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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. Frank's Hot Sauce is the official condiment of New York State. Notable Illinois institutions of higher education include Loyola University Chicago, Northwestern University, University of Chicago and the several branches of the University of Illinois. USS New York was named in honor of this state.
The state animal: Beaver (Castor canadensis)
The state bird: Eastern Bluebird, (Sialia sialis).
The state song: I Love New York.
The state flower: Rose.
The state tree: Sugar maple (Acer saccharum).
The state fruit: Apple.
The state gemstone: Garnet.
The state motto: Excelsior (ever higher).
. 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. can young students get home school. In some cases, elementary, middle and junior high schools of a single district feed into high schools in another district. New York City operates the City University of New York (CUNY) in conjunction with the state.

District territories are often complex in structure. Besides the many private colleges and universities in the state, New York, like many other states, operates its own system of institutions of higher learning known as the State University of New York System (SUNY). 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 State Board of Regents, the University of the State of New York and the State Education Department control all public primary and secondary education in the state. 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. Its major cities and towns are:. The structure would mimic the system employed by the Hawaii State Department of Education, which has no local school districts. (See also List of cities in New York).

However, direct control of the new department would fall under the state governor's jurisdiction. Albany is the state capital, and New York City is the largest city. In 2002, the Office of the Governor proposed the creation of a monolithic statewide department of education to replace the ISBE. While some aspects of this pedagogy may seem quaint today, the Institution helped assure that high intellectual achievement would be recognized as consistent with the value system of an emerging powerful Midwest, and was one of several ways that Upstate New York served between the Civil War and World War II as a transmitting intermediary between the standards of the East Coast and the interior agricultural regions of the central states. 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. The Institution, which still exists, offers to a predominately middle class and Mid-American clientele a very high standard of intellectual summer lectures, mixed with certain elements of folksy relgious camp meetings, such as outdoor recreation and musical events. The ISBE also makes recommendations to state leaders concerning education spending and policies. John Vincent and devoted to adult continuing education in a uplifting setting, as that ambiance was understood in the last half of the Nineteenth Century.

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. At Chautauqua Lake in the southwestern portion of the state is the Chautauqua Institution, co-founded by Methodist Rev. The Illinois State Board of Education or ISBE, autonomous of the governor and the state legislature, administers public education in the state. Immigration has given New York an unusually diverse composition of religious groups in which no one denomination has an overwhelming numerical superiority. See complete listing here...
The Washington Heights neighborhood of Manhattan contains the shrine and burial place of Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini ( Mother Cabrini), the patron saint of immigrants and the first American citizen to be canonized. The three largest Protestant denominations in Illinois are: Baptist (15% of total state population), Lutheran (8%), Methodist (8%).
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The religious affiliations of the people of Illinois are:. New York is home to more of America's Jews (25% of their national total), Muslims (24%), Taoists (26%), and Greek Orthodox (17%) than any other state.[2] (http://www.gc.cuny.edu/press_information/archived_releases/october_2001_aris.htm). Roman Catholics (who are predominant in and around Chicago) account for one-third of the population. In 2001, the five largest denominations in New York were: Roman Catholic (about 38% of total state population), Baptist (7%), Methodist (6%), Jewish (5%) and Lutheran (3%). Unlike the other Midwestern states, Illinois is not overwhelmingly Protestant--only about half of the people profess that faith. According to the July 1, 2004 Census Bureau Estimate [1] (http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/GCTTable?_bm=y&-geo_id=04000US36&-_box_head_nbr=GCT-T1&-ds_name=PEP_2004_EST&-_lang=en&-redoLog=false&-mt_name=PEP_2004_EST_GCTT1_ST2&-format=ST-2&-_sse=on), New York City and its six closest New York State satellite counties (Suffolk, Nassau, Westchester, Rockland, Putnam and Orange) have a combined population of 12,626,200 people, or 65.67% of the state's population. Females made up approximately 51% of the population. The bulk of New York's population lives within two hours of the city.

