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Illinois

State nickname: Land of Lincoln, The Prairie State
Other U.S. States
Capital Springfield
Largest city Chicago
Governor Rod Blagojevich
Official languages English
Area 149,998 kmē (25th)
 - Land 143,968 kmē
 - Water 6,030 kmē (4.0%)
Population (2000)
 - Population 12,419,293 (5th)
 - Density 86.27 /kmē (11th)
Admission into Union
 - Date December 3, 1818
 - Order 21st
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5
Latitude 36°58'N to 42°30'N
Longitude 87°30'W to 91°30'W
Width 340 km
Length 629 km
Elevation
 - Highest 376 m
 - Mean 182 m
 - Lowest 85 m
Abbreviations
 - USPS IL
 - ISO 3166-2 US-IL
Web site www.illinois.gov

Illinois (pronounced [ˌɪləˈnɔɪ] or occasionally [ˌɪləˈnɔɪz]) constitutes the 21st state of the United States, located in the former Northwest Territory. Its name was given by the state's French explorers after the indigenous Illiniwek people, a consortium of Algonquin tribes that thrived in the area. The word Illiniwek means simply "the people".

The capital of Illinois is Springfield while its largest city is Chicago, along the waterfront of Lake Michigan. Most of the state's population resides in Chicago and its suburbs. The U.S. postal abbreviation for the state is IL.

The USS Illinois was named in honor of this state.

History

Pre-Columbian

Cahokia, the urban center of the pre-Columbian Mississippian culture, was located near present-day Collinsville, Illinois. That civilization vanished circa 1400-1500 for unknown reasons. The next major power in the region was the Illiniwek Confederation, a political alliance among several tribes. The Illiniwek gave Illinois its name. The Illini suffered in the seventeenth century as Iroquois expansion forced them to compete with several tribes for land. The Ilini were replaced in Illinois by the Potawatomi, Miami, Sauk, and other tribes.

European exploration

French explorers Jacques Marquette,S.J. and Louis Joliet explored the Illinois River in 1673. As a result of their exploration, Illinois was part of the French empire until 1763, when it passed to the British. The area was ceded to the new United States in 1783 and became part of the Northwest Territory.

The 1800s

The Illinois-Wabash Company was an early claimant to much of Illinois. The Illinois Territory was created on February 3, 1809. In 1818, Illinois became the 21st U.S. state. Early U.S. settlement began in the south part of the state and quickly spread northward, driving out the native residents. With the 1832 Black Hawk War, the last native tribes were driven out of northern Illinois.

Illinois is known as the "Land of Lincoln" because it is here that the 16th President spent his formative years. Chicago gained prominence as a canal port after 1848, and as a rail hub soon afterward. By 1857, Chicago was Illinois' largest city (see History of Chicago).

The Civil War

During the Civil War, over 250,000 Illinois men served in the Union Army, more than any other northern state except New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio. Beginning with President Lincoln's first call for troops and continuing throughout the war, Illinois mustered 150 infantry regiments (see Illinois in the Civil War), which were numbered from the 7th IL to the 156th IL. Seventeen cavalry regiments were also mustered, as well as two light artillery regiments.

Government

The sample version of the current Illinois license plate introduced in 2001.

The state government of Illinois is modeled after the federal government with adaptations originating from traditions cultivated during the state's frontier era. As codified in the state constitution, there are three branches of government: executive, legislative and judicial. The executive branch is led by the Governor of Illinois. Legislative functions are given to the Illinois General Assembly, comprised of the 118-member Illinois State House of Representatives and the 59-member Illinois State Senate. The judiciary is comprised of the state supreme court, which oversees the lower appelate courts and circuit courts.

Geography

See List of Illinois counties

It is in the north-central U.S. and borders on Lake Michigan. Surrounding states are Wisconsin to the north, Iowa and Missouri to the west, Kentucky to the south, and Indiana to the east. Illinois also borders Michigan, but only via a water boundary in Lake Michigan.

Illinois has three major geographical divisions. The first is Chicagoland, including the city of Chicago, its suburbs, and the adjoining exurban area into which the metropolis is expanding. This region includes a few counties in Indiana and Wisconsin and streches across much of the Northern Illinois toward the Iowa border, generally along and north of Interstate 80. This region is cosmopolitan, densely populated, industrialized, and settled by a variety of ethnic groups. The city of Chicago is heavily Democratic. While this tendency has historically been balanced by Republican voters in the suburbs, Democrats have significantly increased their suburban support in the past decade.

