Michigan History A MEAP Review
Unique Character Michigan is a unique state in our Union. Its shape, history and people are what give Michigan its distinction. Can you find Michigan on a map? Look for the mitten! Michigan has a special shape that makes it easy to spot. It is also made up of two peninsulas: the Lower Peninsula and Upper Peninsula (that is referred to as the U.P.). The U.P. is shaped like a bird with its wings spread open. A peninsula is a landform that is surrounded by water on three sides. The Great Lakes help give Michigan its shape.
Unique Character Four of the five Great Lakes surround Michigan; only Lake Ontario does not border it. The Great Lakes were formed thousands of years during the Ice Age. Glaciers from the North Pole reached south passed Michigan. When the Ice Age ended and the earth warmed up, the glaciers receded and left behind deep gorges and were filled with freshwater, therefore creating the lakes.
The French Influence For thousands of years, the natives lived in the area we call Michigan. After Columbus discovered the Americas in 1492, other explorers from Europe ventured across the Atlantic to the “new world”. The French made their way towards Michigan. Some came in hopes of making money off the new resources they found, such as beaver fur or lumber. Others came in hopes of spreading the Christian religion to the natives of the land.
The French Influence Father Jacques Marquette established the first mission at Sault Ste Marie. A mission sends people to a foreign country to spread their faith. Father Marquette wanted to convert the natives to Christians. The French and Native American cultures are still present today. Many places today have names that were derived from the French due to their settlements in Michigan. The city of Marquette was named after the Father. Other places have names that honor natives like Chief Pontiac.
The French Influence Most of the Natives lived peacefully, side by side, with the French settlers. Other colonial countries, such as Great Britain did battle over Michigan land and its waterways. Waterways are lakes and rivers that are used to transport goods in and out of countries. Several battles took place in Michigan between the late 1600’s to the early 1800’s; for example, the French-Indian War in the 1700’s where the Natives allied with the French to battle with British.
Territory to Statehood The Northwest Ordinance of 1787 was a law that was written to govern the Northwest Territory, which was won in the French Indian War, until states were formed. The five states were eventually made from the Northwest Territory were Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Indiana
Territory to Statehood To become a State: • Have at least 60,000 people. • Write a constitution. • Establish the boundaries
Territory to Statehood The Michigan Territory needed more people before it could become a state. The Natives signed the Saginaw Treaty which handed over 6 million acres of land to the Michigan settlers. In 1825, the Erie Canal opened, which made it easier for people to travel by boat from the east coast to Michigan so the population increased.
Territory to Statehood – Toledo War In 1836, Michigan accepted the U.S. Constitution but was not allowed statehood until it surrendered its claim to the Toledo strip to Ohio. This led to the Toledo War. Michigan militia men were armed and ready to fight, no war actually broke out. President Jackson No removed the governor of Michigan because of his move to attack Ohio. Congress passed legislation (a law) that made Michigan surrender the Toledo trip in exchange for the western section of the Upper Peninsula. It was thought the U.P. and no valuable resources. So in 1837, Michigan gained statehood and became the 26th state.
Slavery and the Civil War Michigan was a state that strongly opposed slavery. Slaves are people that have no freedom, were thought of as property and are forced to work for free. Many Michiganders helped slaves escape to freedom from 1830-1865 using the Underground Railroad, such as Sojourner Truth (a freed slave) and Laura Smith Haviland(a Quaker). A person who helped slaves become free was called abolitionists.
Slavery and the Civil War In 1861, the Civil War began. The 16th president, Abraham Lincoln, wanted to end slavery and the southern states of the U.S. wanted slavery to continue. So, the southern states decided to secede, separate, from the Union. The south called their country The Confederate States of America and had a president, Jefferson Davis. Michigan sent had more than 90,000 men enlist to fight in the Civil War. Michigan’s natural resources were needed during the war. The metal was used to produce guns and other supplies the soldiers needed. The North won the war in 1865. Shortly after, President Lincoln was assassinated by a southerner, John Wilkes Booth, who was upset with the Civil War outcome.
