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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
Oct 20, 2014 5:04 pm
At least 1,000 potential jurors will be screened for the trial of accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, a federal judge said on Monday, after attorneys for both sides asked for a wide-rang...
Oct 20, 2014 4:47 pm
Two-term Chicago Treasurer Stephanie Neely told her staff Monday morning that she will step down at the end of November, a move that will allow Mayor Rahm Emanuel to appoint her replacement heading in...
Oct 20, 2014 4:22 pm
Weeks of worries about a possible Ebola infection ended for dozens of people on watch lists Monday but scores were still being monitored after potential exposure to the virus, Texas health officials s...
Oct 20, 2014 3:32 pm
Controversy has come knocking for the Chicago Bears. That tends to happen when youre headed for November without a home win, when youve lost three of your past four games, when youve proven to be a ma...
Oct 20, 2014 3:26 pm
The woman best known for a stained blue dress and an affair with President Clinton that led to only the second impeachment of a sitting president is now on Twitter.
Oct 20, 2014 3:14 pm
Turkey said on Monday it would allow Iraqi Kurdish fighters to reinforce fellow Kurds in the Syrian town of Kobani, while the United States air-dropped arms for the first time to help the defenders re...
Oct 20, 2014 1:12 pm
Hong Kong students and the government stood their ground on Monday ahead of talks aimed at defusing more than three weeks of pro-democracy protests that have blocked traffic around the Chinese-control...
Oct 20, 2014 12:58 pm
Small avalanches hampered the search for Nepali porters and guides missing for six days after a devastating Himalayan storm, officials said on Monday, as rescue crews began to scale back the hunt for ...
Oct 20, 2014 12:47 pm
Microsoft Corp. is preparing to launch a smartwatch within the next few weeks that will passively track a user's heart rate and work across different mobile platforms, Forbes reported on Sunday.
Oct 20, 2014 12:00 pm
Ten thoughts after the Chicago Bears continued their winless ways at Soldier Field, losing to the Miami Dolphins 27-14 on Sunday in a poor game all the way around.
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