Tags: US State Facts | Michigan History | Detroit | The Ford Motor Company | Mackinac Bridge

Michigan History: 8 Events That Shaped the State

By    |   Monday, 23 Feb 2015 11:32 PM

A big part of Michigan history is the automobile industry. The state went from being the largest exporter of copper and iron ore in the 1800s to being the largest producer of automobiles in the 1900s.

Here are eight events that shaped Michigan:

1. Fort Pontchartrain: Founded on the Detroit River in 1701 by French,  Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac. The site would later become the city of Detroit.

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2. The creation of the Northwest Territory: In 1787, the land that would become the state of Michigan became a part of the Northwest Territory of the United States. Michigan became a separate territory in 1805.

3. The outbreak of the War of 1812: Michigan was a major battleground during the War of 1812 between the newly formed United States of America, the Native Americans in the area and Great Britain. British forces occupied the Michigan Territory during the war which resulted in a firm boundary between the United States and Canada.

4. The battle over Toledo: It took two years for Michigan to become a state because of a dispute with Ohio over the city of Toledo. Both areas claimed the city. Michigan history was changed when state leaders eventually gave up Toledo in exchange for a large part of the Upper Peninsula. It was the 26th state to enter the Union in 1837.

5. The creation of the automobile industry: The first automobile company in Michigan was founded by Ransom E Olds in 1897. Henry T. Ford started his company in Dearborn in 1903 and first produced the iconic Model T in 1908. The Ford Motor Company is one of the largest companies in the world. By 1927, the Ford Motor Company had manufactured 15 million Model T automobiles. Michigan history includes being headquarters of all three major automobile manufacturers in the country.

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6. The founding of the Nation of Islam: Wallace Fard Muhammad founded the Nation of Islam in the early 1930s in Detroit. The movement, which has often taken a confrontational approach, emphasizes self-sufficiency for African Americans. One of its most famous adherents was Malcom X.

7. The opening of Mackinac Bridge: This 5 mile bridge was opened in 1957. It was the first physical connection between the Upper Peninsula and Lower section of the state through the straits of Mackinac. It is the fifth longest suspension bridge in the world.

8. A Michigander in the White House: Gerald R. Ford, who had grown up in Grand Rapids changed Michigan history in 1975 when he became the 38th president of the United States. Ford took the position following Richard Nixon's resignation. He did not win re-election.

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A big part of Michigan history is the automobile industry. The state went from being the largest exporter of copper and iron ore in the 1800s to being the largest producer of automobiles in the 1900s.
Michigan History, Detroit, The Ford Motor Company, Mackinac Bridge
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2015-32-23
Monday, 23 Feb 2015 11:32 PM
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