Detroit is the largest city in the state of Michigan, and the 11th most populous city in the United States. It has a population of 871,121 and is 138 square miles in size. Founded by French explorer Antoine Cadillac on July 24, 1701 as Fort Pontchartrain du Détroit, the city reached a peak population of about 1.85 million in 1950, but has now declined to less than half that. It is part of the American Rust Belt, a group of formerly prosperous cities that, due to mismanagement, became so beholden to liberal interests that industry failed, for the most part. Social programs, of which there are many due to the poor economy in these cities, are a continuing drain on Detroit's finances and government.
Designated as America's most liberal city, Detroit is predominantly Democrat. Every mayor in Detroit's recent history was a Democrat. Michigan is a more conservative state, though the population is centered in urban areas such as Detroit. While there are many more Republican counties in the state, Michigan has voted Democratic in every Presidential election after 1988 partly because of the very liberal politics of the state (see Kwame Kilpatrick).
The first permanent structure built in Detroit was a Catholic church.
Detroit is known for being the center of the American auto industry, as well as the home of many long-suffering football fans.