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Government of Michigan

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Michigan has a republican form of government with three branches of government: the executive branch consisting of the Governor of Michigan and the other independently elected constitutional officers; the legislative branch consisting of the House of Representatives and Senate; and the judicial branch consisting of the one court of justice. The state also allows direct participation of the electorate by initiative, referendum, recall, and ratification.[1]

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • ✪ Why Michigan and Ohio Went to War | State Rivalries


Hello viewer. What’s happening? I am Mr. Beat, and in this video I’m going to tell you all about why two states within the United States hate each other. Michigan and Ohio This is one part of a second batch of episodes of a series in which Cypher from the Cynical Historian and myself look at state rivalries. It's called "State Rivalries" because we're not that original with titles of shows. Anyway, Cypher has a video looking at West Virginia versus Virginia, so be sure to check out his video after watching this one. But first, it's Michigan versus Ohio. Today, when Americans think of a Michigan and Ohio rivalry, they think of college football. “The Game,” is a major no no...not the rapper The Game Just "The Game." Yeah is a major match-up each year between the Michigan Wolverines and the Ohio State Buckeyes. It’s one of the most well known sports rivalries around, mostly due to the fact that geographically the schools are close, and the two football teams are usually both very good and competing for their conference championship. The two teams have played every year since 1918, and the rivalry actually goes all the way back to 1897. At that first game in 1897, In the stands at the game were at least some fans who were alive when their two states freaking went to war with each other, and I’m sure this helped fuel the rivalry. Yep, you heard that right. Michigan and Ohio went to war with each other. But before we get there, let’s go back away. The story begins with the Northwest Ordinance of 1787, which the United States passed to create the Northwest Territory, the first organized territory in the country. It stretched from the Appalachian Mountains to the Mississippi River, between British North America and the Great Lakes in the north and the Ohio River in the south. In order to create future states, the U.S. gave Ohio Country a northern boundary that went from the southern tip of Lake Michigan straight east to Lake Erie. North of this line would be the future state of Michigan. South of this line, the future state of Ohio. However, the cartographers who drew up the map of the border didn’t do a good job. The maps do you say...inaccurate, to say the least. Like this map, which showed the border giving Ohio the entire eastern coast of Lake Erie and even possibly Detroit. During the Ohio constitutional convention of 1802, a fur trapper showed up and said the northern boundary was actually much further south. In fact, south of a crucial waterway out of Lake Erie called the Maumee River. Stewie: Mommy Mommy Mommy Well this freaked the Ohioans out. Hoping to push their luck, they went ahead and made the northern border just north of the Maumee River, and hoped the federal government wouldn’t notice when it admitted Ohio as a state in 1803. Well guess what. People noticed. In 1805, when folks tried to establish the territory of Michigan, surveyors, realized the southern tip of Lake Michigan was further south of the Maumee River. So, there was a classic border dispute. And for many years, the federal government did not step in. Finally, in 1817, it sent a dude named Edward Tiffin to check it out. His team concluded that the border that went just north of the Maumee, as recognized by the Ohio constitution, was indeed the accurate one. The problem, though, was that Tiffin might have been a little bit biased. You see, he used to be the governor of Ohio. So of course Michiganders were gonna protest. Michigan Territorial Governor Lewis Cass went to President James Monroe to ask for another survey at the border. The second team, led by John Fulton, came out to more accurately put the border directly east of the southern tip of Lake Michigan, which was well south of the mouth of the Maumee River. After both surveys, a strip of land about eight miles wide in the east and five miles wide in the west was in limbo, with claims from both Ohio and Michigan Territory. Folks later called it the Toledo strip, after the prominent town of Toledo was established where the Maumee River meets Lake Erie in 1833. So yeah, you’ve heard of Toledo, Michigan, right? Right? Anyway, Cypher, I have to go to the bathroom, so do you think you could just distract them or entertain them for awhile, while I do that? Maybe tell them why the Toledo Strip was so important to have? Cypher: Sure, Mr. Beat You can take a break. Mr. Beat: Thank you Cypher: Well, hey, Cypher here. Toledo doesn't seem that important anymore, right? I mean, how many people have even heard of it? No offense to Toledoans, but it doesn't really seem worth fighting over. Well for one, having more territory is always nice, I guess. I mean, talk to California and Texas about that. But the area wasn’t called the Toledo Strip for nothing. Toledo was a small trading town in 1835, right on the north side of the mouth of Maumee River, which feeds into Lake Erie. At the time, watercraft were the fastest way to get around. And everyone was planning on building a canal that would connect that river to the Ohio River, and thereby make a water passage all the way from New Orleans to New York. They'd go up the Mississippi, through the Ohio across the canal up on the Maumee River, into Lake Erie and then down the Erie Canal, all the way to the Hudson Before trains took over, water transport was key to economic power. That canal was eventually completed in 1845, so controlling that vital river meant controlling a significant amount of trade. That’s a lot of power, and no one wanted to give it up. They had ample reason to fight over the territory. But Mr. Beat can tell you about that. So that’s it. Mr. Beat? Are you there? Yeah. Yeah, sorry about that. There was a line. I'm so sorry. Anyway, the Toledo Strip was fairly peaceful until about December 11, 1833. That's when all of sudden Michigan decides it wants to become a state. Ohio Congressmen were like “nope, we’re not letting you become a state, Michigan, unless you agree to the boundary we want.” Ohio governor Robert Lucas didn’t even want to negotiate with Michigan on the border AT ALL. In fact, he made the Toledo Strip a new Ohio county and Ohioans even named it after him. In response, Stevens T. Mason, the 22-year old Michigan Territorial Governor was like, “excuse me?!?” and sent a militia to the Toledo Strip, ordering them to arrest anyone in the area acting on behalf of the state of Ohio. This was the beginning of what became known as the Toledo War. Governor Lucas responded by sending Ohio’s militia to the Toledo Strip. Meanwhile, Governor Mason and his militia had taken over the town of Toledo. Governor Lucas did not advance on the town, however, so there was a stalemate. The only “battle” of the Toledo War was the so-called Battle of Phillips Corners, which was a small skirmish on April 26, 1835, in which Michiganders fired at Ohioans. No one was injured. In fact, the only reported injury for the “war” was one dude getting stabbed in the leg. The Toledo War was mostly spying, fear-mongering, and hype. The fear-mongering, by the way, led to Ohioans calling Michiganders “Wolverines,” since wolverines were pesky little monsters. Michiganders ended up embracing the nickname, however, and today it’s the official mascot of the aforementioned University of Michigan. Anyway, the Toledo War did catch the attention of President Andrew Jackson. He quickly sent representatives out there to try to solve the crisis. These representatives tried to get Ohio and Michigan to both govern the Toledo Strip until the United States Congress could figure out a compromise. The Ohio legislature was cool with this, but Governor Mason refused the proposal, so Ohio moved its militia even closer to the Michigan militia. Ultimately, President Jackson removed Mason as the Michigan Territorial Governor for not cooperating with his representatives and replaced him with a dude named John Horner. Don’t worry, Mason would be back later as the YOUNGEST GOVERNOR IN AMERICAN HISTORY at 23 years old. Anyway, Horner played along, and on June 15, 1836 President Jackson ratified a compromise between him and Governor Lucas. Ohio would get Toledo and Michigan would get most of the Upper Peninsula and get to finally become a state. The Toledo War, which again wasn’t much of a war, was over. Ok, yeah so Toledo, OHIO. That sounds much more familiar. So what about the rivalry between the two states ever since? It’s pretty much just been sports. Today, if you ask the average Michigander or Ohioan about the state rivalry, the first thing that comes to mind is the hatred of either the Michigan Wolverines or the Ohio Buckeyes. There’s also the professional sport rivalries to a lesser extent, depending on how good each team is. So sports. The over a century-long rivalries of sports teams. Most will not bring up the time that the two states WENT TO WAR WITH EACH OTHER. But ask the locals who won the Toledo War and you might get different answers. Sure, Ohio got Toledo and the waterway, but that waterway became much less important after the invention of the railroad, and Michigan got some mad natural resources in the Upper Peninsula. So who do YOU think got the better deal? Ohio or Michigan? Let me know in the comments below. And as always, if you are actually from one of these two states, I want to hear from you. Don’t forget to check out why West Virginia and Virginia hate each other over on Cypher’s channel The Cynical Historian. And finally, if there are other state rivalries that you think we should cover for this series let us know. Thank you so much for watching.


Legislative branch

The House Chamber of the Michigan State Capitol in Lansing
The House Chamber of the Michigan State Capitol in Lansing

The Michigan Legislature is the state legislature of the U.S. state of Michigan. It is organized as a bicameral institution consisting of the Senate, the upper house, and the House of Representatives, the lower house. Article IV of the Michigan Constitution, adopted in 1963, defines the role of the legislature and how it is to be constituted. Legislative acts are published in the official Acts of the Legislature and codified in the Michigan Compiled Laws.[2] The Michigan Legislature meets in the Michigan State Capitol in Lansing, Michigan. Michigan is one of ten states to have a full-time legislature.[3][4]

  • State Officers Compensation Commission

The State officers compensation commission, consisting of seven governor appointed members, exists to set salaries for the governor and other elected officials, unless a two-thirds majority in both legislative chambers turned it down.[5]

  • Independent redistricting commission

The independent redistricting commission draws up legislative and Congressional districts after each census. The 13 non-office holding members consisting of five independent members, four self-declared Democrats and four self-declared Republicans, would be selected randomly by the Secretary of State from submitted applications.[6]

A Commission on legislative apportionment was written into the 1963 state constitution. however given weight land factors for state senatorial districts provided for in the same state constitution that were interdependent and not severable was found unconstitutional by the United States Supreme Court in Reynolds v Sims (1964) for violating the Equal Protection Clause of the United States Constitution.[7] This commission was transferred to the Department of State under the Executive Organization Act OF 1965.[8] The state legislature has apportioned districts after census until 2020 as the November 6, 2018 general election proposal 2 created a constitutional independent redistricting commission.[6]

Executive branch

Michigan's elected executive officers are:[1]