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 51.8% of the population. The top 5 ancestry groups in Illinois are German (19.6%), African American (15.1%), Irish (12.2%), Mexican (9.2%), Polish (7.5%). 6.5% of New York's population were reported as under 5, 24.7% under 18, and 12.9% were 65 or older. Racially, the state is:. The top 5 ancestry groups in New York are African American (15.9%), Italian (14.4%), Irish (12.9%), German (11.2%), English (6%). The rest of the population lives in the smaller cities and on the farms that dot the state's gently rolling plains. The racial makeup of the state was:.

More than half of the population of Illinois lives in and around Chicago, the leading industrial and transportation center in the region. According to 2003 estimate, 20.4% of the population was foreign-born. At the northern edge of the state on Lake Michigan lies Chicago, the nation's third largest city. According to the US Census Bureau, as of 2004, New York was the third largest state in population after California and Texas, with a population of 19,227,088, a 0.2% increase over the 2003 population (19,190,115). Census Bureau, as of 2003, the population of Illinois was 12,653,544. Most cities have Farmers' markets which are well supplied by local truck farmers. According to the U.S. Most commercial beekeepers are migratory, taking their hives to southern states for the winter.

Its industrial outputs are machinery, food processing, electrical equipment, chemical products, publishing, fabricated metal products, transportation equipment, petroleum and coal. The honeybees are also used for pollination of fruits and vegetables. Illinois' agricultural outputs are corn, soybeans, hogs, cattle, dairy products and wheat. New York is rich in nectar-producing plants and is a major honey-producing state. The per capita income was $32,965. Cheese is a major product, often produced by Amish or Mennonite farm cheeseries. The 2003 total gross state product for Illinois was $499 billion, placing it 5th in the nation. Dairy farms are present throughout much of the state.

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 glaciers also left numerous swampy areas, which have been drained for the rich humus soils called muckland which is mostly used for onions, potatoes, celery and other vegetables. Both figures are as of 2004. The Hudson and Mohawk valleys are known for pumpkins and blueberries. while Cook County is the largest county in terms of population, at 5,327,777. Particularly in the western part of the state, sweet corn, peas, carrots, squash, cucumbers and other vegetables are grown. McLean County, is the largest county in terms of land area, at 1,184 sq mi. Row crops, including hay, maize, wheat, oats, barley, and soybeans, are grown.

This division comprises the area generally along and south of Interstate 70. New York was heavily glaciated in the ice age leaving much of the state with deep, fertile, though somewhat rocky soils. The combination of coal mining and industrialization, especially in the region around Saint Louis, Missouri, has caused the region to lean Democratic politically. New York State is the nation's third-largest wine-producing state, behind California and Washington State. 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 south shore of Lake Erie and the southern Finger Lakes hillsides have many vineyards. This region's largely rural character helps to sustain a heavily Republican voting pattern and widespread antipathy toward Chicago. Apples are also grown in the Hudson Valley and near Lake Champlain.

Major cities include famously average Peoria, Springfield (the state capital), and Champaign-Urbana (home of the University of Illinois). The south shore of Lake Ontario provides the right mix of soils and microclimate for many apple, cherry, plum, pear and peach orchards. Agriculture, particularly corn and soybeans, figures prominently. The state has about a quarter of its land in farms and produced 3.4 billion dollars in agricultural products in 2001. Known as the Land of Lincoln, it is characterized by small towns and mid-sized cities. New York State is an agricultural leader, ranking within the top five states for a number of products including dairy, apples, cherries, cabbage, potatoes, onions, maple syrup and many other products. Southward and westward, the second major division is Central Illinois, an area of rolling hills and flat prairie. The only major liquid output at present is salt in the form of brine; however, there are also small to moderate petroleum reserves in this area.

While this tendency has historically been balanced by Republican voters in the suburbs, Democrats have significantly increased their suburban support in the past decade. Finally in the inland southwestern part of the state in the Allegheny Plateau is a region of drilled wells. The city of Chicago is heavily Democratic. It should be noted that the Adirondacks are not part of the Appalachian system, despite their location, but are structurally part of the mineral-rich Canadian Shield. This region is cosmopolitan, densely populated, industrialized, and settled by a variety of ethnic groups. This is an area of very specialized products, including talc, industrial garnets, and zinc. 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. The second area is the Adirondack Mountains.

