United States Army Corps of Engineers
The United States Army Corps of Engineers is a U. S. federal agency under the Department of Defense and a major Army command made up of some 37,000 civilian and military personnel, making it one of the world's largest public engineering and construction management agencies. Although associated with dams and flood protection in the United States, USACE is involved in a wide range of public works throughout the world; the Corps of Engineers provides outdoor recreation opportunities to the public, provides 24% of U. S. hydropower capacity. The corps' mission is to "Deliver vital military engineering services. Other civil engineering projects include flood control, beach nourishment, dredging for waterway navigation. Design and construction of flood protection systems through various federal mandates. Design and construction management of military facilities for the Army, Air Force, Army Reserve and Air Force Reserve and other Defense and Federal agencies. Environmental regulation and ecosystem restoration.
The history of United States Army Corps of Engineers can be traced back to 16 June 1775, when the Continental Congress organized an army with a chief engineer and two assistants. Colonel Richard Gridley became General George Washington's first chief engineer. One of his first tasks was to build fortifications near Boston at Bunker Hill; the Continental Congress recognized the need for engineers trained in military fortifications and asked the government of King Louis XVI of France for assistance. Many of the early engineers in the Continental Army were former French officers. Louis Lebègue Duportail, a lieutenant colonel in the French Royal Corps of Engineers, was secretly sent to America in March 1777 to serve in Washington's Continental Army. In July 1777 he was appointed colonel and commander of all engineers in the Continental Army, in November 17, 1777, he was promoted to brigadier general; when the Continental Congress created a separate Corps of Engineers in May 1779 Duportail was designated as its commander.
In late 1781 he directed the construction of the allied U. S.-French siege works at the Battle of Yorktown. From 1794 to 1802 the engineers were combined with the artillery as the Corps of Artillerists and Engineers; the Corps of Engineers, as it is known today, came into existence on 16 March 1802, when President Thomas Jefferson signed the Military Peace Establishment Act whose aim was to "organize and establish a Corps of Engineers... that the said Corps... shall be stationed at West Point in the State of New York and shall constitute a military academy." Until 1866, the superintendent of the United States Military Academy was always an officer of engineer. The General Survey Act of 1824 authorized the use of Army engineers to survey canal routes; that same year, Congress passed an "Act to Improve the Navigation of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers" and to remove sand bars on the Ohio and "planters, sawyers, or snags" on the Mississippi, for which the Corps of Engineers was the responsible agency.
Separately authorized on 4 July 1838, the U. S. Army Corps of Topographical Engineers consisted only of officers and was used for mapping and the design and construction of federal civil works and other coastal fortifications and navigational routes, it was merged with the Corps of Engineers on 31 March 1863, at which point the Corps of Engineers assumed the Lakes Survey District mission for the Great Lakes. In 1841, Congress created the Lake Survey; the survey, based in Detroit, Mich. was charged with conducting a hydrographical survey of the Northern and Northwestern Lakes and preparing and publishing nautical charts and other navigation aids. The Lake Survey published its first charts in 1852. In the mid-19th century, Corps of Engineers' officers ran Lighthouse Districts in tandem with U. S. Naval officers; the Army Corps of Engineers played a significant role in the American Civil War. Many of the men who would serve in the top leadership in this institution were West Point graduates who rose to military fame and power during the Civil War.
Some of these men were Union Generals George McClellan, Henry Halleck, George Meade, Confederate generals Robert E. Lee, Joseph Johnston, P. G. T. Beauregard; the versatility of officers in the Army Corps of Engineers contributed to the success of numerous missions throughout the Civil War. They were responsible for building pontoon and railroad bridges and batteries, the destruction of enemy supply lines, the construction of roads; the Union forces were not the only ones to employ the use of engineers throughout the war, on 6 March 1861, once the South had seceded from the Union, among the different acts passed at the time, a provision was included that called for the creation of a Confederate Corps of Engineers. The progression of the war demonstrated the South's disadvantage in engineering expertise. To overcome this obstacle, the Confederate Congress passed legislation that gave a company of engineers to every division in the field. One of the main projects for the Army Corps of Engineers was constructing railroads and bridges, which Union forces took advantage of because railroads and bridges provided access to resources and industry.
