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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
May 27, 2015 5:16 am
Floodwaters deepened across much of Texas on Tuesday as storms dumped almost a foot more of rain on the Houston area, stranding hundreds of motorists and inundating the famously congested highways tha...
May 27, 2015 5:00 am
Sloppy eaters on CTA trains and buses, loudmouths, litterbugs, seat hogs, door blockers and assorted other misfits have for at least several years been lambasted by other riders venting their outrage ...
May 27, 2015 4:14 am
The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation is giving 20 jails of all sizes $150,000 each to come up with ways to reduce the number of people unnecessarily behind bars.
May 27, 2015 4:08 am
Before arriving at Wrigley Field on Tuesday, Cubs rookie Addison Russell heard a message in the back of his head:
May 27, 2015 3:00 am
LaBrina McDonald's frustration was potent Tuesday evening as she contemplated her son's lost opportunity to continue his NFL career with the Bears.
May 27, 2015 2:58 am
Chicago police are asking for the publics urgent help finding a man who disappeared from the Loop area.
May 27, 2015 2:09 am
A former New Trier High School student and her parents are suing the school district and others, claiming members of its athletic staff failed to contact proper medical personnel after she suffereda c...
May 27, 2015 1:18 am
Mayor Rahm Emanuel is trying to solve his police and fire pension problem by paying less upfront, taking longer to pay off the debt and getting some of the money to cover what the city owes from a Chi...
May 27, 2015 12:19 am
House Democrats worked into the evening Tuesday to push through major parts of a new budget they acknowledge is at least $3 billion short in an effort to force new Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner to even...
May 27, 2015 12:15 am
What started out as a lazy day off for an Evanston police officer ended with him wrestling a suicidal man off the top of a parking garage.
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