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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
Aug 21, 2014 7:00 pm
The flying kilts of "Brigadoon," the immortalbarricades of "Les Miserables" and, in general,the lively revivals of director-choreographer Rachel Rockwell dominate the 2014 Joseph J...
Aug 21, 2014 4:22 pm
Bank of America and the Justice Department have reached a record settlement of almost $17 billion to end a long-running probe into the marketing and sale of toxic mortgage securities by the bank and p...
Aug 21, 2014 4:12 pm
Two American aid workers discharged from anAtlanta hospitalafter being treated for Ebola pose no health risk to the public, an Emory University Hospital doctor said on Thursday.
Aug 21, 2014 3:40 pm
Mayor Rahm Emanuelvoiced support on Twitter for Michael Bloomberg after the National Rifle Association purchased ad time to attack the former New York mayor's gun control work.
Aug 21, 2014 3:16 pm
The Cubs are backing their grounds crew after a report they were inadequately staffed to handle the rain delay that led to Tuesdays suspended game against the Giants.
Aug 21, 2014 1:00 pm
A weeping mother told a McHenry County judge she was in shock when she found out her 12-year-old daughter was pregnant -- and then learned the man responsible was a close family friend.
Aug 21, 2014 1:00 pm
Family Dollar Stores Inc. rejected Dollar General Corp.'s $8.95 billion acquisition offer, citing antitrust concerns, and reaffirmed its support for a buyout offer from Dollar Tree Inc.
Aug 21, 2014 12:31 pm
After months of silence from the captors of American journalist James Foley, on the night of Aug. 13, his family received a chilling message: Foley would be executed in retaliation for U.S. air strike...
Aug 21, 2014 12:24 pm
Chicago's Divvy bicycle-sharing program plans to add 175 stations and 1,750 bikes in the spring, the city will announce Thursday, a behind-schedule expansion that will extend the program as far north ...
Aug 21, 2014 12:20 pm
Medicaid patients in Illinois could gain increased access to contraception under policy changes proposed Wednesday by the Department of Healthcare and Family Services.
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