Portal:Illinois

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Illinois is a state in the Midwestern United States. It is the 5th most populous and 25th largest state, and is often noted as a microcosm of the country. With Chicago and its suburbs in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in central and northern Illinois, and natural resources like coal, timber, and petroleum in the south, Illinois has a diverse economic base and is a major transportation hub.

Prehistoric Illinois was the site of Cahokia, the largest urban center of the Mississippian culture. The Illinois Confederation, from which the state takes its name, dominated the region during the contact period, but by the time of the American Revolution, only about 2,000 Native Americans and a small number of French villagers inhabited the area. Anglo-American settlers began arriving from Kentucky in the 1810s. Illinois achieved statehood in 1818. Northerners arrived later via the Great Lakes, founding Chicago in the 1830s. The invention of the steel plow and growth of railroads made it possible to profitably farm the rich prairie land of 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, industry was growing rapidly 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 many African Americans in the Great Migration from the Southern United States, who developed renowned jazz and blues cultures in the city.

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Thematic map of Chicago showing Black or African American population.

The South Side is a major part of the City of Chicago, which is located in Cook County, Illinois, United States. Much of it has evolved from the incorporation of independent townships, such as Hyde Park Township, that have been annexed by the city. Regions of the city, referred to as sides, are divided by the Chicago River and its branches. The South Side of Chicago was originally defined as all of the city south of the Chicago River, but it now excludes the Loop. The South Side has a varied ethnic composition, and it has great disparity in income and other demographic measures. The South Side covers 60% of the city's land area, with a higher ratio of single-family homes and larger sections zoned for industry than the rest of the city.

Although it has endured a reputation as being poor and crime-infested, the reality is more varied, and it ranges from impoverished to working class to affluent. Neighborhoods such as Armour Square, Back of the Yards, Bridgeport, Little Village and Pullman tend to be composed of more blue collar residents, while the Jackson Park Highlands District, Hyde Park, Mount Greenwood, Morgan Park, Kenwood, and Beverly tend to have middle, upper class, and affluent residents.

The South Side boasts a broad array of cultural and social offerings, such as professional sports teams, landmark buildings, nationally renowned museums, elite educational institutions, world class medical institutions, and major parts of the city's elaborate parks system. The South Side is serviced by bus and train via the Chicago Transit Authority and a number of Metra lines. In addition, it has several Interstate highways and United States highways to serve vehicular traffic. (Read more...)

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Ninian Edwards

Ninian Edwards (March 17, 1775 – July 20, 1833) was a founding political figure of the state of Illinois. He served as the only governor of the Illinois Territory from 1809 to 1818, as one of the first two United States Senators from Illinois from 1818 to 1824, and as the third Governor of Illinois from 1826 to 1830. Born in Maryland, Edwards began his political career in Kentucky. In 1809, U.S. President James Madison appointed him to govern the newly created Illinois Territory. He held that post for three terms, overseeing the territory's transition to statehood in 1818. On its second day in session, the Illinois General Assembly elected Edwards to the U.S. Senate. Edwards won an unlikely 1826 election to become Governor of Illinois. As governor or territorial governor he twice sent Illinois militia against Native Americans, in the War of 1812 and the Winnebago War, and signed treaties for the cession of Native American land. Edwards returned to private life when his term ended in 1830 and died of cholera two years later. (Read more...)

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1971 Salem, Illinois derailment aerial.jpeg


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Symbols of many religions are carved in concrete relief on a pillar of the Bahá'í House of Worship in Wilmette, Illinois. The temple is the oldest surviving Bahá'í House of Worship in the world, and the only one in the United States. It was designed by the architect Louis Bourgeois and constructed between 1921 and 1953.
Photo credit: User:Jeff3000

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