State of the United States of America
Top 10 Michigan related articles
- 1 History
- 2 Government
- 3 Geography
- 4 Demographics
- 5 Economy
- 6 Transportation
- 7 Metropolitan areas
- 8 Education
- 9 Culture
- 10 State symbols and nicknames
- 11 Sister regions
- 12 See also
- 13 Notes
- 14 References
- 15 Bibliography
- 16 External links
|State of Michigan|
"The Great Lake(s) State", "The Wolverine State", "The Mitten State", "Water (Winter) Wonderland"
Si quaeris peninsulam amoenam circumspice
(English: "If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you")
|Anthem: "My Michigan"|
Map of the United States with Michigan highlighted
|Before statehood||Michigan Territory|
|Admitted to the Union||January 26, 1837 (26th)|
|Largest metro||Metro Detroit|
|• Governor||Gretchen Whitmer (D)|
|• Lieutenant Governor||Garlin Gilchrist (D)|
|• Upper house||Senate|
|• Lower house||House of Representatives|
|Judiciary||Michigan Supreme Court|
|U.S. senators||Debbie Stabenow (D) |
Gary Peters (D)
|U.S. House delegation||7 Democrats|
7 Republicans (list)
|• Total||96,716 sq mi (250,493 km2)|
|• Length||456 mi (734 km)|
|• Width||386 mi (621 km)|
|Elevation||900 ft (270 m)|
|Highest elevation||1,979 ft (603 m)|
|Lowest elevation||571 ft (174 m)|
|• Density||174/sq mi (67.1/km2)|
|• Density rank||17th|
|• Median household income||$54,909|
|• Income rank||34th|
|Demonym(s)||Michigander, Michiganian, Yooper (for residents of the Upper Peninsula)|
|• Official language||None (English, de facto)|
|• Spoken language||English 91.11%|
|most of state||UTC−05:00 (Eastern)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−04:00 (EDT)|
|4 U.P. counties (Gogebic, Iron, Dickinson, and Menominee)||UTC−06:00 (Central)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−05:00 (CDT)|
|ISO 3166 code||US-MI|
|Latitude||41°41′ N to 48°18′ N|
|Longitude||82°7′ W to 90°25′ W|
|Michigan state symbols|
|Bird||American robin (Turdus migratorius)|
|Fish||Brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis)|
|Flower||Apple blossom (Malus domestica)|
Wildflower: Dwarf lake iris (Iris lacustris)
|Mammal||Unofficial: Wolverine (Gulo gulo luscus)|
Game animal: White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus)
|Reptile||Painted turtle (Chrysemys picta)|
|Tree||Eastern white pine (Pinus strobus)|
|Fossil||Mastodon (Mammut americanum)|
|Gemstone||Isle Royale greenstone|
|State route marker|
Released in 2004
|Lists of United States state symbols|
Michigan (// (
Michigan is the only state to consist of two peninsulas. The Lower Peninsula is shaped like a mitten. The Upper Peninsula (often called "the U.P.") is separated from the Lower Peninsula by the Straits of Mackinac, a five-mile (8 km) channel that joins Lake Huron to Lake Michigan. The Mackinac Bridge connects the peninsulas. Michigan has the longest freshwater coastline of any political subdivision in the world, being bordered by four of the five Great Lakes, plus Lake Saint Clair. It also has 64,980 inland lakes and ponds.
The area was first occupied by a succession of Native American tribes over thousands of years. Inhabited by Natives, Métis, and French explorers in the 17th century, it was claimed as part of New France colony. After France's defeat in the French and Indian War in 1762, the region came under British rule. Britain ceded the territory to the newly independent United States after Britain's defeat in the American Revolutionary War. The area was part of the larger Northwest Territory until 1800, when western Michigan became part of the Indiana Territory. Michigan Territory was formed in 1805, but some of the northern border with Canada was not agreed upon until after the War of 1812. Michigan was admitted into the Union in 1837 as the 26th state, a free one. It soon became an important center of industry and trade in the Great Lakes region and a popular émigré destination in the late 19th and early 20th centuries; immigration from many European countries to Michigan was also the busiest at that time, especially for those who emigrated from Finland, Macedonia and the Netherlands.