One area where the Confederate engineers were able to outperform the Union Army was in the ability to build fortification
A grain is a small, dry seed, with or without an attached hull or fruit layer, harvested for human or animal consumption. A grain crop is a grain-producing plant; the two main types of commercial grain crops are legumes. After being harvested, dry grains are more durable than other staple foods, such as starchy fruits and tubers; this durability has made grains well suited to industrial agriculture, since they can be mechanically harvested, transported by rail or ship, stored for long periods in silos, milled for flour or pressed for oil. Thus, major global commodity markets exist for maize, soybeans and other grains but not for tubers, vegetables, or other crops. Grains and cereal are synonymous with the fruits of the grass family. In agronomy and commerce, seeds or fruits from other plant families are called grains if they resemble caryopses. For example, amaranth is sold as "grain amaranth", amaranth products may be described as "whole grains"; the pre-Hispanic civilizations of the Andes had grain-based food systems but, at the higher elevations, none of the grains was a cereal.
All three grains native to the Andes are broad-leafed plants rather than grasses such as corn and wheat. All cereal crops are members of the grass family. Cereal grains contain a substantial amount of a carbohydrate that provides dietary energy. Finger millet fonio foxtail millet Japanese millet Coix lacryma-jobi var. Ma-yuen kodo millet maize millet pearl millet proso millet sorghum barley oats rice rye spelt teff triticale wheat wild rice Starchy grains from broadleaf plant families: amaranth buckwheat chia quinoa kañiwa kiwicha Pulses or grain legumes, members of the pea family, have a higher protein content than most other plant foods, at around 20%, while soybeans have as much as 35%; as is the case with all other whole plant foods, pulses contain carbohydrate and fat. Common pulses include: chickpeas common beans common peas fava beans lentils lima beans lupins mung beans peanuts pigeon peas runner beans soybeans Oilseed grains are grown for the extraction of their edible oil. Vegetable oils provide some essential fatty acids.
They are used as fuel and lubricants. Black mustard India mustard rapeseed safflower sunflower seed flax seed hemp seed poppy seed Because grains are small and dry, they can be stored and transported more than can other kinds of food crops such as fresh fruits and tubers; the development of grain agriculture allowed excess food to be produced and stored which could have led to the creation of the first permanent settlements and the division of society into classes. Those who handle grain at grain facilities may encounter numerous occupational hazards and exposures. Risks include grain entrapment, where workers are submerged in the grain and unable to remove themselves.
The United States of America known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U. S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D. C. and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico; the State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean; the U. S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The diverse geography and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
Paleo-Indians migrated from Siberia to the North American mainland at least 12,000 years ago. European colonization began in the 16th century; the United States emerged from the thirteen British colonies established along the East Coast. Numerous disputes between Great Britain and the colonies following the French and Indian War led to the American Revolution, which began in 1775, the subsequent Declaration of Independence in 1776; the war ended in 1783 with the United States becoming the first country to gain independence from a European power. The current constitution was adopted in 1788, with the first ten amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, being ratified in 1791 to guarantee many fundamental civil liberties; the United States embarked on a vigorous expansion across North America throughout the 19th century, acquiring new territories, displacing Native American tribes, admitting new states until it spanned the continent by 1848. During the second half of the 19th century, the Civil War led to the abolition of slavery.
By the end of the century, the United States had extended into the Pacific Ocean, its economy, driven in large part by the Industrial Revolution, began to soar. The Spanish–American War and World War I confirmed the country's status as a global military power; the United States emerged from World War II as a global superpower, the first country to develop nuclear weapons, the only country to use them in warfare, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Sweeping civil rights legislation, notably the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968, outlawed discrimination based on race or color. During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union competed in the Space Race, culminating with the 1969 U. S. Moon landing; the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 left the United States as the world's sole superpower. The United States is the world's oldest surviving federation, it is a representative democracy.
The United States is a founding member of the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization of American States, other international organizations. The United States is a developed country, with the world's largest economy by nominal GDP and second-largest economy by PPP, accounting for a quarter of global GDP; the U. S. economy is post-industrial, characterized by the dominance of services and knowledge-based activities, although the manufacturing sector remains the second-largest in the world. The United States is the world's largest importer and the second largest exporter of goods, by value. Although its population is only 4.3% of the world total, the U. S. holds 31% of the total wealth in the world, the largest share of global wealth concentrated in a single country. Despite wide income and wealth disparities, the United States continues to rank high in measures of socioeconomic performance, including average wage, human development, per capita GDP, worker productivity.
