State of Michigan
Table of Contents
State of Michigan
The state of Michigan is located in the Midwest region of the United States of America. The state
of Michigan has a rich history as it grew and develop from the earliest Native American tribes to
the French fur trappers who settled around Lake St. Clair to found the city of Detroit. Michigan's
government is organized in similar fashion to that of the United States national government.
Michigan has a state constitution that divides powers of the state between the executive,
legislative, and judicial branches. Michiganders enjoy many different activities, but is known
best of all as Hockeytown USA. Michigan has 8 division one collage and 2 professional hockey
teams including the 11 time Stanley Cup Champion Detroit Red Wings.
Michigan's history was first shaped by the Native American tribes that populated the region, but
eventually European settlement by the French and British shifted control to the European settlers.
Michigan was first inhabited by many Native American tribes. Michigan had 8 Native American
tribes including: Ojibwa, Menominee, Chippewas, Miami, Ottawa, Pottawatomie, Algonquian,
and Iroquoian. Michigan's native culture remains active as seen at Central Michigan University,
where students and faculty work closely with the Saginaw Valley Chippewas tribe. French
explorers were the first Europeans to settle in Michigan, but not the last. Farther Marquette set up
the first settlement along the banks of the St. Mary's River in what is now Saulte Ste. Marie,
Michigan. The city of Detroit was founded as the French fort called Fort Pontchartrain du
Detroit. After the French and Indian War, all French settlements shifted control to the British as
the Treaty of Paris described. Michigan was first populated by Native Americans then French
and later British authority established itself in the Great Lakes region.
From British King George to the Chevy Volt, the state of Michigan has come a long way.
Michigan moves from British hands to the 26th state of the United States of America. It was not
until Britain's defeat during the War of 1812 that Michigan became under the complete authority
of the US government as a US territory. Once the Erie Canal opened, Michigan's population
grew as settlers poured in from the east. On January 26, 1837, President Andrew Jackson and
Congress admitted Michigan as the 26th state of the Union. The auto industry modernized
Michigan making it one of the leading manufacturing centers of the world. The "big three",
General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler have established themselves as leading automobile
producers when they set up shop in the metro Detroit area. Henry Ford forever changed
manufacturing when he created the assembly line system to mass produce his Ford Model T.
Recently, General Motors has started producing the Chevy Volt, the first plug-in hybrid electric
vehicle, continuing Michigan's tradition of leading the world in innovation and manufacturing.
Michigan has come pretty far in the last 200 years and if the Chevy Volt is any indication of it's
future then Michigan has a bright future ahead.
Chevy Volt in production in Detroit, Michigan
Michigan's state government is a reflection of our federal government as evident through its
separation of powers and system of checks and balances. The separation of powers divides state
government authority between the three branches so that one branch of government does not
become too powerful. All of Michigan's law creation power rests with the State Senate and State
House which make up most of the legislative branch. Michigan's law enforcement power rests
with the governor and his/her executive branch. Michigan's judicial review authority rests with
the Michigan Supreme Court and other lower state courts for the judicial branch. The system of
checks and balances allows each branch of the state government to check and balance the
authority of the other branches. When the state legislature votes against the governor's state
agency appointment they are checking and balancing the governor's power to make
appointments. The governor's veto of a bill is his/her check and balance on the legislature's
power to make laws. Michigan's separation of powers and system of checks and balances is a
clear example of how our federal government operates.
Michigan's state legislature and governor have great responsibilities to uphold for the people of
Michigan. State legislators have three duties and responsibilities to Michigan. First, state
legislators are the representatives of the people of Michigan and must engage the residents in
order to represent their diverse viewpoints. Second, legislators are policymakers and must enact
policies that properly represent their constituents. Lastly, legislators have the responsibility of
oversight as they monitor the laws and policies created so that they are properly funded and
managed. Michigan's governor has two primary functions to perform for his/her residents. First,
the governor must enact good policy for Michigan and can accomplish this by creating executive
orders and administrative regulation. Second, the governor must create good budgets that
properly fund all state agencies without putting the state into debt. It is easy to see how the state
legislators and governor can influence the residents of Michigan.
State Capital Building in Lansing, MI
Since Michigan has multiple seasons for residents to enjoy, it also has many seasonal activities to
keep you active throughout the year. As a peninsula Michigan is almost surrounded by the Great
Lakes, water sports like fishing, sailing, swimming, kayaking, water skiing, and others remain
summer time favorites. Many residents take to the beautiful beaches of Grand Haven during the
Coast Guard Festival to enjoy a game of beach volleyball or a swim in Lake Michigan. As
summer turns to winter, Michiganders shift focus to snow related activities. Michigan's winter is
best experienced when cross country skiing, snow shoeing, snow snowmobiling, ice skating, or
just making a snow angel. Once again many residents take to the great outdoors during winter
festivals like Tip Up Town where people gather to do some ice fishing, snow snowmobiling, or
cross country skiing. It does not matter if it is August or January, there is always a festival or
seasonal activity to keep you busy.
The state of Michigan has many different recreational activities, but Michigan is best known for
its hockey tradition. Michigan's excellent hockey tradition can be traced to the college hockey
programs. In Michigan there are seven Division I hockey programs: Michigan State University,
Lake Superior State University, Ferris State University, Northern Michigan University,
University of Michigan, and Western Michigan University. Michigan's college programs have
won 19 Division I National Championships, more than any other state. Michigan's tradition has
its roots in Hockeytown, USA with the Detroit Red Wings. The Red Wings are one of the oldest
hockey teams as one of the original six teams created in the National Hockey League (NHL).
Since 1926 when the Red Wings started their first season, they have won 11 Stanley Cups, 6
Conference Championships, 6 President Trophies, and 18 Division Championships. With
Michigan's college programs and Detroit Red Wings, the state of Michigan is the true state of
hockey with a championship history.
Detroit Red Wings win their 11th Stanley Cup and continue a tradition of excellence!
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