Although Michigan developed a diverse economy, it is widely known as the center of the U.S. automotive industry, which developed as a major economic force in the early 20th century. It is home to the country's three major automobile companies (whose headquarters are all in Metro Detroit). While sparsely populated, the Upper Peninsula is important for tourism due to its abundance of natural resources, while the Lower Peninsula is a center of manufacturing, forestry, agriculture, services, and high-tech industry.
Michigan Intro articles: 32
When the first European explorers arrived, the most populous tribes were Algonquian peoples, which include the Anishinaabe groups of Ojibwe (referred to as "Chippewa" in the United States), Odaawaa/Odawa (Ottawa), and the Boodewaadamii/Bodéwadmi (Potawatomi). The three nations co-existed peacefully as part of a loose confederation called the Council of Three Fires. The Ojibwe, whose numbers are estimated to have been between 25,000 and 35,000, were the largest.
The Ojibwe were established in Michigan's Upper Peninsula and northern and central Michigan, and also inhabited Ontario and southern Manitoba, Canada; and northern Wisconsin, and northern and north-central Minnesota. The Ottawa lived primarily south of the Straits of Mackinac in northern, western and southern Michigan, but also in southern Ontario, northern Ohio and eastern Wisconsin. The Potawatomi were in southern and western Michigan, in addition to northern and central Indiana, northern Illinois, southern Wisconsin, and southern Ontario. Other Algonquian tribes in Michigan, in the south and east, were the Mascouten, the Menominee, the Miami, the Sac (or Sauk), and the Meskwaki (Fox). The Wyandot were an Iroquoian-speaking people in this area; they were historically known as the Huron by the French.
French voyageurs and coureurs des bois explored and settled in Michigan in the 17th century. The first Europeans to reach what became Michigan were those of Étienne Brûlé's expedition in 1622. The first permanent European settlement was founded in 1668 on the site where Père Jacques Marquette established Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, as a base for Catholic missions. Missionaries in 1671–75 founded outlying stations at Saint Ignace and Marquette. Jesuit missionaries were well received by the area's Indian populations, with few difficulties or hostilities. In 1679, Robert Cavelier, Sieur de la Salle built Fort Miami at present-day St. Joseph. In 1691, the French established a trading post and Fort St. Joseph along the St. Joseph River at the present-day city of Niles.
In 1701, French explorer and army officer Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac founded Fort Pontchartrain du Détroit or "Fort Pontchartrain on-the-Strait" on the strait, known as the Detroit River, between lakes Saint Clair and Erie. Cadillac had convinced King Louis XIV's chief minister, Louis Phélypeaux, Comte de Pontchartrain, that a permanent community there would strengthen French control over the upper Great Lakes and discourage British aspirations.
The hundred soldiers and workers who accompanied Cadillac built a fort enclosing one arpent (about 0.85 acres (3,400 m2), the equivalent of just under 200 feet (61 m) per side) and named it Fort Pontchartrain. Cadillac's wife, Marie Thérèse Guyon, soon moved to Detroit, becoming one of the first European women to settle in what was considered the wilderness of Michigan. The town quickly became a major fur-trading and shipping post. The Église de Saint-Anne (Church of Saint Ann) was founded the same year. While the original building does not survive, the congregation remains active. Cadillac later departed to serve as the French governor of Louisiana from 1710 to 1716. French attempts to consolidate the fur trade led to the Fox Wars involving the Meskwaki (Fox) and their allies versus the French and their Native allies.
At the same time, the French strengthened Fort Michilimackinac at the Straits of Mackinac to better control their lucrative fur-trading empire. By the mid-18th century, the French also occupied forts at present-day Niles and Sault Ste. Marie, though most of the rest of the region remained unsettled by Europeans. France offered free land to attract families to Detroit, which grew to 800 people in 1765, and was the largest city between Montreal and New Orleans. French settlers also established small farms south of the Detroit River opposite the fort, near a Jesuit mission and Huron village.
