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Description of Michigan
Michigan is a state in the Great Lakes region of the upper Midwestern United States. Even though Michigan is just the 22nd-largest state by land area, the Great Lakes waters under its control give it an additional 11 square miles in total area, moving it up to 11th place overall. South-central Michigan is home to Lansing, the state's capital city. The Ojibwa (Chippewa) term michi-gama, meaning "big lake," is the source of the state's name.
There are two distinct parts of Michigan: the sparsely inhabited but mineral-rich Upper Peninsula (often known as "the U.P.") stretches east from northern Wisconsin between Lake Superior and Lake Michigan, while the mitten-shaped Lower Peninsula extends north from Indiana and Ohio. Most Michigan residents, however, have a ready-made map of the Lower Peninsula in their right hand that they can use to locate any feature of the state. The Mackinac Bridge, which spans the Straits of Mackinac, connecting Lake Michigan and Lake Huron since 1957, has been nicknamed "Big Mac" for its 5-mile (8-km) length. There are three major rivers that separate the Lower Peninsula of Michigan from Ontario: the St. Clair, the Detroit, and the St. Clair-Detroit rivers. The St. Marys River, which runs from Lake Superior to Lake Huron, divides the Upper Peninsula of Michigan from the province of Ontario in Canada.
On January 26, 1837, Michigan became the 26th state of the Union and the fourth to be carved out of the Northwest Territory; the name of its largest city, Detroit, has become synonymous with the American automotive industry around the world. Agricultural and forestry production are still important to the state, but they are not as important as they once were. As a result, Michigan has become one of the country's most popular tourist destinations thanks to its abundance of lakes, borders on four of the Great Lakes, and numerous wilderness areas.
The majority of Michigan's population is centered in the southern Lower Peninsula's industrialized areas. People from many walks of life have been drawn to the state's unionized workforce, and the state's urban population reflects this. As a result of this wide range of socioeconomic circumstances, the Detroit metropolitan area has become a microcosm of what it's like to live in extreme wealth and extreme poverty. There are numerous programs coordinated by the state government aimed at reducing these disparities. The public university system in Michigan has long been regarded as one of the most robust, diversified, and well-rounded in the country.
Geographical Description of Michigan
The Straits of Mackinac separate the two peninsulas of Michigan. Along a stretch that includes Mission Point Light at Traverse City, the municipalities of Gaylord and Alpena in the Lower Peninsula and Menominee in the Upper Peninsula, the 45th parallel north is marked by highway signage and the Polar-Equator Trail— With the exception of two small sections in the Upper Peninsula and Lower Peninsula drained by the Mississippi River by way of the Wisconsin River and Kankakee-Illinois River, the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence watershed drains the majority of Michigan's land. Only six miles (9.7 kilometers) from a natural water source and 85 miles (137 kilometers) from a Great Lakes shoreline may be found in the state.
Lake Erie, Lake Huron, Lake Michigan, and Lake Superior are the four Great Lakes that surround the state of Michigan from east to west. With Ohio and Indiana to its south, the state is surrounded on both sides by land and water. As a result, the majority of Michigan's western borders are water boundaries, with the exception of a land boundary between Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula, which is primarily demarcated by the Menominee and Montreal Rivers. Then, in Lake Superior, there are water boundaries with Wisconsin and Minnesota to its west, capped around by Ontario to its north and east.
Despite its dense forest, the western portion of Michigan's Upper Peninsula is quite mountainous. Lake Superior and Lake Michigan's watershed is defined by an altitude of about 2,000 feet above sea level in the Porcupine Mountains, one of the world's oldest mountain groups. On either side of this mountain range, the terrain is rough and tumble. Located in the Huron Mountains northwest of Marquette, Mount Arvon reaches a height of 1,979 feet as Michigan's tallest point (603 m). There are only about 330,000 people living on the peninsula despite its size being comparable to the combined areas of Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island The many Scandinavian and Canadian immigrants who came in the area during the logging and mining boom of the late nineteenth century gave their speech the "Yooper dialect," which is sometimes referred to as "Yoopers" (from "U.P.'ers").
Due to its mitten-like form, the Lower Peninsula is often depicted by residents holding up their hand. Nearly two-thirds of the state's land area is covered by it, which is 277 miles (446 kilometers) long from north to south and 195 miles (314 kilometers) from east to west. The peninsula's terrain is mostly flat, with a few hundred-foot-high glacial moraines and conical hills. North and South are separated by a narrow strip of water. Michigan's largest chunk lies west of this ridge, which dips towards Lake Michigan. In the Lower Peninsula, the highest point is either Briar Hill, at 1,705 feet (520 m), or one of many adjacent points in the Cadillac area. Lake Erie's surface is the lowest point at 571 feet (174 m).
