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There’s no denying that Michigan has a fairly unique look. While most of the state makes sense from a map-making perspective, there’s still the Upper Penninsula for which you must account. Understanding how Michigan got the Upper Penninsula is a great way to learn a little bit more about Michigan’s amazing history.

The Origins of Michigan

The territory that would someday become Michigan did not actually become part of the country until the end of the Revolutionary War. Ceded to the country as part of the Treaty of Paris in 1783, the initial ‘Michigan Territory’ actually only consisted of the Lower Penninsula. It took time for Britain to give up its claims to the Upper Penninsula, as the area was particularly rich in furs.

How did Michigan get the Upper Peninsula

By 1819, though, the Upper Penninsula became part of the greater Michigan territory. This territory was far larger than the modern day state, though, also encompassing Wisconsin and even parts of Minnesota. When Michigan finally applied to become a state in the 1830s, it would bring in none of the new territory – not even the Upper Penninsula.

The Toledo War

One of the problems with the early United States is that many people didn’t understand the boundaries between territories all that well. One of the major areas of contention was between Ohio and Michigan, concerning the area on the border of the two states. When Michigan applied to become a state, it tried to add the disputed territory.

The war between Ohio and Michigan wasn’t much of a war. The two states deployed militias on either side of the disputed territory, but no one was ever killed. In fact, the only battle ended with shots being fired into the air and everyone going home.

In the end, a compromise was reached. Ohio got the so-called Toledo strip, while Michigan got the Upper Penninsula. In December of 1836, members of Michigan’s legislature agreed to the deal and Michigan assumed the shape that we know and love today.

How did Michigan get the Upper Peninsula

The Great Upper Penninsula

At the time, most people thought that Michigan was getting the short end of the stick when it came to the deal. After all, the Upper Penninsula was sparsely inhabited, didn’t have great farmland, and much of the fur trade had died off.

Of course, that was before anyone found the copper and iron deposits there. Once the deposits were discovered, it was roundly believed that Michigan was the real winner of the Toledo War. Thanks to the Upper Penninsula, Michigan would get a head start on the industrial development that would lead to the state’s golden age.

Michigan’s history has led to the creation of an unusually-shaped, if still amazing, state. It’s amazing to think that none of this would have happened had either Michigan or Ohio actually understood how to read map boundaries correctly, but in the end, the compromise worked out in Michigan’s favor and helped to create the state as its known today.

One of the best ways to celebrate Michigan’s unique history with collectibles and apparel that can remind you of the state. If you want to show off your love for Michigan – and for the Upper Penninsula – make sure to go online and buy the coolest Michigan apparel at Livnfresh.com.