From 1660 until the end of French rule, Michigan was part of the Royal Province of New France.[c] In 1760, Montreal fell to the British forces ending the French and Indian War (1754–1763). Under the 1763 Treaty of Paris, Michigan and the rest of New France east of the Mississippi River passed to Great Britain. After the Quebec Act was passed in 1774, Michigan became part of the British Province of Quebec. By 1778, Detroit's population was up to 2,144 and it was the third-largest city in Quebec.
During the American Revolutionary War, Detroit was an important British supply center. Most of the inhabitants were French-Canadians or Native Americans, many of whom had been allied with the French because of long trading ties. Because of imprecise cartography and unclear language defining the boundaries in the 1783 Treaty of Paris, the British retained control of Detroit and Michigan after the American Revolution. When Quebec split into Lower and Upper Canada in 1791, Michigan was part of Kent County, Upper Canada. It held its first democratic elections in August 1792 to send delegates to the new provincial parliament at Newark (now Niagara-on-the-Lake).
Under terms negotiated in the 1794 Jay Treaty, Britain withdrew from Detroit and Michilimackinac in 1796. It retained control of territory east and south of the Detroit River, which are now included in Ontario, Canada. Questions remained over the boundary for many years, and the United States did not have uncontested control of the Upper Peninsula and Drummond Island until 1818 and 1847, respectively.
During the War of 1812, the United States forces at Fort Detroit surrendered Michigan Territory (effectively consisting of Detroit and the surrounding area) after a nearly bloodless siege in 1812. A US attempt to retake Detroit resulted in a severe American defeat in the River Raisin Massacre. This battle, still ranked as the bloodiest ever fought in the state, had the highest number of American casualties of any battle in the war.
Michigan was recaptured by the Americans in 1813 after the Battle of Lake Erie. They used Michigan as a base to launch an invasion of Canada, which culminated in the Battle of the Thames. But the more northern areas of Michigan were held by the British until the peace treaty restored the old boundaries. A number of forts, including Fort Wayne, were built by the United States in Michigan during the 19th century out of fears of renewed fighting with Britain.
The population grew slowly until the opening in 1825 of the Erie Canal through the Mohawk Valley in New York, connecting the Great Lakes to the Hudson River and New York City. The new route attracted a large influx of settlers to the Michigan territory. They worked as farmers, lumbermen, shipbuilders, and merchants and shipped out grain, lumber, and iron ore. By the 1830s, Michigan had 80,000 residents, more than enough to apply and qualify for statehood.
A Constitutional Convention of Assent, led by Gershom Mott Williams, was held to lead the territory to statehood. In October 1835 the people approved the Constitution of 1835, thereby forming a state government, although Congressional recognition was delayed pending resolution of a boundary dispute with Ohio known as the Toledo War. Congress awarded the "Toledo Strip" to Ohio. Michigan received the western part of the Upper Peninsula as a concession and formally entered the Union as a free state on January 26, 1837. The Upper Peninsula proved to be a rich source of lumber, iron, and copper. Michigan led the nation in lumber production from the 1850s to the 1880s. Railroads became a major engine of growth from the 1850s onward, with Detroit the chief hub.
A second wave of French-Canadian immigrants settled in Michigan during the late 19th to early 20th century, working in lumbering areas in counties on the Lake Huron side of the Lower Peninsula, such as the Saginaw Valley, Alpena, and Cheboygan counties, as well as throughout the Upper Peninsula, with large concentrations in Escanaba and the Keweenaw Peninsula. This was also a period of development of the gypsum industry in Alabaster, Michigan, which became nationally prominent.
The first statewide meeting of the Republican Party took place July 6, 1854, in Jackson, Michigan, where the party adopted its platform. The state was heavily Republican until the 1930s. Michigan made a significant contribution to the Union in the American Civil War and sent more than forty regiments of volunteers to the federal armies.
