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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 22, 2014 7:01 pm
A traveler from Liberia who was hospitalized after arriving at OHare International Airport has improved and was moved out of the isolation unit, officials said Wednesday.
Oct 22, 2014 6:58 pm
Mayor Rahm Emanuel is set Wednesday to appoint an investment executive and former chief of staff to Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle to be the new city treasurer.
Oct 22, 2014 6:03 pm
One of the cameras that will capture Nik Wallenda's high-wire walk across the Chicago River has gone live, allowing viewers to log on to skyscraperlive.com and watch a 24/7 feed that shows the pulsing...
Oct 22, 2014 6:01 pm
Taking a page from the popes playbook, incoming Chicago Archbishop Blase Cupich will forgo the historic Gold Coast mansion that has housed Chicago archbishops for more than a century, opting instead f...
Oct 22, 2014 5:41 pm
A federal judge has granted a request by a Chicago attorney to appoint a monitor to oversee hiring at the Illinois Department of Transportation, dealing a blow to Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn less than t...
Oct 22, 2014 5:40 pm
Two people who arrived at O'Hare International Airport from Liberia have been placed under observation at Chicago hospitals, under the city's procedures for handling Ebola, after they fell ill during ...
Oct 22, 2014 5:40 pm
Canadian policesaid on Wednesday they have charged a woman with concealing the bodies of six infants in a storage locker, but are not handling the incident as a homicide investigation.
Oct 22, 2014 4:45 pm
A judge on Wednesday ordered a competency hearing for one of two Wisconsin pre-teen girls accused of stabbing a friend in an attempt to please the fictional Internet character "Slenderman." ...
Oct 22, 2014 4:39 pm
Matt Maloney, the co-founder and CEO of Chicago-based GrubHub Seamless, and his wife paid $3.44 million this month for a six-bedroom, 7,000-square-foot vintage mansion in Lincoln Park.
Oct 22, 2014 4:26 pm
RetiredChicago Bears Pro Bowl linebacker Brian Urlacher was highly critical of Bears quarterback Jay Cutler on Wednesday, acknowledging his former teammate's talent but saying he doesn't do enough to ...
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