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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
Apr 25, 2015 7:25 pm
A Wisconsin man climbing Mount Everest has survived a powerful earthquake that shook Nepal.
Apr 25, 2015 6:58 pm
There were plenty of people dressed like The Joker when the three-day C2E2 kicked off Friday at McCormick Place, some holding an oversized mallet and one holding a bomb. None of them looked like The J...
Apr 25, 2015 5:52 pm
For the first time at age 95, Bill Grayden has come to Gallipoli, where his father stormed the beach and took a bullet through his lung during the ill-fated British-led World War I invasion.
Apr 25, 2015 5:01 pm
The Joseph Jefferson AwardsCommittee said on Saturday that it had disqualified TheHypocrites from its 2014-15 non-Equity awards, due to its discovery of the theater's status as a Equity company operat...
Apr 25, 2015 4:59 pm
Starbucks was back in business Saturday after a computer outage forced thousands of its stores to close early the night before.
Apr 25, 2015 4:46 pm
White Sox starters Chris Sale and Jeff Samardzija received five-game suspensions for their part inThursday night's brawl with the Kansas City Royals, Major League Baseball announced Saturday.
Apr 25, 2015 3:31 pm
Neighbors on Seneca street in Elgin helped a family of five, including a baby, from a wreck involved in a five-car, hit-and-run crash Friday night after the driver of one of the vehicles fled the scen...
Apr 25, 2015 2:53 pm
It's been seven years since Ed Nance was roughed up by a Chicago police officer who handcuffed him so violently during a 2007 traffic stop he seriously injured both shoulders, costing him tens of thou...
Apr 25, 2015 12:18 pm
The eighth-grader fidgeted nervously during an impromptu meeting with the principal of Haven Middle School in Evanston just before the start of first semester.
Apr 25, 2015 11:54 am
In the 1970s, Bruce Jenner was a symbol of American masculinity as an Olympic champion. Nearly 40 years later, in an extraordinary television interview, Jenner told the world that he identifies as a w...
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