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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
Sep 30, 2014 6:47 pm
U.S. lawmakers scolded the head of the U.S. Secret Service on Tuesday over a security breach that allowed a knife-wielding intruder to run deep into the White House, and Director Julia Pierson promise...
Sep 30, 2014 6:41 pm
The Naperville man accused of setting fire to an FAA radar center described himself as stoned and nervous on Facebook minutes before authorities said he severely damaged the facility in suburban Auror...
Sep 30, 2014 6:29 pm
EBay plans to spin off its PayPal unit next year, bowing to activist investor Carl Icahn's argument that the move would free the fast-growing payments business to compete more fiercely in the competit...
Sep 30, 2014 5:37 pm
Two women who claim Victoria's Secret in Orland Park falsely accused them of shoplifting are suing the lingerie retailer and seeking $100,000 in damages, according to a lawsuit in the U.S. District Co...
Sep 30, 2014 5:09 pm
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Communications Commission on Tuesday voted unanimously to eliminate a decades-old rule that has prohibited pay-TV providers from airing some home sports games, ...
Sep 30, 2014 5:05 pm
All Jewel-Osco stores in Illinois, Indiana and Iowa were among several U.S. supermarkets affected by another recent card fraud incident, the chains parent company said.
Sep 30, 2014 4:22 pm
The NFL admitted Tuesday that Kansas City Chiefs safety Husain Abdullah should not have been penalized for sliding on his knees and bowing in prayer after scoring a touchdown.
Sep 30, 2014 3:41 pm
The body of a missing Arkansas real estate agent was found on Tuesday morning in a shallow grave at an industrial site several miles from the house she was trying to sell at the time of her disappeara...
Sep 30, 2014 3:35 pm
Iraqi Kurdish forces captured a strategic border crossing and several villages from Islamic State fighters in northern Iraq on Tuesday, scoring gains as the militants were pounded by heavy U.S.-led ai...
Sep 30, 2014 2:19 pm
Trains were delayed on the CTA's Blue Line Tuesday morning because of construction debris on the tracks, the agency said.
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