split between the Great Plains
Great Plains
region on one side, and the Great Lakes region
Great Lakes region
on the other. While some point to the small towns and agricultural communities in Kansas, Iowa, the Dakotas, and Nebraska
Nebraska
of the Great Plains as representative of traditional Midwestern lifestyles and values, others assert that the industrial cities of the Great Lakes—with their histories of 19th- and early-20th-century immigration, manufacturing base, and strong Catholic influence—are more representative of the Midwestern experience. In South Dakota, for instance, West River (the region west of the Missouri
Missouri
River) shares cultural elements with the western United States, while East River has more in common with the rest of the Midwest.[110] Two other regions, Appalachia
Appalachia
and the Ozark Mountains, overlap geographically with the Midwest— Appalachia
Appalachia
in Southern Ohio
Ohio
and the Ozarks
Ozarks
in Southern Missouri. The Ohio
Ohio
River has long been a boundary between North and South and between the Midwest and the Upper South. All of the lower Midwestern states, especially Missouri, have a major Southern component, and Missouri
Missouri
was a slave state before the Civil War.[citation needed] Western Pennsylvania, which contains the cities of Erie and Pittsburgh, plus the Western New York
Western New York
cities of Buffalo and possibly Rochester, share history with the Midwest, but overlap with Appalachia and the Northeast as well.[111] Kentucky
Kentucky
is rarely considered part of the Midwest, although it can be grouped with it in some contexts.[112] It is categorized as Southern by the Census Bureau and is usually classified as such, especially from a cultural standpoint.[113][114] In addition to intra-American regional overlaps, the Upper Peninsula of Michigan
Michigan
has historically had strong cultural ties to Canada, partly as a result of early settlement by French Canadians. Moreover, the Yooper accent
Yooper accent
shares some traits with Canadian English, further demonstrating transnational cultural connections. Similar but less pronounced mutual Canadian-American cultural influence occurs throughout the Great Lakes region.[citation needed] Linguistic characteristics[edit] Main articles: Inland Northern American English, North Central American English, Yooper dialect, and Midland American English

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The accents of the region are generally distinct from those of the South and of the urban areas of the American Northeast. To a lesser degree, they are also distinct from the accent of the American West.[citation needed] The accent characteristic of most of the Midwest is considered by many to be that of "standard" American English
American English
or General American. This accent is preferred by many national radio and television broadcasters.[115] This may have started because many prominent broadcast personalities—such as Walter Cronkite, Harry Reasoner, Johnny Carson, David Letterman, Rush Limbaugh, Tom Brokaw, John Madden, and Casey Kasem—came from this region and so created this perception. A November 1998 National Geographic article attributed the high number of telemarketing firms in Omaha
Omaha
to the "neutral accents" of the area's inhabitants. Currently, many cities in the Great Lakes region
Great Lakes region
are undergoing the Northern cities vowel shift
Northern cities vowel shift
away from the standard pronunciation of vowels.[116] The dialect of Minnesota, western Wisconsin, much of North Dakota
North Dakota
and Michigan's Upper Peninsula is referred to as the Upper Midwestern Dialect (or "Minnesotan"), and has Scandinavian and Canadian influences.[citation needed] Missouri
Missouri
has elements of three dialects, specifically: Northern Midland, in the extreme northern part of the state, with a distinctive variation in St. Louis
St. Louis
and the surrounding area; Southern Midland, in the majority of the state; and Southern, in the southwestern and southeastern parts of the state, with a bulge extending north in the central part, to include approximately the southern one-third.[117] Health[edit] The rate of potentially preventable hospital discharges in the Midwestern United States
United States
fell from 2005 to 2011 for overall conditions, acute conditions, and chronic conditions.[118] Major metropolitan areas[edit]

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All cities listed have a population of 250,000 or more.

Cities

Rank City State Population (2016 census)

1 Chicago IL 2,704,958

2 Columbus OH 860,090

3 Indianapolis IN 855,164

4 Detroit MI 672,795

5 Milwaukee WI 595,047

6 Kansas
Kansas
City MO 481,420

7 Omaha NE 446,970

8 Minneapolis MN 413,651

9 Wichita KS 389,902

10 Cleveland OH 388,072

11 St. Louis MO 311,404

12 St. Paul MN 302,398

13 Cincinnati OH 298,800

14 Lincoln NE 280,364

15 Toledo OH 279,789

16 Fort Wayne IN 264,488

Urban areas

Rank Urban area State(s) Population (2010 census)

1 Chicago IL-IN-WI 8,608,208

2 Detroit MI 3,734,090

3 Minneapolis- St. Paul MN-WI 2,650,890

4 St. Louis MO-IL 2,150,706

5 Cleveland OH 1,780,673

6 Cincinnati OH-KY-IN 1,624,827

7 Kansas
Kansas
City MO-KS 1,519,417

8 Indianapolis IN 1,487,483

9 Milwaukee WI 1,376,476

10 Columbus OH 1,368,035

Metro Areas - CSA

Rank Metro area State(s) Population (2012 census est.)

1 Chicago IL-IN-WI 9,899,902

2 Detroit MI 5,311,449

3 Minneapolis- St. Paul MN-WI 3,759,978

4 Cleveland OH 3,497,711

5 St. Louis MO-IL 2,900,605

6 Kansas
Kansas
City MO-KS 2,376,631

7 Columbus OH 2,348,495

8 Indianapolis IN 2,310,360

9 Cincinnati OH-KY-IN 2,188,001

10 Milwaukee WI 2,037,542

Chicago

Indianapolis

State population[edit]

State 2017 Estimate 2010 Census Change Area Density

Iowa 3,145,711 3,046,355 7000326147149626360♠+3.26% 55,857.09 sq mi (144,669.2 km2) 56/sq mi (22/km2)

Kansas 2,913,123 2,853,118 7000210313769006400♠+2.10% 81,758.65 sq mi (211,753.9 km2) 36/sq mi (14/km2)

Missouri 6,113,532 5,988,927 7000208058972834369♠+2.08% 68,741.47 sq mi (178,039.6 km2) 89/sq mi (34/km2)

Nebraska 1,920,076 1,826,341 7000513239312921300♠+5.13% 76,824.11 sq mi (198,973.5 km2) 25/sq mi (10/km2)

North Dakota 755,393 672,591 7001123108991943100♠+12.31% 69,000.74 sq mi (178,711.1 km2) 11/sq mi (4/km2)

South Dakota 869,666 814,180 7000681495492397260♠+6.81% 75,810.94 sq mi (196,349.4 km2) 11/sq mi (4/km2)

Plains 15,717,501 15,201,512 7000339432682748930♠+3.39% 427,993.00 sq mi (1,108,496.8 km2) 37/sq mi (14/km2)

Illinois 12,802,023 12,830,632 3000777025792649960♠−0.22% 55,518.89 sq mi (143,793.3 km2) 231/sq mi (89/km2)

Indiana 6,666,818 6,483,802 7000282266485003710♠+2.82% 35,826.08 sq mi (92,789.1 km2) 186/sq mi (72/km2)

Michigan 9,962,311 9,883,640 6999795971929370150♠+0.80% 56,538.86 sq mi (146,435.0 km2) 176/sq mi (68/km2)

Minnesota 5,576,606 5,303,925 7000514111719151380♠+5.14% 79,626.68 sq mi (206,232.2 km2) 70/sq mi (27/km2)

Ohio 11,658,609 11,536,504 7000105842289830610♠+1.06% 40,860.66 sq mi (105,828.6 km2) 285/sq mi (110/km2)

Wisconsin 5,795,483 5,686,986 7000190781197632630♠+1.91% 54,157.76 sq mi (140,268.0 km2) 107/sq mi (41/km2)

Great Lakes 52,461,850 51,725,489 7000142359408144020♠+1.42% 322,528.93 sq mi (835,346.1 km2) 163/sq mi (63/km2)

Total 68,179,351 66,927,001 7000187121786616440♠+1.87% 750,521.93 sq mi (1,943,842.9 km2) 91/sq mi (35/km2)

Politics[edit] Historical[edit] The Midwest has been an important region in national elections, with highly contested elections in closely divided states often deciding the national result. In 1860–1920, both parties often selected either their president or vice president from the region.[119]

The first local meeting of the new Republican Party took place here in Ripon, Wisconsin
Wisconsin
on March 20, 1854.

One of the two major political parties in the United States, the Republican Party, originated in the Midwest in the 1850s; Ripon, Wisconsin
Wisconsin
had the first local meeting while Jackson, Michigan
Michigan
had the state county meeting of the new party. Its membership included many Yankees
Yankees
who had settled the upper Midwest. The party opposed the expansion of slavery and stressed the Protestant
Protestant
ideals of thrift, a hard work ethic, self-reliance, democratic decision making, and religious tolerance.[120] In the early 1890s the wheat-growing regions were strongholds of the short-lived Populist movement in the Plains states.[121] Starting in the 1890s the middle class urban Progressive movement became influential in the region (as it was in other regions), with Wisconsin
Wisconsin
a major center. Under the La Follettes Wisconsin
Wisconsin
fought against the GOP bosses and for efficiency, modernization, and the use of experts to solve social, economic, and political problems. Theodore Roosevelt's 1912 Progressive Party had the best showing in this region; carrying the states of Michigan, Minnesota, and South Dakota. In 1924, La Follette, Sr.'s 1924 Progressive Party did well in the region, but only carried his home base of Wisconsin.[citation needed] The Midwest—especially the areas west of Chicago—has always been a stronghold of isolationism, a belief that America should not involve itself in foreign entanglements. This position was largely based on the many German American
German American
and Swedish-American
Swedish-American
communities. Isolationist leaders included the La Follettes, Ohio's Robert A. Taft, and Colonel Robert McCormick, publisher of the Chicago Tribune.[122][123] Recent trends[edit]

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Midwestern legislatures 2015

Midwestern governors 2015

Party affiliation of United Senators from the Midwest as of 2013

As of 2016, the Midwest is home to several critical swing states that do not have a strong allegiance to either the Democratic or Republican party including Iowa
Iowa
and Ohio. Upper Midwestern states of Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota
Minnesota
and Wisconsin
Wisconsin
reliably voted Democratic in every presidential election from 1992 to 2012. The Great Plains
Great Plains
states of North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, and Kansas
Kansas
have voted for the Republican candidate in every presidential election since 1940, except for Democrat Lyndon B. Johnson
Lyndon B. Johnson
in 1964. Indiana
Indiana
is usually considered a Republican stronghold, voting that party's presidential candidate in every election since 1940 except for Johnson in 1964 and Barack Obama in 2008.[citation needed] As a result of the 2016 elections, Republicans now control the governors' office in all Midwestern states except Minnesota. Republicans also control every partisan state legislature in the Midwest except Illinois. The unicameral Nebraska
Nebraska
Legislature is officially nonpartisan.[citation needed] The state government of Illinois
Illinois
is currently divided between Republican Governor Bruce Rauner
Bruce Rauner
and Democratic super majorities and in the State House and State Senate. The state currently has two Democratic senators, and an 11–7 Democratic majority US House of Representatives delegation.[citation needed] Many analysts[who?] consider Iowa
Iowa
the most evenly divided state in the country, but it has leaned Democratic for at least the past fifteen years.[when?] Iowa
Iowa
had a Democratic governor from 1999 until Terry Branstad was re-elected in the mid-term elections in 2010, and has had both one Democratic and one Republican senator since the early 1980s until the 2014 election when Republican Joni Ernst
Joni Ernst
defeated Democrat Bruce Braley
Bruce Braley
in a tightly contested race.[124] As for Iowa's House delegation, Republicans currently hold a 3 to 1 seat majority.[125] Between 1992 and 2012, Iowa
Iowa
