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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
Sep 17, 2014 6:50 pm
On the eve ofScotland's historic referendum, polls showed support for staying in theUnited Kingdomjust ahead of backing for independence but tens of thousands of citizens were still agonizing over whi...
Sep 17, 2014 6:28 pm
The Japanese consulate in Chicago says it properly handled a box of human bones that was sent to the consulate this past summer but was not turned over to the medical examiner's office for examination...
Sep 17, 2014 6:24 pm
Naperville bars can no longer offer major discounts on drinks and their security guards will get extra training under rules councilmen approved Tuesday tonight.
Sep 17, 2014 5:48 pm
Less than two days after announcing that they were reinstating running back Adrian Peterson to the active roster, the Minnesota Vikings changed course early Wednesday.
Sep 17, 2014 5:37 pm
Federal prosecutors appealing the probation sentence of Beanie Babies founder Ty Warner faced a three-judge panel Wednesday to make the case for why the Westmont billionaire should get prison time for...
Sep 17, 2014 5:02 pm
Nik Wallendas planned highwire walk about 600 feet above the Chicago River may have hit a snag before it gets off the ground.
Sep 17, 2014 4:53 pm
After more than twenty years living on North Magnolia Avenue in Uptown, Victoria McGhee had had enough.
Sep 17, 2014 4:49 pm
A memorial celebration will be held for local actress Molly Glynn on Monday, October 6 at 7:30p.m. Glynn died September 6 at the age of 46.
Sep 17, 2014 4:40 pm
Actor Vince Vaughn, who once had one of the Chicago areas highest asking prices ever for a residential property -- $24.7 million for his five-bedroom, 12,000-square-foot triplex penthouse in the Palm...
Sep 17, 2014 3:39 pm
A United Airlines plane bound for Brussels was diverted to Maine and then returned to OHare International Airport early Wednesday morning because of medical and technical issues, according to the airl...
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