The foregoing culture areas account for roughly the eastern half of the conterminous United States. There is a dilemma in classifying the remaining half. The concept of the American West, strong in the popular imagination, is reinforced constantly by romanticized cinematic and television… As with other sections of the United States, regional boundaries are somewhat imprecise. The West of the cowboy and the cattle drive covered many non-Western states, including Kansas and Nebraska.
Grand CanyonArizona Along the Pacific Ocean coast lie the Coast Rangeswhich, while not approaching the scale of the Rocky Mountainsare formidable nevertheless.
They collect a large part Eastern influence in the west america the airborne moisture moving in from the ocean. Beyond the valleys lie the country boys in Sierra Nevada in the south and the Cascade Range in the north. The Cascades are also volcanic.
Helensa volcano in the Cascades erupted explosively in These mountain ranges see heavy precipitation, capturing most of the moisture that remains after the Coast Ranges, and creating a rain shadow to the east forming vast stretches of arid land.
These dry areas encompass much of NevadaUtahand Arizona. The Mojave Desert and Sonoran Desert along with other deserts are found here. Beyond the deserts lie the Rocky Mountains. In the north, they run almost immediately east of the Cascade Rangeso that the desert region is only a few miles wide by the time one reaches the Canada—US border.
The Rockies are hundreds of miles kilometers wide, and run uninterrupted from New Mexico to Alaska. East of the Rocky Mountains is the Great Plains, the western portions for example, the eastern half of Colorado of which are generally considered to be part of the western United States.
The West has several long rivers that empty into the Pacific Oceanwhile the eastern rivers run into the Gulf of Mexico.
The Mississippi River forms the easternmost possible boundary for the West today. The Missouri Rivera tributary of the Mississippiflows from its headwaters in the Rocky Mountains eastward across the Great Plainsa vast grassy plateau, before sloping gradually down to the forests and hence to the Mississippi.
The Colorado River is a major source of water in the Southwest and many dams, such as the Hoover Damform reservoirs along it. So much water is drawn for drinking water throughout the West and irrigation in California that in most years, water from the Colorado River no longer reaches the Gulf of California.
Public lands account for 25 to 75 percent of the total land area in these states. Also, the climate of the West is quite unstable, as areas that are normally wet can be very dry for years and vice versa.
The seasonal temperatures vary greatly throughout the West.
Low elevations on the West Coast have warm summers and mild winters with little to no snow. The desert southwest has very hot summers and mild winters.
While the mountains in the southwest receive generally large amounts of snow. The Inland Northwest has a continental climate of warm to hot summers and cold to bitter cold winters. Annual rainfall is greater in the eastern portions, gradually tapering off until reaching the Pacific Coast where it increases again.
In fact, the greatest annual rainfall in the United States falls in the coastal regions of the Pacific Northwest. Drought is much more common in the West than the rest of the United States.
The driest place recorded in the U. Tornadoes occur every spring on the southern plains, with the most common and most destructive centered on Tornado Alleywhich covers eastern portions of the West, Texas to North Dakotaand all states in between and to the east.
Agriculture varies depending on rainfall, irrigation, soil, elevation, and temperature extremes. The arid regions generally support only livestock grazing, chiefly beef cattle.
The wheat belt extends from Texas through The Dakotasproducing most of the wheat and soybeans in the U. Irrigation in the Southwest allows the growing of great quantities of fruits, nuts, and vegetables as well as grain, hay, and flowers.
Texas is a major cattle and sheep raising area, as well as the nation's largest producer of cotton.
Washington is famous for its apples, and Idaho for its potatoes. California and Arizona are major producers of citrus crops, although growing metropolitan sprawl is absorbing much of this land.
Local and state government officials started to understand, after several surveys made during the latter part of the 19th century, that only action by the federal government could provide water resources needed to support the development of the West[ citation needed ].
Starting inCongress passed a series of acts authorizing the establishment of the United States Bureau of Reclamation to oversee water development projects in seventeen western states.
During the first half of the 20th century, dams and irrigation projects provided water for rapid agricultural growth throughout the West and brought prosperity for several states, where agriculture had previously only been subsistence level.
The population growth, mostly in the Southwest states of New MexicoUtahColoradoArizonaand Nevadahas strained water and power resources, with water diverted from agricultural uses to major population centers, such as the Las Vegas Valley and Los Angeles.
Geology[ edit ] Plains make up much of the eastern portion of the West, underlain with sedimentary rock from the Upper PaleozoicMesozoicand Cenozoic eras. The Rocky Mountains expose igneous and metamorphic rock both from the Precambrian and from the Phanerozoic eon. The Inter-mountain States and Pacific Northwest have huge expanses of volcanic rock from the Cenozoic era.
Salt flats and salt lakes reveal a time when the great inland seas covered much of what is now the West. The Pacific states are the most geologically active areas in the United States.White settlers from the East poured across the Mississippi to mine, farm, and ranch.
African-American settlers also came West from the Deep South, convinced by promoters of all-black Western towns that prosperity could be found there. Eastern world refers to countries in the Asia and Middle East whereas Western world refers to North and South America, Europe, Australia and New Zeeland.
East and West may have numerous differences based on culture. As the Eastern (Orthodox) and Western (firstly Catholic, then Protestant as well) churches spread their influence, the line between Eastern and Western Christianity was moving. Its movement was affected by the influence of the Byzantine empire and the fluctuating power and influence of the Catholic church in Rome.
Cathryn Halverson is an associate professor of American studies at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark. She is the author most recently of Playing House in the American West: Western Women’s Life Narratives.
It depends on which women, and where — Laura Woodworth-Ney. The answer depends on which women, and the geography of . Background: Eastern influence in the West (America) The Eastern Buddhist religion was only recently acknowledged by the American public in the mid 19th century era. While eastern Buddhism is somewhat more historic within the European geographic area, it only began in Europe during the mid s.
The Louisiana Purchase of intensified American migration to the west that was already well underway. Anglo-American settlement in the 18th century had largely been confined to .