Southward and westward, the second major division is Central Illinois, an area of rolling hills and flat prairie. Known as the Land of Lincoln, it is characterized by small towns and mid-sized cities. Agriculture, particularly corn and soybeans, figures prominently. Major cities include famously average Peoria, Springfield (the state capital), and Champaign-Urbana (home of the University of Illinois). This region's largely rural character helps to sustain a heavily Republican voting pattern and widespread antipathy toward Chicago.

The third division is Southern Illinois, or Little Egypt, distinguished from the other two by its warmer climate, different mix of crops (including some cotton farming in the past), more rugged unglaciated topography, coal mining, and proximity to the juncture of the Mississippi River and Ohio River. The combination of coal mining and industrialization, especially in the region around Saint Louis, Missouri, has caused the region to lean Democratic politically. This division comprises the area generally along and south of Interstate 70.

McLean County, is the largest county in terms of land area, at 1,184 sq mi. while Cook County is the largest county in terms of population, at 5,327,777. Both figures are as of 2004.

In extreme northwestern Illinois the Driftless Area, a region of unglaciated and therefore comparatively higher and more rugged topography, occupies a small part of the state.

Economy

The 2003 total gross state product for Illinois was $499 billion, placing it 5th in the nation. The per capita income was $32,965.

Illinois' agricultural outputs are corn, soybeans, hogs, cattle, dairy products and wheat. Its industrial outputs are machinery, food processing, electrical equipment, chemical products, publishing, fabricated metal products, transportation equipment, petroleum and coal.

Demographics

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, as of 2003, the population of Illinois was 12,653,544. At the northern edge of the state on Lake Michigan lies Chicago, the nation's third largest city. More than half of the population of Illinois lives in and around Chicago, the leading industrial and transportation center in the region. The rest of the population lives in the smaller cities and on the farms that dot the state's gently rolling plains.

Racially, the state is:

The top 5 ancestry groups in Illinois are German (19.6%), African American (15.1%), Irish (12.2%), Mexican (9.2%), Polish (7.5%).

7.1% of Illinois' population were reported as under 5, 26.1% under 18, and 12.1% were 65 or older. Females made up approximately 51% of the population.

Religion

Unlike the other Midwestern states, Illinois is not overwhelmingly Protestant--only about half of the people profess that faith. Roman Catholics (who are predominant in and around Chicago) account for one-third of the population.

The religious affiliations of the people of Illinois are:

The three largest Protestant denominations in Illinois are: Baptist (15% of total state population), Lutheran (8%), Methodist (8%).

Important cities and towns

Illinois, showing major cities and roads Chicago

See complete listing here...

Counties of Illinois

Education

Illinois State Board of Education

The Illinois State Board of Education or ISBE, autonomous of the governor and the state legislature, administers public education in the state. Local municipalities and their respective school districts operate individual public schools but the ISBE audits performance of public schools with an annual school report card. The ISBE also makes recommendations to state leaders concerning education spending and policies.

There is current debate as to the role of the ISBE and whether or not its autonomous relationship with the governor and the state legislature is appropriate. In 2002, the Office of the Governor proposed the creation of a monolithic statewide department of education to replace the ISBE. However, direct control of the new department would fall under the state governor's jurisdiction. The structure would mimic the system employed by the Hawaii State Department of Education, which has no local school districts. Opponents to the proposal argue that local communities would lose control over what their children would learn in public schools and the means by which those public schools operate.

Primary and secondary schools

Education is compulsory from kindergarten through the twelfth grade in Illinois, commonly but not exclusively divided into three tiers of primary and secondary education: elementary school, middle school or junior high school and high school. District territories are often complex in structure. In some cases, elementary, middle and junior high schools of a single district feed into high schools in another district.

See List of school districts in Illinois for a listing of all school districts, by county.
See List of high schools in Illinois for a partial list of high schools.

Colleges and universities

While many students enter the military or join the workforce directly from high school, students have the option of applying to colleges and universities in Illinois. Notable Illinois institutions of higher education include Loyola University Chicago, Northwestern University, University of Chicago and the several branches of the University of Illinois. Illinois is also home to 49 colleges in the Illinois community college system.