The first is Chicagoland, including the city of Chicago, its suburbs, and the adjoining exurban area into which the metropolis is expanding. Primarily, this area specializes in construction materials for the many projects in the city, but its also contains the emery mines of Westchester County, one of two locations in the USA where that mineral is extracted. Illinois has three major geographical divisions. The first is near New York City. Illinois also borders Michigan, but only via a water boundary in Lake Michigan. New York's mining sector, which is larger than most people think, is concentrated in three areas. 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. The famous Fulton Fish Market has been moved to the Bronx.

It is in the north-central U.S. Perhaps the best known aspect of the fishing sector is the famous Fulton Fish Market in New York City, which distributes not only the New York catch, but imported seafood from all over the world. See List of Illinois counties. There used to be a large oyster fishery in New York waters as well, but at present, oysters comprise only a small portion of the total value of seafood harvested. The judiciary is comprised of the state supreme court, which oversees the lower appelate courts and circuit courts. The principal catches by value are clams, lobsters, squid, and flounder. 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. There is a moderately large saltwater commercial fishery located along the Atlantic side of Long Island.

The executive branch is led by the Governor of Illinois. Some industries are concentrated in outstate locations also, such as ceramics (the southern tier of counties) and photographic equipment (Rochester). As codified in the state constitution, there are three branches of government: executive, legislative and judicial. The state also has a large manufacturing sector which includes printing, garments, furs, railroad rolling stock, and bus line vehicles. The state government of Illinois is modeled after the federal government with adaptations originating from traditions cultivated during the state's frontier era. In addition, many of the world's largest corporations locate their headquarters home offices in Manhattan or in nearby Westchester County, New York. Seventeen cavalry regiments were also mustered, as well as two light artillery regiments. New York is best known for its tertiary sector specializing in foreign trade, together with banking, port facilities, advertising, warehousing, and other activities needed to support large-scale commerce.

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. Its industrial outputs are printing and publishing, scientific instruments, electric equipment, machinery, chemical products, and tourism. 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. New York's agricultural outputs are dairy products, cattle and other livestock, vegetables, nursery stock, and apples. By 1857, Chicago was Illinois' largest city (see History of Chicago). Its 2003 Per Capita Personal Income was $36,112, placing it 6th in the nation. Chicago gained prominence as a canal port after 1848, and as a rail hub soon afterward. The Bureau of Economic Analysis (http://www.bea.gov/) estimates that in 2003, the total gross state product was $822 billion, second only to California.

Illinois is known as the "Land of Lincoln" because it is here that the 16th President spent his formative years. It is the leading center of banking, finance and communication in the United States and is the location of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on Wall Street, Manhattan. With the 1832 Black Hawk War, the last native tribes were driven out of northern Illinois. New York City dominates the economy of the state. settlement began in the south part of the state and quickly spread northward, driving out the native residents. Very large trees can even grow in the New York metropolitan area (for example, the Queens Giant is the tallest tree in the NY metro area and the oldest living thing in the NY metro area.). Early U.S. Trees have played a major role in the surrounding areas of New York.

state. All three areas share geologic and ecological characteristics common along the Atlantic Coastal Plain of the U.S. In 1818, Illinois became the 21st U.S. Much of the region's ecosystem is similar to the larger New Jersey Pinelands (also called "pine barrens") to the south and southwest of NY City, along with Cape Cod's pine barrens. The Illinois Territory was created on February 3, 1809. This region is the largest remnant of a forest thought to have once encompassed over a quarter million acres (1,000 kmē) on Long Island following the last glacial advance some 15,000 to 20,000 years ago. The Illinois-Wabash Company was an early claimant to much of Illinois. This remarkably undeveloped region overlies part of Long Island's federally designated Sole Source Aquifer which provides drinking water to nearly three million residents, and it contains terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems of statewide and national significance, interconnected surface and ground waters, recreational areas, historic locales, farmlands, and residential communities.

