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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
Aug 31, 2014 7:02 pm
The daughter of comedian Joan Rivers, hospitalized in serious condition after suffering cardiac arrest, said on Sunday the comedian's family members are "keeping our fingers crossed," accord...
Aug 31, 2014 5:49 pm
As the NFLs waiver claim deadline passed at 11 a.m., teams set out to begin constructing practice squads.
Aug 31, 2014 5:22 pm
The Chicago White Sox traded veteran first baseman/designated hitter Adam Dunn to the Oakland Athletics on Sunday in exchange for minor league pitcher Nolan Sanburn.
Aug 31, 2014 5:21 pm
Iraqi security forces backed by Shi'ite militias on Sunday broke the two-month siege of Amerli by Islamic State militants and entered the northern town, officials said.
Aug 31, 2014 3:53 pm
The rock star inside Billy Corgan refuses to be tamed, even at a solo show advertised as acoustic. Saturday at Ravinia, the Smashing Pumpkins leader began his first career-spanning concert unaccompani...
Aug 31, 2014 3:22 pm
California's Napa Valley, the site of a strong and damaging earthquake a week ago, was shaken by a small aftershock early on Sunday.
Aug 31, 2014 5:17 am
The United States carried out air strikes on Saturday against Islamic State fighters near the besieged Shi'ite town of Amerli in northern Iraq and airdropped humanitarian aid to civilians trapped ther...
Aug 31, 2014 4:20 am
Federal investigators are focused on one Ferguson, Missouri police officer who fatally shot an unarmed black teenager, but at least six other police officers in the town's 53-member department have be...
Aug 31, 2014 2:13 am
A year after losing on a Hail Mary at Nebraska and by dropping interceptions against Michigan, Northwestern found a new way to torture its fans.
Aug 31, 2014 1:50 am
"It is almost a gift to have someone tell you when they think you are going to die. Imagine all the petty, insignificant, unworthy things you spend time thinking about and doing in your life. Whe...
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