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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
Sep 2, 2014 7:16 pm
Call it tasty. Call it messy. Call it habit-forming. Just dont call Garrett Popcorn Shops mix of caramel- and cheese-flavored popcorn the Chicago Mix.
Sep 2, 2014 6:57 pm
An argument over leg room and reclining seats forced a Florida-bound flight from New York to divert to a different airport late on Monday, the third such incident of a midair disruption caused by pass...
Sep 2, 2014 6:16 pm
An American missionary doctor working in Liberia has tested positive for the Ebola virus after working with obstetrics patients at a missionary hospital in Monrovia, the church-affiliated organization...
Sep 2, 2014 6:13 pm
The Islamic State militant group released a video today purporting to show the beheading of U.S. hostage Steven J. Sotloff.
Sep 2, 2014 6:10 pm
Comedian Joan Rivers remained on life support on Tuesday after being hospitalized in serious condition due to cardiac arrest, her daughter Melissa said.
Sep 2, 2014 5:15 pm
Not even a second-half start could jump-start Derrick Rose's shot.
Sep 2, 2014 4:39 pm
A man who police say admitted to killing a baby and then dumping his body into a garbage can was sentenced today to 30 years in prison.
Sep 2, 2014 4:25 pm
The ice bucket challenge has helped the local Les Turner ALS Foundation raise $550,000 more in recent weeks than it did during the same period last year a nearly 600 percent increase in donations ove...
Sep 2, 2014 4:10 pm
Sep 2, 2014 3:20 pm
Former Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox outfielder Kosuke Fukudome, who now plays baseball in his native Japan, has listed his three-bedroom condominium unit in a Streeterville high-rise for $1.5 mi...
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