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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
Jan 30, 2015 5:42 am
If you want to explain the Super Bowl to someone who doesn't understand this country, you might want to skip football and go straight to this chart. It shows just how poorly we eat during and around t...
Jan 30, 2015 4:52 am
Seasonably cold high pressure settles over the Chicago area Friday, with temperatures barely reaching the mid-20s despite abundant sunshine. Low pressure will be developing in the Texas Panhandle, wit...
Jan 30, 2015 4:03 am
Geof Glass, a Ph.D. student at Simon Frasier University, makes an interesting point in a blog post that's been circulating for the last two days among people online fascinated by the economics of park...
Jan 30, 2015 3:58 am
LOS ANGELES Jimmy Butler likes to play the humble routine, often saying he cant believe a kid from small town Tomball, Texas, has landed where he has.
Jan 30, 2015 3:35 am
Smartphone service dead spots could be a thing of the past by year's end for thousands of daily CTA riders in Blue and Red Line tunnels, under a $32.5 million deal set to be announced Friday.
Jan 30, 2015 2:27 am
Cicero officials on Thursday ordered the closing of a church in the western suburb, calling the house of worship a "safety nightmare," and have barred any future services at the 24,000-squar...
Jan 30, 2015 2:09 am
With California gripped by a measles outbreak, Dr. Charles Goodman posted a clear notice in his waiting room and on Facebook: His practice will no longer see children whose parents won't get them vacc...
Jan 30, 2015 12:36 am
A jobless 68-year-old man's federal trial on charges he inserted sewing needles as booby traps into packaged supermarket meats in his southwestern Illinois hometown has been postponed indefinitely unt...
Jan 30, 2015 12:10 am
The sounds form a cacophony of construction jackhammers' percussive pelting, the persistent beeping of vehicles in reverse and the shrill whine of buzz saws.
Jan 29, 2015 11:40 pm
Chicago Public Schools has agreed to sell nine properties for a total of slightly less than $2 million. The properties include several South Side parcels and a Printer's Row parking lot, but none are ...
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