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We're always debating about where the North and South begin. How about East and West?


Does the West start where it starts raining a lot more, or is this definition too gray and hazy in geographical terms?

Does the West start at the Rocky Mountains? Does it start at the eastern borders of Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, etc?

Does the West start at Chimney Rock in Nebraska, like the pioneers on the Oregon Trail stated?

Does the West start at the western end of Missouri, where the Oregon Trail and the Pony Express started their westward journey?

Does the West start at the Mississippi River, with the Gateway Arch?

Do you believe in the very first historical translation of the West? Does the West start at the Appalachian Mountains?

Where does the West start?
 

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Historically at the Mighty Mississippi River... It's a river that divides the country almost in half.! FYI There is a 630' stainless steel arch that commemorates the migration of westward expansion..!
 

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I was going to try and make a joke but then I couldn't think of anything. I'm pretty sure the general consensus is that the Mississippi separates the US in two.
 

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I think the Mississippi Missouri more defines it, because places like Minneapolis to me have more in common with Chicago that Denver.
 

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At the eastern foothills of the Rocky Mountains. Even looking at aerial maps, there is a stark difference between the east and west of these mountains.

There isn't a difference at the border between Kansas and Colorado (for example). The eastern part of Colorado is very "Midwestern", as far as development goes.

The Mississippi is simply too east geographically to be considered as a dividing point.
 

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They say St Paul is the last city of the East and Minneapolis is the first city of the West...




It is pretty much arbitrary...like everything else in life.
 

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based on cowboy boots, clearing brush, a cod piece the size of Southfork, and "let's roll", I assume at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
 

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I think Kansas City marks the beginning of the west. Historically the Mississippi River was the dividing line, but St. Louis, which lies to its west, has absolutely nothing in common with the cities of the west and has so much in common with cities of the east.
 

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The West begins west of the East.

Hope that clears things up.
 

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I think we should go by today's USA.:)
The Mississippi River is clearly in the eastern US; the Rocky Mountains are clearly in the western US.

I'd say the "West" starts just west of Houston. TX, OK, etc blend the east with the west.
 

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I would have to agree with the map that Bond James Bond posted above. However I would not consider the West Coast (San Diego-LA-San Fran- Portland-Seattle) to be particularly "Western". So I would have to say between the plains and the West Coast.

But the "West" is also a state of mind and a way of life.
 

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I think the West is defined more by climate than by state borders. If you travel through the West such as on I-70 through Kansas or I-80 through Nebraska, you notice some distinct changes in the landscape the further West you get. In particular there are some distinct changes that occur between ground that can produce (non-wheat) crops without irrigation and ground that cannot. At this change in geography is what I consider the West. Because I consider the Midwest to be a fertile area with many rivers and a lot of water and the West to be relatively infertile with a lack of water where the ground is more suited to grazing.

So, if you look at a topographical map you will see a darker line of vegetation that runs from around Dallas to Topeka and then the valley of the Missouri river runs along Nebraska and through the middle of the Dakotas. So, roughly, if you were to draw a line from Dallas to OKC to Wichita to Topeka/Manhattan to Lincoln to Bismark that would roughly estimate where I think the West begins.

But, who knows, state lines work too. That is just how I have always defined Western from Midwestern.
 

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I would probably say west of the Mississippi River. People in Nebraska and Kansas don't really relate to themselves as being in "the east".

Hell - when I moved to Chicago it was the first time I actually concidered myself almost close to "the east" - even though I still don't think of myself as living "in the eastern US"
 
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