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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 30, 2014 6:15 pm
A man robbed an Edgewater bank late this morning, authorities said.
Aug 30, 2014 6:12 pm
If barbecue is a part of your Labor Day plans, you may want to fire up the grill on Sunday instead.
Aug 30, 2014 5:23 pm
EIN ZIVAN Golan Heights (Reuters) - Thirty-two U.N. peacekeepers were rescued from Islamist militants who had fired on their post on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights on Saturday, the United Nation...
Aug 30, 2014 4:18 pm
Ukrainesaid Russian tanks had flattened a small border town and pro-Russian rebels had made fresh gains in its east, as EU leaders signaled on Saturday they would threaten more sanctions againstMoscow...
Aug 30, 2014 4:14 pm
The chance of a "megadrought" gripping the Southwest for more than 30 years has increased to 50%, scientists say, which means bad news for California's already parched landscape.
Aug 30, 2014 3:18 pm
Driving north on U.S. 141 in southwestern Colorado, the road descends from red rock plateau into a wind-blown expanse of bedraggled shrubs and hardy desert trees called Paradox Valley. Passing only th...
Aug 30, 2014 3:16 pm
The Bears on Saturday continued cutting players in the effort to finalize their 53-man roster by the NFL's 3 p.m. deadline. Here's what we know so far from people with knowledge of the situation:
Aug 30, 2014 2:57 pm
A 54-year-old man has been charged after he cut another man's face with a large knife during a dispute on a CTA bus Wednesday evening, according to police.
Aug 30, 2014 12:00 pm
For Karen and Mike Laspisa, every birthday, every holiday, every month is one more without Bryce.
Aug 30, 2014 11:49 am
The California state legislature enacted a ban on plastic grocery bags on Friday near the end of its two-year session, a measure that if signed into law would become the first of its kind in America. ...
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