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Current State of Affairs in Michigan

Free History Essays


“When French explorers first visited Michigan in the early seventeenth century, there were approximately 100,000 Native Americans living in the Great Lakes region” (A Brief History of Michigan 1). Over the years, many inhabitants settled in Michigan; in the period of 1860-1900, more than 700 thousand people immigrated to Michigan 400 thousand of whom were foreigners.

To enhance immigration, there was published a little pamphlet glorifying the advantages of the region. This type of promotion was successful; as a result, Michigan gained more immigrants to work in mining and agriculture. However, the Civil War broke up the efforts to attract new settlers. In the following years, Michigan had the fortune to welcome new inhabitants. Firstly, poor harvests and the revolution of 1848 made more than three million of Germans relocate from Europe to the United States. Secondly, people were following the American dream. “The announcement by Henry Ford on January 5, 1914, that the Ford Motor Company would pay $5 for a day’s work attracted many immigrants to Michigan” (A Brief History of Michigan 15). For these reasons, in 1910-1930, Michigan was the growing region in the country. In the 1970s – 1980s, expensive fuel, dropped jobs, and other factors led to the reduction of Michigan population.

With the beginning of the new millennium, Michigan turned to be a far different state than in the 1900s. At that time, technological revolution, new levels of training to use machines and materials made the state transform from a natural resource and farming economy into a giant of the heavy industry. “Along with the reinvigoration of the Michigan economy, the population is rebounding” (A Brief History of Michigan 15). The strengthening of human resources resulted in nearly 10 million inhabitants, who shaped Michigan’s destiny. Currently, the population of the state is decreasing due to its geographical position, decline of industry, and terrible weather.

Culture of Michigan

The culture of Michigan is diverse and versatile because its population is cosmopolite, comes in all colors, has different types of religions, and speaks plenty of languages from all over the world. In fact, commercial enterprises and varied forms of popular music had the largest impact on the culture of this city.

Moreover, famous people, who glorified Michigan for the America and the entire world Influence on cultural life. They include innovators, celebrities, historical figures, and authoritative individuals of Michigan who influenced the lives of others. The most famous of them is, of course, Henry Ford, who made a revolution in car building. He invented the model T car and founded the Ford Motor Company, which forced an increase in Michigan population and pushed state’s economy to grow. Also, one more important person in Michigan history was William Boeing, who found the largest aircraft company – Boeing. Famous actors and actresses praised Michigan playing notable roles in films, screening in TV shows, and winning “best actor” prizes in festivals. Some of them were Elizabeth Berkley, Selma Blair, Bruce Campbell, and many others.

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The sphere of entertainment reached a high level of development in Michigan state. The music has been dominant in Detroit’s nightlife since the 1940s. The city can boast of two of the top live music venues in the USA – DTE Energy Music Theatre and The Palace of Auburn Hills. Michigan’s major performance centers include Orchestra Hall and the Detroit Opera House, which are popular among classic music lovers. World known actors play at the Fox Theatre, Masonic Temple Theatre, and the Fisher Theatre. Moreover, these buildings can be proud of their amazing architecture. As the automobile industry is the most developed in Michigan, it holds three major events associated with vehicles: the North American International Auto Show held in January, Society of Automotive Engineers World Congress conducted in April, and the Woodward Dream Cruise in August. Besides, the state’s major industrial city Detroit hosts annual music events, which include the DEMF/Movement/Fuse-In electronic music festival, Concert of Colors, and Ford Detroit International Jazz Festival.

Michigan Economy

Michigan economy includes several branches ranging from natural resources like wood industry to heavy machinery industry. The Upper Peninsula is a wood region “described as ten months of winter and two months of poor sledding” (The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia 123). The profusion of forests and furred animals attracted lumberjacks and fur traders. On the contrary, the Lower Peninsula appears not as wild as its Upper part, but also beautiful. In the late 19th century, Michigan was the global leader in wood production, and forests were cut excessively in the lumber boom. The Lower Peninsula has abundant mineral resources including limestone, gypsum, sand, sandstone, gravel, and salt; however, its main wealth is in its numerous farms and factories. Michigan resources are so abundant due to the weather and surrounding waters that allow a lengthy growing season. Meadows of corn and grain overlaid vast territories in the south, and cherries are grown in Michigan along the bank of the Lake Michigan. These resources make Michigan one of the most prominent states in farming business.

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“Manufacturing accounts for 30% of Michigan’s economic production, more than twice as much as any other sector” ( The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia 152). The state’s chief industry is the building of automobiles and machinery equipment. Detroit, Pontiac, and Dearborn are the cities with a long history of vehicle production although manufacturing is currently in substantial decline around the state. The mass-production in machinery industry was the heart of the industrial revolution in the 20th century. Moreover, Michigan manufacture involves non-electrical machinery, metal products, food products, and chemicals.

One more Michigan’s major industry is tourism thanks to its excellent fishing and abundant natural resources. The historic absence of industrial diversity in the state made it peculiarly vulnerable to the alterations of the state economy, and recently it tried to extend developing the service sector and advancing technological industry.

Tourism in Michigan

To my mind, tourism and the Grand Lakes present Michigan State in this era in the best way. Not only recently, but also since the 19th century, tourism has been a significant part of economic growth in Michigan. I suppose that tourism is the most important of all the spheres nowadays because currently Michigan came to be rather popular among tourists. It became the second most significant segment of the state’s economy rivals agriculture. “About 54% of all travel is in the form of day trips for state residents or visitors from neighboring regions. In 2003, Michigan had 150,000 people employed in tourism” (Council of State Governments 4).

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Tourist attractions in Michigan are different and accessible to all of the country’s inhabitants. The Michigan’s water resources are the attraction number one because the region is just 137 kilometers far from the Great Lakes. Sandy beaches in Michigan propose sunbathing and swimming activities near the Lake Michigan in the southwestern region on five thousand kilometers of Great Lakes beaches. Most often, swimmers prefer eleven thousand inland lakes in southern Michigan. “The Metropolitan Beach on Lake St. Clair, northeast of Detroit, claims to be the largest artificial-lake beach in the world” (Michigan – Tourism, Travel and Recreation n.p.). The extensive public camping facilities are on the verges of the lake. Moreover, along the lake, one can find plenty of private campgrounds.

Although the tourism is the summer activity, such entertainments as fishing, hunting, skiing, and other winter sports are also popular. They make travelling a profitable business in a vast territory of the region. Tours to the Detroit automobile plants and different industrial sites have gained a great popularity. The Spirit of Ford that is a 50-thousand square feet exhibition in Dearborn proposes excursions to see in what way the automaker makes, tests, engineers, and produces vehicles. Moreover, judging from the success of the Museum of Henry Ford and the amusement park Greenfield Village, the promotion of historical attractions makes them more appealing and popular nowadays.

The most prominent event that happened in Michigan in the second millennium was a bankruptcy of the General Motors Company. The concern has been facing and struggling hardships for many years, but ceased its existence in 2009. General Motors could not solve disputes with its creditors as a result experiencing one of the biggest automobile bankruptcy in history. This event is so important because it led to chief changes and job cuts because of the battered automaker.

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The most prominent person in Michigan is the inventor Donald Keck born in 1941 in Lansing, Michigan. Donald made significant inputs to fiber optics production. He conducted a series of experiments and found that added titanium to amalgamated silica strengthens the glass fiber and enlarges its optical characteristics. During the experiments, the scientist mixed the glass with germanium. This step played a significant role as it reduced the loss of light in the form of a signal traveling through the fiber. His work assisted in the formation of an optical fiber. Donald Keck could help the society to improve and glorified his state Michigan all over the world.

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