You stupid Americans – you are so provincial that 99% of you cannot even find Mexico or Canada on a map. You spend your days destroying delicate ecosystems riding your gas guzzling/polluting Hummers off-road, and spend your evenings eating supersized Big Macs and watching WWF wrestling on your Chinese-made televisions purchased at Wal-Mart. Here in Europe, though, most can speak six languages by the time they begin school (which they bicycle to and are fitter for it), and upon graduation will move to Switzerland to help construct the world’s first fusion generator…..
I am both interested and amused by many foreigners’ perceptions of stereotypical Americans. Often we are perceived as a nation of: provincial cowboys, spoiled rich people, and uncultured rednecks. Undoubtedly, these perceptions are due in large part to the popularity of American movies and other mass media. Like most stereotypes, there is, however, a small kernel of underlying truth to it.
Even in regional geography textbooks, though, it’s necessary to paint with wide brush strokes. Usually, the lower 48 states are broken into a half dozen or so regions, such as: New England, Mid Atlantic, Border states, Midwest, Deep South, Western, or Pacific Coast. These regions supposedly reflect something of the character of the areas, based on geographic, social/cultural, and economic factors. Much nuance and subtlety is missed in this. Some texts attempt to improve the situation by adding additional regions or sub-regions (Great Lakes, Plains, Southwest, Pacific northwest etc.) but still those are snapshots.
The goal of this thread is to divide individual states you have some familiarity with into what you think are meaningful mini- or sub regions, which might convey a bit more nuance than the broad brushstrokes described above.
Region 1: the Upper Peninsula. Geographically isolated from rest of state. Historically, economy based on resource extraction. mining copper and iron, timber. Sparsely populated. Many of Finnish and Welsh ancestry.
Region 2: northern Lower Peninsula. Also includes ‘thumb’ area. Forested area. Historically timber country. Agriculture and tourism are most important economic activities. Sparsely populated.
Region 3: southeastern LP. Encompasses the greater Detroit area. Extends as far west as Ann Arbor. Historically, one of the most industrialized areas in the country. Industry still prevalent, but has significantly diminished. Many European immigrants from a century ago. Significant African American populations in urban core areas.
Region 4: southern LP. Encompasses area from Muskegon to Saginaw and extending to the Indiana and Ohio borders. Mixed economy.
How would you divide the sub-regions in your state? If you are familiar with an area, feel free to add your own sub-regions to states already posted by others if you feel it conveys more detail.