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October 12, 2006

British History in Da UP

Yesterday I managed to inject a small bit of Michigan history into all three of my discussion sections. Tuesday's lecture covered regional differences within the British Isles. The professor told us that Cornwall was a mining district, but that the copper and tin mines were depleted by the early nineteenth century, at which point miners from Cornwall emigrated to other places with mines, but she did not specifically mention the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. For section yesterday, the students read an article about Cornish identity, so, when we discussed this article, I asked how many of them had been to Michigan's UP. At least a few students raised their hands in each section, so I asked them what they eat in the UP. The answer? Pasties. And where do pasties come from? Cornwall? So how did Cornish pasties get into the UP? You have probably guessed it by now, but the UP has its own mining industry -- mostly copper, iron, and silver -- which attracted miners from all over the world, but particularly from Cornwall. One of my favorite things about British history is that it happened all over the world, even right here in Michigan!

Posted by eklanche at October 12, 2006 08:21 AM

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