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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 23, 2014 3:37 am
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Salvador Perez hit a two-run double and Omar Infante belted a two-run homer in a five-run sixth inning, and the Kansas City Royals defeated the San Francisco Giants 7-2 Wednesday n...
Oct 23, 2014 3:12 am
U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin and challenger Jim Oberweis sparred Wednesday night in their first meeting on a formal debate stage, with the rivals arguing over whether the incumbent's experience is an asset o...
Oct 23, 2014 3:06 am
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- On the day after the NHL suspended Kings defenseman Slaya Voynov after his arrest for alleged domestic violence, the incoming commissioner of Major League Baseball said his league ...
Oct 23, 2014 2:44 am
Aldermen on Wednesday raised questions about the speed camera ticketing system rolled out this year by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, asking whether it is the best way to slow traffic and whether it is following...
Oct 23, 2014 2:39 am
A man jumped theWhite Housefence on Wednesday evening and was attacked bySecret Servicedogs before being arrested, aSecret Servicespokesman said.
Oct 23, 2014 1:39 am
Longtime Chicago Sun-Times political reporter Dave McKinney resigned from the newspaper Wednesday, saying he was pulled from his beat by "bosses" of the paper's editor and publisher Jim Kirk...
Oct 23, 2014 1:22 am
A West Town building that housed one of almost 50 elementary schools the city closed last year is the first to be sold by Chicago Public Schools.
Oct 23, 2014 1:17 am
Chicago Public Schools chief Barbara Byrd-Bennett said Wednesday that she'll ask the federal government to delay the rollout of a new and controversial state exam for grade school students this spring...
Oct 23, 2014 12:49 am
In Derrick Rose's 10 games last season before tearing his right meniscus, he averaged 31.1 minutes per game.
Oct 22, 2014 10:55 pm
For 16 years, Patrick Kennedy served as a Democratic congressman from Rhode Island. But in 2011, he stepped down to start a new career as a mental health advocate. He was at UIC on Tuesday to launch t...
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