Etymology
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heartland (n.)

also heart-land, 1904, first recorded in geo-political writings of English geographer H.J. MacKinder (1861-1947), from heart (n.) in figurative sense "center, core" + land (n.).

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Definitions of heartland

heartland (n.)
the central region of a country or continent; especially a region that is important to a country or to a culture;
From wordnet.princeton.edu