Mich·i·gan  geographical name \ˈmi-shi-gən\

State, midwestern U.S. Area: 96,716 sq mi (250,493 sq km). Pop. (2009 est.): 9,969,727. Capital: Lansing. Surrounded almost entirely by the Great Lakes, Michigan is divided into two large land segments: the Upper and Lower peninsulas. The Lower Peninsula is bordered to the south by Indiana and Ohio; the Upper Peninsula is bounded by Wisconsin to the west. The western region of the Upper Peninsula is a rugged upland rich in minerals, and the remainder of the state consists of lowlands and rolling hills.

The area was originally inhabited by Algonquian-speaking Indians. The French arrived in the 17th century, founding Sault Ste. Marie in 1668 and Detroit in 1701; fur trading was their primary activity. The English gained control of Michigan in 1763 following the French and Indian War, and it passed to the U.S. in 1783. It was included in the Northwest Territory in 1787 and in Indiana Territory in 1800. Michigan Territory was organized on the Lower Peninsula in 1805. Though surrendered to the British in the War of 1812, U.S. rule was restored in 1813 by the victory of Oliver Hazard Perry at the Battle of Lake Erie. A boundary dispute with Ohio, known as the Toledo War, was settled by U.S. President Andrew Jackson, with Michigan receiving the Upper Peninsula and statehood as compensation. In 1837 it became the 26th U.S. state. Throughout the American Civil War, it made major contributions to the Union cause. In the 20th century its economy was dominated by the automotive industry.  "Michigan." Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 9 Nov. 2013. <http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Michigan>.

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