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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 24, 2014 4:50 am
Boy bands bested pop's leading women in the top award categories at the American Music Awards on Sunday, but the ladies delivered the most high-octane performances including a derriere-flaunting numbe...
Nov 24, 2014 4:45 am
Frank Scotti, a 90-year-old ex-NBC employee, is the latest to go public with stories of Bill Cosby's past.
Nov 24, 2014 3:28 am
Chicago Fire Departmentcrews rescued two people and a dog trapped in the rubble of an apartment building that "pancaked" after an apparent explosion in the city's Washington Park neighborhoo...
Nov 24, 2014 1:38 am
As improbable as it seems, two weeks after the Packers became the second team in as many games to hang 50 points on the Bears, this team is clinging to some hope.
Nov 24, 2014 1:37 am
Showing urgency the opportunity required, Bears coach Marc Trestman spoke to his team inside the locker room at halftime Sunday with a voice that rose above its usual professorial tone.
Nov 24, 2014 12:32 am
A man who was trying to evade Elgin police Sunday morning landed in the Fox River when he tried to cross thin ice to get to the other side, police said.
Nov 24, 2014 12:21 am
A Near West Side man was ordered held on $50,000 bail Sunday after prosecutors said he called 911 while pulled over by police and reported a fake shooting in the hope that he could get out of the traf...
Nov 23, 2014 11:36 pm
SOUTH BEND, Ind. — In the immediate aftermath of Notre Dame's 31-28 loss to Louisville, it was hard for coach Brian Kelly and his players to keep an eye toward the future.
Nov 23, 2014 10:38 pm
TUALATIN, Ore. Typically, the Bulls injury situation is such that who is available needs to be determined.
Nov 23, 2014 10:07 pm
A cold front arriving in the Chicago area Sunday night could trigger several inches of snow in the north, northwest and far west suburbs Monday afternoon and evening, the National Weather Service warn...
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