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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
Apr 19, 2015 4:48 am
Three people were shot and injured Saturday night at a cookout on the Delaware State University campus, officials said, and authorities are searching for the shooter.
Apr 19, 2015 4:22 am
The story of how Utah solved chronic homelessness begins in 2003, inside a cavernous Las Vegas banquet hall populated by droves of suits. The problem at hand was seemingly intractable. The number of c...
Apr 19, 2015 3:12 am
Operating on three hours of sleep before his first major-league game probably wasn't the best way for Kris Bryant to introduce himself to Chicago.
Apr 19, 2015 2:54 am
He blew his standard pregame kiss to his mother, Brenda. His brother, Reggie, sat courtside, just as he did that fateful April 28, 2012, day.
Apr 19, 2015 12:54 am
Cindy Babinec remembers meeting Cardinal Francis George for the first time. It was June 2009, and she had just recently returned to the Roman Catholic Church after a 16-year hiatus.
Apr 19, 2015 12:17 am
Is Pete Rose one step closer to being reinstated?
Apr 18, 2015 11:34 pm
Rand Paul lashed out Saturday at military hawks in the Republican Party in a clash over foreign policy dividing the packed GOP presidential field.
Apr 18, 2015 11:31 pm
A Far South Side woman starved two puppies to death and forcedother animals todogfight, prosecutors said Saturday.
Apr 18, 2015 11:22 pm
Apr 18, 2015 11:02 pm
When I was young, I temped for an office that was in the middle of a cost-cutting drive. One way was to strictly control access to office products. For example, you were issued a single pen, and to ge...
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