also voted for the Democratic presidential candidate in all elections except 2004, but in 2016 the state went to the Republicans by 10 percentage points. As a result of the 2016 elections, Republicans hold a majority in the Iowa
Iowa
House of Representatives and the Iowa
Iowa
Senate.[citation needed] Minnesota
Minnesota
voters have not voted for a Republican candidate for president since 1972, longer than any other state. Minnesota
Minnesota
was the only U.S. state
U.S. state
(along with Washington, D.C.) to vote for its native son Walter Mondale
Walter Mondale
over Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan
in 1984. However, the recent[when?] Democratic victories have often been fairly narrow, such as the 2016 Presidential Election. Minnesota
Minnesota
also elected and re-elected a Republican governor (Tim Pawlenty), as well as supported some of the strongest gun concealment laws in the nation. Republicans currently hold control of both houses of the Minnesota
Minnesota
state legislature.[citation needed] Consistently, Ohio
Ohio
is a battleground state in presidential elections. No Republican has won the office without winning Ohio. This trend has contributed to Ohio's reputation as a quintessential swing state. At the state level, however, Republicans are currently[when?] dominant. With the exception of one justice of the Supreme Court of Ohio, all political offices open to statewide election are held by Republicans. Republicans have a majority in the Ohio
Ohio
House of Representatives and a supermajority in the Ohio
Ohio
Senate. At the federal level, Ohio
Ohio
currently has one Democratic and one Republican U.S. Senator.[when?] As a result of the 2012 elections, 12 of Ohio's 16 members of the U.S. House of Representatives are Republicans.[citation needed] The Great Plains
Great Plains
states of North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, and Kansas
Kansas
have been strongholds for the Republicans for many decades. These four states have gone for the Republican candidate in every presidential election since 1940, except for Lyndon B. Johnson's landslide over Barry Goldwater
Barry Goldwater
in 1964. Although North Dakota
North Dakota
and South Dakota
South Dakota
have often elected Democrats to Congress, after the 2012 election both states' congressional delegations are majority Republican. Nebraska
Nebraska
has elected Democrats to the Senate and as Governor in recent years, but both of its Senators are Republican.[when?] Kansas
Kansas
has elected a majority of Democrats as governor since 1956, but has not elected a Democratic Senator since 1932. Both of Kansas's U.S. Senators and all four of its U.S. House members are Republican.[when?] Missouri
Missouri
was historically considered a "bellwether state", having voted for the winner in every presidential election since 1904, with three exceptions: in 1956 for Democrat Adlai Stevenson II; in 2008 for Republican John McCain; and in 2012 for Republican Mitt Romney. Missouri's House delegation has generally been evenly divided, with the Democrats holding sway in the large cities at the opposite ends of the state, Kansas
Kansas
City
City
and St. Louis
St. Louis
(although the Kansas
Kansas
City
City
suburbs are now trending Republican), and the Republicans controlling the rest of the state, save for a pocket of Democratic strength in Columbia, home to the University of Missouri. However, as a result of the 2012 elections, Republicans now have a 6–2 majority in the state's House delegation, with African-American Democrats representing the major cities. Missouri's Senate seats were mostly controlled by Democrats until the latter part of the 20th century, but the Republicans have held one or both Senate seats continuously since 1976.[citation needed] All Midwestern states use primary election to select delegates for both the Democratic and Republican national conventions, except for Iowa
Iowa
and Minnesota. The Iowa
Iowa
caucuses in early January of leap years are the first votes in the presidential nominating process for both major parties, and attract enormous media attention.[126] See also[edit]

