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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 31, 2015 5:05 am
Three Illinois nonprofit hospice companies are expected to announce Tuesday that they will combine, forming what's expected to be the largest end-of-life provider by patient volume in the state.
Mar 31, 2015 5:05 am
Nick Offerman and Judd Apatow will both appear in an upcoming Chicago festival that does not have "Laughs" or "Comedy" in its title. Instead, "Humanities." The two funny...
Mar 31, 2015 4:55 am
Research has shown that a person's position in the economic pecking order can have a lasting effect on cognitive development. But can it also affect the size and shape of the brain?
Mar 31, 2015 4:12 am
A day after the Blackhawks posted what coach Joel Quenneville called their "No. 1" biggest victory of the season, they went ahead and recorded No. 1A.
Mar 31, 2015 4:00 am
All the parsing of Derrick Roses words, the will-he-or-wont-he speculation over his return and analysis of his play exists outside the Bulls realm.
Mar 31, 2015 3:33 am
Gov. Mike Pence called off public appearances Monday and sports officials planned an "Indy Welcomes All" campaign ahead of this weekend's NCAA Final Four in Indianapolis as lawmakers scrambl...
Mar 31, 2015 3:29 am
MESA, Ariz. Kris Bryant, Javier Baez and Addison Russell will start the season in the minor leagues.
Mar 31, 2015 1:59 am
Chicago's high temperature on March 16 was 73 degrees. Since then, the city has accumulated 6.4 inches of snow, and temperatures have dipped to the teens. Despite the recent cool spell, conditions hav...
Mar 31, 2015 1:55 am
Shanna Tippen was another hourly worker at the bottom of the nation's economy, looking forward to a 25-cent bump in the Arkansas minimum wage that would make it easier for her to buy diapers for her g...
Mar 31, 2015 1:31 am
Before introducing basketball coach Dave Leitao during Monday's news conference at the DePaul Student Center, embattled athletic director Jean Lenti Ponsetto apologized for being 10 minutes behind sch...
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