Last modified on June 7, 2024, at 19:44


Capital Columbus
Nickname The Buckeye State
Official Language English
Governor Mike DeWine, R
Senator Sherrod Brown, D
(202) 224-2315
Senator JD Vance, R
(202) 224-3353
Population 11,700,000 (2020)
Ratification of Constitution/or statehood March 1, 1803 (17th)
Flag of Ohio Motto: With God all things are possible

Ohio has 17 Electoral College votes in the 2024 presidential election, and for decades has been a battleground "Rust Belt" state. Ohio is located in the Midwestern region of the United States, which on March 1, 1803, became the seventeenth state, and its capital city is Columbus. Other large cities in Ohio include Cincinnati and Cleveland, where the 2016 Republican National Convention was held. Ohio borders the states of Indiana, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and West Virginia. The current governor of Ohio is Mike DeWine, a liberal Republican, while its legislature (the "General Assembly") is more conservative.

Factors shifting Ohio to be more conservative than neighboring Michigan and Pennsylvania include:

  • a higher rate of weekly church attendance than, for example, its rival Michigan[1]
  • a booming Amish community, which influences many others
  • dependence on supplying parts to the car industry, which Dems are destroying with their radical environmentalism and excessive regulations
  • less of a Democrat Party political machine than, for example, in Chicago, Philadelphia, and Detroit
  • a slightly lower rate of unionization of workers than its larger neighboring states
  • large conservative colleges that include the Baptist Cedarville University (3,809 undergrads) and the Catholic Franciscan University (3,656 students)
  • a relatively large number of students enrolled in elementary and secondary parochial schools: more than 100,000, perhaps the highest percentage in the country
  • less of a liberal media, in contrast with New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago
  • many large conservative rallies held in Ohio by Trump from 2016 through 2024, typically attended by many thousands of people

Ohio voters include a substantial percentage of pro-life, working class Democrats who shifted enough to the Republican column to enable Donald Trump to garner 52% in 2016, a higher 53% in 2020, and a 10% lead over Biden as of late April 2024,[2] despite how Obama won Ohio easily in 2008 and 2012. Rampant early voting of roughly a month in duration plagues its elections, which Dems exploit with ballot harvesting, but in early 2024 a Democrat-appointed federal judge upheld election integrity laws enacted by the Republican legislature.

Neighboring West Virginia has swung strongly to the Republican side as Dems push radical environmentalism to wreck the coal industry, and Trump carried West Virginia by nearly 40 points in 2020. Ohio depends more on the car industry, but it too is being destroyed by the Dem push for electric cars that are difficult to make and sell. As to college football, Ohio has won 8 national championships.[3]

Ohio's booming Amish population has surpassed that of Pennsylvania,[4] which was previously the largest in the world. Two of the top three most friendly Amish communities are located in Ohio.[5] Overall, the largest number of migrants into Ohio annually are from Florida, as of 2023 Census data.[6]

The state Constitution of Ohio, like all of the other 50 states, acknowledges God or our Creator or the Sovereign Ruler of the Universe. It says:

We, the people of the State of Ohio, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, to secure its blessings and promote our common welfare, do establish this Constitution.


Portrait of abolitionist U.S. senator Benjamin F. Wade, a prominent Radical Republican.

Chillicothe was the capital from the formation of the Ohio Territory from the Northwest Territory in 1800, until 1809 when it was moved to Zanesville for three years. Chillicothe was again the capital from 1812 until 1816, when Columbus became the capital because it was the geographical center of the state. Cincinnati was the largest and most important city until surpassed by Cleveland in the early 20th century.

Since 1940, fiscal conservatism has been a hallmark of Ohio leaders, including such Republican governors as John Bricker, Thomas Herbert, and C. William O’Neill, as well as some Democrats, notably Martin Davey and Frank Lausche. Especially in the small towns and cities, voters expressed low-tax, low-spending, and pro-business sentiments.

Michael V. DiSalle, a Democrat elected in 1958, tried to convert Ohio to high spending but angered the taxpayers after one term.[7] He was defeated by Republican James A. Rhodes (1909-2001), who branded DiSalle "Tax Hike Mike" and went on to become Ohio's longest-serving governor (1962–70 and 1974–82). Rhodes eliminated or cut back the wasteful programs and concentrated instead on building of airports, state office buildings, prisons, and other public structures. Rhodes lowered taxes on small business owners, thereby building up the economy while increasing funding to schools and universities.

