Michigan is extending east as far as parts of South Carolina, and some parts of Canada, Michigan’s northern neighbor, are actually laying more south than some parts of northern Michigan. Michigan is America’s only state that consists of two peninsulas, the Upper and the Lower Peninsula. Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is not densely populated and pretty rural, while the state’s Lower Peninsula includes all of its big cities and practically all industrial and agricultural activities.
Michigan’s area consists for almost 50 percent of freshwater, and it has the longest Mississippi River shoreline of all states. Michigan is the state that had the idea to build a capital in the middle of the wilderness as well as the courage to elect America’s youngest governor. This is the state of the automobile industry and Michigan is still leading the U.S. in auto production.
Quick Facts about Michigan
– Michigan had the longest siege in Indian warfare (175 days, by Chief Pontiac).
– The state is first in automobile production in the U.S.
– It has the busiest ship canal in the world.
– The Detroit River carries more tonnage than any river in the world.
– Michigan has America’s most million-ton ports.
– Largest producer of mint, salt, sour cherries, and navy beans in the U.S.
– First in the U.S. in carpet sweepers and baby food.
– No U.S. state offers a greater variety of trees.
– Michigan has America’s largest copper reserve.
– First to establish a state university.
Michigan brief history
Frenchman Etienne Brule reached the area that is now Michigan from French Canada while exploring the region on his journeys of 1618 and 1622. Father Claude Dablon and father Jacques Marquette established the first European settlement in 1868 at a location where now Sault Sainte Marie is located.
In the year 1679, French explorer Robert Cavalier, Sieur de Salle, built the first French fortified settlement in lower Michigan, at a site where now St. Joseph stands, and Detroit was set up by Antoine de la Mothe, Sieur de Cadillac in 1701.
This site developed into the first major community founded in the Midwest region. Robert Rogers, a British Major, together with his Royal English Rangers, captured Detroit in 1760 without any struggle, and this meant the end of French rule.
Chief Pontiac felt mistreated by the British, he got angered, and led the siege of Detroit in 1763 that lasted for 175 days. This was actually the longest Indian warfare siege in history, but Chief Pontiac was not successful in taking the city.
The 1783 Treaty of Paris rendered Michigan to the young nation of the U.S. but the British kept on occupying the larger part of the region until General Wayne, nicknamed ‘Mad Anthony’ established American control and rule. This situation was finally confirmed by the 1795 Jay Treaty. In the year 1805, a large part of Detroit got destroyed by a raging fire.
The British forces captured Detroit again in the War of 1812, but American forces returned to Detroit in September 1813 to restore U.S. rule and control. In 1832 a severe cholera epidemic took many of the residents’ lives, and also Father Gabriel Richard, a beloved priest, lost his life.
In 1837, on January 26th, Michigan was becoming the 26th U.S. state, and a few years later, in 1840 developers and scientists discovered the rich Upper Peninsula copper lands. In the year 1847, the state legislature selected a site in the middle of unoccupied woodland to establish a new state capital, and Lansing became Michigan’s ‘capital in the forest’.
Michigan’s Cavalry Brigade played a crucial role in the Civil War’s Battle of Gettysburg. Around 1900, Detroit was slowly becoming the principal center of America’s automobile production, and during World War I, the U.S. 32nd Division, including many Michigan troops, reached German soil as first troops, and in World War II, Michigan’s factories were producing some 15 percent of all U.S. war materiel. The year 1957 is noteworthy as this was the first time that the Upper and Lower peninsulas were linked by a bridge called Big Mac.
… Michigan, handsome and beautiful just like a well-made woman, all dressed and jeweled as it should…
… It seemed very much to me that the earth had been generous and outgoing here, right in the heartland, and, maybe its people also took a tiny cue from it…