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The state of Michigan, in the Great Lakes Region of the United States, gets its name from the Ojibwe word, "mishigama", which means "big water." It has the longest freshwater shoreline of any geopolitical entity in the world, as it is surrounded by Lakes Erie, Michigan, Huron, Superior, and St. Clair. The capital of the state is Lansing, and its nicknames include the Wolverine State and Great Lakes State. In 1825, the Erie Canal connected the Great Lakes to the Hudson River, making it cheap and easy to ship crops to market. The state Constitution was written in 1835, forming the state of Michigan, but because of a boundary dispute with Ohio, Congress held off on the admittance to the Union. The boundary dispute, known as the Toledo War, lasted from 1835 to 1836. At the center of the dispute was what is now called the Toledo Strip, 468 square miles, which both Ohio and Michigan claimed belonged to them. When Michigan petitioned the federal government for statehood, the disputed territory was included in that package. In 1835, the dispute was first fought with legislation when each of the parties passed laws which were attempts to force the other party to cede the land. When that didn’t work, each side raised its own militia and sent them to their side of the Maumee River near Toledo. Each side also instituted criminal penalties for any citizens who submitted to the other side’s authority. Amazingly, there was only one confrontation, which involved shots being fired into the air but no injuries. In mid-1836, Congress offered a compromise: Michigan would give up its claim to the territory in return for its statehood and 75% of the Upper Peninsula. Michigan voters turned it down, as most of the Upper Peninsula was still Indian territory. At the end of 1836, with President Jackson pressuring them and an economic crisis upon them, Michigan called another convention and accepted the compromise, ending the Toledo War, and creating the state of Michigan.

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