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Midwest is one of four geographic regions that the United States is subdivided according to the United States Census Bureau.

The region consists of twelve states in the central and northeastern United States: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Ohio, and Wisconsin.

In the mid-19th century, settlers from the eastern United States began an influx of settlers into the Great Plains, gradually displacing indigenous peoples and using land for agricultural purposes. Bison herds were virtually extinct by the end of the US Civil War, and bison herds were replaced by herds of cattle from Texas and other regions. The settlers also appreciated the arable potential of the rich black soil in the eastern part of the plains. The influx of settlers intensified as the region was crossed by railroads linking the Great Plains to major cities (Winnipeg, Minneapolis, Chicago, and others) and ensuring the uninterrupted transport of large volumes of grain. Many new settlements arose along the railways, many of which were later abandoned or survived only as a residence for the maintenance personnel of the next elevator; there are 6,000 "ghost towns" in Kansas alone. Indigenous peoples were resettled on reservations, in the United States they moved en masse to Indian Territory (later Oklahoma), and on the Canadian side of the border, they signed a waiver of their lands as part of a series of treaties with the government in 1871-1877.

The Midwest has become the main agricultural region of the United States. Occupying only one fifth of the US territory, it provides 45-50% of its agricultural products. However, the 1930s saw catastrophic erosion of fields in the western parts of the region, which turned into the infamous "Dust Cauldron". After that, federal programs began to introduce grass planting, crop rotations, contour plowing and the creation of forest belts.

The Midwest has also become an industrial region; a third of the country's industrial workers are concentrated here.

Learn more about Midwest history with Trieste Publishing books.



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