Turbulent Times

“In other words being antislavery did not necessarily translate to racial tolerance.” (Thick, pg. 209) There was a plethora of discontent in Michigan starting in the 1960s and even before. Civil rights movements were at an all time high and there was no end in site. The sit-ins and unfortunate riots, among other things started the civil rights movement that would hopefully get rid of … Continue reading Turbulent Times

Segregated People Rise Up!

  “There is nothing more dangerous than to build a society with a large segment of people in that society who feel that they have no stake in it, who feel like they have nothing to lose. People who have stake in their society protect that society, but when they don’t have it, they unconsciously want to destroy it.” This great quote by Reverend Martin … Continue reading Segregated People Rise Up!

Detroit Uprising of 1967

Detroit’s riot in the summer of 1967 was the most costly in the nation’s history (Rubenstein and Ziewacz, p.284).  Besides accounting for more than $50 million in property damage, it also took a heavier toll in the deaths of 44 people and more than 5,000 people left homeless.  Once touted as a model city, Detroit had devolved into a city in economic chaos and racial … Continue reading Detroit Uprising of 1967

Blog Topic #7 for HIS 237

Topic: Although we often think of the civil rights movement and racial problems as a southern issue, as you read and watched–both civil rights agitation and racism existed in Michigan. Riots broke out all over the nation in the summer of 1967, but especially impacted Detroit. Why did the riots occur? What were race relations like in Michigan during the 1960s? Continue reading Blog Topic #7 for HIS 237

The New Deal and Unionism in Michigan

The 1937 Flint sit-down strikes consisted of multiple peaceful strikes that took place on the property of General Motors in hopes of taking down the leading automotive manufacture in the United States. The UAW formed in 1935 and soon realized their small peaceful rallies were not taking hold and making a big impact. As automotive workers were overworked and underpaid while working in dangerous conditions … Continue reading The New Deal and Unionism in Michigan


The Flint Sit-Down Strike of 1937 erupted because of the way GM workers were treated by their employers. The working conditions were extremely dangerous and the pay workers received, really didn’t accumulate to the hours they worked. Union Organizations found this as the perfect opportunity to step in and support the workers. The Flint Sit-Down strike is Known as the most important strike in American … Continue reading THE FLINT SIT-DOWN STRIKE OF 1937/ THE NEW DEAL

Women Moving Forward

Social change was in the air, and in 1867, Michigan passed legislation that enabled tax paying women to vote in school election and later in 1908 to vote on bond issues. Obviously there were objections to women voting with a host of excuses and political rhetoric about “rights” what is, and isn’t a right for another person. I’ve always found it so simple and sweet … Continue reading Women Moving Forward

Women’s Suffrage

The mid 1800s to the early 1900s in Michigan saw many uplifting pieces of legislation, such as the ten-hour work day, no work on Sundays, and a commission for minimum wage for women. Even a law that removed the husband’s retention of his wife’s earnings (Women’s Suffrage). Even though these reforms and legislations were huge in the progression of ourselves as a state and a … Continue reading Women’s Suffrage

Blog Topic #5 for HIS 237

Topic: The group that we call the Progressives engaged in many types of reform: prohibition, child labor, birth control, municipal “housekeeping,” workplace safety, woman suffrage, political reform, tenement reform, labor laws for women, and pure food and drugs to name a few. Which reform do you think was the most successful?  (Be as specific and unbiased as possible in your answer–your answer shouldn’t reflect your … Continue reading Blog Topic #5 for HIS 237

Saginaw Strike of 1885

The 1885 Saginaw Valley Strike, “10 Hours or No Sawdust” became the largest strike in Michigan for lumber workers.  The Mills were the biggest industry in that area which proved hundreds of jobs from milling, cutting lumber and loading to many more jobs within the company. The Bay City and Saginaw Mills provided lumber to major cities in the country. (Bay-Journal) Over the years the … Continue reading Saginaw Strike of 1885

Lumber Strikes in the Bay Area

Back in the late 19th Century the lumber industry was the biggest industry in the area. Hundreds of men worked in the industry doing things from cooking, scouting, milling, and cutting lumber. Most men were ok with how their jobs were doing, but some realized that their working conditions were atrocious. These men realized that they were working for upwards of twelve hours a day … Continue reading Lumber Strikes in the Bay Area

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

Pingree and his Reform

Having elected someone into office, whether it be the mayor, president, congress, etc. you would want the person to fight for the good of the people and serve them well right? Hazen S. Pingree was the man for that. Pingree was a wealthy businessman with no prior political experience before 1889, but in 1890 that changed for him. He was elected mayor of Detroit in … Continue reading Pingree and his Reform

Politician of the People

Pingree’s Potato Patches Hazen Pingree was first elected as Mayor of Detroit in 1890 and then served as Governor of Michigan from 1896 until 1901 (Rubenstein and Ziewacz, p. 126).  Pingree’s political legacy was that of social reform, and earned him the reputation as a politician of the people (French, Pingree video) .  As a young, wealthy and progressive Republican, Pingree brought about reform by … Continue reading Politician of the People

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 Land! The Water!

Michigan had, and always will have a lot to offer in the sense of farming and fishing. The pioneers were smart to be drawn to Michigan as a means of growing a family and/or business. This was their motivation for moving from their current locations. Some pioneers were hesitant because they knew they would have to cohabitate with the native Americans. This reluctance really depended … Continue reading The Land! The Water!

The People of Michigan

Life in Michigan in early 19th century was difficult. There were great opportunities, so many thousands of people flocked to the state after they found that it was not swamp land. They opened the state through the use of water and train. The roads in the 19th century were nearly as bad as what we have today. All of the stories talked about how many … Continue reading The People of Michigan

Bumpy Road Ahead!

Oh, what the settlers would have given for 4-wheel drive! How amazing to look around at your current surroundings and read of the historical accounts of what it used to look like. Early settlers were attracted to Michigan for its untapped resources. Lakes full of fish, woods as far as the eye can see full of wild animals for hunt and room to harvest crops. … Continue reading Bumpy Road Ahead!

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

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

Plan For Detroit Letter

Cadillac had a lot of prejudices towards the Native Americans. The Iroquois were his main strategic opponents, labeling them as “savages.” Cadillac also boasts superiority both militarily and mentally over the Iroquois by confidently reassuring the recipient of the letter that if the Iroquois are not peaceful, they will be ruined irretrievably. He wants to use the Iroquois as pawns in his own game to … Continue reading Plan For Detroit Letter