Sometimes the Great Plains is called a ‘Sea of Grass’ and when they say it’s ‘Big Sky Country’ what they mean is there are plenty of places you can see 32 miles (16 in each direction due to the curvature of the Earth) though it seems much smaller because the Horizon bends away (also due to the curvature of the Earth).
Anyway it’s much bigger than that.
Now oddly enough vistas like that make me feel closed in and claustrophobic, give me a good sea coast anytime, but some people like them. They’re not nearly as flat and grassy as people think, there are plenty of streams and rivers and ponds and lakes around, the odd bit of woods if you don’t harvest too much too fast, fish and game if you like meat, any seed you pop in a hole is likely to turn into something if it isn’t already around. Could be worse and frequently is.
Now the Great Steppes of the Central Asian Plain is very like that, but even bigger. Like 4 or 5 times the size. You never hear about it except as the home of Despotic and Corrupt Oil Oligarchies the CIA sub-contracts for Torture because United States Schools are terrible teachers of History and think the World Ends at the Urals and Indus and you fall off the Edge!
Yes, I did just compare you to ‘Flat Earthers’. Not the least complimentary opinion I hold of you either.
As a matter of fact over the course of History it was home to many sophisticated, cultured, and influential Kingdoms and Empires, frequently at about the same time (think ‘Silver Treaty’).
There was a lot of trade along the Silk Road route including such ideas as Buddhism after 600 BCE or so and Islam after 700 CE.
A lot of the population was organized along Tribal alliances rather than religion and a fair amount of local God and Ancestor Worship persisted until the Russian Conquest
You may have heard of the Huns who were something to Europe and the Roman Empire in the 4th or 5th Century CE and the Mongols who brought the Green Flag to Budapest. Those Mongols were Khubla Khan’s Mongols too, who captured China from the Hans (who always resented that somewhat, as if a Wall was going to work) and hosted Marco Polo for a decade or so.
Mongol influence dominated Northern India too, most of the classic Muslim type, as well as Chinese trading partners in the South Pacific. It was a big, big thing at it’s peak. Biggest thing ever, made Caesar and Alexander look like first year cadets. Of course it flew apart the moment he died but it was that big parts of it persist to this day (Pakistan).
But it’s not some long ago forgotten piece of ancient History. Russian eastward expansion got aggressive under Catherine the Great around the time of the American Revolution, so not that long ago really.
The Chinese beef about the Uighur is this- 1) they are not-Han and Chinese are incredibly racist, ask anyone from Singapore, 2) until recently (1911) these sub-humans were the Emperors of China.
Oh, and they”re Muslim and therefore Terrorists.
They’ve been locked down in their Ghetto and up in Slave Labor Camps (PPE anyone?) since 2009 and just when you think things couldn’t get any worse of course…