List of colleges and universities

Professional sports teams

People

State symbols

The Cardinal is the state bird of Illinois
This page about Illinois includes information from a Wikipedia article.
Additional articles about Illinois
News stories about Illinois
External links for Illinois
Videos for Illinois
Wikis about Illinois
Discussion Groups about Illinois
Blogs about Illinois
Images of Illinois

Illinois is also home to 49 colleges in the Illinois community college system. The Nuggets will pick 20th in the 2005 NBA Draft; the pick was acquired from Washington via Orlando. Notable Illinois institutions of higher education include Loyola University Chicago, Northwestern University, University of Chicago and the several branches of the University of Illinois. After winning an incredible game one at San Antonio, the Nuggets proceeded to lose the next four games and lost the series 4-1. While many students enter the military or join the workforce directly from high school, students have the option of applying to colleges and universities in Illinois. In the playoffs, however, the Nuggets could not survive the powerhouse defense of Tim Duncan and the San Antonio Spurs. In some cases, elementary, middle and junior high schools of a single district feed into high schools in another district. Karl lived up to his reputation by leading the team to an astounding record of 32-8 in the 2nd half of the regular season which vaulted the team into the playoffs for the 2nd consecutive year.

District territories are often complex in structure. On December 28, 2004, head coach Jeff Bzdelik was fired from the organization and replaced by interim Nuggets coach, former Los Angeles Laker player and Los Angeles Sparks head coach Michael Cooper, before finally hiring veteran coach George Karl. Education is compulsory from kindergarten through the twelfth grade in Illinois, commonly but not exclusively divided into three tiers of primary and secondary education: elementary school, middle school or junior high school and high school. They were eliminated in the first round four games to one by the Minnesota Timberwolves. Opponents to the proposal argue that local communities would lose control over what their children would learn in public schools and the means by which those public schools operate. In April, the turnaround was complete as they became the first franchise in NBA history to qualify for the postseason following a sub 20 win campaign the previous year. The structure would mimic the system employed by the Hawaii State Department of Education, which has no local school districts. Much of of the reason for this incredible turnaround were the front-office moves of General Manager Kiki Vandeweghe a former Nuggets player who assumed General Manager duties August,9 2001 adding crucial personnel including: point guard Andre Miller, power forward Nčnč, point guard Earl Boykins, Center Marcus Camby and shooting gaurd Jon Barry.

However, direct control of the new department would fall under the state governor's jurisdiction. In just two months of the season, they recorded more wins than they had in 5 1/2 months of play in 2002-03. In 2002, the Office of the Governor proposed the creation of a monolithic statewide department of education to replace the ISBE. The team has shown signs of another renaissance for the 2003-04, with the drafting of Carmelo Anthony and yet another uniform change (light blue and yellow). There is current debate as to the role of the ISBE and whether or not its autonomous relationship with the governor and the state legislature is appropriate. Ironically, Cleveland (LeBron James) and Denver (Carmelo Anthony) would eventually have a twin pair of rookie dynamos enter their ranks the very next year. The ISBE also makes recommendations to state leaders concerning education spending and policies. They tied for the worst record in the NBA in 2002-03 with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Local municipalities and their respective school districts operate individual public schools but the ISBE audits performance of public schools with an annual school report card. Denver was an also-ran for nearly a decade, and flirted with having the worst record in a season in 1997-98, winning only 11 games in an 82 game season. The Illinois State Board of Education or ISBE, autonomous of the governor and the state legislature, administers public education in the state. The team had a brief resurgence in 1993-94 (a year they ditched their rainbow colors for a dark blue and gold scheme) finishing 42-40 and stunning the top-seeded Supersonics in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs, falling to the Utah Jazz in game six of the second round, but it was a rare highlight following Moe's departure. See complete listing here... Moe left the team in 1990, and his departure ended their run as a competitive franchise. The three largest Protestant denominations in Illinois are: Baptist (15% of total state population), Lutheran (8%), Methodist (8%). Only once, in 1984-85, did they even make it to the conference finals, and that year they lost in 5 games to the Los Angeles Lakers.

The religious affiliations of the people of Illinois are:. It was a novel strategy, but it rarely led to playoff success. Roman Catholics (who are predominant in and around Chicago) account for one-third of the population. 1980s Denver Nuggets basketball teams would often score in excess of 115 points a game, and during one full season, 1981-82, they did not fail to score 100 points in any game. Unlike the other Midwestern states, Illinois is not overwhelmingly Protestant--only about half of the people profess that faith. Moe brought with him a "run and gun" philosophy, a style of play focusing on attempting to score rapidly with little interest in defense, and it helped the team become highly competitive. Females made up approximately 51% of the population. It ended in 1981, when they hired Doug Moe as a head coach.

