Michigan Governors - Educator Notes
The four biographies presented in this lesson are tied to 4 pivotal event in Michigans history.
Stevens T. Mason, often referred to as the Boy Governor, was Michigans first governor. His aggressive action that led to statehood caused Michigan to become embroiled in the Toledo War. The results of the Toledo War led to the acquisition of the Upper Peninsula, a trade that even today adds wealth to the state.
Austin Blair, the War Governor, was a great contributor to the Civil War effort. He is known for his progressive ideas about slavery that let him to propose that any reference to race be removed from the state constitution relating to voting rights two decades before the Civil War. His patriotic zeal drove Michigans extraordinary participation in the Civil War and his nickname, the Soldiers Friend came from the time and attention he devoted to writing and visiting soldiers and widows of the war.
Frank Murphys experiences as a teacher for new emigrants ignited in him a desire to help the poor and weak. His strong political beliefs led him to take an unprecedented position in support of unions at a critical time in their development enabled the UAW to be successful during the Flint Strikes.
George Romney is an example of a self made man, successful entrepreneur, who also had a successful political career. His volunteerism that helped create a new state constitution and his participation in a committee drew attention to the problems faced by the Detroit Schools. He left his position as Chairman of American Motors to Governor of Michigan just in time to face the Detroit riots of 1968.
Governor Timeline: using chronological navigation, students can read about each Governor.
Gameshow: Each Governor asks multiple-choice questions about themselves to the student based on their timelines.
Each of these men faced tough, trying times in there terms which demanded their full attention. The decisions they made during these times shaped their careers and legacy.
Making these decisions relied on these Governors using their Core Democratic Values. These values were used to do what these men cosidered the correct choice for the good of the State of Michigan. Had the men chosen different routes during these times, the history of the State may have been much different.
Use these materials to create a debate in your classroom. This debate should weigh these decisions and students should explore alternate routes.
Debate Issue: "Should Governor Murphy have instructed the National Guard to remove the sit-down strikers from General Motors property?"
You will be graded on the following criteria, so be sure your statement includes each of the elements listed below: