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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 30, 2014 6:13 am
Waukegan school district officials and teachers union representatives reached a tentative agreement on a three-year contract shortly before midnight Wednesday.
Oct 30, 2014 4:35 am
Police believe two parents and three children found dead inside theirUtahhome weeks ago likely died of poisoning, local media reported on Wednesday.
Oct 30, 2014 4:32 am
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Waiting on ''Bum'' was the general theme of Game 7 of the World Series.
Oct 30, 2014 4:02 am
NEW YORK From the May 1, 2012, playoff game vs. the 76ers directly after he tore his left ACL to the April 29, 2014, playoff game in which the Wizards eliminated the Bulls, Derrick Rose watched.
Oct 30, 2014 3:40 am
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- They made a mockery out of the home-field advantage. They finished six games out of first place. Their best player was missing in action during the World Series.
Oct 30, 2014 3:09 am
The offseason free-agent period begins Thursday, and the Cubs appear on the verge of finalizing the first of what they hope are several impact acquisitions.
Oct 30, 2014 3:04 am
A group of demonstrators calling for a trauma center at the University of Chicago targeted what they was a kickoff event for the university's capital campaign.
Oct 30, 2014 2:56 am
University of Chicago Medicine on Wednesday evening said it will not reach a new labor agreement with its nurses by Friday, when its current contract expires.
Oct 30, 2014 2:50 am
Oct 30, 2014 2:47 am
A 15-year-old boy was shot Wednesday night on the Southwest Side, police said.
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