Michigan modernized and expanded its system of education in this period. The Michigan State Normal School, now Eastern Michigan University, was founded in 1849, for the training of teachers. It adopted this model from the German educational system. In 1899, Michigan State became the first normal college in the nation to offer a four-year curriculum. Michigan Agricultural College (1855), now Michigan State University in East Lansing, was founded as the pioneer land-grant college, a model for those authorized under the Morrill Act (1862). Many private colleges were founded as well, and the smaller cities established high schools late in the century.
20th and 21st centuries
Michigan's economy underwent a transformation at the turn of the 20th century. Many individuals, including Ransom E. Olds, John and Horace Dodge, Henry Leland, David Dunbar Buick, Henry Joy, Charles King, and Henry Ford, provided the concentration of engineering know-how and technological enthusiasm to develop the automotive industry. Ford's development of the moving assembly line in Highland Park marked a new era in transportation. Like the steamship and railroad, mass production of automobiles was a far-reaching development. More than the forms of public transportation, the affordable automobile transformed private life. Automobile production became the major industry of Detroit and Michigan, and permanently altered the socioeconomic life of the United States and much of the world.
With the growth, the auto industry created jobs in Detroit that attracted immigrants from Europe and migrants from across the United States, including both blacks and whites from the rural South. By 1920, Detroit was the fourth-largest city in the US. Residential housing was in short supply, and it took years for the market to catch up with the population boom. By the 1930s, so many immigrants had arrived that more than 30 languages were spoken in the public schools, and ethnic communities celebrated in annual heritage festivals. Over the years immigrants and migrants contributed greatly to Detroit's diverse urban culture, including popular music trends. The influential Motown Sound of the 1960s was led by a variety of individual singers and groups.
Grand Rapids, the second-largest city in Michigan, is also an important center of manufacturing. Since 1838, the city has been noted for its furniture industry. In the 21st century, it is home to five of the world's leading office furniture companies. Grand Rapids is home to a number of major companies including Steelcase, Amway, and Meijer. Grand Rapids is also an important center for GE Aviation Systems.
Michigan held its first United States presidential primary election in 1910. With its rapid growth in industry, it was an important center of industry-wide union organizing, such as the rise of the United Auto Workers.
In 1920 WWJ (AM) in Detroit became the first radio station in the United States to regularly broadcast commercial programs. Throughout that decade, some of the country's largest and most ornate skyscrapers were built in the city. Particularly noteworthy are the Fisher Building, Cadillac Place, and the Guardian Building, each of which has been designated as a National Historic Landmark (NHL).
In 1927 a school bombing took place in Clinton County. The Bath School disaster, perpetrated by an adult man, resulted in the deaths of 38 schoolchildren and constitutes the deadliest mass murder in a school in U.S. history.
Michigan converted much of its manufacturing to satisfy defense needs during World War II; it manufactured 10.9 percent of the United States military armaments produced during the war, ranking second (behind New York) among the 48 states.
Detroit continued to expand through the 1950s, at one point doubling its population in a decade. After World War II, housing was developed in suburban areas outside city cores to meet demand for residences. The federal government subsidized the construction of interstate highways, which were intended to strengthen military access, but also allowed commuters and business traffic to travel the region more easily. Since 1960, modern advances in the auto industry have led to increased automation, high-tech industry, and increased suburban growth.
Michigan is the leading auto-producing state in the US, with the industry primarily located throughout the Midwestern United States; Ontario, Canada; and the Southern United States. With almost ten million residents, Michigan is a large and influential state, ranking tenth in population among the fifty states. Detroit is the centrally located metropolitan area of the Great Lakes Megalopolis and the second-largest metropolitan area in the U.S. (after Chicago) linking the Great Lakes system.
The Metro Detroit area in Southeast Michigan is the state's largest metropolitan area (roughly 50% of the population resides there) and the eleventh largest in the United States. The Grand Rapids metropolitan area in Western Michigan is the state's fastest-growing metro area, with more than 1.3 million residents as of 2006[update]. Metro Detroit receives more than 15 million visitors each year. Michigan has many popular tourist destinations, including areas such as Frankenmuth in The Thumb, and Traverse City on the Grand Traverse Bay in Northern Michigan. Tourists spend about $17 billion annually in Michigan supporting 193,000 jobs.
