State located in the Midwest, occupying the transitional space between Kentucky and Michigan, and Pennsylvania and Indiana. It was the 17th state admitted to the union, in 1803, and due to its central location, abundant soil, and excellent water transportation corridors, it grew to be one of the most populous, prosperous, and prominent states of the USA. Ohio gave rise to seven presidents throughout the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The period since the Second World War has been marked by an almost equally dramatic decline in relative prominence and prosperity.

Ohio is really two entirely distinct regions that have very little in common and really should be separate states. Roughly the northern two thirds of the state lies within the industrial northern Midwestern region known as the Rust Belt. This part of Ohio dominates the perception of the entire state, and is characterized a flat boundless countryside of intense factory agriculture, industrial metropolises such as Cleveland and Toledo on the shores of Lake Erie, and innumerable old industry towns in varying states of decay, including Youngstown, Akron, Canton, Findlay, Lima, and others. The topography is flat and the climate features long harsh winters aggravated by copious amounts 'lake effect' snow. The population is a largely homogenized mix of the descendants of the Eastern European, German, and Irish immigrants of the late 19th century, with pockets of African-Americans and Hispanics. The university town of Columbus at the southern extent of this region fulfills the role of a lager version of Madison or Ann Arbor.

The southern third of the state, by contrast, is geographically and culturally part of Appalachia. The topography features steep wooded hills and humid valleys. With the exception of the population centers of Cincinnati and Dayton, limited agriculture, industry, and population density characterized its development and present. The population is largely Scotch-Irish, augmented by the concentrations of German and African American descent in Cincinnati and Dayton.

The southern part of the state was settled first, shortly after the American Revolution and the passage of the Northwest Ordinance, by frontierspeople from Virginia and Kentucky. Settlement of the north proceeded shortly thereafter from Pennsylvania and upstate New York. In 1835 an armed standoff Between Ohio and the then territory of Michigan, called the Toledo War, finalized the boundaries of the two states. The completion of the Miami and Erie Canal, which linked the Ohio River in the south with Lake Erie in the north was a major step in the advancement of transportation and industry in America, and a boon to the state. The population of Ohio was greatly increased by German immigration, and as industrialization proceeded, immigration from elsewhere.

The presidents from Ohio are: William Henry Harrison from North Bend, near Cincinnati, Ulysees S. Grant from the region to the East of Cincinnati, James Garfield from near Clevleand, William Howard Taft from Cincinnati, Rutherford B. Hayes from somewhere in the North, William McKinley from Niles, near Canton, and Warren G. Harding from Youngstown.

In the years since World War 2, the state declined in relative prominence, as the national population and industries shifted to the West and South. It seems like most of the interstate highway system traverses Ohio, and entire cities were destroyed to make way for highways. Suburbanization took its toll on the cultural and physical fabric, so much so that it inspired the Pretenders' song 'Ohio' about the Mallification of America as a whole. Cleveland, the largest city, was lampooned as 'The mistake on the Lake.' Recent years have seen decline stable-ized and attempts at renaissance in Clevland and Cincinnati.