Michigan is a state in the United States, located in the Midwestern and Great Lakes region. Its name comes from the Ojibwe language and means “large lake” or “large water”.
The state of Michigan is the 10th most populous with 10 million people and ranks 11th in terms of area. It is the largest state east of the Mississippi River. Though Detroit is the most populous city in the state, Lansing is its capital.
Michigan has a long history. It was first settled by Native American settlers who called the area home for thousands of years. In the early 17th century, French explorers colonized Michigan and claimed it as part of New France. British took control of the land after France won the French and Indian war in 1762. When the Americans won the Revolutionary War, the British handed the territory to the newly formed United States.
Until 1800, Michigan was part of the Northwest Territory. In this year, it became part of the Indian Territory. Though Michigan Territory was formed in 1805, some of its northern areas was not agreed upon until the ending of the war of 1812. In 1837, Michigan was admitted to the union and became the 26th state.
Geographically, Michigan is truly a unique state. It consists of two peninsulas which are separated by the Straits of Mackinac. The Upper Peninsula is mainly wooded and mountainous in the west. The Northwestern portion of this peninsula is occupied by the Porcupine Mountains. The lower peninsula is the more populous of the two. It measures 195 miles east to west and 277 miles north to south. This peninsula’s surface is level, for the most part, but does have some hills and glacial moraines. Its nickname is the Great Lakes State and for good reason; it is the only state to border four of the five great lakes. Lake Superior, Lake Michigan, Lake Huron and Lake Erie all have shorelines in the state.
Michigan ranks number one in the country when it comes to state forest systems and state parks. The state is home to 6 state forests and 78 state parks. Some state parks located here include Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Keweenaw National Historical Park and Ottawa National Forest.
Industrially, Michigan is most known for its production of automobiles. General Motors and Ford both call Michigan home. Furniture, food products, aerospace and information technology are also big industries.
Many are surprised to learn that Michigan is a big agriculture state. The state ranks second in diversity of agriculture, after California. It is number one in production of blueberries, tart cherries, and pickling cucumbers.
Tourism is huge for the state. Detroit’s diversity draws people from all over the world. Some of its top attractions include the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation, The Detroit Zoo, and the Detroit Historical Museum. In the warmer months, people flock to the beaches of the state. With its numerous shorelines on the Great Lakes, visitors are treated to sandy beaches and great fishing.