Michigan typically ranks third or fourth in overall Research & development (R&D) expenditures in the US. The state's leading research institutions include the University of Michigan, Michigan State University, and Wayne State University, which are important partners in the state's economy and the state's University Research Corridor. Michigan's public universities attract more than $1.5 B in research and development grants each year. Agriculture also serves a significant role, making the state a leading grower of fruit in the US, including blueberries, cherries, apples, grapes, and peaches.
The 2020 coronavirus pandemic in Michigan saw the state suffer one of the largest death tolls in the United States with the metro Detroit area particularly hard hit.
Michigan History articles: 134
Michigan is governed as a republic, with three branches of government: the executive branch consisting of the Governor of Michigan and the other independently elected constitutional officers; the legislative branch consisting of the House of Representatives and Senate; and the judicial branch. The Michigan Constitution allows for the direct participation of the electorate by statutory initiative and referendum, recall, and constitutional initiative and referral (Article II, § 9, defined as "the power to propose laws and to enact and reject laws, called the initiative, and the power to approve or reject laws enacted by the legislature, called the referendum. The power of initiative extends only to laws which the legislature may enact under this constitution"). Lansing is the state capital and is home to all three branches of state government.
The governor and the other state constitutional officers serve four-year terms and may be re-elected only once. The current governor is Gretchen Whitmer. Michigan has two official Governor's Residences; one is in Lansing, and the other is at Mackinac Island. The other constitutionally elected executive officers are the lieutenant governor, who is elected on a joint ticket with the governor, the secretary of state, and the attorney general. The lieutenant governor presides over the Senate (voting only in case of a tie) and is also a member of the cabinet. The secretary of state is the chief elections officer and is charged with running many licensure programs including motor vehicles, all of which are done through the branch offices of the secretary of state.
The Michigan Legislature consists of a 38-member Senate and 110-member House of Representatives. Members of both houses of the legislature are elected through first past the post elections by single-member electoral districts of near-equal population that often have boundaries which coincide with county and municipal lines. Senators serve four-year terms concurrent to those of the governor, while representatives serve two-year terms. The Michigan State Capitol was dedicated in 1879 and has hosted the executive and legislative branches of the state ever since.
The Michigan judiciary consists of two courts with primary jurisdiction (the Circuit Courts and the District Courts), one intermediate level appellate court (the Michigan Court of Appeals), and the Michigan Supreme Court. There are several administrative courts and specialized courts. District courts are trial courts of limited jurisdiction, handling most traffic violations, small claims, misdemeanors, and civil suits where the amount contended is below $25,000. District courts are often responsible for handling the preliminary examination and for setting bail in felony cases. District court judges are elected to terms of six years. In a few locations, municipal courts have been retained to the exclusion of the establishment of district courts. There are 57 circuit courts in the State of Michigan, which have original jurisdiction over all civil suits where the amount contended in the case exceeds $25,000 and all criminal cases involving felonies. Circuit courts are also the only trial courts in the State of Michigan which possess the power to issue equitable remedies. Circuit courts have appellate jurisdiction from district and municipal courts, as well as from decisions and decrees of state agencies. Most counties have their own circuit court, but sparsely populated counties often share them. Circuit court judges are elected to terms of six years. State appellate court judges are elected to terms of six years, but vacancies are filled by an appointment by the governor. There are four divisions of the Court of Appeals in Detroit, Grand Rapids, Lansing, and Marquette. Cases are heard by the Court of Appeals by panels of three judges, who examine the application of the law and not the facts of the case unless there has been grievous error pertaining to questions of fact. The Michigan Supreme Court consists of seven members who are elected on non-partisan ballots for staggered eight-year terms. The Supreme Court has original jurisdiction only in narrow circumstances but holds appellate jurisdiction over the entire state judicial system.
