Illinois

Description

Illinois ( (listen) IL-ə-NOY) is a state in the Midwestern and Great Lakes regions of the United States. It has the fifth largest gross domestic product (GDP),
the sixth largest population, and the 25th largest land area of all U.S. states. Illinois has been noted as a microcosm of the entire United States. With Chicago in northeastern Illinois, small industrial cities and immense agricultural productivity in the north and center of the state, and natural resources such as coal, timber, and petroleum in the south, Illinois has a diverse economic base, and is a major transportation hub. The Port of Chicago connects the state to international ports via two main routes: from the Great Lakes, via the Saint Lawrence Seaway, to the Atlantic Ocean and from the Great Lakes to the Mississippi River, via the Illinois River, through the Illinois Waterway. The Mississippi River, the Ohio River, and the Wabash River form parts of the boundaries of Illinois. For decades, Chicago's O'Hare International Airport has been ranked as one of the world's busiest airports. Illinois has long had a reputation as a bellwether both in social and cultural terms and, through the 1980s, in politics.
The capital of Illinois is Springfield, which is located in the central part of the state. Although today Illinois's largest population center is in its northeast, the state's European population grew first in the west as the French settled lands near the Mississippi River, when the region was known as Illinois Country and was part of New France. Following the American Revolutionary War, American settlers began arriving from Kentucky in the 1780s via the Ohio River, and the population grew from south to north. In 1818, Illinois achieved statehood. Following increased commercial activity in the Great Lakes after the construction of the Erie Canal, Chicago was incorporated in the 1830s on the banks of the Chicago River at one of the few natural harbors on the southern section of Lake Michigan. John Deere's invention of the self-scouring steel plow turned Illinois's rich prairie into some of the world's most productive and valuable farmland, attracting immigrant farmers from Germany and Sweden. The Illinois and Michigan Canal (1848) made transportation between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River valley faster and cheaper, and new railroads carried immigrants to new homes in the country's west and shipped commodity crops to the nation's east. The state became a transportation hub for the nation.By 1900, the growth of industrial jobs in the northern cities and coal mining in the central and southern areas attracted immigrants from Eastern and Southern Europe. Illinois was an important manufacturing center during both world wars. The Great Migration from the South established a large community of African Americans in the state, including Chicago, who founded the city's famous jazz and blues cultures. Chicago, the center of the Chicago Metropolitan Area, is now recognized as a global city. Chicagoland, Chicago's metropolitan area, encompasses about 65% of the state's population. The most populous metropolitan areas outside the Chicago area include, Metro East (of Greater St. Louis), Peoria and Rockford.
Three U.S. presidents have been elected while living in Illinois: Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, and Barack Obama. Additionally, Ronald Reagan, whose political career was based in California, was born and raised in the state. Today, Illinois honors Lincoln with its official state slogan Land of Lincoln, which has been displayed on its license plates since 1954. The state is the site of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield and the future home of the Barack Obama Presidential Center in Chicago.

Reference

Wikipedia, Blueballoon

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Evanston

Chicago Heights

Belvidere

Darien

DeKalb

Jerseyville

Peru

Momence

Decatur

Edwardsville

Effingham

El Paso

Petersburg

Charleston

McHenry

Jonesboro

Farmington

Farmer City

New Boston

Lockport

Fulton

Elizabeth

Moline

Galesburg

Elmhurst

Chenoa

St. Charles

Mount Zion

Carlinville

Red Bud

Galva

Chillicothe

Blue Island

Eureka

Amboy

Wood Dale

Fairbury

Rock Island

Rockford

Rolling Meadows

Geneseo

Zion

Belleville

Harvard

Cambridge

Havana

Berwyn

Anna

Hickory Hills

Bloomingdale

Pontoon Beach, Illinois

Cuba

Prophetstown

Highwood

Robinson

Rochelle

Roodhouse

Roscoe

Hoopeston

Sandwich

Savanna

Deer Grove

Shawneetown

Delavan

Shipman

Silvis

Kampsville, Illinois

South Beloit

Des Plaines

Spring Valley

Kaskaskia

St. Elmo

St. Francisville

Staunton

Sterling

Stockton

Dixon

Sullivan

Kinmundy

Earlville

La Harpe

LaSalle

Tilden

Lacon

Bolingbrook

East Dubuque

Carpentersville

Braidwood

Ava

Vandalia

Vienna

Lena

Eldorado

Carthage

Lincoln

Lisle

Litchfield

Waterloo

Lyndon

Centreville

West Chicago

Elmwood

Macon

Madison

Barry

Marengo

Marion

Markham

Maroa

Witt

Fairfield

Brighton

Mason City

Waverly

McLeansboro

Champaign

Metropolis

Millstadt

Monmouth

Montrose

Morris

Morrison

Flora

Mount Carmel

Freeport

Galena

Nashville

Atlanta

Genoa

Neoga

New Berlin

Beardstown

Chicago

Gillespie

North Chicago

Gilman

Oak Forest

Chrisman

Grand Tower

Oneida

Coffeen

Granville

Grayville

Colchester

Palestine

Palos Heights

Benld

Byron

Paris

Benton

Calumet City

Paxton

Country Club Hills

Peoria

Percy

Pesotum, Illinois

Rock Falls

Rosiclare

Round Lake Beach

Rushville

Salem

Savoy

Sesser

Shelbyville

Shiloh

Simpson

Sparta

Springfield

Stonefort

Streator

Abingdon

Sycamore

Taylorville

Techny

Toluca

Toulon

Trenton

Troy

Tuscola

Urbana

Venice

Vernon Hills

Versailles

Villa Grove

Virden

Virginia

Wamac

Warrenville

Warsaw

Washington

Watseka

Waukegan

Wenona

West Frankfort

West Peoria

Westmont

Wheaton

White Hall

Wilmington

Winchester

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