One of these North American shatterbelts emerged within the struggle for independence of the English colonies, a civil war in which colonists split amongst themselves either for loyalty or opposition to the English crown. On the strategic level, the British faced rivalry from France and Spain, the former instrumental in assisting the English colonists to eventual victory and independence from England. The shatterbelt could not have formed had not the French decided to side with the colonists against their British masters and had not the colonists chosen to accept French involvement. And clearly the French were opposing the English on both strategic and regional levels, wanting to weaken the English colonial hold as a way to weaken the English in other world areas as well. Had not this shatterbelt appeared, North American independence would not have succeeded at the time, or at least would have been significantly postponed. and this shatterbelt later ended with eventual British acceptance of North American sovereignty over its Atlantic seaboard and the Ohio valley territories in today's Middle West.
Just as there are two (perhaps three) Pennsylvanias, there are two Ohios. The Buckeye State is torn between New England influences and Virginian westward expansion. Youngstown can claim the best of both worlds: Cleveland and Pittsburgh are at home in the Mohoning Valley.
Youngstown is a riparian industrial city with strong ties to lake ports of call. The similarities to Pittsburgh (along with proximity) are obvious. But the shared history with places such as Erie are less recognized. As an Erie native, I'm well versed in the mythology of Youngstown organized crime. You might think of Erie as the Y-town Riveria, at least in the recent past. Youngstown might be the northern most city in the United States claiming economic, political and cultural influences of the Great Lakes and Appalachia.
How about Indianapolis? Columbus?