Divisions of the Midwest by the U.S. Census Bureau into East North Central and West North Central, separated largely by the Mississippi River.
Steamboat Morning Star, a Louisville and Evansville mail packet, in 1858.
Scotts Bluff National Monument in western Nebraska
Mississippian copper plate found at the Saddle Site in Union County, Illinois
Built between 1847 and 1849, the Wheeling Suspension Bridge was the first bridge across the river and a crucial part of the National Road.
The Driftless Area as viewed from Wildcat Mountain State Park in Vernon County, Wisconsin
Illinois in 1718, approximate modern state area highlighted, from Carte de la Louisiane et du cours du Mississipi by Guillaume de L'Isle
Cave-in-rock, view on the Ohio (circa 1832, Cave-In-Rock, Illinois): aquatint by Karl Bodmer from the book Maximilian, Prince of Wied's Travels in the Interior of North America, during the years 1832–1834
Flint Hills grasslands of Kansas
The bell donated by King Louis XV in 1741 to the mission at Kaskaskia. It was later called the "Liberty Bell of the West", after it was rung to celebrate U.S. victory in the Revolution
Silver Bridge in Point Pleasant, West Virginia which collapsed into the Ohio River on December 15, 1967, killing 46 people.
Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota
In 1818, Illinois became the 21st U.S. state. The southern portion of Illinois Territory was admitted as the state of Illinois, and the rest was joined to Michigan Territory.
A barge heads east on the Ohio River in Louisville, Kentucky.
Prairie in Effigy Mounds National Monument, Iowa
[[Old State Capitol State Historic Site|
Old State Capitol]]: Abraham Lincoln and other area legislators were instrumental in moving the state capitol to centrally located Springfield in 1839.
The confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio rivers is at Cairo, Illinois.
Monks Mound, located at the Cahokia Mounds near Collinsville, Illinois, is the largest Pre-Columbian earthwork in America north of Mesoamerica and a World Heritage Site
Embarkation of Union troops from Cairo on January 10, 1862
The Ohio River as seen from Fredonia, Indiana.
Winnebago family (1852)
Charles Mound, the highest natural point in Illinois at 1,235 feet above sea level, is located in the Driftless Area in the northwestern part of the state.
Natural-color satellite image of the Wabash-Ohio confluence.
Young Oglala Lakota girl in front of tipi with puppy beside her, probably on or near Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, South Dakota
At 279 feet above sea level, the lowest elevation point in the state is located near Cairo and the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers.
Lawrenceburg, Indiana, is one of many towns that use the Ohio as a shipping avenue.
Cumulus clouds hover above a yellowish prairie at Badlands National Park, South Dakota, native lands to the Sioux.
Köppen climate types of Illinois
Glacial Lake Ohio
c. 1681 map of Marquette and Jolliet's 1673 expedition
Density map displaying the population of Illinois
The Allegheny River, left, and Monongahela River join to form the Ohio River at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the largest metropolitan area on the river.
Beaver hunting grounds, the basis of the fur trade
The Baháʼí House of Worship in Wilmette, Illinois
Louisville, Kentucky, The deepest point of the Ohio River is a scour hole just below Cannelton locks and dam (river mile 720.7).
The state cessions that eventually allowed for the creation of the territories north and southwest of the River Ohio
The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago at the heart of Chicago's financial center
A barge hauls coal in the Louisville and Portland Canal, the only artificial portion of the Ohio River.
Northwest Territory 1787
Byron Nuclear Generating Station in Ogle County
Cincinnati skyline showing the John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge to Covington, Kentucky.
Louisiana Purchase 1803
Average annual wind power distribution for Illinois, 50 m height above ground (2009)
Carl Perkins Bridge in Portsmouth, Ohio with Ohio River and Scioto River tributary on right.
Ohio River near Rome, Ohio
Soldier Field, Chicago
The Ohio River seen at Sciotoville, from the "Geography of Ohio," 1923
Lake Michigan is shared by four Midwestern states: Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin.
The Illinois State Capitol in Springfield
The Upper Mississippi River near Harpers Ferry, Iowa
Illinois House of Representatives
An animation depicting when United States territories and states forbade or allowed slavery, 1789–1861
Governor J. B. Pritzker (D)
1855 Free-State poster
University of Illinois
A map of various Underground Railroad routes
University of Chicago
Minneapolis, Minnesota is on the Mississippi River
University of Illinois Willard Airport
Omaha, Nebraska, is on the Missouri River
Inside O'Hare International Airport
Cincinnati, Ohio is on the Ohio River
Vandalia State House State Historic Site in Vandalia
Distribution of Americans claiming German Ancestry by county in 2018
The Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago
German population density in the United States, 1870 census
Magnolia Manor is a Victorian period historic house museum in Cairo.
A pastoral farm scene near Traverse City, Michigan, with a classic American red barn
Lincoln Home National Historic Site in Springfield
Central Iowa cornfield in June
The Polish Museum of America in Chicago
Standing wheat in Kansas, part of America's Breadbasket
A Railway Post Office preserved at the Illinois Railway Museum in Union
Soybean fields at Applethorpe Farm, north of Hallsville in Ross County, Ohio
Standard license plate introduced in 2017
The Chicago Board of Trade Building a National Historic Landmark
Standard license plate 2001 to 2016
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland
Illinois license plate design used throughout the 1980s and 1990s, displaying the Land of Lincoln slogan that has been featured on the state's plates since 1954
Mount Rushmore is located in the Black Hills of South Dakota.
Illinois 2020 Population Density Map
The Milwaukee Art Museum is located on Lake Michigan.
The first local meeting of the new Republican Party took place here in Ripon, Wisconsin on March 20, 1854.
Midwestern Governors by party
Midwestern U.S. Senators by party for the 117th Congress
Midwestern U.S. Representatives by party for the 117th Congress
Beaver hunting grounds, the basis of the fur trade

