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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 29, 2014 4:58 am
A leader of pro-Moscow rebel forces in eastern Ukraine, Alexander Zakharchenko, said on Friday he had agreed to open a humanitarian corridor for encircled Ukraine troops after Russian President Vladim...
Aug 29, 2014 4:29 am
CLEVELAND You can assess Thursday night's Bears exhibition game against the Browns through whatever lens you'd like.
Aug 29, 2014 4:28 am
DEKALB Northern Illinois coach Rod Carey put three quarterbacks under the spotlight Thursday night but may be no closer to naming a starter after the Huskies rolled to a 55-3 victory over Presbyteria...
Aug 29, 2014 4:24 am
When Chicago police rolled up last summer on a Woodlawn block in response to complaints of a loud outdoor party, leading the charge was Glenn Evans, then the top commander of that South Side police di...
Aug 29, 2014 2:19 am
Aug 29, 2014 1:21 am
A Pekin, Ill., man died in 2012 shortly after landing at O'Hare International Airport despite having informed airline staff midflight that he had chest pains, according to a lawsuit filed this week in...
Aug 29, 2014 12:59 am
Google Inc is developing airborne drones capable of flying on their own and delivering everything from candy to medicine, the Internet company said on Thursday.
Aug 29, 2014 12:44 am
A Cook County judge Thursday upheld the verdict in a landmark whistleblower case against Chicago State University, ordering the public institution to pay the fired employee more than $3 million and gi...
Aug 29, 2014 12:23 am
A Georgia FBI agent and his wife filed a defamation lawsuit Wednesday against Chicago-based Johnson Publishing Co. and a freelance writer, claiming a series of articles that ran in Ebony magazine fals...
Aug 28, 2014 11:24 pm
Republican governor candidate Bruce Rauner took Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn to task Thursday for failing to dump all of the politically connected people hired as staff assistants at the Illinois Departm...
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