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How did Michigan become a State

Michigan has a long and fascinating history. By the time it was admitted to the union as the 26th state on January 26, 1837, it had already seen many population changes, a number of wars, as well as the construction of the Erie Canal.

Some of the first residents were the Hopewell culture, dating back to 1000 B.C. However, when the first Europeans arrived on the scene, the local people were, among others, the Ottawa, the Potawatomi and Ojibwe tribes of Native Americans.

French Explorers

The first Europeans in the area were French explorers looking for a western route to China. They did not find tea but instead fur that would fetch a high price back in Europe, and started trading with local tribes. The first permanent settlement was established in 1668. Soon after, in 1701, the trading post that would later become the city of Detroit was founded.

By 1763 the local tribes had become unhappy with the Europeans rapid expansion and appropriation of their land and staged an attack, led by Cheif Pontiac, which was eventually put down by the British.

In 1805 Michigan became a United States Territory, but there would continue to be battles fought for control between British and U.S. forces until 1813. The 1820s and 1830s saw an influx of migrants, many from New York. This climb in population and settlement led the federal government to take steps to give Michigan statehood in 1835, with the proposal passing in 1837.

After the Civil War Michigan prospered, with the population doubling between 1870 and 1890. Railroads came as a boon to commerce and connected the many growing industries like lumber harvesting, dairy farming, and manufacturing with their respective customers.

How did Michigan become a State

Urban Areas

In the 1900s, urban areas flourished. Detriot grew rapidly due to the burgeoning automotive industry, and in Battle Creek, the now-famous Kellogs and Post breakfast cereal companies changed the way people ate.

Then came Henry Ford and his production line, which revolutionized manufacturing, and affordable vehicles exploded onto the scene, with Michigan at the heart of it all. Immigrants poured in from southern and eastern Europe, as well as the South of the U.S.

With this influx came the diversity for which Detroit and Michigan, in general, is known. World War 2 created many new manufacturing jobs that led to prosperity in the post-war years. Motown Records was created and gave the world more great music than can anyone can shake a stick at.

The years since this heyday have brought a lot of struggle and strife to Michigan and its citizens. Between racial tensions, the oil crisis, and burst housing bubbles, not to mention undrinkable water, Michiganians have had much with which to contend. But this only underlines the determination and tenacity that characterizes this part of the country.

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