Illinois is a state in the Midwestern United States.

- Illinois

It is located at the boundary of the Midwestern and Southern United States, flowing southwesterly from western Pennsylvania to its mouth on the Mississippi River at the southern tip of Illinois.

- Ohio River

The Census Bureau's definition consists of 12 states in the north central United States: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.

- Midwestern United States

Additionally, the Mississippi, Ohio, and Wabash rivers form parts of the state's boundaries.

- Illinois

Major rivers in the region include, from east to west, the Ohio River, the Upper Mississippi River, and the Missouri River.

- Midwestern United States

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Indiana

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Angel Mounds State Historic Site was one of the northernmost Mississippian culture settlements, occupied from 1100 to 1450.
Native Americans guide French explorers through Indiana, as depicted by Maurice Thompson in Stories of Indiana.
Indiana's Capitol Building in Corydon served as the state's seat of government from 1816 until 1825.
Rolling hills in the Charles C. Deam Wilderness Area of Hoosier National Forest, in the Indiana Uplands
The Wabash River converges with the Ohio River at Posey County.
Köppen climate types of Indiana, using 1991-2020 climate normals.
Indiana is home to the third largest population of Amish in the U.S.
Mike Pence at the Indiana State Fair, 2014
Members of the Indiana National Guard at the Muscatatuck Urban Training Center near Butlerville
Indianapolis is home to the annual Indianapolis 500 race.
The Indianapolis Colts of the National Football League have been based in the state since 1984.
Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall, home to Indiana Hoosiers men's basketball
Notre Dame Stadium, home to the Fighting Irish
Lake Michigan's beaches, popular with tourists, are juxtaposed with heavy industry.
Indiana is the fifth largest corn-producing state in the U.S., with over a billion bushels harvested in 2013.
Coal-fired electric plants, like Clifty Creek Power Plant in Madison, produced about 85 percent of Indiana's energy supply in 2014.
The Interstate 69 extension project in Monroe County
A South Shore commuter train in Michigan City
Barges are a common sight along the Ohio River. Ports of Indiana manages three maritime ports in the state, two located on the Ohio.

Indiana is a U.S. state in the Midwestern United States.

It is bordered by Lake Michigan to the northwest, Michigan to the north, Ohio to the east, the Ohio River and Kentucky to the south and southeast, and the Wabash River and Illinois to the west.

Ohio

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Artists conception of the Fort Ancient SunWatch Indian Village in Dayton.
Iroquois conquests during the Beaver Wars (mid-1600s), which largely depopulated the upper and mid-Ohio River valley.
The Ohio Country indicating battle sites between American settlers and indigenous tribes, 1775–1794.
Rufus Putnam by James Sharples, Jr., 1797
Battle of Lake Erie by William Henry Powell.
The route of Morgan's Raid.
The first Standard Oil refinery was opened in Cleveland by businessman John D. Rockefeller.
Iron being converted to steel for wartime efforts at Youngstown's Republic Steel in 1941.
Geographic regions of Ohio.
Map of Ohio cities and rivers.
Köppen climate types of Ohio, using 1991-2020 climate normals.
Ohio population density map.
Amish children on their way to school
Cincinnati's Procter & Gamble is one of Ohio's largest companies in terms of revenue.
Cincinnati light rail
The Ohio Statehouse in Columbus, home to the Ohio General Assembly.
The Thomas J. Moyer Ohio Judicial Center holds the Supreme Court of Ohio.
Presidential election results by county for 2020
University Hall at the Ohio State University in Columbus.
Bosworth Hall at Oberlin College in northeast Ohio.
Springer Auditorium at the Cincinnati Music Hall.
Progressive Field, home to the Cleveland Guardians baseball team
Ohio Stadium in Columbus, home to the Ohio State Buckeyes football team, is the fifth largest stadium in the world.
Population growth by county in Ohio between the 2010 and 2020 censuses. -10 to -5 percent
-5 to -2 percent
-2 to 0 percent
0 to 2 percent
2 to 5 percent
5 to 10 percent
10 to 20 percent
More than 20 percent

Ohio is a state in the Midwestern region of the United States.

The state takes its name from the Ohio River, whose name in turn originated from the Seneca word ohiːyo, meaning "good river", "great river", or "large creek".

The seven presidents born in Ohio were Ulysses S. Grant (elected from Illinois), Rutherford B. Hayes, James A. Garfield, Benjamin Harrison (grandson of William Henry Harrison & elected from Indiana), William McKinley, William Howard Taft and Warren G. Harding.

Kentucky

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State in the Southeastern region of the United States and one of the states of the Upper South.

State in the Southeastern region of the United States and one of the states of the Upper South.

Abraham Lincoln Birthplace near Hodgenville
A map of Kentucky
Kentucky's regions (click on image for color-coding information)
300x300px
Lake Cumberland is the largest artificial American lake east of the Mississippi River by volume.
Once an industrial wasteland, Louisville's reclaimed waterfront now features thousands of trees and miles of walking trails.
Red River Gorge is one of Kentucky's most visited places.
Forest at Otter Creek Outdoor Recreation Area, Meade County, Kentucky
Kentucky Population Density Map
Lexington Theological Seminary (then College of the Bible), 1904
The best selling car in the United States, the Toyota Camry, is manufactured in Georgetown, Kentucky.
The best selling truck in the United States, the Ford F-Series, is manufactured in Louisville, Kentucky.
The Ark Encounter in Williamstown, KY
Spring running of Keeneland in Lexington, KY
William T. Young Library at the University of Kentucky, Kentucky's flagship university.
The J.B. Speed School of Engineering at the University of Louisville, Kentucky's urban research university.
At 484 mi long, Kentucky Route 80 is the longest route in Kentucky, pictured here west of Somerset.
High Bridge over the Kentucky River was the tallest rail bridge in the world when it was completed in 1877.
A barge hauling coal in the Louisville and Portland Canal, the only manmade section of the Ohio River
The governor's mansion in Frankfort
The Kentucky State Capitol building in Frankfort
A map showing Kentucky's six congressional districts
State sign, Interstate 65
Treemap of the popular vote by county, 2016 presidential election
The Buffalo Trace Distillery
Old Louisville is the largest Victorian Historic neighborhood in the United States.
The U.S. 23 Country Music Highway Museum in Paintsville provides background on the country music artists from Eastern Kentucky.
The Hot Brown
Kentucky's Churchill Downs hosts the Kentucky Derby.

Kentucky borders Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio to the north; West Virginia and Virginia to the east; Tennessee to the south; and Missouri to the west.

The Commonwealth's northern border is defined by the Ohio River.

Kentucky borders seven states, from the Midwest and the Southeast.

