Michigan’s closeness to Canada has always made Canada its chief source of foreign immigrants. The harshness of the land and weather on the Upper Peninsula made farming impossible, so that immigrants did not come in large numbers until mining and logging became profitable.
The Upper Peninsula’s economy boomed during the last years of the nineteenth century and the first decades of the twentieth.
With the growth of the automotive industry, Detroit’s position on the Great Lakes, close to transportation from
In 1960, Michigan counted almost 400,000 residents who still spoke their ancestral languages at home. Half of them lived in Detroit. There,
Michigan’s location continued to make the state an attractive target for Canadians even after World War II. As late as 1980, Canada was the largest source of foreign-born residents. In 2000, almost 39,000 Michigan residents–most probably from Canada’s Quebec province–reported speaking French at home.
May, George S. Michigan: A History of the Wolverine State. Grand Rapids, Mich.: William B. Eerdmans, 1995. _______. Michigan: The Great Lakes State. Sun Valley, Calif.: American Historical Press, 2005. Michigan: Collected Works of the Federal Writers’ Project. Bel Air, Calif.: Reprint Services Corporation, 1991.
New York State