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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
Dec 19, 2014 7:40 pm
Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn on Friday appointed longtime aide Jerry Stermer to succeed the late Judy Baar Topinka as Illinois comptroller.
Dec 19, 2014 7:36 pm
President Obama said on Fridaythat Sony Pictures Entertainment made a mistake in pulling the'The Interview' from theaters, after the FBI announced that North Korea was responsible for the cyber attack...
Dec 19, 2014 7:01 pm
A federal jury deliberated less than two hours Friday before convicting a former high-ranking Midlothian police officer of a civil rights violation for repeatedly striking a man with a metal baton wit...
Dec 19, 2014 6:55 pm
Derrick Rose will miss his second straight game to illness and 10th overall this season Friday in Memphis.
Dec 19, 2014 4:45 pm
The minute Sergio Correa returned home from Navy Pier, the Chicago man realized his wallet was lost. He had kept his cash in his pocket, but Correa said his debit card and all his identification were ...
Dec 19, 2014 4:33 pm
Children today that track Santa's travels from the North Pole around the world on Christmas Eve through NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command) have a 1955 Sears Roebuck misprint to thank. ...
Dec 19, 2014 4:07 pm
A man bit off a part of a security guards ear during a fight outside of a strip club in the South Loop early Friday morning, police said.
Dec 19, 2014 3:26 pm
Outgoing Kraft Foods Group CEO Tony Vernon will be paid his annual base salary for two years after he leaves and will be subject to a two-year non-compete agreement, the food maker said Friday.
Dec 19, 2014 3:16 pm
A U.S. judge has cleared the way for consumers to sue Target Corp over the retailer's late 2013 data breach that they say compromised their personal financial information.
Dec 19, 2014 2:17 pm
Chicago's red light cameras fail to deliver the dramatic safety benefits long claimed by City Hall, according to a first-ever scientific study that found the nation's largest camera program is respons...
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