Cuisine of the Midwestern United States Territories of the United States
United States
on stamps

Bibliography[edit]

Frederick; John T., ed. Out of the Midwest: A Collection of Present-Day Writing (1944)[127]

References[edit]

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Scare". Voice of America. June 4, 2013. Retrieved June 11, 2013.  ^ "Gross Metropolitan Product". Greyhill Advisors. Retrieved September 26, 2011.  ^ Global Insight (June 2008). "Gross Metropolitan Product with housing update June 2008" (PDF). US Metro Economies. Washington, D.C.: United States Conference of Mayors. p. 14. Retrieved September 15, 2006.  ^ "London named world's top business center by MasterCard", CNN, June 13, 2007. ^ China
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Development Institute; Z/Yen Partners (September 2017). "The Global Financial Centres Index 22" (PDF). Retrieved 22 March 2018.  ^ "Timeline-of-achievements". CME Group. Retrieved January 20, 2013.  ^ "Futures & Options Trading for Risk Management". CME Group. April 13, 2010. Retrieved 2011-11-06.  ^ Sisson R., Zacher C.K., Cayton A.R.L. (2006.) The American Midwest: An Interpretic Encyclopedia, Indiana
Indiana
University Press, pg. 705. ^ Jeffrey M. Jones (June 22, 2004). "Tracking Religious Affiliation, State by State". Gallup, Inc. Retrieved February 28, 2013.  ^ Philip Barlow and Mark Silk, Religion and public life in the midwest: America's common denominator? (2004) ^ "American Religious Identification Survey 2001" (PDF). The Graduate Center of the City
City
University of New York. Retrieved January 4, 2012.  ^ "Ancestry in the Midwest". Statistical Atlas. Retrieved 22 March 2018.  ^ " Southern Baptist Convention
Southern Baptist Convention
statistics". Adherents.com. Retrieved October 3, 2010.  ^ "Religious Landscape Study: Adults in the Midwest". Pew Research Center. Retrieved 22 March 2018.  ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 23 June 2015. Retrieved 16 June 2015.  ^ Andrew R. L. Cayton et al, eds. (2006). The American Midwest: An Interpretive Encyclopedia. Indiana
Indiana
UP. pp. 809–12. CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link) ^ Kenneth H. Wheeler, Cultivating Regionalism: Higher Education and the Making of the American Midwest (2011) ^ Edward Fiske, Fiske Guide to Colleges 2015 (2014) ^ Philip Vilas Bohlman and Otto Holzapfel, Land without nightingales: music in the making of German-America (German-American Cultural Society, 2002) ^ James P. Leary, "Czech-and German-American 'Polka' Music." The Journal of American Folklore (1988) 101#401 pp. 339-345 in JSTOR ^ Lars Bjorn, Before Motown: a history of jazz in Detroit, 1920–60 (2001). ^ Ross Russell, Jazz
Jazz
style in Kansas
Kansas
City
City
and the Southwest (1983) ^ Bordowitz, Hank (2004). Turning Points in Rock and Roll. New York, New York: Citadel Press. p. 63. ISBN 978-0-8065-2631-7.  ^ https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/13/magazine/letter-of-recommendation-detroit-techno.html ^ "NCAA Sports Sponsorship: NCAA Sports Listing". NCAA. Retrieved June 29, 2017.  To determine whether a Division I school sponsors football, and at what level, select "Football" from the "Sport" menu. In the "Division" menu, select "FBS" (for Football Bowl Subdivision) or "FCS" (for Football Championship Subdivision) as applicable. Finally, click on "Run Report". ^ Karolevitz, Robert F.; Hunhoff, Bernie (1988). Uniquely South Dakota. Donning Company. ISBN 978-0-89865-730-2.  ^ "Defining the Midwest Megaregion". America 2050. 2005-12-08. Retrieved 2017-07-16.  ^ The North American Midwest: A Regional Geography. New York City: Wiley Publishers. 1955.  ^ "Welcome to Travel South USA". Travelsouthusa.org. Archived from the original on 20 July 2010. Retrieved 3 October 2010.  ^ "Encyclopedia – Britannica Online Encyclopedia". Britannica.com. Retrieved 2010-10-03.  ^ Gewertz, Ken (December 12, 2002). "Standing on line at the bubbler with a hoagie in my hand". Harvard Gazette. Retrieved August 11, 2010.  ^ "Northern Cities Shift". Ic.arizona.edu. Retrieved October 3, 2010.  ^ Lavov, William, et alia. "A National Map of the Regional Dialects of American English". Linguistics Laboratory, Department of Linguistics, University of Pennsylvania. Retrieved September 18, 2013.  ^ Torio CM, Andrews RM (September 2014). "Geographic Variation in Potentially Preventable Hospitalizations for Acute and Chronic Conditions, 2005-2011". HCUP Statistical Brief #178. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.  ^ Gould, Lewis L. (2012). Grand Old Party: A History of the Republicans (2nd ed.). p. 126.  ^ Gould (2012). Grand Old Party: A History of the Republicans (2nd ed.). p. 14.  ^ Nye, Russel B. (1968). Midwestern Progressive Politics.  ^ Smuckler, Ralph H. (1953). "The Region of Isolationism". American Political Science Review. 47 (2): 386–401. JSTOR 1952029.  ^ Schacht, John N. (1981). Three Faces of Midwestern Isolationism: Gerald P. Nye, Robert E. Wood, John L. Lewis. ISBN 0-87414-019-6.  ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved 2016-02-15.  ^ " Iowa
Iowa
Election Results 2014: House Map by District, Live Midterm Voting Updates". POLITICO. Retrieved 2016-02-15.  ^ David P. Redlawsk, Caroline J. Tolbert, and Todd Donovan, Why Iowa?: how caucuses and sequential elections improve the presidential nominating process (2011) ^ Frederick, John T. "Out of the Midwest: A Collection of Present-Day Writing, 1944 Online Research Library". Questia.com. Retrieved 2017-07-16. 

