Michigan (abbr.: MI or Mich.), state of the United States of America, 150,779 km2, with 9.3 million inhabitants; capital: Lansing.
Michigan consists of two peninsulas, the southern part separated from the northern by Mackinac Strait. About 2,600 km2 of Michigan’s surface area consists of inland waterways (numerous rivers and more than 11,000 lakes, including the large Lake St. Clair, which is connected via the St. Clair and Detroit rivers to Lake Huron and Lake Erie, respectively, and Houghton lake on the southern peninsula); in addition, a significant portion (nearly 100,000 km2) of the Great Lakes (including a number of islands) falls within state borders. The longest river is the Grand River (about 475 km), which flows into Lake Michigan. The Tahquamenon Falls (120 m high, 60 m wide) are one of the state’s greatest attractions. On the southern peninsula, the great lakes have a moderating effect on the climate, due to the fairly regular westerly wind. On the northern peninsula, winters are noticeably harsher, with very heavy snowfall.
The average population density is 63 inhabitants. per km2. More than 70% of the total population lives in cities. The largest city is Detroit, followed by Grand Rapids, Warren, Flint, Lansing and Dearborn. See top cities in Michigan.
The economy focuses on the mass production of durable goods, such as automobiles and trucks. The decline in demand for new cars at the end of the 1970s and the increase in Japanese market share in car sales in the 1980s therefore had serious socio-economic consequences, especially for the automotive city of Detroit. Other industries in the state are: production of cement, chemicals, machinery, furniture, paper, food (cereals) and pharmaceuticals. Recent industrial sites supply high-tech products (aerospace and computer industries). Agriculture has been of minor importance since the enormous rise of industry (growing maize, grains, soybeans, sugar beet; livestock). The mining industry includes extraction of iron ore, natural gas and petroleum, limestone and salt.
Michigan still has many pristine natural areas. Along Lake Upper is Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, with multicolored cliffs and beaches and swamps, in Lake Upper is Isle Royal National Park, along Lake Michigan are the sand dunes and beaches of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. The northern peninsula has many beautiful waterfalls, including those of Tahquamenon. There are several large national forests. Of historical importance are the places Holland, St. Ignace and Mackinaw City and the island of Mackinac.
Michigan was originally inhabited by Native American tribes, such as the Chippewa, who probably gave the area its name (micigama, = big water). French explorers first entered it around 1670. A. de la Mothe Cadillac founded Detroit in 1701 as a hub for the fur trade. In 1763 the area had to be ceded to the British. It joined the United States in 1783 and was incorporated into the Northwest Territory (1787), but in fact British influence lasted until the War of 1812. Long after that, Michigan remained a desolate and desolate region; it was only the opening of the Erie Canal (1825) that brought about large-scale colonization. In 1805 Michigan became an independent territory with Detroit as its capital and in 1837 it was incorporated into the Union as the 26th state. Lansing became the capital in 1847. Michigan was a center of abolitionism, providing nearly 100,000 soldiers for the Union armies in the American Civil War. In the 20th century, the character of the state was greatly changed by the automotive industry in Detroit.
Michigan National Parks
Isle Royale National Park
Isle Royale is the largest island in massive Lake Superior and is very close to the Canadian border. The total area is 2315 km² and this has been the case since the park was established in 1931. Accessible only by boat or seaplane, the Isle Royale island is made up of pristine forests, rugged rocky coasts and lakes. Some of the animals found in the park are the wolf, moose, beaver, North American fox and some squirrel species. The park is open from mid-May to mid-October and in summer the temperature hovers around 27 degrees Celsius. To spend the night in the park you need a special permit, the so-called Camping Permit. This pass can be picked up for free at any Ranger Station.