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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 1, 2014 7:25 pm
Need your laundry done? There's an app for that.
Oct 1, 2014 6:52 pm
Chicago Bears receiver Brandon Marshall, defensive linemen Jared Allen and Jeremiah Ratliff, offensive linemen Roberto Garza and Matt Slauson and cornerback Sherrick McManis returned to practice Wedne...
Oct 1, 2014 6:44 pm
Health experts were observing 12 to 18 people who were in contact with the first person to be diagnosed with the deadly Ebola virus in the United States and who was in serious condition in a Texas hos...
Oct 1, 2014 6:37 pm
Qualified graduates of Chicago's public high schools will be eligible for a free ride at one of the city's seven community colleges under a scholarship program announced today by Mayor Rahm Emanuel an...
Oct 1, 2014 6:29 pm
Republican governor candidate Bruce Rauner acknowledged Wednesday he would have vetoed legislation expanding government-subsidized Medicaid to low-income people under President Barack Obamas signature...
Oct 1, 2014 6:13 pm
A DuPage County jury this afternoon is deciding if a Naperville woman resisted arrest during an encounter with police that took place while she was filming workers installing a wireless utility meter ...
Oct 1, 2014 4:58 pm
Sharon Shapiro, a blogger on Jewish issues who lives in West Rogers Park, was dismayed over reports that an El Al Israel Airlines flight from New York to Israel last week was disrupted when ultra-Orth...
Oct 1, 2014 4:38 pm
A warrant has been issued for the arrest of a former civilian police employee on charges that he helped a friend carry out a bizarre scam to seek revenge on the friend's perceived enemies.
Oct 1, 2014 4:29 pm
It's not every day that a university announces a new school on its campus. For the University of Notre Dame, it has been nearly 100 years.
Oct 1, 2014 4:05 pm
Federal prosecutors want an animal activist accused of releasing hundreds of minks into the wild kept in jail pending trial, saying that he has shown "an escalating dangerousness" in his pro...
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