Democrat Richard F. Celeste was defeated by Rhodes in 1978, but won the governorship in 1982 and defeated Rhodes's comeback effort in 1986. Celeste sought to increase state funding to education, health services, and welfare programs; with the legislature under liberal control, he increased the state income tax by 90%. A referendum to overturn the tax increase failed, but in 1984, voters returned the Ohio Senate to Republican control.


Congress defined Ohio's borders in the Enabling Act of 1802 as follows:

Bounded on the east by the Pennsylvania line, on the south by the Ohio River, to the mouth of the Great Miami River, on the west by the line drawn due north from the mouth of the Great Miami aforesaid, and on the north by an east and west line drawn through the southerly extreme of Lake Michigan, running east after intersecting the due north line aforesaid, from the mouth of the Great Miami until it shall intersect Lake Erie or the territorial line, and thence with the same through Lake Erie to the Pennsylvania line aforesaid.

This was based on the mistaken impression that the southern tip of Lake Michigan was further north than Toledo, Ohio. Fur trappers reported that this was incorrect at the time that the Ohio Constitution was drafting its border provisions. As a result, the Toledo Strip was created as a zone that was claimed by both Ohio and Michigan, resulting in the Toledo War. Ultimately, Michigan gave up the Toledo Strip in exchange for gaining the western portion of its Upper Peninsula when it was admitted to the union.

In 1980, the U.S. Supreme Court held that Ohio's southern boundary is the northern low-water mark of the Ohio River as it existed in 1792.[8]

Elected Officials



Presidents From Ohio

Ohio was known as the "mother of presidents"; the last one was Harding, who won in 1920 by defeating another Ohioan, Governor James Cox.

Taft's son Robert A. Taft, a leading conservative, sought the GOP nomination in 1940, 1948 and 1952, losing each time to liberal Republicans from New York City.

Ohio is a swing state in presidential elections. No Republican has won the presidency without Ohio's electoral votes.


Ohioans usually engage in a call-and-reply type chant when celebrating their state. The leader yells "O,H" and the crowd replies with "I,O". Both presidential candidates have used this at rallies across the state in 2012.


Surveys and textbooks

  • Bell, Carol Willsey. Ohio Guide to Genealogical Sources. (1988). 372 pp.
  • Benedict, Michael Les and Winkler, John F., eds. The History of Ohio Law. (2 vol. 2004). 946 pp.
  • Booth, Stephane Elise. Buckeye Women: The History of Ohio's Daughters. (2001). 239 pp.
  • Borcyczka, Raymond and Cary, Lorin Lee. No Strength without Union: An Illustrated History of Ohio Workers, 1803-1980. (1982). 328 pp.
  • Cayton, Andrew R. L. Ohio: The History of a People (2002), 473pp
  • Grant, H. Roger and Clarence Wunderlin. Ohio On The Move: Transportation In Buckeye State (2000) excerpt
  • Knepper, George W. Ohio and Its People. (3rd ed. 2003), textbook; ISBN 0-87338-791-0 online edition
  • Lafferty, Michael B., ed. Ohio's Natural Heritage. (1979). 324 pp.
  • Parker, Gregory; Sisson, Richard; and Coil, William Russell, eds. Ohio & the World: Essays toward a New History of Ohio. (2005). 199 pp.
  • Sisson, Richard, ed. The American Midwest: An Interpretive Encyclopedia (2006), a conservative-leaning regional encyclopedia by scholars
  • Smith, Thomas H., ed. An Ohio Reader. Vol. 1, 1750 to the Civil War. Vol 2. Reconstruction to the Present. (1975). 763 pp. articles by historians

