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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 30, 2014 6:44 pm
A small airplane crashed into a building atMid-Continent AirportinWichita,Kansas, on Thursday morning, killing at least four people, injuring five and setting off an explosion and fire, officials said...
Oct 30, 2014 6:31 pm
Apple Inc CEOTim Cookon Thursday became the most prominent American corporate leader to come out as gay, saying he was trading his closely guarded privacy for the chance to help move civil rights forw...
Oct 30, 2014 6:16 pm
The Illinois governors race on Thursday turned into bickering over who deserves credit for the creation of a new digital manufacturing lab on Goose Island, as Republican challenger Bruce Rauner said i...
Oct 30, 2014 5:42 pm
Illinois basketball has found a temporary home for the start of the 2015-16 season.
Oct 30, 2014 5:40 pm
Anursewho treated Ebola patients inSierra Leonebut has tested negative for the virus ventured out of her home inMaineand took a bike ride on Thursday, defying a quarantine order and setting up a legal...
Oct 30, 2014 5:27 pm
A bionic arm that went missing -- thought to be stolen from a car while its 16-year-old owner was at a class -- has been found.
Oct 30, 2014 3:10 pm
A new Chicago company is serving up a website that aims to make craft liquor easier to buy and easier to understand.
Oct 30, 2014 2:59 pm
Macys picks a celebrity to light the Christmas tree located inside the State Street department stores Walnut Room every year. Past celebrity guests include Billy Crystal, Bill Cosby, Martha Stewart an...
Oct 30, 2014 2:00 pm
The Jean Banchet Awards for Culinary Excellence, which honor culinary distinction in the Chicago area, announced its nominees Thursday.
Oct 30, 2014 12:39 pm
Crystal Lake police will be stepping up enforcement on drunken driving over the Halloween weekend.
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