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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
Jan 31, 2015 5:36 am
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The Chicago Blackhawks took the ice for the first of back-to-back games to conclude the California portion of their road trip when they faced the Anaheim Ducks on Friday night at th...
Jan 31, 2015 4:43 am
Mitt Romney's decision not to jump into the 2016 president campaign gives an immediate boost to former Florida governor Jeb Bush's candidacy, but over time it could have an even greater impact by open...
Jan 31, 2015 4:26 am
PHOENIX — On the front page of Friday's Arizona Republic, a photo of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell showed Goodell in a shirt and slacks teaching proper tackling technique at a youth footbal...
Jan 31, 2015 4:06 am
Australia's largest newspaper was facing sharp criticism over its obituary of the nation's most famous author, whom it described as plain and overweight.
Jan 31, 2015 3:50 am
It's mid-January, and you may feel like a fitness failure.
Jan 31, 2015 3:43 am
Chicago's snowfall for the 2014-15 season has been subpar to date, with the city's 15.5-inch total through Friday nearly 5 inches below normal. The biggest snowfall was just 4 inches Jan. 4-5. That is...
Jan 31, 2015 3:41 am
Retired Cardinal Francis George says his doctors have run out of options for his cancer treatment and he's exploring an approach to care that focuses on quality of life rather than a cure.
Jan 31, 2015 3:40 am
More measles cases have been found in California, health officials said Friday.
Jan 31, 2015 3:17 am
Michael Bayne has done everything you're supposed to do to avoid taking on too much debt for college. He lives off-campus to save money on housing. He's always working at least one job sometimes two....
Jan 31, 2015 3:05 am
Brian Urlacher's dislike of Phil Emery is no secret. The former Bears star linebacker didn't appreciate how Emery, then the general manager, handled his contract negotiation after the 2012 season. ...
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