The Erie canal was a key part of immigration into Michigan. It was a cheap system of transport that led many travelers to Detroit were they soon settled farther inland.
When the civil war erupted, many Michiganians took active roles in battles. Seventy Michigan soldiers were given the medal of honor by the end of the war.
Michigan was a key route for the Underground Railroad. The actual number of freed slaves that came through Michigan is unknown but Michigan was a quick route to Canada with many "stations" along the way.
In 1855, the Soo Locks were created, and they accommodated a vast number of ships and allowed effective and reliable trade across St. Mary's River.
From 1847-1887, Michigan's mines produced more of the copper than any other state, in a huge mineral rush. Since then, copper took a large decline, and copper is no longer mined in Michigan, the last mine closed in 1995.