7.1% of Illinois' population were reported as under 5, 26.1% under 18, and 12.1% were 65 or older. Brown left the team in 1979, helping usher in a brief decline in their team's performance. The top 5 ancestry groups in Illinois are German (19.6%), African American (15.1%), Irish (12.2%), Mexican (9.2%), Polish (7.5%). However, neither of these teams were ultimately successful in the postseason. Racially, the state is:. Led by Dan Issel (http://www.nba.com/history/players/issel_summary.html), Bobby Jones (http://www.remembertheaba.com/TributeMaterial/BobbyJones.html), and David Thompson (http://www.nba.com/history/thompson_bio.html), Denver (and their memorable rainbow-striped jerseys) were quite strong early on in the NBA, as they won division titles in their first two seasons in the league, and missed a third by a single game. The rest of the population lives in the smaller cities and on the farms that dot the state's gently rolling plains. They would get no second chance to win a league championship, as the ABA merger occurred during the off-season.

More than half of the population of Illinois lives in and around Chicago, the leading industrial and transportation center in the region. With Larry Brown coaching, they had their best seasons in team history in their first two seasons as the Nuggets, with the team making the ABA finals in 1975-76. At the northern edge of the state on Lake Michigan lies Chicago, the nation's third largest city. In 1974, the team was renamed the Nuggets, a nickname first used by a 1949-50 NBA franchise. Census Bureau, as of 2003, the population of Illinois was 12,653,544. Haywood averaged 30 points in his only ABA season, then was allowed to sign with the Seattle SuperSonics to start a productive NBA career. According to the U.S. Haywood was one of the first players to turn pro before graduating college, and the NBA initially refused to let him play in the league.

Its industrial outputs are machinery, food processing, electrical equipment, chemical products, publishing, fabricated metal products, transportation equipment, petroleum and coal. During the 1969-1970 season, the team also had a controversial rookie named Spencer Haywood. Illinois' agricultural outputs are corn, soybeans, hogs, cattle, dairy products and wheat. They had a solid lineup led by Byron Beck (http://www.nba.com/nuggets/history/byron_beck_retire.html) and Larry Jones, then later by Beck and Ralph Simpson (http://www.basketballreference.com/players/playerpage.htm?ilkid=SAMPSRA01). The per capita income was $32,965. However, they tended to struggle in the postseason and failed to make a championship game during this span. The 2003 total gross state product for Illinois was $499 billion, placing it 5th in the nation. One of 4 ABA teams that joined the NBA through a league merger in 1976, they were known as the Rockets for their first 7 years of existence, and were very strong in their early years.

In extreme northwestern Illinois the Driftless Area, a region of unglaciated and therefore comparatively higher and more rugged topography, occupies a small part of the state. The Denver Nuggets are a National Basketball Association team based in Denver, Colorado. Both figures are as of 2004. Bryon Russell (Long Beach State). while Cook County is the largest county in terms of population, at 5,327,777. Wesley Person (Auburn). McLean County, is the largest county in terms of land area, at 1,184 sq mi. Dermarr Johnson (University of Cincinnati).

This division comprises the area generally along and south of Interstate 70. Nenę (Brazil). The combination of coal mining and industrialization, especially in the region around Saint Louis, Missouri, has caused the region to lean Democratic politically. Eduardo Najera (Oklahoma). The third division is Southern Illinois, or Little Egypt, distinguished from the other two by its warmer climate, different mix of crops (including some cotton farming in the past), more rugged unglaciated topography, coal mining, and proximity to the juncture of the Mississippi River and Ohio River. Andre Miller (Utah). This region's largely rural character helps to sustain a heavily Republican voting pattern and widespread antipathy toward Chicago. Kenyon Martin (University of Cincinnati).

Major cities include famously average Peoria, Springfield (the state capital), and Champaign-Urbana (home of the University of Illinois). Francisco Elson (California). Agriculture, particularly corn and soybeans, figures prominently. Carmelo Anthony (Syracuse). Known as the Land of Lincoln, it is characterized by small towns and mid-sized cities. Greg Buckner (Clemson). Southward and westward, the second major division is Central Illinois, an area of rolling hills and flat prairie. Marcus Camby (Massachusettes).

While this tendency has historically been balanced by Republican voters in the suburbs, Democrats have significantly increased their suburban support in the past decade. Earl Boykins (Eastern Michigan). The city of Chicago is heavily Democratic. 44 Dan Issel. This region is cosmopolitan, densely populated, industrialized, and settled by a variety of ethnic groups. 40 Byron Beck. This region includes a few counties in Indiana and Wisconsin and streches across much of the Northern Illinois toward the Iowa border, generally along and north of Interstate 80. 33 David Thompson.

