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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
Feb 1, 2015 6:27 am
A Washington state man says he just paid more than $18,000 in bridge tolls for his son who crossed the 520 bridge daily for work but never got a Good To Go pass.
Feb 1, 2015 5:09 am
It's 6:30 p.m. in eastern Arizona, and an energetic doctor who has gained notice due to his disdain for vaccinations has just gotten home. It's been a busy day. He's already spoken to USA Today. He ju...
Feb 1, 2015 4:20 am
A major weekend snowstorm threatened to deflate Chicagoans Super Bowl plans.
Feb 1, 2015 3:25 am
PHOENIX Junior Seau, Jerome Bettis, Tim Brown, Charles Haley and Will Shields were elected Saturday to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Feb 1, 2015 2:10 am
It's Justin Timberlake'sbirthday, but it's another birth date that's on his mind that of his future son or daughter.
Feb 1, 2015 2:04 am
Japan condemned with outrage and horror on Sunday an online video that purported to show an Islamic State group militant beheading Japanese journalist Kenji Goto.
Feb 1, 2015 1:02 am
Of all the talents Ernie Banks exhibited over his Hall of Fame career, perhaps the most impressive skill was his ability to relate to everyday people from all walks of life.
Feb 1, 2015 12:45 am
The South Shore commuter railroad is launching a pilot express train service March 16 in response to calls for speedier trips to Chicago.
Feb 1, 2015 12:31 am
The city of Hammond wants to know who is using a bulldozer and other equipment to dismantle an abandoned bridge over the Grand Calumet River, causing concerns about potential environmental hazards. ...
Jan 31, 2015 11:31 pm
PHOENIX Quick. What former Bears player is preparing for his third consecutive Super Bowl?
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