Western United States
| Western United States ： ウィキペディア英語版|
The Western United States, commonly referred to as the American West or simply the West, traditionally refers to the region comprising the westernmost states of the United States. Because European settlement in the U.S. expanded westward after its founding, the meaning of the West has evolved over time. Prior to about 1800, the crest of the Appalachian Mountains was seen as the western frontier.
Since then, the frontier generally moved westward and eventually lands west of the Mississippi River came to be referred to as the West. Though no consensus exists, even among experts, for the definition of the West as a region, this article adopts the U.S. Census Bureau's definition of the 13 westernmost states which include the Rocky Mountains and the Great Basin to the West Coast, and the outlying states of Hawaii and Alaska.
The West contains several major biomes. It is known for arid to semi-arid plateaus and plains, particularly in the American Southwest - forested mountains, including the major ranges of the American Sierra Nevada and Rocky Mountains - the massive coastal shoreline of the American Pacific Coast - and the temperate rainforests of the Pacific Northwest.
==Defining the West==
The Western U.S. is the largest region of the country, covering more than half the land area of the United States. It is also the most geographically diverse, incorporating geographic regions such as the Pacific Coast, the temperate rainforests of the Northwest, the highest mountain ranges (including the Rocky Mountains, the Sierra Nevada, and Cascade Range), the Great Plains, and all of the desert areas located in the United States (the Mojave, Sonoran, Great Basin, and Chihuahua deserts). Given this expansive and diverse geography it is no wonder the region is difficult to specifically define. Sensing a possible shift in the popular understanding of the West as a region in the early 1990s, historian Walter Nugent conducted a survey of three groups of professionals with ties to the region: a large group of Western historians (187 respondents), and two smaller groups, 25 journalists and publishers and 39 Western authors. A majority of the historian respondents placed the eastern boundary of the West east of the Census definition out on the eastern edge of the Great Plains or on the Mississippi River. The survey respondents as a whole showed just how little agreement there was on the boundaries of the West.
抄文引用元・出典: フリー百科事典『 ウィキペディア（Wikipedia）』
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