Further reading[edit] Main article: Bibliography of Midwestern History

Aley, Ginette et al. eds. Union Heartland: The Midwestern Home Front during the Civil War (2013) Barlow, Philip, and Mark Silk. Religion and Public Life in the Midwest: America's Common Denominator? (2004) Billington, Ray Allen. "The Origins of Middle Western Isolationism." Political Science Quarterly (1945): 44-64. in JSTOR Buley, R. Carlyle. The Old Northwest: Pioneer Period 1815–1840 2 vol (1951), Pulitzer Prize Cayton, Andrew R. L. Midwest and the Nation (1990) Cayton, Andrew R. L. and Susan E. Gray, Eds. The Identity of the American Midwest: Essays on Regional History. (2001) Cronon, William. Nature's Metropolis: Chicago
Chicago
and the Great West (1992), 1850–1900 excerpt and text search Fry, John. “Good Farming – Clear Thinking – Right Living”: Midwestern Farm
Farm
Newspapers, Social Reform, and Rural
Rural
Readers in the Early Twentieth Century.” Agricultural
Agricultural
History 78#1 ( 2004): 34-49. Garland, John H. The North American Midwest: A Regional Geography (1955) Gjerde, John. Minds of the West: Ethnocultural Evolution in the Rural Middle West, 1830–1917 (1999) excerpt and text search High, Stephen C. Industrial Sunset: The Making of North America's Rust Belt, 1969–1984 (Toronto, 2003) Jensen, Richard. The Winning of the Midwest: Social and Political Conflict, 1888–1896 (1971) online free Jordan, Philip D. Ohio
Ohio
Comes of Age: 1873-1900 Volume 5 (1968) online Longworth, Richard C. Caught in the Middle: America's Heartland in the Age of Globalism (2008) Meyer, David R. "Midwestern Industrialization
Industrialization
and the American Manufacturing Belt in the Nineteenth Century", The Journal of Economic History, Vol. 49, No. 4 (December 1989) pp. 921–937.in JSTOR Nelson, Daniel. Farm
Farm
and Factory: Workers in the Midwest 1880–1990 (1995), Nordin, Dennis S., and Roy V. Scott. From Prairie
Prairie
Farmer to Entrepreneur: The Transformation of Midwestern Agriculture. (2005) 356pp. Nye, Russel B. Midwestern Progressive Politics (1959) Page, Brian, and Richard Walker. "From settlement to Fordism: the agro-industrial revolution in the American Midwest". Economic Geography (1991): 281-315. in JSTOR Scheiber, Harry N. ed. The Old Northwest; studies in regional history, 1787–1910 (1969) 16 essays by scholars on economic and social topics Shannon, Fred A. "The Status of the Midwestern Farmer in 1900" The Mississippi Valley
Mississippi Valley
Historical Review. Vol. 37, No. 3. (December 1950), pp. 491–510. in JSTOR Shortridge, James R. The Middle West: Its Meaning in American Culture (1989) Sisson, Richard, Christian
Christian
Zacher, and Andrew Cayton, eds. The American Midwest: An Interpretive Encyclopedia ( Indiana
Indiana
University Press, 2006), 1916 pp of articles by scholars on all topics covering the 12 states Slade, Joseph W. and Judith Lee. The Midwest: The Greenwood Encyclopedia of American Regional Cultures (2004) Teaford, Jon C. Cities of the Heartland: The Rise and Fall of the Industrial Midwest (1993) Tucker, Spencer, ed. American Civil War: A State-by-State Encyclopedia (2 vol., 2015) 1019pp excerpt Wuthnow, Robert. Remaking the Heartland: Middle America Since the 1950s (Princeton University Press; 2011) 358 pages

Historiography[edit]

Brown, David S. Beyond the Frontier: The Midwestern Voice in American Historical Writing (2009) Good, David F. "American History through a Midwestern Lens." Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft 38.2 (2012): 435+ online Lauck, Jon K. The Lost Region: Toward a Revival of Midwestern History (University of Iowa
Iowa
Press; 2013) 166 pages; criticizes the neglect of the Midwest in contemporary historiography and argues for a revival of attention

External links[edit]

Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Midwest ( United States
United States
of America).

Archives of photo images, upper Midwest

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