Michigan History - the history of Michigan
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Vacation 2 USA   >   Michigan   >   History
Vacation 2 USA   >   History   >   Michigan History


Michigan History

Before the arrival of Europeans, the area that is today the state of Michigan was inhabited by various Native American peoples including the Ottawa, the Anishnabe (also known as the "Chippewa"), the Potawatomi, the Mascouten, the Miami and the Wyandot (also known "Huron").

The first Europeans to arrive in the area where French explorers in the 17th century. A number of French settlers were established during this period including Sault Sainte-Marie (1668), Saint-Ignace (1671) and Marquette (1675). In 1701, Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac founded Le Fort Ponchartrain du Detroit (now simply called Detroit, which quickly became an important fur-trading and shipping post.

The area remained under French control (as part of Royal Province of New France) until 1763. The Treaty of Paris concluding the Seven Years' War (generally known in the US as the "French and Indian War"), resulted in control of the area passing to Britain.

During the American Revolution (1775 to 1783),was an important British supply center. At the conclusion of the war, the boundaries were not clearly defined, and the British remained in control of Detroit and Michigan until 1796 (following the Jay Treaty of 1794). Even, then, the boundaries were not finally settled until 1847.

The population of the area continued to grow, and by the 1830s, Michigan had a large enough population to apply for statehood. Admission to the Union was delayed because of a boundary dispute with Ohio which came to be known as the "Toledo War" (both sides deployed their militia, but there was no actual fighting). Michigan was eventually admitted to the Union as the 26th state on January 26th 1837.

At the beginning of the 20th century, the state became a leading center of automobile manufacturing with the establishments of plants in Detroit and Grand Rapids. Since the 1970s, many automobile manufacturers have left the state, but new jobs have been created other newer industries such as biotechnology.

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Michigan: A History of the Great Lakes State

Released: 2014-01-31
Paperback (408 pages)

Michigan: A History of the Great Lakes State
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  • Michigan A History of the Great Lakes State
Product Description:

The fifth edition of Michigan: A History of the Great Lakes State presents an update of the best college-level survey of Michigan history, covering the pre-Columbian period to the present.

  • Represents the best-selling survey history of Michigan
  • Includes updates and enhancements reflecting the latest historic scholarship, along with the new chapter ‘Reinventing Michigan’
  • Expanded coverage includes the socio-economic impact of tribal casino gaming on Michigan’s Native American population; environmental, agricultural, and educational issues; recent developments in the Jimmy Hoffa mystery, and collegiate and professional sports
  • Delivered in an accessible narrative style that is entertaining as well as informative, with ample illustrations, photos, and maps
  • Now available in digital formats as well as print

It Happened in Michigan: Remarkable Events That Shaped History (It Happened In Series)

By Colleen Burcar

Globe Pequot Press
Released: 2011-01-11
Paperback (160 pages)

It Happened in Michigan: Remarkable Events That Shaped History (It Happened In Series)
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This book offers an inside look at over 25 interesting and unusual episodes that shaped the history of the Great Lakes State.

Weird Michigan: Your Travel Guide to Michigan's Local Legends and Best Kept Secrets

By Linda S. Godfrey

Godfrey, Linda S./ Sceurman, Mark (EDT)/ Moran, Mark (EDT)
Released: 2006-07-25
Hardcover (256 pages)

Weird Michigan: Your Travel Guide to Michigan s Local Legends and Best Kept Secrets
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Is it weird that the Wolverine State may never have had any wolverines in it? We think so, and that suits us fine. The weirder the better, we say, and Michigan falls perfectly into that category. Oh, sure, big-time heroes like Charles Lindbergh and Madonna hail from here, and so does President Gerald Ford, but do they compare to superhero Captain Jackson, who strolls around town in a purple cape doing good deeds? Well, yes, maybe they do, but the captain, in our opinion, is more representative of our fine state. Because, let's face it, Michigan has a great big quantity of . . . weirdness. That's how we were able to entice best-selling author Linda Godfrey to swim over from Wisconsin, grab a notebook, and track down all kinds of serious weirdness for you, Motown flowing through her headphones the whole time.

