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Michigan is a state in the Midwestern United States. It is located in the Great Lakes region and is the country's 11th biggest state. The name Michigan is derived from the Ojubwa word Mishigamaaa in French, which means large water or lake. The state is the 9th most populous in the nation, and boasts of being the center of the US automotive industry. Michigan is also know as the Wolverine State.
Native American tribes inhabited the land thousands of years prior the first European settlements. The region was dominated by 3 tribes: the Algonquian, the Potawatori, and the Ottawa people. Tens of thousands of Native Americans resided in the area when the first expedition, led by French Etienne Brule, arrived in 1622.
The first European settlement, however, came only in 1668 through Jacques Marquette. From 1671-75, missionaries began setting stations in the region.
During the French and Indian War in 1762, the French were defeated, forcing them to give up their territories in the New World. The British empire soon took over, but were then overthrown by Americans during the American Revolutionary War. The region was part of the Indiana territory in 1800. By 1805, the Michigan Territory was formed and its eventual statehood was achieved on January 26, 1837. The state was the 26th member of the Union.
Michigan is the only state in the US made up of 2 peninsulas. The lower peninsula is made up the manufacturing, services, and high-tech industries, while the upper peninsula consists mostly of natural resources and major tourist destinations.
The state's highest point is Mount Arvon, with a height of 1,979 feet above sea level.
Michigan is bordered by Canada to the north, Indiana and Iowa to the south, and the Great Lakes region, which comprises Lake Erie, Lake Huron, Lake Michigan, and Lake Superior.
Michigan has 78 state parks, 6 state forests and 19 state recreation areas - which give the state its distinction of being the largest state park and state forest system in the US.
There is a good number of natural attractions, charming towns and cities across the state. Mackinac Island is a Victorian-influenced summer destination, with quaint shops and charming houses making the city the perfect getaway for families on vacation. The Sleeping Sand Dunes provide ample hiking activities, as well as spectacular overlooking views.
The Henry Ford Museum in Detroit is a must-see in Michigan, with over 26 million artifacts sprawled across 200 acres - holding Henry Ford's original collections of America's most famous and innovative inventions.
Traverse City is another popular tourist destination in the state. It is otherwise known as The Cherry Capital of the World, where tourists get to visit its 30 wineries, breweries, and distilleries across the city.
Other popular points of interest in the state are the Grand Rapids, the Detroit Zoo, and the city of Muskegon.
The state offers excellent options for higher education. The Michigan State University is a large public research university that attracts tens of thousands of students from across the country. It also holds the 8th largest campus population of any school in the US. Other popular and respected universities include the Michigan Technological University in Houghton, Kettering University, and the Kalamazoo College.
Last Updated On : Sept 13, 2014