Why isn't Michigan considered two states?

I was just looking at a map and noticed that the penisulas are NOT connected (I didn’t know that until now). So why are both of them named Michigan? Or, why didn’t they just make the western penisula a part of Wisconsin?

From WikiPedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Upper_Peninsula

When the Michigan Territory was first established, it included only the Lower Peninsula and the eastern portion of the Upper Peninsula. In 1819 the territory was expanded to include the remainder of the Upper Peninsula, all of Wisconsin, and part of Minnesota (previously included in the Indiana and Illinois Territories). But when Michigan was preparing for statehood in the 1830s, the boundaries proposed corresponded to the original territorial boundaries, with some proposals even leaving the Upper Peninsula out entirely.

Meanwhile, the territory was involved in a border dispute with the state of Ohio in a conflict known as the Toledo War. The people of Michigan approved a constitution in May 1835 and had elected state officials in late autumn 1835. Although the state government was unrecognized by the United States Congress, the territorial government effectively ceased to exist. A constitutional convention of the state legislature refused a compromise to accept the full Upper Peninsula in exchange for ceding the Toledo Strip to Ohio. A second convention, hastily convened by Governor Stevens Thomson Mason, consisting primarily of Mason supporters, finally agreed to accept the U.P. for the Toledo Strip in December 1836. In January 1837, the U.S. Congress admitted Michigan as a state of the Union. At the time, Michigan was considered the losing party in the deal because of the apparently less valuable land, but the Upper Peninsula’s rich mineral wealth was soon discovered, and Michigan instead seemed the winner.

Of course, could be that someone planned on damming Lake Michigan and doing a bit of reclamation work.

First, Certainly they are connected! Michigan spent several tens of millions of dollars (in 1950’s currency) constructing the Mackinac Bridge to connect them.

Second, do you have the same concern regarding the separation of Maryland and Virginia with portions of those states separated by Chesapeake Bay? How about Hawaii, scattered across a group of islands? Just curious. :smiley:

Damn you Lake Michigan! Git offa mah propity! ::: shakes fist :::

Also, it should be noted that the Upper Penninsula has never really had enough people to form a viable state. It’s very sparsely populated up there.

Hoq about:


Allusion Islands Alaska

Believe me, we all wish we were part of Wisconsin as well.

I catch the reference, but you meant ‘Aleutian Islands’. :wink:

I did think about Hawaii, but they are an isolated group of islands, it seems logical that they made all of them the same state.

I knew it looked wrong, but that’s what you get when using google as a spell checker. There were too many pages out there with that spelling I guess.

We’d be happy to have all you Yoopers.

Heck, Maine was part of Massachusetts until 1820 and they were separated by NH even then.

Well, when the Principality of Northshield (North/South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Ontario) became a Kingdom in its own right by separating from the Midrealm (north-central United States, mostly), the Freehold of Skerjastrond (Marquette, MI, aka, da UP, eh), which wasn’t part of the Principality, chose to leave the Middle Kingdom as well and become part of the Kingdom of Northshield, because they would commonly travel to other shires and baronies in Northshield, but only rarely down to other groups which would be remaining within the Middle Kingdom after the separation.

But, that’s just in the SCA, so it probably doesn’t count.

Forget about Michigan - you can draw a connected border that joins the two halves (although part of it goes over water).

But what about Kentucky, the extreme western part of which is cvompletely separated from the rest by its neighboring states of Tennessee and MKissouri? You can’t draw a single boundary for it on a map – you have to cross another state to get from the extreme western end to the rest of the state. (You need to look at a very detailed map to see this, though.)

As for why it’s that way – it’s that course-changing Mississippi River than cut through the state like that.

Actually, we’ve been over the “Kentucky Bend” a few times before. It was not caused by the Mississippi changing it’s course after the border was established, if that’s what you meant, nor by the New Madrid quake (another common misconception). That may have caused the physical feature in question, but it was already in place when the border was decided. The border anomoly itself it a result of early surveyor’s estimates concerning where their line would cross the Mississippi - those surveys were conducted some years after New Madrid (1812). The area is part of the Jackson Purchase, which happened in 1818.