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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
Dec 20, 2014 7:04 pm
A child admitted to theUniversity of ChicagoMedical Center early Friday after being flagged for a high fever during an O'Hare International Airport screening test has been discharged after testing neg...
Dec 20, 2014 4:53 pm
North Korea said U.S. accusations that it was involved in a cyberattack onSony Pictureswere "groundless slander" and that it was wanted a joint investigation into the incident with the Unite...
Dec 20, 2014 3:18 pm
Nine Chicago hospitals ranked among the nation's worst on new measures of infection rates and other patient injuries, drawing federal penalties and raising questions about the way the hospitals are as...
Dec 20, 2014 2:30 pm
After the latest of his sermons denouncingIslamic State, Mohamed Taha Sabri stepped down from an ornate platform at the House of Peace mosque. The 48-year-old chief preacher then moved to greet his co...
Dec 20, 2014 12:45 pm
It is time to panic.
Dec 20, 2014 12:36 pm
Nearly 3,000 people are being notified that a laptop computer stolen in October contained private health information about patients of the Northwestern Memorial Healthcare group, hospital officials sa...
Dec 20, 2014 12:36 pm
Even in the middle of the afternoon, the prayer candle for the slain teen flickered in dim, artificial light, casting small shadows in the grimy, sooty 63rd Street viaduct just west of State Street. T...
Dec 20, 2014 11:52 am
At least one firefighter was injured during a fire in south suburban Robbins Friday evening, officials said.
Dec 20, 2014 6:01 am
Have you ever wondered if American foreign policy is just a bit player in a Seth Rogen/James Franco movie?
Dec 20, 2014 5:53 am
SANTA CLAUS, Ind. The jolly, chubby, bearded man leans back and lets out a belly laugh so deep it shakes the stuffed elves hanging on the nearby tree.
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