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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. Injured Reserve. Notable Illinois institutions of higher education include Loyola University Chicago, Northwestern University, University of Chicago and the several branches of the University of Illinois. Bench. 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. Starters. In some cases, elementary, middle and junior high schools of a single district feed into high schools in another district. The Basketball Association of America and the National Basketball League merged in 1949 to form the NBA.

District territories are often complex in structure. The Knicks are one of only two teams of the original National Basketball Association still located in its original city (the other being the Boston Celtics). 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. The New York Knicks (or New York Knickerbockers) are a National Basketball Association team based in New York, New York. 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. Jeff Van Gundy. The structure would mimic the system employed by the Hawaii State Department of Education, which has no local school districts. Pat Riley.

However, direct control of the new department would fall under the state governor's jurisdiction. Lenny Wilkens. In 2002, the Office of the Governor proposed the creation of a monolithic statewide department of education to replace the ISBE. Isiah Thomas (team president 2003- ; enshrined for his playing career with the Detroit Pistons). 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. Red Holzman. The ISBE also makes recommendations to state leaders concerning education spending and policies. SG - #20 Allan Houston (Tennessee).

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. G/F - #1 Anfernee "Penny" Hardaway (Memphis). The Illinois State Board of Education or ISBE, autonomous of the governor and the state legislature, administers public education in the state. C - #14 Bruno Šundov (Croatia). See complete listing here... PF - #31 Jerome Williams (Georgetown). The three largest Protestant denominations in Illinois are: Baptist (15% of total state population), Lutheran (8%), Methodist (8%). PF - #2 Maurice Taylor (Michigan).

The religious affiliations of the people of Illinois are:. SF - #21 Trevor Ariza (UCLA). Roman Catholics (who are predominant in and around Chicago) account for one-third of the population. F - #13 Malik Rose (Drexel). Unlike the other Midwestern states, Illinois is not overwhelmingly Protestant--only about half of the people profess that faith. G - #8 Jermaine Jackson (Detroit). Females made up approximately 51% of the population. F/C - #45 Jackie Butler (Coastal Christian Academy, Virginia Beach, Virginia).

7.1% of Illinois' population were reported as under 5, 26.1% under 18, and 12.1% were 65 or older. F - #5 Tim Thomas (Villanova). The top 5 ancestry groups in Illinois are German (19.6%), African American (15.1%), Irish (12.2%), Mexican (9.2%), Polish (7.5%). PF - #50 Mike Sweetney (Georgetown). Racially, the state is:. F/C - #40 Kurt Thomas (TCU). The rest of the population lives in the smaller cities and on the farms that dot the state's gently rolling plains. SG - #11 Jamal Crawford (Michigan).

More than half of the population of Illinois lives in and around Chicago, the leading industrial and transportation center in the region. PG - #3 Stephon Marbury (Georgia Tech). At the northern edge of the state on Lake Michigan lies Chicago, the nation's third largest city. 613 Red Holzman (the number of games he won as Knicks coach). Census Bureau, as of 2003, the population of Illinois was 12,653,544. 33 Patrick Ewing. According to the U.S. 24 Bill Bradley.

Its industrial outputs are machinery, food processing, electrical equipment, chemical products, publishing, fabricated metal products, transportation equipment, petroleum and coal. 22 Dave DeBusschere. Illinois' agricultural outputs are corn, soybeans, hogs, cattle, dairy products and wheat. 19 Willis Reed. The per capita income was $32,965. 15 Dick McGuire. The 2003 total gross state product for Illinois was $499 billion, placing it 5th in the nation. 15 Earl Monroe.

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. 12 Dick Barnett. Both figures are as of 2004. 10 Walt Frazier. while Cook County is the largest county in terms of population, at 5,327,777. Spike Lee "The Cheerleader". McLean County, is the largest county in terms of land area, at 1,184 sq mi. Chris Childs.

This division comprises the area generally along and south of Interstate 70. Charles Smith. The combination of coal mining and industrialization, especially in the region around Saint Louis, Missouri, has caused the region to lean Democratic politically. Herb Williams. 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. Charlie Ward. This region's largely rural character helps to sustain a heavily Republican voting pattern and widespread antipathy toward Chicago. John Starks.

Major cities include famously average Peoria, Springfield (the state capital), and Champaign-Urbana (home of the University of Illinois). Latrell Sprewell. Agriculture, particularly corn and soybeans, figures prominently. Charles Oakley. Known as the Land of Lincoln, it is characterized by small towns and mid-sized cities. Xavier McDaniel. Southward and westward, the second major division is Central Illinois, an area of rolling hills and flat prairie. Anthony Mason.

While this tendency has historically been balanced by Republican voters in the suburbs, Democrats have significantly increased their suburban support in the past decade. Bernard King. The city of Chicago is heavily Democratic. Larry Johnson. This region is cosmopolitan, densely populated, industrialized, and settled by a variety of ethnic groups. Phil Jackson. 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. Mark Jackson.

The first is Chicagoland, including the city of Chicago, its suburbs, and the adjoining exurban area into which the metropolis is expanding. Derek Harper. Illinois has three major geographical divisions. Patrick Ewing. Illinois also borders Michigan, but only via a water boundary in Lake Michigan. Nathaniel "Sweetwater" Clifton. 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. Greg Anthony.

It is in the north-central U.S. Willis Reed. See List of Illinois counties. Earl Monroe. The judiciary is comprised of the state supreme court, which oversees the lower appelate courts and circuit courts. Dick McGuire. 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. Jerry Lucas.

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

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. Bill Bradley. 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. Walt Bellamy. 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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