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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
Jun 18, 2015 3:39 am
The Cubs and their fans can have a good laugh over the FBI's investigation of their archrivals for allegedly hacking into the Astros' database.
Jun 18, 2015 3:27 am
CLEVELAND It was one of those nights where crazy things just happen, and Cubs manager Joe Maddon cautioned the 17-0 win over the Indians doesnt mean anything once they begin play on Thursday.
Jun 18, 2015 2:30 am
Fire crews in Naperville made their third water rescue in two days Wednesday evening when they pulled a 58-year-old man from a tree in the DuPage River after he failed to reach land in his inflatable ...
Jun 18, 2015 2:20 am
Savannah Highhouse and Sydney Haskin drove to Chicago from Kalamazoo, Mich., early in the morning, shopped for new clothes and got a hotel room to get glam for Wednesday night's Mumford & Sons sho...
Jun 18, 2015 2:07 am
Brian Williams, the popular NBC News anchor who became embroiled in controversy over false statements he made about his reporting, will no longer be the anchor of the network's evening newscast and wi...
Jun 18, 2015 1:23 am
The $10 bill is headed for a feminine face lift.
Jun 18, 2015 12:56 am
Two men were wounded in shootings on the West and South sides Wednesday afternoon.
Jun 18, 2015 12:37 am
Throngs of jubilant Blackhawks fans will descend upon the Loop and the lakefront Thursday for a parade and rally celebrating Chicago's Stanley Cup champions.
Jun 17, 2015 11:38 pm
Mayor Rahm Emanuel sought to jump-start his second-term agenda Wednesday, pitching a plan to allow drivers to reserve airport parking spaces for an extra $10 a day, hitting up off-site airport parking...
Jun 17, 2015 11:30 pm
In the 1979 movie "The Jerk," Steve Martin introduces us to his character (Navin Johnson) with the classic and hilarious line: "I was born a poor black child." The flashback to his...
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