Just turn the pages and see what she found. Read about the guru of toilet paper, the Devil's Soup Bowl, a bottle house and a bottle tower, our own Bigfoot, a pickle barrel house, the world's fastest cow, a fire breather and an eyeball smoker, the Outhouse Classic, UFOs of every size and shape, crop circles, and brown goo. Just don't, no matter how tired you are, even think about sitting in the Witch's Chair.

It's a great state. Especially since we have lots of lake monsters and all our residents live no more than six miles from an inland lake—at least that's what our state's official Web site says. But Linda will take you way beyond what the governor's office will tell you—to say nothing of what your history teacher left out of the lesson plans. We think you'll agree that Weird Michigan, a brand-new entry in the best-selling Weird U.S. series, is a trip no self-respecting Michigander (or Michiganian, if you prefer—and that's pretty odd, don't you think?) would ever want to miss.

Michigan: A History of the Wolverine State

By Willis F. Dunbar

Brand: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
Paperback (781 pages)

Michigan: A History of the Wolverine State
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This standard textbook on Michigan history covers the entire scope of the Wolverine State's historical record. This third revised edition incorporates events since 1980 and draws on new studies to expand and improve its coverage of various ethnic groups, recent political developments, labor and business, and many other topics.

Upper Peninsula of Michigan: A History

By Russell M. Magnaghi

Paperback (212 pages)

Upper Peninsula of Michigan: A History
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For the first time in over a century, a complete history of the U.P.-from prehistoric origins to the present-is available. Drawing on oral histories, newspapers, census data, archives and libraries, Russell M. Magnaghi has written the seminal history of a very ""special place"" as seen through the eyes of the men and women who have lived here-the famous and not so famous.

Wild Women of Michigan: A History of Spunk & Tenacity

By Norma Lewis

The History Press
Released: 2017-09-04
Paperback (144 pages)

Wild Women of Michigan: A History of Spunk & Tenacity
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Countless Michiganian women performed extraordinary acts that challenged and improved the world. Madame Marie-Therese Cadillac served as the medicine woman in the frontier that became Detroit. Annie Taylor survived rolling over Niagara Falls in a barrel. After suffragist Anna Howard Shaw fought to vote, the state saw an influx of women running for office. In the 1970s, East Lansing's Patricia Beeman aided in efforts to end apartheid in South Africa. Suellen Finatri showcased an extreme side of equestrian sports by riding more than four thousand miles from St. Ignace to Skagway, Alaska. And World War II army flight nurse Aleda Lutz evacuated more than 3,500 wounded soldiers and is still recognized as one of America's most decorated servicewomen. Author and historian Norma Lewis commemorates the women who boldly left their marks.

History of the Ottawa and Chippewa Indians of Michigan

By Andrew Blackbird

Paperback (66 pages)

History of the Ottawa and Chippewa Indians of Michigan
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  • History of the Ottawa and Chippewa Indians of Michigan
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From the intro: "Andrew J. Blackbird, the author of this little book, is an educated Indian, son of the Ottawa Chief. His Indian name is Mack-aw-de-be-nessy (Black Hawk), but he generally goes by the name of "Blackbird," taken from the interpretation of the French "L'Oiseau noir." Mr. Blackbird's wife is an educated and intelligent white woman of English descent, and they have four children. He is a friend of the white people, as well as of his own people. Brought up as an Indian, with no opportunity for learning during his boyhood, when he came to think for himself, he started out blindly for an education, without any means but his brains and his hands. He was loyal to the Government during the rebellion in the United States, for which cause he met much opposition by designing white people, who had full sway among the Indians, and who tried to mislead them and cause them to be disloyal; and he broke up one or two rebellious councils amongst his people during the progress of the rebellion."

