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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 29, 2014 4:24 am
Protesters angered by a grand jury's decision not to indict a white police officer for killing an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri, entered a pair of shopping malls in downtown Seattle on ...
Nov 29, 2014 4:15 am
Greetings, and welcome to the brief but horrific span of time that exists between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, a time I like to call Gray-Analog-Terror Weekend.
Nov 29, 2014 2:51 am
Lance Briggs season officially is over. His playing career in Chicago is finished as well.
Nov 29, 2014 2:38 am
Lincoln Mall was trying its best on the day after Thanksgiving to get in the Christmas mood.
Nov 29, 2014 2:36 am
ANAHEIM, Calif. Patrick Kane was calling for the puck before it even reached Kris Versteeg. First, Brad Richards had to advance it with a one-handed bank pass off the end boards and once Versteeg had...
Nov 29, 2014 1:27 am
Ray Rice is eligible to return to the NFL after an arbitrator overturned his indefinite suspension Friday, but the former Ravens star still faces a difficult path to regaining public acceptance and pe...
Nov 29, 2014 12:55 am
Decked out in matching uniforms — black, long-sleeved jerseys with "Santa Baby" on the front — Christy Horn and several relatives took a midmorning break from Black Frida...
Nov 29, 2014 12:47 am
Best Buy Co Inc's retail website is back online after it was down for a second time on Black Friday, the busiest U.S. shopping day in terms of sales and traffic since 2005, according to ShopperTrak. ...
Nov 28, 2014 11:48 pm
BOSTON An active Derrick Rose turned his Denver disappearance into an ancient memory, scoring 21 points in just shy of 28 minutes.
Nov 28, 2014 11:30 pm
A man was hospitalized in critical condition Friday after he allegedly backed up his SUV from Lake Shore Drive into Lake Michigan in the Loop, officials said.
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