|State of Michigan|
|Official language(s)||None (English, de-facto)|
|Largest metro area||Metro Detroit|
|Area||Ranked 11th in the US|
|- Total||96,716 sq mi |
|- Width||386 miles (621 km)|
|- Length||456 miles (734 km)|
|- % water||41.5|
|- Latitude||41° 41' N to 48° 18' N|
|- Longitude||82° 7' W to 90° 25' W|
|Population||Ranked 8th in the US|
|- Total||(2010) 9,883,640 |
|- Density||179/sq mi (67.55/km2)|
Ranked 16th in the US
|- Median income||$44,627 (21st)|
|- Highest point||Mount Arvon|
1,979 ft (603 m)
|- Mean||902 ft (275 m)|
|- Lowest point||Lake Erie|
571 ft (174 m)
|Admission to Union||January 26, 1837 (26th)|
|Governor||Rick Snyder (R)|
|Lieutenant Governor||Brian Calley (R)|
|- Upper house||Senate|
|- Lower house||House of Representatives|
|U.S. House delegation||9 Republicans|
6 Democrats (list)
|- most of state||Eastern: UTC-5/-4|
|- 4 U.P. counties||Central: UTC-6/-5|
|Abbreviations||MI Mich. US-MI|
Michigan () is a U.S. state located in the Great Lakes Region of the United States of America. The name Michigan is a French alteration of the Ojibwe word mishigama, meaning "large water" or "large lake".
Michigan is the eighth most populous state in the United States. It has the longest freshwater shoreline of any political subdivision in the world, being bounded by four of the five Great Lakes, plus Lake Saint Clair. In 2005, Michigan ranked third among US states for the number of registered recreational boats, behind California and Florida. Michigan has 64,980 inland lakes and ponds. A person in the state is never more than six miles (10 km) from a natural water source or more than from a Great Lakes shoreline. It is the largest state by total area east of the Mississippi River.
Michigan is the only state to consist entirely of two peninsulas. The Lower Peninsula, to which the name Michigan was originally applied, is often dubbed "the mitten" by residents, owing to its shape. The Upper Peninsula (often referred to as "The U.P.") is separated from the Lower Peninsula by the Straits of Mackinac, a five-mile (8 km)-wide channel that joins Lake Huron to Lake Michigan. The Upper Peninsula is economically important for tourism and natural resources.
Michigan was home to Native American cultures before colonization by Europeans. When the first European explorers arrived, the most populous and influential tribes were Algonquian peoples, specifically, the Ottawa, the Anishnabe (called Chippewa in French, after their language Ojibwe), and the Potawatomi. The Anishnabe, whose numbers are estimated to have been between 25,000 and 35,000, were the most populous.
Although the Anishnabe were well-established in Michigan's Upper Peninsula and northern Lower Peninsula, they also inhabited northern Ontario, northern Wisconsin, southern Manitoba, and northern and north-central Minnesota. The Ottawa lived primarily south of the Straits of Mackinac in northern and western Michigan, while the Potawatomi were primarily in the southwest. The three nations co-existed peacefully as part of a loose confederation called the Council of Three Fires. Other First Nations people in Michigan, in the south and east, were the Mascouten, the Menominee, the Miami, and the Wyandot, who are better known by their French name, Huron.
French voyageurs explored and settled in Michigan in the 17th century. The first Europeans to reach what later became Michigan were those of Étienne Brûlé's expedition in 1622. The first permanent European settlement was founded in 1668 on the site where Father (Père, in French) Jacques Marquette established Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan as a Catholic mission to minister to the Ottawa Indians, and to serve as a regional headquarters for further Catholic missionary activities in the upper Great Lakes area. It was here that the first European building was erected in Michigan, within the US Midwest, and also within what is now the Canadian province of Ontario.
Soon afterward, in 1671 the outlying mission of Saint Ignace was founded approximately south. Then in 1675, French Catholic missionaries founded Marquette approximately to the west of Sault Ste. Marie, on the south shore of Lake Superior. Together with Sault Ste. Marie, these three original Jesuit missions are the first three European-founded cities in Michigan. Jesuit missionaries were well received by the Indian populations in the area, with relatively few difficulties or hostilities. "The Soo" (Sault Ste. Marie) has the distinction of being the oldest city in both Michigan and Ontario. It was split into two cities in 1818, a year after the U.S.-Canada boundary in the Great Lakes was finally established by the U.S.-U.K. Joint Border Commission following the War of 1812.
In 1679, Robert Cavelier, Sieur de la Salle of France directed the construction of the Griffin, the first European sailing vessel built on the upper Great Lakes. That same year, La Salle built Fort Miami at present-day St. Joseph.
In 1701, French explorer and army officer Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac founded Fort Pontchartrain du Détroit or "Fort Pontchartrain on-the-Strait" on the strait, known as the Detroit River, between lakes Saint Clair and Erie. Cadillac had convinced King Louis XIV's chief minister, Louis Phélypeaux, Comte de Pontchartrain, that a permanent community there would strengthen French control over the upper Great Lakes and discourage British aspirations.
The hundred soldiers and workers who accompanied Cadillac built a fort enclosing one arpent (about , the equivalent of just under per side) and named it Fort Pontchartrain. Cadillac's wife, Marie Thérèse Guyon, soon moved to Detroit, becoming one of the first European women to settle in the Michigan wilderness. The town quickly became a major fur-trading and shipping post. The Église de Saint-Anne (Church of Saint Ann) was founded the same year. While the original building does not survive, the congregation of that name continues to be active today. Cadillac later departed to serve as the French governor of Louisiana from 1710 to 1716.
At the same time, the French strengthened Fort Michilimackinac at the Straits of Mackinac to better control their lucrative fur-trading empire. By the mid-18th century, the French also occupied forts at present-day Niles and Sault Ste. Marie, though most of the rest of the region remained unsettled by Europeans.
From 1660 to the end of French rule, Michigan was part of the Royal Province of New France. In 1759, following the Battle of the Plains of Abraham in the French and Indian War (1754–1763), Québec City fell to British forces. This marked Britain's victory in the Seven Years War. Under the 1763 Treaty of Paris, Michigan and the rest of New France east of the Mississippi River passed to Great Britain.
During the American Revolutionary War, Detroit was an important British supply center. Most of the inhabitants were French-Canadians or Native Americans, many of whom had been allied with the French. Because of imprecise cartography and unclear language defining the boundaries in the 1763 Treaty of Paris, the British retained control of Detroit and Michigan after the American Revolution. When Quebec split into Lower and Upper Canada in 1790, Michigan was part of Kent County, Upper Canada. It held its first democratic elections in August 1792 to send delegates to the new provincial parliament at Newark (now Niagara-on-the-Lake).
Under terms negotiated in the 1794 Jay Treaty, Britain withdrew from Detroit and Michilimackinac in 1796. Questions remained over the boundary for many years, and the United States did not have uncontested control of the Upper Peninsula and Drummond Island until 1818 and 1847, respectively.