Michigan's peninsulas are arranged in such a way that it takes a long time to travel from one end to the other. There are approximately 630 miles (1,010 kilometers) of highway between Lambertville and Ironwood in the extreme western Upper peninsula. The Upper Peninsula is culturally and economically unique from the rest of Michigan because of its geographic separation from the state's political and population centers. Attempts to create a separate state for the Upper Peninsula, dubbed "Superior," have failed repeatedly.
The Thumb is a geographical feature of Michigan that lends the state its distinctive mitten shape. The Saginaw Bay and Lake Huron are both visible from this peninsula. Thumb's terrain is mostly flat, with a few undulating hills sprinkled throughout. In addition to the Keweenaw Peninsula, which makes up the Copper Country region of Michigan, there are several other peninsulas. Michigan's Leelanau Peninsula is located in the northern portion of the state.
Both peninsulas are marked by numerous lakes and marshes, and the shoreline is heavily indented. The Upper Peninsula's major indentations include Keweenaw Bay, Whitefish Bay, and Big and Little Bays De Noc. The Lower Peninsula is indented by the Grand and Little Traverse, Thunder, and Saginaw bays. Its 3,288-mile (5,292-kilometer) coastline includes 1,056-mile (1,699-kilometer) of island shoreline, the second-longest in the country.
Numerous enormous islands dot the state's coastlines: the North and South Manitou islands (in Lake Michigan), the Beaver Islands (in Lake Michigan), the Fox Islands (in Lake Superior), Isle Royale (in Lake Superior), and Grande Isle (in Lake Superior) are some of the state's most notable. More lighthouses are found in Michigan than in any other US state. Between 1818 and 1822, the first lighthouses in Michigan were constructed. They were created to illuminate the night sky and act as a beacon during the day so that ships could navigate the Great Lakes securely. Lighthouses in the United States are a must-see for everyone visiting the country.
Few of the state's rivers are navigable, and the majority of them are small, short, and shallow. Many rivers flow into or out of Lake Michigan. The most notable are the Detroit, St. Marys, and St. Clair, which link Lakes Huron and Superior; the Au Sable, Cheboygan, and Saginaw, which drain directly into Lake Huron; the Ontonagon and Tahquamenon, which drain directly into Lake Superior; the St. Joseph, the Grand, the Muskegon, and the Manistee, which drain directly into Lake Michigan. In addition to 38,575 square miles (99,910 square kilometers) of Great Lakes waters, the state includes 11,037 inland lakes totaling 1,305 square miles (3,380 square kilometers) of inland water. Six miles from an inland lake, or 85 miles from one of the Great Lakes, is the shortest distance in Michigan.
On the shores of Lake Superior, the National Park Service maintains Isle Royale National Park about 30 miles southeast of Thunder Bay, Ontario. Keweenaw National Historical Park, Sleeping Bear Dunes and Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Huron and Manistee national forests, Hiawatha and Ottawa national forests are other protected sites in the state. Michigan is home to the greatest portion of the North Country National Scenic Trail.
Michigan has the largest state park and state forest system in the country, with 78 parks, 19 recreation areas, and six state forests.
Economy of Michigan
By the end of the nineteenth century, Michigan's economy had shifted from small-scale agriculture to logging and mining. Between the 1830s and 1905, huge tracts of white pine woods were logged at breakneck speed, depleting the forests' natural resources almost completely. New settlements in the western Upper Peninsula were fueled by iron and copper mines that arose in the 1980s. The St. Marys River's Soo Locks were constructed in 1855, allowing deep-water vessels to travel between Lake Superior and the other Great Lakes. This helped spur the region's economic growth.
In the second decade of the twentieth century, Michigan's economy was dominated by the automobile sector. Since then, despite contributions from other manufacturing enterprises, tourism, agriculture, and (although diminished) forestry, Michigan's economy has remained entwined with the fortunes of the state's automakers. Due to an oil embargo and a nationwide recession in the late 1970s, the state of Michigan was plunged into a financial catastrophe. By 1982, unemployment was at an all-time high in the state of California. When gasoline costs rose and the U.S. economy stagnated in the early 21st century, the auto industry experienced a severe setback in its comeback. Michigan's government and business leaders launched programs to expand the state's manufacturing base, attract new high-tech firms, and promote the service sector of the economy, largely in response to the fluctuation of the auto industry. Tourism and education, in particular, have continued to do well for the state's economy.