Northwest Territory

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Formed from unorganized western territory of the United States after the American Revolutionary War.

Formed from unorganized western territory of the United States after the American Revolutionary War.

The state cessions that eventually allowed for the creation of the territories north and southwest of the River Ohio
Check signed by Arthur St. Clair while governor of the Northwest Territory (1796)
Map showing the general distribution of Native American tribes in the Northwest Territory in the early 1790s.
Rufus Putnam. This portrait by James Sharples, Jr. is in the collection of Independence National Historical Park, and hangs in the Second Bank of the United States building in Philadelphia.
Campus Martius ("Field of Mars" in Latin) was named after the part of Rome of the same name. This site, including the Rufus Putnam House, is now part of the Campus Martius Museum in Marietta, Ohio.
Map of the states and territories of the United States as it was on August 7, 1789, when the Northwest Territory was first organized, to April 2, 1790, when the future Southwest Territory was ceded by North Carolina
Abraham Bradley's 1796 map of the United States includes many forts and settlements within the Northwest Territory.
Seal of the Northwest Territory over a time capsule outside the Campus Martius Museum. The Latin phrase, "He has planted one better than the one fallen," signifies the replacement of wilderness by civilization.
Territorial county of Wayne
Ohio counties in 1802

At the time of its creation, the territory included all the land west of Pennsylvania, northwest of the Ohio River and east of the Mississippi River below the Great Lakes, and what later became known as the Boundary Waters.

It spanned all or large parts of six eventual U.S. states (Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, and the northeastern part of Minnesota).

The square surveys of the Northwest Territory became a hallmark of the Midwest, as sections, townships, counties (and states) were laid out scientifically, and land was sold quickly and efficiently (although not without some speculative aberrations).

An animation showing the free/slave status of U.S. states and territories, 1789–1861 (see separate yearly maps below). The American Civil War began in 1861. The 13th Amendment, effective December 1865, abolished slavery in the U.S.

Slave states and free states

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State in which slavery and the internal or domestic slave trade were legal, while a free state was one in which they were not.

State in which slavery and the internal or domestic slave trade were legal, while a free state was one in which they were not.

An animation showing the free/slave status of U.S. states and territories, 1789–1861 (see separate yearly maps below). The American Civil War began in 1861. The 13th Amendment, effective December 1865, abolished slavery in the U.S.
During the American Revolution (1775-1783) some of the 13 British colonies seeking independence to become states began to abolish slavery. The U.S. Constitution ratified in 1789, left the matter in the hands of each state.
In the early years of the new United States, a north/south divide became evident
The Missouri Compromise of 1820, trading the admission of Missouri (a slave state) for Maine (a free state), drew a line extending west from Missouri's southern border, which was intended to divide any new territory into slave (south of the line) and free (north of the line).
With the statehood of Arkansas in 1836, the number of slave states grew to 13, but the statehood of Michigan in 1837 maintained the balance between slave and free states.
By 1845, with Texas and Florida in the Union as slave states, slave states once again outnumbered the free states for a year until Iowa was admitted as a free state in 1846.
By 1858, 17 free states, which included California (1850), and Minnesota (1858), outnumbered the 15 slave states.
By the eve of the Civil War in mid-1861, with the addition of Oregon (1859) and Kansas (1861), the number of free states had grown to 19 while the number of slave states remained at 15.
Division of states during the Civil War. Blue represents Union states, including those admitted during the war; light blue represents border states; red represents Confederate states. Unshaded areas were not states before or during the Civil War.
With the statehood of Arkansas in 1836, the number of slave states grew to 13, but the statehood of Michigan in 1837 maintained the balance between slave and free states.
By 1845, with Texas and Florida in the Union as slave states, slave states once again outnumbered the free states for a year until Iowa was admitted as a free state in 1846.
Division of states during the Civil War. Blue represents Union states, including those admitted during the war; light blue represents border states; red represents Confederate states. Unshaded areas were not states before or during the Civil War.
Abolition of slavery in the various states of the US over time:Abolition of slavery during or shortly after the American Revolution
The Northwest Ordinance (slavery excluded), 1787
Gradual emancipation in New York (starting 1799, completed 1827) and New Jersey (starting 1804, completed by Thirteenth Amendment, 1865)
The Missouri Compromise, 1821
Effective abolition of slavery by Mexican or joint US/British authority
Exclusion of slavery by Congressional action, 1861
Abolition of slavery by Congressional action, 1862
Emancipation Proclamation as originally issued, January 1, 1863
Subsequent operation of the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863
Abolition of slavery by state action during the Civil War
Operation of the Emancipation Proclamation in 1864
Operation of the Emancipation Proclamation in 1865
Thirteenth Amendment to the US constitution, December 18, 1865
Territory incorporated into the US after the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment

By the time of Missouri Compromise of 1820, the dividing line between the slave and free states was called the Mason-Dixon line (between Maryland and Pennsylvania), with its westward extension being the Ohio River.

The 6 states created from the territory were all free states: Ohio (1803), Indiana (1816), Illinois (1818), Michigan (1837), Wisconsin (1848), and Minnesota (1858).

By 1815, the momentum for antislavery reform, state by state, appeared to run out of steam, with half of the states having already abolished slavery (Northeast), prohibited from the start (Midwest) or committed to eliminating slavery, and half committed to continuing the institution indefinitely (South).

Approximate areas of various Mississippian and related cultures

Mississippian culture

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Approximate areas of various Mississippian and related cultures
A priest with a ceremonial flint mace and severed sacrificial head, based on a repoussé copper plate
Mississippian copper plates
Reconstruction of the Birdman burial at Cahokia.
Mass grave burial at Cahokia of fifty-three sacrificed Native American women
Shell tempered ceramic effigy jug with swirls painted in clay slip, Rose Mound, Cross County, Arkansas, U.S., 1400-1600 CE, 8" (20 cm) high
Replica of a Mississippian house from over 1000 years ago excavated at the Aztalan site of the Oneota region in an exhibit at the Wisconsin Historical Museum
A mound diagram of the Mississippian cultural period showing the multiple layers of mound construction, mound structures such as temples or mortuaries, ramps with log stairs, and prior structures under later layers, multiple terraces, and intrusive burials.
Cahokia, the largest Mississippian culture site
Kincaid, showing its platform mounds and encircling palisade
Stone effigies found at the Etowah Site
Map of the Caddoan Mississippian culture
Spiro, in eastern Oklahoma
Map showing the geographical extent of the Plaquemine culture and some of its major sites
A map showing the de Soto route through the Southeast

The Mississippian culture was a Native American civilization that flourished in what is now the Midwestern, Eastern, and Southeastern United States from approximately 800 CE to 1600 CE, varying regionally.

The largest city was Cahokia, believed to be a major religious center located in what is present-day southern Illinois.

Kincaid site: A major Mississippian mound center in southern Illinois across the Ohio River from Paducah, Kentucky.

Wabash River

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A 503 mi river that drains most of the state of Indiana in the United States.

A 503 mi river that drains most of the state of Indiana in the United States.

A scene along the Wabash River, sketched in 1778 by Lt Governor Henry Hamilton en route to recapture Vincennes, Indiana during the American Revolutionary War
Forks of the Wabash at Huntington
The former course if the Wabash River, running by the former site of the original Fort Recovery. The reproduction can be seen in the background, but it is not the original fort.
Sunset Point at Delphi, where Deer Creek joins the Wabash
The Wabash River at Covington, Indiana
A small island and water fowl wildlife refuge in the Wabash near Mount Carmel, Illinois
Wabash River historical marker in Mercer County just south of Fort Recovery.
Wabash River in Limberlost Recreation Area, south of Berne, Indiana.
The Wabash River at Lafayette, Indiana, showing the Myers Pedestrian Bridge, and the Amtrak station. The river flows from left to right (north to south). This stretch is notable for large, sandy deposits.
Natural-colour satellite image of the Wabash-Ohio confluence. Hovey Lake is to the left between the bend in the Ohio River.
Lincoln Memorial Bridge over the Wabash River near the George Rogers Clark National Historical Park

It flows from the headwaters in Ohio, near the Indiana border, then southwest across northern Indiana turning south near the Illinois border, where the southern portion forms the Indiana-Illinois border before flowing into the Ohio River.

Founded by the French about 1720, Vincennes is the oldest European settlement in Indiana, and among the oldest in the American Midwest.