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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
Mar 30, 2015 7:30 pm
McDonald's is responding to diners' hankering for round-the-clock access to McMuffins, hash browns and hot cakes by testing all-day breakfast at some restaurants in San Diego starting in April.
Mar 30, 2015 7:19 pm
Mayoral challenger Jesus "Chuy" Garcia on Monday kept up his criticism of Mayor Rahm Emanuel as a friend to wealthy Chicagoans, telling a City Club audience the mayor's policies amount to tr...
Mar 30, 2015 6:59 pm
As a parent whose kids participate in sports, I was struck by the recent story of a young and accomplished football player who abruptly ended his career for fear of hurting his brain. Chris Borland, a...
Mar 30, 2015 6:45 pm
Now that spring has (sort of) arrived in Chicago, those looking to cool down with ice cream can also get a good deal at Baskin-Robbins. Participating nationwide locations are serving ice cream scoops ...
Mar 30, 2015 6:41 pm
And you thought distracted driving was limited to sending text messages, reading email and talking to fellow passengers.
Mar 30, 2015 6:40 pm
Trevor Noah, a 31-year-old comedian from South Africa who has contributed to "The Daily Show" a handful of times in recent months, will become Jon Stewart's replacement as host, Comedy Centr...
Mar 30, 2015 6:25 pm
A Downers Grove man was charged Sunday with leading police on a chase after he allegedly robbed a pizza place and attempted to hold up a mini-mart, authorities said Monday.
Mar 30, 2015 6:18 pm
Attorneys for the wife and adult children of Robin Williams have agreed to try to resolve their dispute out of court involving personal items of the late actor.
Mar 30, 2015 6:04 pm
MESA, Ariz. -- The Chicago Cubs optioned second baseman Javier Baez to Triple-A Iowa on Monday and reassigned slugger Kris Bryant and shortstop Addison Russell to minor league camp.
Mar 30, 2015 6:04 pm
Bulls guard Derrick Rose participated in the contact portions of practice Monday for the first time since undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery Feb. 27.
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