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The cities near the state’s northwestern corner form an industrial, economic, and social continuum with neighbouring Chicago.Their significant African American and Hispanic populations and the political aspirations contrast strikingly with life in the smaller cities and towns near the state’s southern boundary.

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Most of Indiana’s forests are secondary growth and contain a wide spectrum of trees, including various types of hickories, sycamores, maples, and oaks, which together offer a spectacular display of color in fall.

Flowering trees, such as tulip trees (; also called yellow poplars) and dogwoods, illuminate the forests in spring.

Indiana Dunes—sand dunes along Lake Michigan—most of which have been removed from the public domain by industry and private homes.

This situation was remedied somewhat with the dedication in 1972 of Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.

Several species of ferns also are found in the state’s woodlands.

Many species of herbaceous plants cover the state’s prairie region, with goldenrod, bluestem grasses, and various European introductions among the most common.

Many of Indiana’s people take pride in a self-image derived largely from 19th-century America that values hard work, is oriented to the small town and medium-sized city, and is interested in maintaining the prerogatives of local self-determination.

It is not by coincidence that the Indianan’s nickname, Hoosier, remains a symbol in the country’s lore for a kind of homespun wisdom, wit, and folksiness that harks back to what is popularly regarded as a less-hurried and less-complicated period of history.

Although Indiana is historically part of the North, many parts of the state display a character that is much like that of the South.

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