1922 Encyclopædia Britannica/Michigan

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MICHIGAN (see 18.371). The pop. of Michigan in 1920 was 3,668,412, an increase of 30.5% within the decade. Of the total pop. 61.1% lived in places having at least 2,500 inhabitants, as compared with 47.2% in 1910. This increase in the urban percentage was greater than in any other state in the Union for the decade. The rural pop. underwent a slight actual decrease from 1,483,129 in 1910 to 1,426,852 in 1920.

Education. — In 1917 there were in the state 892,787 children of school age, of whom 633,020 were taught in public schools. In these, particularly in the secondary schools, vocational courses have been added in recent years. At the institutions of higher education attendance greatly increased, especially in 1919 and 1920. Some of the colleges with church connexions shared in this growth; but the chief enlargement has been at the university of Michigan (see Michigan, University of) and the Michigan Agricultural College.

The pop. and rate of increase of the principal cities are shown in the following table:—

1920 1910  Increase 
per cent




 Battle Creek 36,164  25,267  43.1 
 Bay City 47,554  45,166  5.3 
 Detroit  993,739   465,766  113.4 
 Flint 91,599  38,550  137.6 
 Grand Rapids 137,634  112,571  22.3 
 Hamtramck Village  48,615  3,559   1,266.0 
 Highland Park 46,499  4,120  1,028.6 
 Jackson 48,374  31,433  53.9 
 Kalamazoo 48,858  39,437  23.9 
 Lansing 57,327  31,229  83.6 
 Muskegon 36,570  24,062  52.0 
 Pontiac 34,273  14,532  135.8 
 Port Huron 25,944  18,863  37.5 
 Saginaw 61,903  50,510  22.6 


To add to the facilities for higher education, “junior colleges,” with curricula covering two years of college work, have been established in Detroit, Grand Rapids, Muskegon, Pontiac and Highland Park, in connexion with their secondary-school systems.

Agriculture. — In 1910 there were 196,447 farms in Michigan, a decrease of 10,513, or 5.1%, as compared with 1910. During the decade all farm land increased from 18,940,614 ac. to 19,632,961 ac.; improved land increased from 12,832,078 ac. to 12,925,521 acres. During the same period the average acreage per farm increased from 91.5 to 96.9, and the average value of land per acre increased from $32.48 to $50.40.

The farming area of Michigan continues to be concentrated mainly in the southern part of the lower peninsula of the state. In the upper peninsula, farms comprise less than 10% of the land area. The area nominally in woodland, including farm woodlots as well as forests and cut-over lands, comprises nearly two-thirds of the surface of the state; but of this area not more than about 5,000,000 ac., nine-tenths of which lies in the upper peninsula, now bear timber worth cutting. Most of the rest has come to be stump lands, on which the recurrence of fires prevents any spontaneous reforestation. The barrenness of the sandy soil and the shortness of the growing-season have hindered the reduction of land to cultivation, and some 10,000,000 ac. (more than one-fourth of the total surface of the state) are thus a deforested desert. Several thousand acres of it revert to the state each year in default of taxes. These reverted tracts, comprising 566,850 ac. in 1918, are administered by the Public Domain Commission (created in 1915) with a view to the sale of such as can be used as agricultural homesteads and to the setting aside of the rest as forest reserves. These forest reserves, 145,035 ac. in 1920, are under state forest management for the prevention of fires and for systematic reforestation. In 1920 some 9,000 ac. had been replanted.

Minerals. — In mineral production no new resources of importance were developed during the decade 1910-20. The mining of iron ore has continued vigorously. The production of copper was pushed to the fullest capacity during the World War; but the severe decline of the market after the Armistice caused a sharp reduction of output. In contrast with its great prosperity in many preceding years, the Calumet & Hecla Co., the largest of the Michigan copper producers, experienced from its operations a loss of $652,286 in 1919 and $4,161,832 in 1920.

Manufactures. — The industrial survey of the U. S. census of 1920 was not yet available in Nov. 1921. The manufactured products in 1914 were valued at $1,086,162,432, as compared with $685,109,000 in 1909, an increase of 58.5% in five years. This advance was mainly due to the extraordinary growth of the automobile industry and its concentration in the state. The number of automobiles manufactured increased from 9,125 with a value of $7,996,534 in 1904 to 64,800 with a value of $96,651,451 in 1909 to 443,072 valued at $398,289,022 in 1914. In value this was 62.9% of the whole product of automobiles in the United States in 1914. In more recent years this industry has continued its rapid enlargement. It is estimated for the year 1920 that of the nearly 2,000,000 automobiles made in the United States more than two-thirds were produced in Michigan. The number of wage-earners engaged in the making of automobiles and their parts in 1914 was 67,538, constituting 24.9% of the total number of wage-earners in the state; and these were probably quadrupled in number and doubled in percentage by 1920. The sharp decline in the demand for automobiles near the end of 1920, however, caused the closing of so many factories that the proportion of labourers unemployed in Michigan exceeded that of any other state in the Union.

