The Midwest: a place of majestic forests and farmland, bustling cities and community towns, and a major historical, cultural, and economic hub of the United States. But why is the region known as the Midwest?
Though there are some competing theories, the most commonly accepted origin of the term lies in the nation’s early railroads. In the 19th century, railroads were the most efficient and cost-effective way to transport goods and people across the vast American continent, and the Midwest was no exception. So, it was the railroad lines that first divided the country into distinct sections and regions—including the Midwest.
Let’s take a closer look at why the region is proudly known as the Midwest!
Why is the Midwest Called the Midwest?The Midwest is the geographical region of the United States located between the Mississippi River and the Appalachian Mountains. This region is made up of 12 states including Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.
Over 70 million people live in this region and it is known as the “Heartland” of America. But why is it called the Midwest?
The Origin of the NameThe term “Midwest” was first used in the early 19th century in reference to the states between the Great Lakes and the Ohio River. This area was referred to as the “Middle West” to distinguish it from the Northeast and the South. The term was shortened to “Midwest” over time and it has been used to refer to the region since.
Geographical ConnectionsThe Midwest is a unique region in that it is connected by geography. The states in this region are connected by the Great Lakes, the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers, and the Appalachian Mountains.
This naturally formed region is bordered by Canada to the north, the Great Plains to the west, the Mississippi River to the south, and the Appalachian Mountains to the east.
The Midwest CultureThe Midwest is home to many different cultures, languages, and people.
The cultures of the region are largely based on the states and rivers that have shaped them. The area has a rich history of immigration and the blend of cultures has created a unique culture in the region. The people of the Midwest are known for their strong work ethics and their down-to-earth nature.