The United States is the foremost military power in the world, making up a third of global military spending, is a leading political and scientific force internationally. In 1507, the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller produced a world map on which he named the lands of the Western Hemisphere America in honor of the Italian explorer and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci; the first documentary evidence of the phrase "United States of America" is from a letter dated January 2, 1776, written by Stephen Moylan, Esq. to George Washington's aide-de-camp and Muster-Master General of the Continental Army, Lt. Col. Joseph Reed. Moylan expressed his wish to go "with full and ample powers from the United States of America to Spain" to seek assistance in the revolutionary war effort; the first known publication of the phrase "United States of America" was in an anonymous essay in The Virginia Gazette newspaper in Williamsburg, Virginia, on April 6, 1776. The second draft of the Articles of Confederation, prepared by John Dickinson and completed by June 17, 1776, at the latest, declared "The name of this Confederation shall be the'United States of America'".
The final version of the Articles sent to the states for ratification in late 1777 contains the sentence "The Stile of this Confederacy shall be'The United States of America'". In June 1776, Thomas Jefferson wrote the phrase "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" in all capitalized letters in the headline of his "original Rough draught" of the Declaration of Independence; this draft of the document did not surface unti
San Felipe, Texas
San Felipe known as San Felipe de Austin, is a town in Austin County, United States. The town was the social and political center of the early Stephen F. Austin colony; the population was 747 at the 2010 census. In 1823, John McFarland operated a ferry on the Brazos River near this location. In the fall of the same year, the site was chosen by Stephen F. Austin, with the help of Felipe Enrique Neri, Baron de Bastrop, to be the main site in Texas for American colonization. Founded in 1824 as San Felipe de Austin, the town served as the capital of Stephen F. Austin's first colony and the founding site of the Texas Rangers. James Cummins was appointed as mayor. By 1828, San Felipe had been surveyed, with Calle Commercio laid out as the main commercial street. Austin and his secretary, Samuel May Williams, both resided in log cabins on the square. There were about 30 buildings, at least one of these was a wood-framed structure. On the square was the tavern of Jonathan Peyton. By 1835, the town's population had increased to around 600.
It was home to one of the earliest newspapers and land offices in Texas. San Felipe was second only to San Antonio as a commercial center of Texas; the Texas conventions of 1832 and 1833 and the Consultation of November 3, 1835, were held here. San Felipe acted as the capital for the provisional government of Texas until the Convention of 1836; the town was burned in 1836 to prevent the Mexican army from capturing it, rebuilt a few years but never regained its popularity. The oldest post office in Texas is located here. San Felipe is located in eastern Austin County at 29°47′40″N 96°6′17″W, along the west bank of the Brazos River; the town limits extend south below Interstate 10, with access at Exit 723. Sealy is 3 miles to the west, downtown Houston is 46 miles to the east. Stephen F. Austin State Park is located in the northern part of the town. According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 8.7 square miles, of which, 8.5 square miles of it is land and 0.3 square miles is covered by water.
The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen climate classification system, San Felipe has a humid subtropical climate, Cfa on climate maps; the population was 747 at the 2010 census. As of the census of 2000, 868 people, 312 households, 234 families resided in the town; the population density was 103.7 people per square mile. The 347 housing units averaged 41.5/sq mi. The racial makeup of the town was 60.83% White, 34.56% African American, 0.35% Native American, 3.00% from other races, 1.27% from two or more races. |Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 9.45% of the population. Of the 312 households, 29.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.7% were married couples living together, 13.5% had a female householder with no husband present, 24.7% were not families. About 23.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.3% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.78 and the average family size was 3.26.