The first is Chicagoland, including the city of Chicago, its suburbs, and the adjoining exurban area into which the metropolis is expanding. 2 Alex English. Illinois has three major geographical divisions. Lafayette "Fat" Lever. Illinois also borders Michigan, but only via a water boundary in Lake Michigan. Dikembe Mutombo. and borders on Lake Michigan. Surrounding states are Wisconsin to the north, Iowa and Missouri to the west, Kentucky to the south, and Indiana to the east. David Thompson.

It is in the north-central U.S. Dan Issel. See List of Illinois counties. Alex English. The judiciary is comprised of the state supreme court, which oversees the lower appelate courts and circuit courts. Legislative functions are given to the Illinois General Assembly, comprised of the 118-member Illinois State House of Representatives and the 59-member Illinois State Senate.

The executive branch is led by the Governor of Illinois. As codified in the state constitution, there are three branches of government: executive, legislative and judicial. The state government of Illinois is modeled after the federal government with adaptations originating from traditions cultivated during the state's frontier era. Seventeen cavalry regiments were also mustered, as well as two light artillery regiments.

Beginning with President Lincoln's first call for troops and continuing throughout the war, Illinois mustered 150 infantry regiments (see Illinois in the Civil War), which were numbered from the 7th IL to the 156th IL. During the Civil War, over 250,000 Illinois men served in the Union Army, more than any other northern state except New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio. By 1857, Chicago was Illinois' largest city (see History of Chicago). Chicago gained prominence as a canal port after 1848, and as a rail hub soon afterward.

Illinois is known as the "Land of Lincoln" because it is here that the 16th President spent his formative years. With the 1832 Black Hawk War, the last native tribes were driven out of northern Illinois. settlement began in the south part of the state and quickly spread northward, driving out the native residents. Early U.S.

state. In 1818, Illinois became the 21st U.S. The Illinois Territory was created on February 3, 1809. The Illinois-Wabash Company was an early claimant to much of Illinois.

The area was ceded to the new United States in 1783 and became part of the Northwest Territory. As a result of their exploration, Illinois was part of the French empire until 1763, when it passed to the British. and Louis Joliet explored the Illinois River in 1673. French explorers Jacques Marquette,S.J.

The Ilini were replaced in Illinois by the Potawatomi, Miami, Sauk, and other tribes. The Illini suffered in the seventeenth century as Iroquois expansion forced them to compete with several tribes for land. The Illiniwek gave Illinois its name. The next major power in the region was the Illiniwek Confederation, a political alliance among several tribes.

That civilization vanished circa 1400-1500 for unknown reasons. Cahokia, the urban center of the pre-Columbian Mississippian culture, was located near present-day Collinsville, Illinois. The USS Illinois was named in honor of this state. postal abbreviation for the state is IL.

The U.S. Most of the state's population resides in Chicago and its suburbs. The capital of Illinois is Springfield while its largest city is Chicago, along the waterfront of Lake Michigan. The word Illiniwek means simply "the people".

Its name was given by the state's French explorers after the indigenous Illiniwek people, a consortium of Algonquin tribes that thrived in the area. Illinois (pronounced [ˌɪləˈnɔɪ] or occasionally [ˌɪləˈnɔɪz]) constitutes the 21st state of the United States, located in the former Northwest Territory. State tree: White oak (Quercus alba). State snack: Popcorn.

State song: "Illinois". State slogan: "Land of Lincoln". State prairie grass: Big Bluestem (Andropogon gerardii). State motto: "State sovereignty, national union".

State mineral: Fluorite. State insect: Monarch butterfly. State fossil: Tully Monster (Tullimonstrum gregarium). State flower: Purple violet (Viola sororia).

State fish: Bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus). State dance: Square dance. State capital: Springfield. State bird: Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis).

State animal: White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus). Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President, is buried in Springfield, Illinois. Ronald Reagan, the 40th President, was born in Tampico, Illinois. Non-Religious – 8%.

Other Religions – 3%. Other Christian – 1%. Roman Catholic – 33%. Protestant – 51%.

1.9% mixed race. 0.2% American Indian. 3.4% Asian. 12.3% Hispanic.

15.1% Black. 67.8% White Non-Hispanic. The Junior United States Senator is Barack Obama (Democrat). Durbin (Democrat).

The Senior United States Senator is Richard J. The Treasurer of Illinois is Judy Baar Topinka (Republican). The Secretary of State of Illinois is Jesse White (Democrat). The Lieutenant Governor of Illinois is Pat Quinn (Democrat).

The Governor of Illinois is Rod Blagojevich (Democrat).

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