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The State of Illinois is a state of the United States of America and the 21st state admitted to the Union. Illinois is the most populous state in the Midwest and the fifth most populous in the nation, and has a large and cosmopolitan population. Its balance of vast suburbs and the great metropolis of Chicago in the northeast, rural areas, small industrial cities, and renowned agricultural productivity in central and western Illinois, and the coal mines of the south give it a highly diverse economic base. Its central location, connecting the Great Lakes to the Mississippi River via the Illinois River, made it a transportation hub for 150 years. It is this mixture of factory and farm, of urban and rural, that makes Illinois a microcosm of the United States.
About 2,000 Native American hunters and a small number of French villagers inhabited the area at the time of the American Revolution. American settlers began arriving from Kentucky in the 1810s; they achieved statehood in 1818. Yankees arrived a little later and dominated the north, founding the future metropolis of Chicago in the 1830s. The coming of the railroads in the 1850s made highly profitable the rich prairie farmlands in central Illinois, attracting large numbers of immigrant farmers from Germany and Sweden. Northern Illinois provided major support for Illinoisans Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses S. Grant during the American Civil War. By 1900, factories were being rapidly built in the northern cities, along with coal mines in central and southern areas. This industrialization attracted large numbers of immigrants from Eastern and Southern Europe, and also led to the state's material contribution as a major arsenal in both world wars. In addition to immigrants from Europe, large numbers of blacks left the cotton fields of the South to come to Chicago, where they developed a famous jazz culture.
News from The Chigago Tribune
Oct 24, 2014 7:23 pm
FBI agents were executing search warrants at a number of locations in the Chinatown neighborhood as part of an ongoing investigation, officials said Friday.
Oct 24, 2014 7:10 pm
While toddlers ride a miniature carousel at The People's Choice Family Fun Center in north suburban Waukegan, adults play their own games at five video slot machines a few feet away.
Oct 24, 2014 6:30 pm
Aldermen on Friday pressed the head of Chicago's Business Affairs office to make sure the transportation companies that compete with cabs honor new city regulations, but questioned whether there are e...
Oct 24, 2014 5:28 pm
CTA train riders will be subject to random baggage screening next month as a part of a new security initiative to sweep for explosives at transit stations, Chicago police and CTA officials announced F...
Oct 24, 2014 3:40 pm
Starting next month, Chicago police officers will be swabbing the bags of some riders entering some CTA rail stations to make sure the bags don't have explosives, Chicago Police announced Friday.
Oct 24, 2014 3:28 pm
There goes Honey Boo Boo.
Oct 24, 2014 2:46 pm
Tired of the violence and seeking a way to rally their community, two South Side women are organizing what's believed to be the first-ever fun run through Englewood a place more associated with crime...
Oct 24, 2014 1:50 pm
One person was stabbed and at least 10 others were shot, one fatally, in separate shootings across the South and West sides since Thursday evening, police said.
Oct 24, 2014 1:29 pm
The Waldorf Astoria retail space that once housed Perchance Boutique is transforming this weekend into a Christian Siriano pop-up shop where the designer will hawk his first fragrance.
Oct 24, 2014 1:22 pm
Oak Park may soon become home to a craft brewery.
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