In the town, the population was distributed as 27.8% under the age of 18, 8.1% from 18 to 24, 22.9% from 25 to 44, 27.0% from 45 to 64, 14.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females, there were 102.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.3 males. The median income for a household in the town was $38,203, for a family was $43,558. Males had a median income of $31,667 versus $22,500 for females; the per capita income for the town was $17,169. About 9.1% of families and 9.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.1% of those under age 18 and 16.0% of those age 65 or over. San Felipe is served by the Sealy Independent School District. Stephen F. Austin, founder of the Austin Colony and "Father of Texas" Town of San Felipe official website San Felipe de Austin State Historic Site Stephen F. Austin State Park Colonial Capital of Texas
Dredging is the operation of removing material from one part of the water environment and relocating it to another. In all but a few situations the excavation is undertaken by a specialist floating plant, known as a dredger. Dredging is carried out in many different locations and for many different purposes, but the main objectives are to recover material that has some value or use, or to create a greater depth of water. Dredging is the form of excavation carried out underwater or underwater, in shallow waters or ocean waters, it keeps waterways and ports navigable, assists coastal protection, land reclamation and coastal redevelopment, by gathering up bottom sediments and transporting it elsewhere. Dredging can be done to recover materials of commercial value. Dredging is a four-part process: loosening the material, bringing the material to the surface and disposal; the material can be brought to the surface by mechanical means. The extract can be disposed of locally or transported by barge or in a liquid suspension in kilometre long pipelines.
Disposal can be to infill sites, or the material can be used constructively to replenish eroded sand, lost to coastal erosion, or constructively create sea-walls, building land or whole new landforms such as viable islands in coral atolls. Ancient authors refer to habour dredging; the seven arms of the Nile were channelled and wharfs built at the time of the pyramids, there was extensive harbour building in the eastern Mediterranean from 1000 BC and the disturbed sediment layers gives evidence of dredging. At Marseille, dredging phases are recorded from the third century BC onwards, the most extensive during the first century AD; the remains of three dredging boats have been unearthed. Dredging machines were used during the construction of the Suez Canal. During the renaissance da Vinci drew a design for a drag dredger. Maintenance: dredging to deepen or maintain navigable waterways or channels which are threatened to become silted with the passage of time, due to sedimented sand and mud making them too shallow for navigation.
This is carried out with a trailing suction hopper dredge. Most dredging is for this purpose, it may be done to maintain the holding capacity of reservoirs or lakes. Land reclamation: dredging to mine sand, clay or rock from the seabed and using it to construct new land elsewhere; this is performed by a cutter-suction dredge or trailing suction hopper dredge. The material may be used for flood or erosion control. Capital dredging: dredging carried out to create a new harbour, berth or waterway, or to deepen existing facilities in order to allow larger ships access; because capital works involve hard material or high-volume works, the work is done using a cutter suction dredge or large trailing suction hopper dredge. Preparatory: dredging work and excavation for future bridges, piers or docksor wharves, This is to build the foundations. Winning construction materials: dredging sand and gravels from offshore licensed areas for use in construction industry, principally for use in concrete; this specialist industry is focused in NW Europe, it uses specialized trailing suction hopper dredgers self discharging the dry cargo ashore.
Contaminant remediation: to reclaim areas affected by chemical spills, storm water surges, other soil contaminations, including silt from sewage sludge and from decayed matter, like wilted plants. Disposal becomes a proportionally large factor in these operations. Flood prevention: dredging increases the channel depth and therefore increase a channel's capacity for carrying water. Fishing dredging is a technique for catching certain species of edible crabs. In Louisiana and other American states, with salt water estuaries that can sustain bottom oyster beds, oysters are raised and harvested. A heavy rectangular metal scoop is towed astern of a moving boat with a chain bridle attached to a cable; this drags along the bottom scooping up oysters. It is periodically winched aboard and the catch is sorted and bagged for shipment. Harvesting materials: dredging sediment for elements like gold, diamonds or other valuable trace substances. Hobbyists examine their dredged matter to pick out items of potential value, similar to the hobby of metal detecting.
Beach nourishment: this is mining sand offshore and placing on a beach to replace sand eroded by storms or wave action. This enhances the recreational and protective function of the beach, which are eroded by human activity; this is performed by a cutter-suction dredge or trailing suction hopper dredge. Peat extraction: dredging poles or dredge hauls were used on the back of small boats to manually dredge the beds of peat-moor waterways; the extracted peat was used as a fuel. This tradition is now less obsolete; the tools are now changed. Removing rubbish and debris: done in combination with maintenance dredging, this process removes non-natural matter from the bottoms of rivers and canals and harbours. Law enforcement agencies sometimes need to use a'drag' to recover evidence or corpses from beneath the water. Anti-eutrophication: A kind of contaminant remediation, dredging is an expensive option for the remediation of eutrophied water bodies. However, as artificially elevated phosphorus levels in the sediment aggravate the eutrophication process, controlled sed
Houston Ship Channel
The Houston Ship Channel, in Houston, Texas, is part of the Port of Houston, one of the US's busiest seaports. The channel is the conduit for ocean-going vessels between Houston-area terminals and the Gulf of Mexico, it serves an increasing volume of inland barge traffic; the channel is a widened and deepened natural watercourse created by dredging Buffalo Bayou and Galveston Bay. The channel's upstream terminus lies about four miles east of downtown Houston, at the Turning Basin, with its downstream terminus at a gateway to the Gulf of Mexico, between Galveston Island and the Bolivar Peninsula. Major products, such as petrochemicals and Midwestern grain, are transported in bulk together with general cargo; the original watercourse for the channel, Buffalo Bayou, has its headwaters 30 miles to the west of the city of Houston. The navigational head of the channel, the most upstream point to which general cargo ships can travel, is at Turning Basin in east Houston; the channel has berthing locations along Buffalo Bayou and Galveston Bay.
The major public terminals include Turning Basin, Barbours Cut, Bayport. Many private docks are there, as well, including the ExxonMobil Baytown Complex and the Deer Park Complex; the channel widened and deepened to accommodate ever-larger ships, is 530 feet wide by 45 feet deep by 50 miles long. The islands in the ship channel are part of deepening project; the islands are formed from soil pulled up by dredging, the salt marshes and bird islands are part of the Houston Port Authority's beneficial use and environmental mitigation responsibilities. The channel has five vehicle crossings: Washburn Tunnel, Sidney Sherman Bridge, Sam Houston Ship Channel Bridge, popularly known as the Beltway 8 Bridge. John Richardson Harris platted the town of Harrisburg, Texas on Buffalo Bayou at the mouth of Bray's Bayou in 1826, he established a steam mill there, while making Harrisburg into a logistical center for the Austin Colony. He plied his schooner The Rights of Man through the waters of Galveston Bay and Buffalo Bayou, importing supplies from the United States, exporting cotton and hides.
However, fewer people settled Buffalo Bayou than the fertile Brazos Valley, so Harrisburg remained a remote overland location from the critical mass of farmlands: about 20 miles from Fort Bend and about 40 miles from San Felipe de Austin, Texas. Travelling the Brazos River presented several hazards, most of all, its shifting, shallow sandbars at its mouth. Despite several interventions, the river remained hostile to navigation. Nicholas Clopper acquired land downstream from Harrisburg, the eponymously named Clopper's Point, he recruited six men from Ohio to work as traders, who sailed the schooner Little Zoe from Cincinnati laden with supplies such as flour and spices and other hardware, whiskey and tobacco. Two of these hires were his sons and Joseph Clopper, they recorded their travels in a journal, reporting several hazards of Galveston Bay in route to Buffalo Bayou. They ran Little Zoe aground on Galveston Island and observed two wrecked ships in the bay, they encountered the shallow Red Fish Bar.
The channel has been used to move goods to the sea since at least 1836. Buffalo Bayou and Galveston Bay were dredged during the late 19th and early 20th centuries to accommodate larger ships. In the wake of the 1900 Galveston hurricane, the inland Port of Houston was seen as a safer long-term option, planning for a larger ship channel began. By the mid 1900s the Port of Houston had established itself as the leading port in Texas, eclipsing the natural harbors at Galveston and Texas City; the Turning Basin terminal in Harrisburg became the port's largest shipping point. On January 10, 1910, residents of Harris County voted 16 to 1 to fund dredging the Houston ship channel to a depth of 25 feet for the amount of $1,250,000, matched by federal funds. On June 14, 1914 the first deepwater ship, steamship Satilla, arrived at the port of Houston, establishing steamboat service between New York City and Houston. On November 10, 1914, President Woodrow Wilson opened the Houston Ship Channel, part of the Port of Houston.