Michigan: A Bicentennial History (States and the Nation)

By Bruce Catton

Bruce Catton
Paperback (240 pages)

Michigan: A Bicentennial History (States and the Nation)
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  • ISBN13: 9780393301755
  • Notes: BRAND NEW FROM PUBLISHER! 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. Tracking provided on most orders. Buy with Confidence! Millions of books sold!
Product Description:

The late Pulitzer-Prize-winning historian Bruce Catton is known to millions of readers for his absorbing works on the Civil War. In this book, he turns to his native Michigan to tell a story of what happened when a primitive wilderness changed into a bustling industrial center so fast that it was as if the old French explorer Etienne Brule "should step up to shake hands with Henry Ford."

The idea that abundance was "inexhaustible--that fatal Michigan word," as the author calls it--dominated thinking about the state from the days when Commandant Cadillac's soldiers arrived at Detroit until his name became a brand of car. Viewed in this light, Michigan is a case study of all America, and Americans in any state will be fascinated. In a colorful, dramatic past, Mr. Catton finds understanding of where we are in the present and what the future will make us face. 

What's Great About Michigan? (Our Great States)

By Anita Yasuda

Anita Yasuda
Paperback (32 pages)

What s Great About Michigan? (Our Great States)
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  • What s Great About Michigan Our Great States
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What's so great about Michigan? Find out the top ten sites to see or things to do in the Great Lake State! We'll explore Michigan's popular lakes, gorgeous parks, exciting cities, and fun history. The Michigan by Map feature shows where you'll find all the places covered in the book. A special section provides quick state facts such as the state motto, capital, population, animals, foods, and more. Take a fun-filled tour of all there is to discover in Michigan.

Rethinking Michigan Indian History

By Patrick Russell LeBeau

Brand: Michigan State University Press
Paperback (215 pages)

Rethinking Michigan Indian History
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Rethinking Michigan Indian History is a teaching tool that honors the Chippewa, Ottawa, and Potawatomi and the twelve federally recognized tribes of Michigan by recognizing their role and place in Michigan history―exploring what most people know (or do not know) about them.
     Each lesson includes a background narrative, a set of hands-on activities, and provides easily understood and visual resources. Rethinking Michigan Indian History explores large issues of Indian stereotypes, the narrow focus on “great” Indian men, the lack of knowledge of treaties and treaty rights, and the role of maps to mislead or distort thinking about how history unfolds and the complexities of land ownership.
     The lesson that explores Indian stereotypes identifies their existence not only in U.S. consumer culture but also in K-12 classrooms. The goal, however, is not to rebuke the consumer for having bought Big Chief Sugar or the teacher for having young students construct one-dimensional canoes, paddles, and Indians out of paper and glue but to use those activities as a demonstration of what most people know about Indians. From this point, a foundation of facts can begin to replace stereotypes in the learning process.
     Demonstrating further how popular influences can control knowledge, the lesson on “great” Indian men shows that the popular preference for biographies of famous Indian warriors (Pontiac or Tecumseh) or individual women (Pocahontas or Sacagawea) narrows an understanding of Indians to symbolic representations and issues by ignoring their ongoing culture.
     The lesson on Indian treaties and maps explains and visually shows the reason the Chippewa, Ottawa, and Potawatomi lived in Michigan in 1760 and live in Michigan today in roughly the same places. Treaties are explored in a manner that is understandable to fourth graders through adults, by showing where Indians lived, the treaty boundaries, and tribal land holdings. This lesson also shows Indian cartography concepts and how maps may be made.
     What makes Rethinking Michigan Indian History unique and important is its non-confrontational and modular approach that challenges conventional thinking and teaching practices, while at the same time advocates change. The inclusion of graphic resources, handouts, and colorful maps makes this book necessary for the teacher, student, and the general reader who is interested in Michigan Indian history.

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