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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 25, 2014 6:44 pm
A judge Saturday set bail at $500,000 for a 31-year-old man accused of driving a stolen vehicle and fleeing the scene of an accident that left a bicyclist critically injured earlier this month.
Oct 25, 2014 2:26 pm
Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan holds an overwhelming advantage against her Republican challenger as she seeks her fourth term, a Chicago Tribune poll finds.
Oct 25, 2014 12:56 pm
Several buildings downtown lost power early Saturday after a ComEd transformer exploded underground in the Near North neighborhood, authorities said.
Oct 25, 2014 6:01 am
A student shot dead a female classmate and wounded four others when he opened fire in the cafeteria of his Washington state high school on Friday, apparently after a fight with fellow students, offici...
Oct 25, 2014 5:36 am
Josh Padilla wears No. 71 on game days. He is listed as a senior kicker on Leydens roster. He is a team captain and walks to midfield for the pregame coin toss.
Oct 25, 2014 5:27 am
Brandon Marshall didn't tell any secrets last Sunday when his fire roared in the Bears' locker room. He didn't attack Jay Cutler, and he didn't have to.
Oct 25, 2014 5:11 am
It's no Halloween trick: There's more witchcraft and wizardry in store for "HarryPotter" fans, who can expect a new tale from authorJ.K. Rowlingon Oct. 31.
Oct 25, 2014 5:08 am
As the Waukegan teachers' strike entered Week 4 last week, community members appear increasingly frustrated with striking teachers, School District 60 officials, or both at the lack of resolution. ...
Oct 25, 2014 4:20 am
New York and New Jersey will automatically quarantine medical workers returning from Ebola-hit West African countries and the U.S. government is considering the same step after a doctor who treated pa...
Oct 25, 2014 3:41 am
Royals 3, Giants 2: Alcides Escobar went 2-for-4 and scored twice as visitingKansas CityedgedSan Franciscoto take a 2-1 lead in the World Series.
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