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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
Dec 21, 2014 2:22 pm
Evanston's Central Street was already sluggish on a recent Saturday afternoon when a wailing siren brought traffic on the two-lane road to a halt. An Illinois State Police cruiser sailed up from behin...
Dec 21, 2014 2:20 pm
Dec 21, 2014 2:17 pm
One man was killed and as many as 10 others were shot during a large house party in south suburban Calumet City early Sunday morning, authorities said.
Dec 21, 2014 1:57 pm
SANTA CLAUS, Ind. The jolly, chubby, bearded man leans back and lets out a belly laugh so deep it shakes the stuffed elves hanging on the nearby tree.
Dec 21, 2014 1:49 pm
Boxing legend Muhammad Ali has been hospitalized with pneumonia and is expected to recover because the illness was caught early, a spokesman said Saturday.
Dec 21, 2014 1:27 pm
A serial bank robber is suspected of hitting a bank in the Austin neighborhood Saturday morning, authorities said.
Dec 21, 2014 1:01 pm
More than two dozen people were injured Saturday when a commercial passenger bus traveling to Atlanta from Chicago crashed in Indiana, officials said.
Dec 21, 2014 6:16 am
Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network are not currently available on satellite-broadcaster Dish Network, the result of an impasse in carriage talks between the two companies.
Dec 21, 2014 1:50 am
Shoppers filled up malls and department stores on the last weekend before Christmas, as the weather cooperated to help raise the prospect of a solid finish to a holiday season that has so far produced...
Dec 20, 2014 11:30 pm
A Canadian man will travel the world with Elizabeth Gallagher. Just not the same Elizabeth Gallagher he used to date.
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