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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
Nov 27, 2014 6:40 pm
The Chicago Tribune Media Groups Naperville Sun reports: Restrictions on liquor service approved by the Naperville City Council in October did not deter those who gathered downtown Wednesday night for...
Nov 27, 2014 6:16 pm
A Logan Square man has been charged with a felony after he was arrested along with two others while protesting the fatal shooting of a black teenager by police in Ferguson, Mo., police said.
Nov 27, 2014 5:19 pm
SAO PAULO - Brazilian soccer great Pele, who is in a Sao Paulo hospital for treatment for a urinary tract infection, has been moved to a hospital wing where he won't be besieged by as many visitors, h...
Nov 27, 2014 4:00 pm
Would you be more inclined to go to church if services came with a Big Mac and a side of fries? That's the idea behind McMass, a group whose goal is to put a McDonald's franchise in a church.
Nov 27, 2014 2:57 pm
Chicago kicked off Thursday's turkey day festivities with the McDonald's Thanksgiving Parade at Congress Parkway and State Street.
Nov 27, 2014 2:46 pm
The streets of Ferguson, Missouri were mostly quiet overnight after two days of racially charged unrest sparked by a grand jury decision not to prosecute a white policeman who shot dead an unarmed bla...
Nov 27, 2014 2:36 pm
Barreling a vehicle through a store's thick glass window, the masked thieves smash a path toward their target: expensive jeans, handbags or jewelry.
Nov 27, 2014 12:25 pm
Heading outdoors on Thanksgiving?
Nov 27, 2014 8:26 am
Tournament MVP Seth Tuttle scored 19 points and Nate Buss added 11 as Northern Iowa downed Northwestern 61-42 to win the Cancun Challenge Riviera Division championship.
Nov 27, 2014 5:35 am
DENVER After a misstep in Vancouver, the Blackhawks found their way again in stop No. 4 of their annual Circus Trip.
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