History to 1860

  • Blue, Frederick J. Salmon P. Chase: A Life in Politics (1987) online edition
  • Bond Jr., Beverley W. The Foundations of Ohio. Volume: 1. 1941. detailed history to 1802. online edition
  • Brown, Jeffrey P., and Andrew R. L. Cayton, eds. The Pursuit of Public Power: Political Culture in Ohio, 1787-1861 (1994)
  • Buley, R. Carlyle. The Old Northwest (1950), Pulitzer Prize winner
  • Carter, Harvey Lewis. The Life and Times of Little Turtle: First Sagamore of the Wabash. (1987). 275 pp.
  • Cayton, Andrew R. L. The Frontier Republic: Ideology and Politics in the Ohio Country, 1780-1825 (1986)
  • Cayton, Andrew R.L. and Stuart D. Hobbs. The Center of a Great Empire: The Ohio Country in the Early Republic (2005) excerpt and text search
  • Fox, Stephen C. The Group Bases of Ohio Political Behavior, 1803-1848. (1989). 349 pp.
  • Giesen, Myra Jayne. "Late Prehistoric Populations in the Ohio Area: Biological Affinities and Stress Indicators." PhD dissertation, anthropology. Ohio State U. 1992. 271 pp. DAI 1993 53(8): 2872-A. DA9238180 Fulltext: ProQuest Dissertations & Theses
  • Hendrick, Booraem V. The Road to Respectability: James A. Garfield and His World, 1844-1852 (1988)
  • Hurt, R. Douglas. The Ohio Frontier: Crucible of the Old Northwest, 1720-1830. (1996). ISBN 0-253-21212-X 418pp
  • Jones, Robert Leslie. History of Agriculture in Ohio to 1880. (1983). 416 pp.
  • Leet, Don R. Population Pressure and Human Fertility Response: Ohio, 1810-1860. (1978). 291 pp.
  • Maizlish, Stephen E. The Triumph of Sectionalism: The Transformation of Ohio Politics, 1844-1856 (1983), 310pp
  • O'Donnell, James H. Ohio's First Peoples. (2004). Indian tribes.
  • Ratcliffe, Donald J. The Politics of Long Division: The Birth of the Second Party System in Ohio, 1818-1828. (2000). 455 pp.
  • Ratcliffe, Donald J. Party Spirit in a Frontier Republic: Democratic Politics in Ohio, 1793-1821 (1998). 336 pp. online review
  • Rokicky, Catherine M. Creating a Perfect World: Religious and Secular Utopias in Nineteenth-Century Ohio. (2002). 181 pp.
  • Utter, William T. The Frontier State: 1803-1825, vol. 2 of History of the State of Ohio (1942).
  • VanVugt, William E. British Buckeyes: The English, Scots, and Welsh in Ohio, 1700-1900. (2006). 295 pp.
  • Weisenburger, Francis P. The Passing of the Frontier, vol. 3 (1941), detailed history of 1830s and 1840s
  • Winkle, Kenneth J. The Politics of Community: Migration and Politics in Antebellum Ohio. (1988). 239 pp.

History 1860-1920

  • Comer, James Ray. "Immigration and Foodways in Ohio, 1870-1920." PhD dissertation Bowling Green State U. 2001. 369 pp. DAI 2001 62(6): 2217-A. DA3016141 Fulltext: ProQuest Dissertations & Theses
  • Downes, Randolph C. The Rise of Warren Gamaliel Harding, 1865-1920. (1970). 734 pp
  • Gerber, David A. Black Ohio and the Color Line, 1860-1915. (1977). 500 pp.
  • Hoogenboom, Ari. Rutherford B. Hayes: Warrior and President. (1995). 626 pp.
  • Jensen, Richard. The Winning of the Midwest: Social and Political Conflict, 1888-1896 (1971)
  • Jordan, Philip D.Ohio Comes of Age: 1873-1900 Volume 5 (1968)
  • Klement, Frank L. The Limits of Dissent: Clement L. Vallandigham and the Civil War. (1998). 351 pp.
  • Morton, Jack Devon. "Ohio's Gallant Fight: Northern State Politics during the Reconstruction Era, 1865-1878." PhD dissertation. U. of Virginia 2005. 274 pp. DAI 2005 66(1): 313-A. DA3161251 Fulltext: ProQuest Dissertations & Theses
  • Roseboom, Eugene. The Civil War Era, 1850-1873, vol. 4 (1944), detailed general history
  • Semsel, Craig Robert. "Built to Move Millions: Transit Vehicle Manufacture in Ohio, 1880-1938." PhD dissertation Case Western Reserve U. 2001. 720 pp. DAI 2002 62(9): 3162-3163-A. DA3027315 Fulltext: ProQuest Dissertations & Theses
  • Weeks, Philip, ed. Buckeye Presidents: Ohioans in the White House. (2003). 240 pp.
  • Wheeler, Kenneth W., ed. For the Union: Ohio Leaders in the Civil War. (1968) 497 pp.

