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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
Nov 26, 2014 5:46 am
Nov 26, 2014 5:29 am
Hundreds of protesters marched Tuesday night through Downtown, chanting and making speeches over a loudspeaker about Ferguson, Mo., and Michael Brown, after spending much of the day hunkered down outs...
Nov 26, 2014 1:37 am
Fifteen key air traffic control facilities would take over airplane guidance during emergencies in which part or all of the primary control system is knocked offline, according to a $65 million propos...
Nov 25, 2014 11:06 pm
The board that oversees the state bar exam has agreed to a "stop-the-clock" break for a woman who is planning to take the grueling test in February, when she will be nursing her newborn baby...
Nov 25, 2014 9:51 pm
A 500-mile transmission line designed to move wind-generated electric power from Iowa to Grundy County, Ill. can move forward, Illinois regulators decided Tuesday.
Nov 25, 2014 9:46 pm
Drivers beware of where you park.
Nov 25, 2014 9:42 pm
No injuries were reported when a small fire broke out Tuesday morning on the top floor and roof of the old post office building in the South Loop, officials said.
Nov 25, 2014 9:07 pm
Deals on flat screen TVs and fancy electronics are a staple of luring shoppers into stores on Black Friday, but what about a free ride?
Nov 25, 2014 7:51 pm
An explosion of built-up natural gas from a leak likely caused the collapse of a three-story condominium building in the Washington Park neighborhood over the weekend, the Chicago Fire Department dete...
Nov 25, 2014 6:48 pm
A federal judge on Tuesday ordered that no physical changes be made to the proposed site for George Lucas' museum without approval from the court, which is hearing a lawsuit brought by open-space advo...
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