Comparison between proposal of G. Etzel Pearcy

and update by Ward Cleaver

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Comparison between criteria of G. Etzel Pearcy and Ward Cleaver
Criterion number G. Etzel Pearcy's criteria, appearing in A Thirty-Eight State U.S.A. (Plycon Press, 1973) Ward Cleaver's approach
1. Relation of boundaries to population density / Follow sparsest populations. Follow sparsest populations, minimizing population affected by boundary.
2. State boundaries in relation to metropolitan areas / Eliminate lines through metropolitan areas. Boundaries avoid nodes of activity, including metropolitan areas.
3. Consistency of the size of states / Minimize differences in area. Generally, try to equalize area and population from one region to the next, as long as functionality is optimized.
4. Placement of regional centers in each new state / Place metropolitan area in location accessible from entire state. The center of each region can be found, by definition a "regional center". It is not always the largest node.

Optimize internal transportation within region.
5. Rivers as boundaries / Use no important river courses as boundaries. Only where they form barriers should rivers be used as boundaries. The Colorado River at the Grand Canyon, where there are no bridges, can be a boundary. The Mississippi River is crossed by regional boundaries. The Hudson River is kept entirely in one region.
6. Compactness of shape / Avoid irregular shapes. Minimize boundary length, as practical. Avoid elongation.
7. Co-ordinates as unrealistic boundaries / Avoid use of co-ordinates as boundaries. Avoid reliance on distant reference points (currently, the poles and the Greenwich observatory).
8. Use of short, straight-line boundary segments / Form boundaries of short line segments. To avoid concave angles and minimize boundary length, employ tangential curved boundaries (arcs, loci, landforms) where practical.
9. Fiscal advantages / To save money, optimize number and size of states. Optimize size of units and number of lower-level units per higher-level unit. Maximize efficiency of service delivery and transport of goods (through inspection stations).


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Comparison between maps of G. Etzel Pearcy and Ward Cleaver
Geographic feature G. Etzel Pearcy's approach, appearing in A Thirty-Eight State U.S.A. (Plycon Press, 1973) and at "A 38-State Nation" Ward Cleaver's opinion
International borders Current international boundaries are maintained. Conceptual integrity would be compromised by assuming permanence of any boundary. If a boundary does not make sense, change it.
Alabama The state of Talladego, based on Alabama, includes Birmingham, Mobile, Montgomery, Pensacola, Huntsville, and Tuscaloosa. The Black Belt, the coastal plain of rich, dark soil, now has a relatively sparse population, where boundaries would affect the fewest people. Bands of greater density along the Gulf Coast and in the Tennessee-Cumberland Valley are left intact in administrative regions. Mobile (along with Pensacola and Panama City) is located on a developed portion of the Gulf Coast extending to New Orleans. Birmingham, Huntsville, and Tuscaloosa are closer to Chattanooga and Nashville than to the coast. Montgomery, within the Black Belt, can be joined with nearby Columbus, Auburn, and LaGrange.
Blue Ridge The state of Appalachia includes Roanoke and Lynchburg with the Tri-Cities (Johnson City, Kingsport, Bristol) in the Great Valley and with Charleston and Huntington on the Appalachian plateau. Over 150 miles from most Appalachian cities, Lynchburg is accessible to Greensboro, part of a major industrial belt on the Piedmont. Roanoke by the Blue Ridge shares a television market with Lynchburg and Danville on the Piedmont.
Florida The state of Biscayne, based on Florida, combines Miami, Tampa Bay, Orlando, and Jacksonville. Rapid development has increased the population and diversity since the time of Pearcy's research, justifying division of Florida in two.
Hampton Roads The state of Albemarle combines Hampton Roads (Norfolk, Newport News, Portsmouth, Virginia Beach, Hampton, Chesapeake, Suffolk, Poquoson, Williamsburg, Yorktown, Gloucester, Smithfield, Elizabeth City, Kempsville, Princess Anne, South Norfolk, Churchland, Phoebus, Denbigh, Pungo, Chuckatuck, Portlock) with the Piedmont Triad (Greensboro, Winston-Salem, High Point) and the Triangle (Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Cary). Administrative boundaries should consider transportation routes, which in this case tie Hampton Roads together with neighbors to the north. The only railroad from Newport News and Williamsburg runs to a junction in Richmond. Ships pass Virginia Beach while entering Chesapeake Bay to reach Baltimore, Annapolis, and Richmond.
Hudson Valley The Upper Hudson (Albany and vicinity), with nearby Pittsfield and Bennington, falls in the state of Mohawk, with Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, and Binghamton -- rather than the state of Hudson, with New York City, Poughkeepsie, and Springfield. The importance of shipping on the Hudson River is recognized by keeping the entire river in one region.
Idaho The state of Bitterroot, based on Idaho, includes Spokane, Boise, Missoula, Pocatello, and Lewiston. The largest cities, Spokane and Boise, are separated by hundreds of miles of mountainous forest. Travel and commerce between these cities is less than that directed outward. So they should be administered separately.
Indiana Cities proximate to Indianapolis are kept in its region.
Iowa The state of Prairie, based on Iowa, includes Des Moines, Dubuque, and the Quad Cities. The area's small population (in an area smaller than adjacent regions) is insufficient to allow it to stand alone, especially without a major city. The proximity of Moline to Peoria supports bringing those cities together.
Louisiana The state of Bayou includes all of current Louisiana, along with Texarkana in the Red River Valley and the Golden Triangle (Beaumont, Port Arthur, Orange). Western Louisiana has a relatively sparse population. Lake Charles is 200 miles from New Orleans, so it can be joined to Houston, 140 miles away. Shreveport is 333 miles from New Orleans, so can be joined with Dallas, 186 miles away.
Michigan Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, and Muskegon are placed in the state of Dearborn with Chicago, Milwaukee, and Peoria. Frem most of the east shore of Lake Michigan, it is easier to reach Detroit
Montana The state of Bighorn, based on eastern Montana, includes Billings, Great Falls, Sheridan, Rapid City, and Williston. Billings, the largest city in a 400 mile radius, has not developed into a metropolis. The other cities and the countryside look to broadcast markets in Denver, Salt Lake City, Spokane, Calgary, Regina, Winnipeg, and Minneapolis.
New England New England is divided by a line between Manchester and Concord into the states of Plymouth in the south and Kennebec in the north. The Boston market influences Portland, Brattleboro, and Concord more than they affect each other. They fall together rather than apart.
Ohio The state of Erie, based on Ohio, includes (in the detailed description) Cleveland, Cincinnati, and Columbus. Cincinati is 244 miles from Cleveland, but only about 110 miles from Louisville and Indianapolis. Cleveland is 76 miles from Youngstown and 129 miles from Pittsburgh. Separated by distance, Cleveland and Cincinnati are impractical to combine.
Ozarks The state of Ozark stretches from Memphis, past Little Rock, to Springfield and Fort Smith A population trough of national forests separates Little Rock and the Mississippi Valley from the western cities. Springfield and Fort Smith are more closely linked to Tulsa.
Southern California The state of San Gabriel combines Los Angeles and San Diego. San Diego is one of the leading cities on the Pacific coast. Its proximity to Los Angeles (124 miles) makes the question of its separation a close call. The two population centers can be divided along a boundary through sparsely populated military installations, a national forest, a wildlife refuge, and a state park.
Southwest The state of Cochise includes Phoenix, Tucson, El Paso, Albuquerque, and Santa Fe. El Paso and Albuquerque are 266 miles apart, across fairly empty land. Both on the Rio Grande, they are over 400 miles over the Continental Divide and across the desert from Phoenix. Common administration of these distant nodes would be cumbersome. Better to divide them.
Tennessee The state of Cumberland includes Knoxville, Nashville, and Chattanooga. Although not far from Chattanooga, Knoxville is closer to the Tri-Cities (Johnson City, Kingsport, Bristol).
Texas The state of Alamo, based on Texas, stretches from Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, and San Antonio to Odessa and Midland in the Permian Basin. Houston and Dallas, located 246 miles apart, are economically and socially separate. San Antonio, 200 miles from either, possesses (with its neighbors Austin and Corpus Christi) sufficient population and commerce to form a separate market.
Wisconsin Most of the Fox River Valley is placed in the state of Superior with the Twin Cities (Minneapolis-St. Paul) and Duluth. Fox River cities (Oshkosh, Fond du Lac, Appleton, and Green Bay) are located within 120 miles of Milwaukee, but over 200 miles from the Twin Cities.

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