History 1920 to present

  • Bower, Kevin Patrick. "Relief, Reform, and Youth: The National Youth Administration in Ohio, 1935-1943." PhD dissertation U. of Cincinnati 2003. 201 pp. DAI 2003 64(5): 1787-A. DA3092078 Fulltext: ProQuest Dissertations & Theses
  • Coil, William Russell. "'New Deal Republican': James A. Rhodes and the Transformation of the Republican Party, 1933-1983." PhD dissertation Ohio State U. 2005. 345 pp. DAI 2005 66(6): 2357-A. DA3180621 Fulltext: ProQuest Dissertations & Theses
  • Davies, Richard O. Defender of the Old Guard: John Bricker and American Politics. (1993). 271 pp.
  • Giffin, William W. African Americans and the Color Line in Ohio, 1915-1930. (2005). 312 pp.
  • Lamis, Alexander P. and Sharkey, Mary Anne, eds. Ohio Politics. (1994). 417 pp. textbook
  • Lieberman, Carl, ed. Government, Politics, and Public Policy in Ohio. (1995). 277 pp. textbook
  • Patterson, James T. Mr. Republican: A Biography of Robert A. Taft. (1972). 749 pp.
  • Van Tine, Warren, et al. In the Workers' Interest: A History of the Ohio AFL-CIO, 1958-1998. (1998). 219 pp.
  • Zimmerman, Richard G. Call Me Mike: A Political Biography of Michael V. Disalle (2003)

Localities and regions

  • Curl, Donald W. Murat Halstead and the Cincinnati Commercial. (1980). 186 pp
  • Hirsimaki, Eric. Lima: The History. (1986). 351 pp.
  • Moore, Jonathan Barrons. "Local Economic Development in the Post-industrial Service Economy: Manufacturing Communities in the Ohio River Valley." PhD dissertation Ohio State U. 2003. 255 pp. DAI 2004 65(3): 1065-A. DA3124375 Fulltext: ProQuest Dissertations & Theses
  • Painter, Sue Ann. Architecture in Cincinnati: An Illustrated History of Designing and Building an American City. (2006) 368pp; ISBN 978-0-8214-1701-0 online review
  • Ross, Steven J. Workers on the Edge: Work, Leisure, and Politics in Industrializing Cincinnati, 1788-1890 (1985), new social history online edition
  • Van Tassel, David D.. and John J. Grabowski, eds. The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History (1987), also online
  • Van Tassel, David D.. and John J. Grabowski, eds. Cleveland: A Tradition of Reform (1986)
  • Ware, Jane. Building Ohio: A Traveler's Guide to Ohio's Urban Architecture. (2001). 330 pp.
  • Wheeler, Kenneth H. "Local Autonomy and Civil War Draft Resistance: Holmes County, Ohio" Civil War History, Vol. 45, 1999
  • WPA. Cincinnati: A Guide to the Queen City and Its Neighbors (1943), 574pp; famous guide book, with history online edition

Primary historical sources

  • Bentley, Anna Briggs. American Grit: A Woman's Letters from the Ohio Frontier. ed. by Emily Foster, (2002). 344 pp. online review
  • Dee, Christine, ed. Ohio's War: The Civil War in Documents. (2007). 244 pp. online review
  • Foster, Emily, ed. The Ohio Frontier: An Anthology of Early Writings. (1996). 229 pp.
  • Gebby, Margaret. Farm Wife: A Self-Portrait, 1886-1896. ed. by Virginia E. McCormick. (1990). 243 pp.
  • Johnson, Tom L. My Story (1993), reform mayor of Cleveland
  • Saxbe, William B. and Franklin, Peter D. I've Seen the Elephant: An Autobiography. (2000). 267 pp. Saxbe was a politician and US Senator 1946-74
  • Shriver, Phillip R., Jr. and Clarence E. Wunderlin. eds. Documentary Heritage Of Ohio (2001)

See also