Michigan has had four constitutions, the first of which was ratified on October 5 and 6, 1835. There were also constitutions from 1850 and 1908, in addition to the current constitution from 1963. The current document has a preamble, 11 articles, and one section consisting of a schedule and temporary provisions. Michigan, like every U.S. state except Louisiana, has a common law legal system.
Michigan voters commonly elect candidates from both major parties, and it is generally regarded as a "swing" state which can be won by either Democratic or Republican presidential candidates. Governors since the 1970s have alternated between the two parties, and statewide offices including attorney general, secretary of state, and senator have been held by members of both parties in varying proportion. The Republican Party holds a majority in both the House and Senate of the Michigan Legislature. The state's congressional delegation is commonly split, with one party or the other typically holding a narrow majority.
Republican strongholds of the state include rural areas of Western and Northern Michigan, the Upper Peninsula, the outer suburbs around Grand Rapids, and Livingston County. Areas of Democratic strength include the cities of Detroit, Ann Arbor, Lansing, Flint, urban Grand Rapids, and Muskegon. Much of suburban Detroit—which includes parts of Oakland, Macomb, and Wayne counties—is politically competitive between the two parties.
Historically, the first county-level meeting of the Republican Party took place in Jackson on July 6, 1854, and the party thereafter dominated Michigan until the Great Depression. In the 1912 election, Michigan was one of the six states to support progressive Republican and third-party candidate Theodore Roosevelt for president after he lost the Republican nomination to William Howard Taft.
Michigan remained fairly reliably Republican at the presidential level for much of the 20th century. It was part of Greater New England, the northern tier of states settled chiefly by migrants from New England who carried their culture with them. The state was one of only a handful to back Wendell Willkie over Franklin Roosevelt in 1940, and supported Thomas E. Dewey in his losing bid against Harry S. Truman in 1948.
Michigan went to the Democrats in two presidential elections during the 1960s but voted for the Republican candidate in every election from 1972 to 1988, including "native son" Gerald Ford in 1976. Since 1992 it has supported the Democrats by moderate margins, except for a narrow win by Donald Trump in 2016.
Michigan was the home of Gerald Ford, the 38th president of the United States. Born in Nebraska, he moved as an infant to Grand Rapids. The Gerald R. Ford Museum is in Grand Rapids, and the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library is on the campus of his alma mater, the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
In 1846, Michigan became the first state in the Union, as well as the first government in the world, to abolish the death penalty. Historian David Chardavoyne has suggested the movement to abolish capital punishment in Michigan grew out of enmity toward Canada, which made public executions a regular practice under British rule.
In 2020, voters approved two ballot measures, one to increase the limit of money from sales of gas and oil from state-owned land that can benefit state parks, and another to require a warrant for search or seizure of electronic data and communications.
State government is decentralized among three tiers—statewide, county and township. Counties are administrative divisions of the state, and townships are administrative divisions of a county. Both of them exercise state government authority, localized to meet the particular needs of their jurisdictions, as provided by state law. There are 83 counties in Michigan.
Cities, state universities, and villages are vested with home rule powers of varying degrees. Home rule cities can generally do anything not prohibited by law. The fifteen state universities have broad power and can do anything within the parameters of their status as educational institutions that is not prohibited by the state constitution. Villages, by contrast, have limited home rule and are not completely autonomous from the county and township in which they are located.
There are two types of township in Michigan: general law township and charter. Charter township status was created by the Legislature in 1947 and grants additional powers and stream-lined administration in order to provide greater protection against annexation by a city. As of April 2001[update], there were 127 charter townships in Michigan. In general, charter townships have many of the same powers as a city but without the same level of obligations. For example, a charter township can have its own fire department, water and sewer department, police department, and so on—just like a city—but it is not required to have those things, whereas cities must provide those services. Charter townships can opt to use county-wide services instead, such as deputies from the county sheriff's office instead of a home-based force of ordinance officers.
Largest cities or towns in Michigan
Source (2018 est.):
|7||Clinton Charter Township||Macomb||100,800|