The Economy Michigan has many natural resources. A natural resource is anything found in nature that human uses. Natural resources are minerals, animals, plants, water and soil. When a place has an abundance of resources, it helps the place have a strong economy. Economy is the process in which goods are produced and sold, creating jobs and money. Resource discoveries in Michigan helped the population increase.
Agriculture Michigan has great soil which helps make it the 2nd most agriculturally diverse state in the nation. Diversity means that they produce more than one type of product. Agriculture is Michigan’s second largest industry. Agriculture involves farming and ranching. Michigan agriculture generated more than $1 billion dollars and supported 12,800 jobs in 2008.
Agriculture The soil supports the growth of hardwood timber trees like sugar maple, yellow birch and Christmas trees. Michigan’s forests in the U.P. helped the economy. The trees were cut down, forged down the rivers to the lumber mills where they produced products. The lumber industry boomed around 1888.
Agriculture Michigan is the national leader in the production of tart cherries, as much as 77% of the U.S. total. Michigan also ranks first nationally for the production of cucumbers, geraniums, petunias and squash. Michigan ranks 3rd in the nation in apple production with over 770 million bushels produced. Michigan is 2nd nationally for beans, carrots, celery, plums and 3rd in asparagus production.
Agriculture Michigan dairy farms are important to the economy too. It ranks 7th nationally for milk production. Michigan’s ranching livestockincludes hogsand cattle.
Minerals In the 1800’s, the Upper Peninsula had copper mining near Keweenaw Point and iron ore mining at Negaunee. In the 1900’s, Henry Ford brought a new innovation to the Lower Peninsula, the assembly line. His Model T car starts assembly in factories in and around the Detroit area. The Motor City became infamous with its production of cars. Michigan’s natural resources were instrumental to Ford’s factory locations. The iron ore was used to produce the cars. The lakes and rivers helped the shipment of these products around the world. There was a dramatic increase in the population in the L.P. due to the car industry.
Mining in the State of Michigan The use of minerals and metals in Michigan goes back some 5,000 years to the time of the Native Americans who first occupied this land. Native Americansin the Northeast traditionally used copper and brass sheet metal to make utensils and tools including pots, spoons, arrow points and pipes, as well as jewelry, beads, bracelets, and rings.
In 1837, Douglas Houghton was appointed the 1st State of Michigan Geologist. His survey set off national interest in mining in Michigan, particularly in the area of Keweenaw, and its copper ores that were in abundance.
Mining – Copper and Iron The Jackson Mining Company originally founded to mine copper near Negaunee where iron was exposed on the surface by a Chippewa Indian Chief. This set off a second wave of mining growth in Michigan. Copper and Iron were mined successfully and in great numbers in the UP due to its purity and abundance. Michigan supplied not only iron and copper, but also limestone, salt, gypsum, oil, natural gas, coal, stone, sand and gravel to the nation as it expanded after the Civil War.
Mining – Salt Native Americans knew and used salt springs. State Geologist Douglass Houghton identified many of these salt brine locations in the Lower Peninsula. The state's lumbering industry furnished the scrap lumber necessary as fuel to evaporate the water and produce salt.
Mining – Salt Michigan led the nation in salt production in the 1900’s and still has salt deposits to supply the world's needs for centuries. Underground mining of rock salt began under the city of Detroit. The photograph shows one of the world's largest salt mines is now the Detroit Salt Company.
Mining – Limestone, Coal, Oil and Gas Michigan limestone has been important for smelting iron and making cement. The world's largest limestone quarry is located at Rogers City on Lake Huron. Geologist Houghton reported coal mining in Jackson County in 1840. Michigan's first oil wells in the Port Huron area were used in 1886. By the mid-1920s, both oil and gas companies had opened productive fields in many cities in the Lower Peninsula.