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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
Mar 5, 2015 7:01 pm
A plane from Atlanta skidded off a runway at LaGuardia Airport while landing Thursday, crashing through a chain-link fence and coming to rest with its nose perilously close to the edge of an icy bay. ...
Mar 5, 2015 6:54 pm
Part of a position-by-position preview of where the Bears stand entering free agency on Tuesday.
Mar 5, 2015 6:08 pm
One of my editors, who may or may not have a crush on Pau Gasol, kept bothering me to file a Bulls mailbag. Finally I said to her, Dont you always know there are more questions than answers? She under...
Mar 5, 2015 5:32 pm
Mayoral challenger Jesus "Chuy" Garcia on Thursday promised to take down the city's controversial red light cameras if elected, casting the automated ticketing program as a "rip-off&quo...
Mar 5, 2015 5:29 pm
A push to convince Amazon USA to change its Amazon Mom membership program to the more inclusive Amazon Family is gaining momentum, thanks to a group of dads who've dedicated the campaign to their stal...
Mar 5, 2015 5:26 pm
Evanston's mayor took to Twitter to stick up for her city's liberal credentials this week after The CBS drama "The Good Wife" portrayed it as a hot bed of conservatism.
Mar 5, 2015 5:21 pm
A judge declared a mistrial Thursday in theJodiAriassentencing case after a jury deadlocked on whether the convicted murderer should be executed or sent to prison for life for killing her lover in 200...
Mar 5, 2015 4:34 pm
Aurora police said a man was showing friends how to take apart a handgun when he shot himself in the hand on Monday morning.
Mar 5, 2015 4:18 pm
Jack U the all-star DJ combo of Skrillex and Diplo will make its Midwest debut at the Spring Awakening Festival on June 12-14 in Soldier Field.
Mar 5, 2015 4:12 pm
The Chicago Bears declined to commit to Brandon Marshall when asked about the veteran wide receiver last month, and now the team is exploring trade options five days before the start of the new league...
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