Eastern Oregon is the eastern region of Oregon. The boundaries of what is considered to be Eastern Oregon vary based on the context. Eastern Oregon is not a formally recognized separate geographic entity. The most common definition of Eastern Oregon is the entire area east of the Cascade mountain range. For some, Eastern Oregon refers only to the eight easternmost counties.
Although Oregon has voted for Democrats in presidential elections since 1988, Eastern Oregon is one of the major conservative parts of Oregon along with Southwest Oregon. It voted for Republican presidential candidates from 1964 to 1984. For example, in the 2012 Presidential election, Mitt Romney received at least 60% of the vote in every county in Eastern Oregon.
Liberal Portland versus Conservative Eastern and Southwestern Oregon
The high population density northwest areas of the state (Portland, Eugene, Salem) are very liberal leaning especially in the area of environmentalism. The southwest area of the state (such as the Rogue Valley, Josephine County and Jackson County) and the portion east of the Cascades are very conservative.
51st State of America?
Conservative secessionist movements exist for Eastern Oregon to secede and join the United States as a 51st state. This secession movement is similar to other Northwest secession proposals such as the conservative Jefferson (far Northern California and Southwestern Oregon) and conservative Lincoln (Northern Idaho and Eastern Washington). However, the proponents of this plan have not presented a path forward to achieve this goal, and any such plan would likely not be considered unless liberals were allowed to add another state with reliably liberal voters (such as the District of Columbia or Puerto Rico) in order to balance votes.
Bibliography - Further Reading
- Corning, Howard McKinley, ed. Dictionary of Oregon History. (2d ed. 1989). 281 pp.
- Dodds, Gordon B. The American Northwest: A History of Oregon and Washington. (1986). 359 pp.
- Dodds, Gordon B. Oregon: A Bicentennial History. (1977). 240 pp., popular history by leading scholar
- Pomeroy, Earl. The Pacific Slope: A History of California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Utah, and Nevada. (1965) 412pp
- Robbins, William G. Landscapes of Promise: The Oregon Story, 1800-1940. (1997). 392 pp. standard history of the state
- Schwantes, Carlos. The Pacific Northwest: An Interpretive History. (1996)
- Allan, Stuart; Buckley, Aileen R.; and Meacham, James E. Atlas of Oregon. (1976). 301 pp.
- Bataille, Connie Hopkins. The Oregon Book: Information A to Z. (1998). 677 pp.
- Clark, Malcolm, Jr. Eden Seekers: The Settlement of Oregon, 1818-1862. (1981). 327 pp.
- Douthit, Nathan. A Guide to Oregon South Coast History: Traveling the Jedediah Smith Trail. (1999). 224 pp.
- Drukman, Mason. Wayne Morse: A Political Biography. (1997). 545 pp. liberal senator 1945-69
- Drury, Clifford M. Marcus and Narcissa Whitman and the Opening of Old Oregon. (2 vol. 1973). 911 pp. pioneer Methodist missionaries massacred by Indians in 1847
- Farmer, Judith A. et al. Historical Atlas of Early Oregon. (1973). 53pp.
- Heider, Douglas and Dietz, David. Legislative Perspectives: A 150-Year History of the Oregon Legislature from 1843 to 1993. (1995). 227 pp.
- Johnson, David Alan. Founding the Far West: California, Oregon, and Nevada, 1840-1890. (1992). 474 pp.
- Lang, William L. and Carriker, Robert C., eds. Great River of the West: Essays on the Columbia (1999). 181 pp.
- Mason, Thomas L. Governing Oregon: An Inside Look at Politics in One American State. (1994). 251 pp.
- May, Dean L. Three Frontiers: Family, Land, and Society in the American West, 1850-1900. (1994). 313 pp. advanced social history of Sublimity, Oregon, and two other towns
- Robinson, Thomas; Gifford, Benjamin and Terrill, Steve, photographer. Oregon Then and Now. (2000). 192 pp. photo history
- Schwantes, Carlos Arnaldo. Hard Traveling: A Portrait of Work Life in the New Northwest. (1994). 234 pp. labor history by leading historian
- Butruille, Susan G. ed. Women's Voices from the Oregon Trail. (1993). 251 pp., primary sources
- Unruh, John D., Jr. The Plains Across: The Overland Emigrants and the Trans-Mississippi West, 1840-1860. (1979). 565 pp. standard scholarly history