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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
Feb 28, 2015 6:23 pm
Saturday's below-zero temperatures at O'Hare International Airport trumped a record low of zero degrees set in 1884.
Feb 28, 2015 6:04 pm
GLENDALE, Ariz. Chicago White Sox left-hander Chris Sale is expected to miss three weeks of spring training with an avulsion fracture on the lateral side of his right foot, the team announced Saturda...
Feb 28, 2015 5:14 pm
From the ground in this extreme northern part ofAntarctica, spectacularly white and blinding ice seems to extend forever. What can't be seen is the battle raging thousands of feet below to re-shape Ea...
Feb 28, 2015 3:52 pm
NEW YORK (AP) Anthony Mason, the rugged power forward who was a defensive force in the NBA from the 1990s into the early 21st century, has died. He was 48.
Feb 28, 2015 3:13 pm
Democrats are losing some skirmishes over the Department of HomelandSecurity, but many feel they are winning a political war that will haunt Republicans in 2016 and beyond.
Feb 28, 2015 2:36 pm
The parents of an American journalist beheaded by the Islamic State group say they are surprised a college-educated, London-raised man is the masked militant known as "Jihadi John" from the ...
Feb 28, 2015 2:31 pm
A man surrendered to police after barricading himself inside a Lakeview neighborhood apartment Saturday morning for more than four hours.
Feb 28, 2015 2:23 pm
At a taco shop in Southern California, milkshakes are served in mason jars and a chalkboard menu lists "The 1%er" made with lobster meat.
Feb 28, 2015 1:52 pm
So many historic buildings in Chicago are being turned into hotels these days that it almost comes as a surprise to see a new hotel stretch into the sky.
Feb 28, 2015 6:34 am
Lake Superior finally froze enough this week to allow access to one of northern Wisconsins most stunning natural formations: the Bayfield Peninsulas lakeshore caves
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