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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 20, 2014 6:46 pm
Graco recalled nearly 5 million strollers Thursday after 11 reports of finger injuries, including six fingertip amputations.
Nov 20, 2014 6:00 pm
SACRAMENTO, Calif. --- The Bulls haven't won the first two games of their annual extended November trip since 1996.
Nov 20, 2014 5:46 pm
A high school athlete running with teammates in Palatine early Thursday was severely injured after he was struck by a car, police said.
Nov 20, 2014 5:44 pm
Rep. Tammy Duckworth, who won a second term in the U.S. House two weeks ago, gave birth Tuesday to a daughter: Abigail O'kalani Bowlsbey.
Nov 20, 2014 5:23 pm
Police are searching for a man who robbed a TCF Bank in Tinley Park on Wednesday afternoon.
Nov 20, 2014 5:13 pm
A Waukegan group is seeking ideas for a sculpture to honor the late science fiction writer and Waukegan native Ray Bradbury.
Nov 20, 2014 4:31 pm
The state Supreme Court today dismissed a challenge to Chicagos red light camera program after two judges recused themselves and the rest of the court declared it was divided.
Nov 20, 2014 4:11 pm
Singer and songwriter Richard Marx on Wednesday listed his nine-bedroom, 29,475-square-foot, David Adler-designed mansion on Lake Michigan in Lake Bluff for $18 million.
Nov 20, 2014 4:07 pm
Four members of a family were out of the hospital Thursday morning after suffering severe carbon monoxide poisoning at a home in Roseland where the stove and oven were being used for heat, officials s...
Nov 20, 2014 3:51 pm
Two key lawmakers agreed Thursday to work on a new package of ride-sharing regulations that would require background checks of drivers and a minimum of $1 million in insurance coverage when carrying p...
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