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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
Sep 1, 2014 5:05 am
People accused of violent domestic abuse crimes may soon be forced to pay for their own electronic monitoring as a condition of bail, regardless of whether an order of protection is already in place, ...
Sep 1, 2014 4:01 am
Derrick Rose played in back-to-back games for the first time since the ill-fated night he tore his right meniscus last Nov. 22 in Portland, Ore.
Sep 1, 2014 3:59 am
Week 1 of the NFL regular season has arrived, a daunting prospect for a Bears special teams unit that struggled in many areas during exhibition games. The list of questions facing coordinator Joe DeCa...
Sep 1, 2014 2:57 am
Actress Jenny McCarthy and pop star turned reality television star Donnie Wahlberg have tied the knot in St. Charles, family and media said on Sunday.
Sep 1, 2014 2:33 am
Adam Dunn paused, as if mentally stepping out of the batters box to collect his thoughts, then answered the question about his intentions to continue playing beyond this season.
Sep 1, 2014 2:27 am
Police officers in Ferguson, Missouri, have begun wearing body cameras after weeks of unrest over the shooting death of an unarmed black teen by a white officer and sharply differing accounts of the i...
Aug 31, 2014 10:22 pm
At the start of every practice, New Trier High School's girls tennis team spends 10 minutes on drills that don't help players hit the ball more skillfully, yet might be the most important part of thei...
Aug 31, 2014 9:46 pm
The Bears will enter the regular season with a new long snapper after they waived Brandon Hartson on Sunday.
Aug 31, 2014 8:14 pm
Gov. Pat Quinn said Sunday he had begun a weeklong attempt to spend no more than $79 on food and other expenses, part of an effort to build support for a minimum wage referendum that will be on the ba...
Aug 31, 2014 7:18 pm
Uma Mukherjee sat in an office chair in a conference room at the Chicago law firm of Mayer Brown, clutching a tissue in her left hand.
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