The onset of World War I and the first mechanized war's thirst for oil increased use of the ship channel. The United States Army Corps of Engineers increased the depth of the channel from 25 to 30 feet in 1922. In 1933, the United States Department of War and the United States House Committee on Rivers and Harbors approved a plan to increase the depth of the channel from 30 to 34 feet and widen the Galveston Bay section from 250 to 400 feet; the Public Works Administration provided $2,800,000 dollars for the project, completed in late 1935. The proximity to Texas oilfields led to the establishment of numerous petrochemical refineries along the waterway, such as the ExxonMobil Baytown installation on the eastern bank of the San Jacinto River. Now the channel and surrounding area support the second-largest petrochemical complex in the world. While much of the Houston Ship Channel is associated with heavy industry, two icons of Texas history are located along its length; the USS Texas saw service during both world wars, is the oldest remaining example of a dreadnought-era battleship in existence.
The nearby San Jacinto Monument commemorates the Battle of San Jacinto in which Texas won its independence from Mexico. The US Army's San Jacinto Ordnance Depot was located on the channel from 1941–1964; the channel is dredged to a depth of 43–45 feet. The channel was designated a National Civil Engineering Landmark by the American Society
Midwestern United States
The Midwestern United States referred to as the American Midwest, Middle West, or the Midwest, is one of four census regions of the United States Census Bureau. It occupies the northern central part of the United States, it was named the North Central Region by the Census Bureau until 1984. It is located between the Northeastern United States and the Western United States, with Canada to its north and the Southern United States to its south; the Census Bureau's definition consists of 12 states in the north central United States: Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin. The region 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 River, the Upper Mississippi River, the Missouri River. 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, Michigan and Wisconsin, all of which are part of the Great Lakes region. The West North Central Division includes Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota, several of which are located, at least within the Great Plains region. Chicago is the most populous city in the American Midwest and the third most populous in the entire country. Other large Midwestern cities include: Columbus, Detroit, Kansas City, Minneapolis, Cleveland, St. Louis, St. Paul, Cincinnati and Des Moines. Chicago and its suburbs form the largest metropolitan statistical area with 9.9 million people, followed by Metro Detroit, Minneapolis–St. Paul, Greater St. Louis, Greater Cleveland, Greater Cincinnati, the Kansas City metro area, the Columbus metro area; 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 and remains common. Another term sometimes applied to the same general region is the heartland.
Other designations for the region have fallen out of use, such as the Northwest or Old Northwest and Mid-America. The Northwest Territory was one of the earliest territories of the United States, stretching northwest from the Ohio River to northern Minnesota and the upper-Mississippi; the upper-Mississippi watershed including the Missouri and Illinois Rivers was the setting for the earlier French settlements of the Illinois Country and the Ohio Country. Economically the region is balanced between heavy industry and agriculture, with finance and services such as medicine and education becoming important, its central location makes it a transportation crossroads for river boats, autos and airplanes. Politically, the region swings back and forth between the parties, thus is contested and decisive in elections. After the sociological study Middletown, based on Muncie, commentators used Midwestern cities as "typical" of the nation. Earlier, the rhetorical question, "Will it play in Peoria?", had become a stock phrase using Peoria, Illinois to signal whether something would appeal to mainstream America.
The region has a higher employment-to-population ratio than the Northeast, the West, the South, or the Sun Belt states as of 2011. 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 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 known as Great Plains states, where the Missouri River is a major waterway joining with the Mississippi; the Midwest lies north of the 36°30′ parallel that the 1820 Missouri Compromise established as the dividing line between future slave and non-slave states. The Midwest Region is defined by the U. S. Census Bureau as these 12 states: Illinois: Old Northwest, Mississippi River, Ohio River, Great Lakes state Indiana: Old Northwest, Ohio River, Great Lakes state Iowa: Louisiana Purchase, Mississippi River, Missouri River state Kansas: Louisiana Purchase, Great Plains, Missouri River state Michigan: Old Northwest and Great Lakes state Minnesota: Old Northwest, Louisiana Purchase, Mississippi River, part of Red River Colony before 1818, Great Lakes state Missouri: Louisiana Purchase, Mississippi River, Missouri River, border state Nebraska: Louisiana Purchase, Great Plains, Missouri River state North Dakota: Louisiana Purchase, part of Red River Colony before 1818, Great Plains, Missouri River state Ohio: Old Northwest, Ohio River, Great Lakes state.
The southeastern part of the state is part of northern Appalachia South Dakota: Louisiana Purchase, Great Plains, Missouri River state Wisconsin: Old Northwest, Mississippi River, Great Lakes stateVarious organizations define the Midwest with different groups of states. For example, the Council of State Governments, an organization for communication and coordination among state governments, includes in its Midwe