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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
Mar 3, 2015 6:57 pm
In a speech that stirred political controversy in two countries, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Congress on Tuesday that negotiations underway between Iran and the United States would ...
Mar 3, 2015 6:56 pm
Its a wrap for Harpo Studios in Chicago.
Mar 3, 2015 6:43 pm
Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Tuesday threw cold water on the Cubs' proposal to work around the clock, seven days a week to speed up the behind-schedule bleachers reconstruction project.
Mar 3, 2015 6:12 pm
Drew Peterson waived a preliminary hearing Tuesday in a surprise move that prevented prosecutors from publicly airing details of his alleged murder-for-hire plot.
Mar 3, 2015 5:47 pm
Cardinal Francis George has been admitted to Loyola University Medical Center to see how he is doing after stopping treatment for cancer more than a month ago.
Mar 3, 2015 5:40 pm
Better Government Association Executive Director Andy Shaw on Monday sold his eight-bedroom Lincoln Park mansion for $2.1 million after having listed it on and off for almost eight years.
Mar 3, 2015 5:31 pm
Federal authorities last week returned to the home of a Chicago-area teen accused of trying to travel to join the Islamic State and seized several cellphones and computer equipment apparently belongin...
Mar 3, 2015 5:07 pm
Ice and snow glazed tracks and stopped trains on the CTA's Green, Pink and Yellow lines Tuesday morning, causing major delays through the morning rush, agency officials said.
Mar 3, 2015 4:31 pm
Snow and freezing rain glazed highways just in time for the morning rush Tuesday, prompting state police in Illinois and Indiana to warn of dangerous driving conditions.
Mar 3, 2015 3:29 pm
Hillary Rodham Clinton used a personal email account during her time as secretary of state, rather than a government-issued email address, potentially hampering efforts to archive official government ...
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