“Ten Hours or No Sawdust”

“Ten Hours or No Sawdust”     The mid-late 1800’s was a time when what we know as America was beginning to be built.  Labor industries were on the rise and the country was beginning to be connected by railroads.  All of this was possible with lumber and Michigan was a huge contributor.   In Bay City the lumber industry was large and in charge … Continue reading “Ten Hours or No Sawdust”

Strike Hard

The Saginaw Valley Lumber Strike paints an all-too familiar picture of American Capitalism: the rich minority wielding power over those who work underneath them, not realizing (or possibly caring) that manual laborers are human, first and foremost, and are the foundation on which their fortunes rest. In the mid-late 19th century, men flocked from all over the country to get a piece of that lucrative … Continue reading Strike Hard

Saginaw Strikers

Saginaw Strikers   It’s 1885 in Saginaw, MI. Workers are exhausted, overworked, unpaid and ignored by employers. It was either work when and for what your boss told you or your family wasn’t going to have food on the table. Families were struggling, households didn’t know when their next check was coming in or if it would be enough to cover what they needed even … Continue reading Saginaw Strikers

Time To Strike For Laborers

Imagine working a mandatory 11 to 14-hour day for six days a week. Imagine the lack of family time, sleep or even personal space. Your hands have an extreme amount of calluses and you’re suffering with back pain. You’re not only working all this time with kids or animals or something calm and collected, yet, something very dirty and dangerous, lumber fields. In July of … Continue reading Time To Strike For Laborers

Blog Topic #4 for HIS 237

Topic: Using my video, the annotated article (notice that I made some remarks where I disagree with the author), and the texts, discuss the 1885 Saginaw Valley Lumber Strike. The Ten Hour Law (1885), which working men (united under the Knights of Labor) fought for, was not effective enough to protect Michigan’s working men. Although a plethora of strikes were waged in numerous industries over long … Continue reading Blog Topic #4 for HIS 237

History 237 Blog Post #3

The year was 1890, the state of Michigan was just starting to get away from the stagnant republican control and beginning to move towards a democrat state. This move however did not stop mayor elect Hanzen S. Pingree from Detroit from taking office. He was a progressive thinker who was young and full of ideas that would ultimately help the “common man” and this is … Continue reading History 237 Blog Post #3

Social Reforming

There is a bunch of sides people take on government issues. One thing people can pretty much agree on is we all want the best for everyone. Everyone deserves equal opportunity and a good life. Pingree had great actions of being a social reformer, we can compare that to government officials now and who’s job is it to reform society? The mayor of Detroit was … Continue reading Social Reforming

Blog Topic #3 for HIS 237

Topic: Thinking about Hazen Pingree during his time as mayor of Detroit and governor of Michigan, answer the following questions: What actions did Pingree take that made him a social reformer? You may want to think about how this compares or contrasts to current politicians. In a republic such as ours, whose job do you think it is to reform society when it is not running … Continue reading Blog Topic #3 for HIS 237

The One With Michigan Settlers

After distinguishing some rumors about how Michigan was uninhabitable, Michigan decided to follow suite with the rest of the country. New settlers flowing down the Erie Canal from the East coast caused a shift in Michigan’s demographics. With a population on the upswing, new parts of the Mitten were being explored and claimed by eager settlers.  Michigan pioneers were “…ambitious, but poor…”  and  wanted to … Continue reading The One With Michigan Settlers

Michigan’s First Settlers

American pioneers have always had a reputation of being industrious, hardy, and adventurous, but Michiganders took this to a new height. Beginning in 1825, Michigan would escape its reputation as uninhabitable and barren land, with the opening of the Erie Canal. The canal would allow for the first mass migration to Michigan from New England and New York, and thus open Michigan up to the … Continue reading Michigan’s First Settlers

Michigan’s Earliest Settlers

The earliest settlers of Michigan faced hard times as they made their way to the state. When someone decided to leave their home and travel to this state, they needed to be tough and resilient. Upon entering the state back in the 1850’s, travelers were met by towering trees and not much more. Where the trees were missing, the area was likely covered in swampland. … Continue reading Michigan’s Earliest Settlers

Settlers Flock to the New Frontier

  Michigan was described as a peaceful land filled with untouched wilderness as described in one excerpt “.. numerous lakes swarming with fish, and the forest filled with game of all kinds.” (Whitehead, p. 60) and “One could not penetrate the woods far before a deer would be started up..” (Whitehead, p.60) Recall that this was area was intentionally left this way by the French … Continue reading Settlers Flock to the New Frontier

Blog Topic #2 for HIS 237

Topic: This week the class is looking at the early to mid 19th century, especially they will be focusing on those people settling Michigan after it became a state. Given your primary source readings from The Great Water (especially chapter five), discuss life in Michigan for early settlers. What appealed to them about Michigan? What hardships did they experience? What prejudices may early settlers have had … Continue reading Blog Topic #2 for HIS 237

The French Agenda

Late in the year 1700, the French were starting to establish the city of Detroit, Michigan.  A man by the name of Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac had a proposal of measures to establish Detroit, but not without causing issues between the French and the Native Americans. With there being a large population of Iroquois living in that area, there were obvious tensions between the two … Continue reading The French Agenda

French Taking Over

In this piece, “Plan For Detroit” it is clear that the French did not have any respect or understanding of the Native Americans they had just moved next door to. Nor did they plan on it. Upon arrival, Cadillac was already making plans to uproot and change the lives of these ‘savages’ they found in this new world. He did not think that the French … Continue reading French Taking Over

Arrival of the French

     It is October 1700’s, in The Great Water, “Plan for Detroit”, Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac is addressing an unknown source giving him an account on all that he has done thus far with the establishment of Detroit. The unnamed source is his employer, Cadillac giving him a summary of his plan (to an extent) to eradicate the Native Americans that he views as weak … Continue reading Arrival of the French

Not the Cadillac you’re thinking of, Detroit.

There are many symbols of racism through out this piece. Cadillac refers to the Native Americans as “savages” at multipole points throughout this letter. This tells is that he thought the French were more important/civilized. He also says he would like to “teach the young savages the French language, that being the only way to civilize and humanize them” (Thick 21). This is telling us … Continue reading Not the Cadillac you’re thinking of, Detroit.

Blog Topic #1 for HIS 237

Blog Topic: Analyze p. 20-22 “Plan for Detroit” of The Great Water. What does the piece tell us about prejudices Cadillac may have had regarding Native Americans? Why did he write this? What does it tell us about gender norms for Europeans and for Native Americans? How were women used as political pawns in this piece? Continue reading Blog Topic #1 for HIS 237

Michigan History Blog Posts

In our Michigan history class covering the time from first inhabitants of the area through the 1960s, different students will blog weekly in response to the material we covered, as well as questions that I (Professor Amy French) posed to them. Everyone in the class is responsible for commenting. Each week, I will post the blog topic for all our readers to see. –Dr. Amy … Continue reading Michigan History Blog Posts