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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
Mar 28, 2015 7:41 pm
Second-term U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth is expected to announce her candidacy Monday for the U.S. Senate and a potential challenge to Republican Sen. Mark Kirk, a source familiar with her plans said. ...
Mar 28, 2015 7:25 pm
Hundreds of people gathered outside of the Indiana Statehouse on Saturday, some carrying "no hate in our state" signs, to rally against a new law that opponents say could sanction discrimina...
Mar 28, 2015 5:58 pm
Cardinal Francis George, Chicago's retired archbishop,has been readmitted to the hospital several months after he stopped treatment for kidney cancer.
Mar 28, 2015 5:53 pm
A decorated Boston police officer remained in a medically induced coma Saturday, a night after he was shot in the face during a traffic stop that ended when other officers fatally shot his attacker, t...
Mar 28, 2015 4:54 pm
Michigan Avenue south of the river, long an afterthought to glitzy Magnificent Mile, has been buzzing with construction as new apartments, hotels and restaurants start to pour into a corridor previous...
Mar 28, 2015 4:33 pm
A small herd of around two dozen bison could be grazing on restored grassland south of Chicago as soon as this fall now that the Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie has final approval for an experiment...
Mar 28, 2015 4:22 pm
Amanda Knox says she's "so grateful to have my life back" after Italy's highest court overturned her murder conviction in the slaying of her roommate.
Mar 28, 2015 3:24 pm
Yemen's embattled president on Saturday called Shiite rebels who forced him to flee the country "puppets of Iran," directly blaming the Islamic Republic for the chaos there and demanding air...
Mar 28, 2015 11:30 am
The Bears' new 3-4 base front will change how they defend the edges. There's a lot to sort out in this transition before September, but here's an early breakdown of new responsibilities and the candid...
Mar 28, 2015 11:29 am
NEW YORK Andrew Shaw's head suddenly jerked forward, and Brock Nelson's snapped back.
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