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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
Apr 18, 2015 4:29 am
In Game 1, the Blackhawks started about as bad as they could have imagine before rebounding to steal a game.
Apr 18, 2015 2:13 am
Chicago Public Schools chief Barbara Byrd-Bennett is taking a paid leave of absence in the face of a federal investigation that subpoenas show is taking a broad approach in its search for information ...
Apr 18, 2015 1:01 am
A South Side woman admitted to authorities that she lied about being kidnapped rather than admit that she had been partying and using cocaine, prosecutors said at a court hearing Friday.
Apr 17, 2015 11:30 pm
Barber Alfredo Fricano quietly stood off to the side as Archbishop Blase Cupich announced the death of Cardinal Francis George in the courtyard of Holy Name Cathedral on Friday. But the cardinal was n...
Apr 17, 2015 11:18 pm
A measure before Illinois lawmakers would require Roman Catholic hospitals to tell patients they can go elsewhere for birth control, certain medical procedures and other health care choices that viola...
Apr 17, 2015 10:17 pm
Kraft Foods Group is removing artificial preservatives and synthetic colors from its iconic macaroni and cheese, its latest step to appeal to diners seeking simpler fare.
Apr 17, 2015 9:21 pm
Smoke from burning debris loomed over the tiny hamlet of Fairdale on Friday as Gov. Bruce Rauner greeted residents and volunteers still digging out of the rubble left by a violent tornado that tore th...
Apr 17, 2015 9:16 pm
Dr. Mehmet Oz is defending himself against 10 doctors who've accused him of promoting "quack treatments" on his TV show.
Apr 17, 2015 7:51 pm
Heres another reason to root for a long Bulls or Blackhawks playoff run: Goose Islands family of Bourbon County beers will be available at the United Center as long as either team is still playing thi...
Apr 17, 2015 7:15 pm
The story of a handsome brick bungalow with a touch of green trim in Elmwood Park may not be the norm. But neither is it the exception in a local housing market that is putting up some strong numbers ...
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