As the production of Automobiles increased the making of horse-drawn vehicles diminished, from 174,889 carriages and 52,273 wagons in 1904 to 25,265 and 11,454 respectively in 1914. The value of timber products remained about stationary, $58,523,217 in 1914, and the product of flour and grist mills likewise. The output of furniture, leather, chemicals, beet sugar, paper and wood pulp substantially increased.

The 11 leading manufacturing centres in the order of the value of their products in 1914 were, Detroit, Flint, Grand Rapids, Lansing, Battle Creek, Kalamazoo, Saginaw, Jackson, Pontiac, Muskegon, and Bay City. Detroit (see Detroit) maintained an easy primacy. Flint rose rapidly after 1904, standing second in 1914 by virtue of its automobile factories. The product of these and their ancillary foundries and machine shops comprised in 1914 more than nine-tenths of the total value of the city's manufactures. Lansing's rise from seventh to fourth place and Pontiac's great growth were likewise due to their automobile industries. Grand Rapids continued to be the focus of the American furniture industry, and Battle Creek maintained its predominance in cereal preparations.

Finance. — Appropriations by the Legislature, $5,929,306 in 1909, advanced steadily to $9,610,553 in 1915, and then much more rapidly to $17,432,512 in 1919. The volume of the general property tax, which comprised nearly all of the state's revenue, lagged behind the appropriations at the close of the decade 1910-20, and the prospect of a treasury deficit in 1921 caused the passage of a law for a tax on corporation franchises as an emergency recourse. This was expected to yield some $6,000,000 in the two years following.

Legislation and Administration. — Amendments added to the revised constitution of 1908 provided for popular initiative and referendum on constitutional amendments and in legislation (1913); for the recall of elected officials (1915); for prohibition (1916); for woman suffrage (adopted in 1917 after having been successively rejected in 1912 and 1913), and for the issue of state bonds to the amount of $50,000,000 for the improvement of highways. (1917). The provisions for initiative, referendum and recall have as yet found little utilization, but the issue of highway bonds facilitated a marked improvement of roads. An increase of the licence charges on automobiles has also increased the road funds, the application of which is largely determined by an Act of the Legislature (1915) establishing a system of state trunk roads. Among other noteworthy enactments by the Legislature are the Judicature Act of 1915, consolidating and revising the laws of civil practice and procedure; the “blue sky” law of 1913 and the creation of the Michigan Securities Commission in 1915 to regulate the sale of securities; the provision for juvenile courts (1911); the creation of a board of mediation and conciliation to deal with labour disputes (1915); a department of state police (1919); and a budget commission (1919).

The World War. — Colonel Bersey, Adjutant General, estimated the number of men who entered the military or naval service from Michigan during the World War at 175,000 to 200,000, and the number who lost their lives at 3,200. The Government reports were not yet complete in Nov. 1921 and were not to include the many men from Michigan who served in the Polish, Canadian or other armies.

The following figures as to Michigan's participation in the Liberty Loans are taken from the official reports of the Loans and Currency Division of the Treasury Department, and differ slightly from the totals reported by the state bank commissioner, 1919:—

Loans Quota Amount
Subscribed
Accepted




 First  $  56,172,800   $  65,819,750   $  44,914,950 
 Second  82,550,000  115.530,550  104,380,500 
 Third 83,600,000  107,671,400  107,436,900 
 Fourth 152,400,000  177,349,000  176,102,700 
 Fifth 115,425,000  155,787,450  125,372,300 


Political History. — Since 1910 there generally have been large Republican majorities in state and national elections, without appreciable representation of any other parties in the state Legislature. In the presidential election of 1912, however, Michigan gave its electoral vote to the Progressive ticket, and in 1912 and 1914 it elected a Democrat as governor. The governors of Michigan, 1911-21, were: Chase S. Osborn (Rep.), 1911-3; Woodbridge N. Ferris (Dem.), 1913-7; Albert E. Sleeper (Rep.), 1917-21; Alexander J. Groesbeck (Rep.), 1921- . In a conspicuous contest in 1918 Truman H. Newberry (Rep.) was elected to the U.S. Senate by a narrow majority over Henry Ford (Dem.). Charges of excessive expenditures in this campaign were brought against Senator Newberry and numerous associates, and they were convicted in the U.S. District Court (1920) and were sentenced to two years' imprisonment. The U.S. Supreme Court set aside the conviction May 2 1921; on Jan. 12 1922 the U.S. Senate decided by a vote of 46 to 41 that Newberry was entitled to his seat. (U. B. P.)