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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
May 26, 2015 6:10 am
The wind was howling out to left field Monday morning when Bryce Harper arrived at Wrigley Field with the Nationals.
May 26, 2015 5:22 am
ANAHEIM, Calif. The Blackhawks simply ran out of miracles.
May 26, 2015 4:31 am
In a game of quick strikes, Matt Beleskey struck last, 45 seconds into overtime Monday to give the Ducks a 5-4 victory and a 3-2 series lead in the Western Conference finals.
May 26, 2015 3:32 am
Two B.B. King heirs have accused King's two closest aides of poisoning him, but the attorney for King's estate called the claims ridiculous and police said there was no active homicide investigation. ...
May 26, 2015 3:22 am
A tornado raged through a city on the U.S.-Mexico border Monday, destroying homes, flinging cars like matchsticks and ripping an infant away from its mother. At least 13 people were killed, authoritie...
May 26, 2015 2:54 am
Four people were taken to hospitals after they were injured when a second-floor porch collapsed at an Evanston apartment building Mondaynight, an official said.
May 26, 2015 2:36 am
A waterspout uprooted an inflatable bounce house with three children inside it on a South Florida beach Monday, but the youngsters were tossed to the sand before it flew above palm trees and over four...
May 26, 2015 2:00 am
These are dark days for KFC's once-dominant chicken empire. After five years of crumbling sales, the extra crispy mega-chain, which in 2012 lost its throne as America's top chicken seller to Chick-fil...
May 26, 2015 1:43 am
The city of Cleveland has reached a settlement with the U.S. Justice Department over a pattern of excessive force and civil rights violations by the police department, and the agreement could be annou...
May 26, 2015 1:37 am
Hundreds of friends and family members gathered at Bartlett High School on Memorial Day to remember a 24-year-old former football player who died after falling from a catwalk at the Aragon Ballroom ov...
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