For elected single person executives, term limits of two terms were put into place in 1993.[1] Since 1966, the Lieutenant Governor is elected with the Governor on the same ticket.[9] The Lieutenant Governor is the President of the Michigan Senate[1] and acts as the governor when the Governor is unable to execute the office, including whenever the Governor leaves the state. The Governor is the principal executive officer with the power of veto, appointment, reorganize executive government, budget proposal and other powers.[1]

The Grand Tower in Lansing
The Grand Tower in Lansing

The two other elected constitutional executives of the state are the Secretary of State and Attorney General. Both are elected separately for four-year terms concurrently with the governor/lieutenant governor slate. The elected officeholders are second and third in the line of succession respectively and may act as governor during disabilities or absences from the state. The Attorney General is the state's chief law enforcement officer, executive agencies legal counsel and leads the Department of the Attorney General. The Secretary of State and its department handles automobile-related licensing, elections and record holding.[1]


The 1963 Constitution requires that all permanent agencies or commissions, except universities, be assigned to one of a maximum of 20 principal departments.[1] The principal departments are the Department of:[10][11]

Type 1 agencies are under the administration of the agency but operate independently of the principal department in carrying out its function and in most cases created by a type 1 transfer.[12] Regulations are published in the Michigan Register (MR) and codified in the Michigan Administrative Code (MAC or AC).[13][14][15]


The state board of Education is a statewide elected board that head the Michigan Department of Education which oversees all education except that of the state universities.[1]

Michigan's state universities are immune from control by the legislature, many aspects of the executive branch, and cities in which they are located; but they are not immune from the authority of the courts. Some degree of political control is exercised as the legislature approves appropriations for the schools. Furthermore, the governor appoints the board of control of most state universities with the advice and consent of the state Senate. Only the board members of the University of Michigan, Michigan State University, and Wayne State University are chosen in general elections.

Judicial branch

The court system consists of the Michigan Supreme Court, the Michigan Court of Appeals as the intermediate appellate court, the circuit courts and district courts as the two primary trial courts, and several administrative courts and specialized courts. The Supreme Court administers all the courts. The Michigan Supreme Court consists of seven members who are elected on non-partisan ballots for staggered eight-year terms, while state appellate court judges are elected to terms of six years and vacancies are filled by an appointment by the governor, and circuit court and district court judges are elected to terms of six years.

Local government

Lansing City Hall
Lansing City Hall

Michigan is largely divided in the same way as many other U.S. states, but is distinct in its usage of charter townships. Michigan ranks 13th among the 50 states in terms of the number of local governmental entities.

The state is divided into 83 counties, and further divided into 1,240 townships, 276 cities, and 257 villages. Additionally, the state consists of 553 school districts, 57 intermediate school districts, 14 planning and development regions, and over 300 special districts and authorities.[16]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "Chapter 2: About State Government" (PDF). Michigan In Brief: 1998–99. Public Sector Consultants, Inc. 1999.
  2. ^ Browne, William P.; VerBurg, Kenneth (1995). Michigan Politics and Government: Facing Change in a Complex State. Politics and Governments of the American States. University of Nebraska Press. p. 349. ISBN 0-8032-6088-1. LCCN 94-18928.
  3. ^ "States with a full-time legislature". Ballotpedia. Retrieved July 7, 2017.
  4. ^ National Conference of State Legislatures. "Full- and Part-Time Legislatures". National Conference of State Legislatures. Retrieved July 7, 2017.
  5. ^ Harrison, Wilma L. (ed.). "2: About State Government". Michigan in Brief: 2002–03 (PDF). Public Sector Consultants. p. 9. Retrieved January 8, 2019.
  6. ^ a b Gibbons, Lauren (November 6, 2018). "Voters Not Politicians declares victory for Proposal 2". MLive Lansing. Mlive Media Group. Retrieved January 8, 2019.
  7. ^ "Constitution of Michigan of 1963 Articl IV Legislative Branch Section 2 & 6" (PDF). State of Michigan. Retrieved January 8, 2019.
  8. ^ "Michigan Legislature - Section 16.132". State of Michigan. Retrieved January 8, 2019.
  9. ^ Dunbar, Willis F.; May, George S. (1995). Michigan: A History of the Wolverine State (3rd ed.). Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing. p. 585. ISBN 0-8028-7055-4. LCCN 95-13128.
  10. ^ MCL 16.104
  11. ^ "Executive Branch". State of Michigan.
  12. ^ "T". Glossary. Michigan State Budget Office. Retrieved January 25, 2013.
  13. ^ Browne & VerBurg (1995), p. 349.
  14. ^ Administrative Rules in Michigan: A Manual of Style and Procedures (PDF). Michigan Legislative Service Bureau. 2003. pp. 6–8.
  15. ^ Koscielniak, Kimberly (January 2002). "Finding Michigan Agency Materials" (PDF). Michigan Bar Journal. 81 (1).
  16. ^ "Michigan's System of Local Government" (PDF). Michigan Manual 2005-2006. pp. 715–718. Retrieved May 15, 2007.

External links

This page was last edited on 27 January 2020, at 19:31
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