The area was ceded to the new United States in 1783 and became part of the Northwest Territory. Three of Suffolk County's ten townships - Brookhaven, Riverhead, and Southampton - are host to the 102,500 acre (415 kmē) State designated and protected Central Pine Barrens region. As a result of their exploration, Illinois was part of the French empire until 1763, when it passed to the British. The two counties that you encounter as you travel east from NY City are Nassau and Suffolk. and Louis Joliet explored the Illinois River in 1673. East of New York City extends the appropriately named "Long Island", stretching approximately 120 miles (190 km) from Brooklyn and Queens Counties (part of NY City) on the western end to Orient and Montauk Points in the rural "East End" of the Island. French explorers Jacques Marquette,S.J. The highest elevation in New York is Mount Marcy in the Adirondacks.

The Ilini were replaced in Illinois by the Potawatomi, Miami, Sauk, and other tribes. Upstate New York includes the Catskill and Adirondack Mountains, the Shawangunk Ridge, the Finger and Great Lakes in the west and Lake Champlain, Lake George, and Oneida Lake in the northeast, and rivers such as the Delaware, Genesee, Hudson, Mohawk, and Susquehanna. The Illini suffered in the seventeenth century as Iroquois expansion forced them to compete with several tribes for land. Which of the suburban counties north of The Bronx along the Hudson River (Rockland, Westchester, and Putnam) count as "Upstate" depends on who is making the list. The Illiniwek gave Illinois its name. "Upstate" is a common term for New York State north of the New York City metropolitan area; but many of those outside of the NYC metropolitan area find the term demeaning because it is emblematic of the cultural and demographic divide which separates the two areas, one rural and conservative, the other urban and liberal. The next major power in the region was the Illiniwek Confederation, a political alliance among several tribes.
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That civilization vanished circa 1400-1500 for unknown reasons. The eastern end of Long Island includes suburban Nassau and Suffolk Counties. Cahokia, the urban center of the pre-Columbian Mississippian culture, was located near present-day Collinsville, Illinois. Brooklyn (Kings) and Queens (Queens) are across the East River from Manhattan on the western end of Long Island and Staten Island (Richmond) is south of Manhattan. The USS Illinois was named in honor of this state. The five New York City boroughs (and their counties) are: The Bronx (Bronx) on the mainland north of Manhattan (New York) on Manhattan Island; the Hudson River is their western boundary. postal abbreviation for the state is IL. Four of New York City's five boroughs are on the three islands at the mouth of the Hudson River Manhattan Island, Staten Island, and Long Island.

The U.S. Lake George empties at its north end into Lake Champlain, whose northern end extends into Canada, where it drains into the Richelieu and then the St Lawrence Rivers. Most of the state's population resides in Chicago and its suburbs. The Hudson River flows south through the eastern part of the state without draining Lakes George or Champlain. The capital of Illinois is Springfield while its largest city is Chicago, along the waterfront of Lake Michigan. Niagara Falls, on the Niagara River as it flows from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario is a popular attraction; the best view is from the Canadian side. The word Illiniwek means simply "the people". Few people know that New York's Adirondack State Park is larger than any National Park in the US.

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. While best known for New York City's urban atmosphere, especially Manhattan's skyscrapers, by contrast the rest of the state is dominated by farms, forests, rivers, mountains, and lakes. Illinois (pronounced [ˌɪləˈnɔɪ] or occasionally [ˌɪləˈnɔɪz]) constitutes the 21st state of the United States, located in the former Northwest Territory. The megalopolis, however, is not the only aspect of New York State. State tree: White oak (Quercus alba). Several other groups of megalopolis-type super-cities exist in the world, but that centered around New York City was the first described and still is the best example. State snack: Popcorn. First described by Jean Gottmann in 1961 as a new phenomenon in the history of world urbanization, the megalopolis is characterized by a coalescence of previous already-large cities of the Eastern Seaboard, a heavy specialization on tertiary activity related to government, trade, law, education, finance, publishing and control of economic activity, plus a growth pattern not so much of more population and more area as more intensive use of already existing urbanized area and ever more sophisticated links from one specialty to another.

State song: "Illinois". The southern tip of New York State – New York City, its suburbs, and the southern portion of the Hudson Valley – can be considered to form the central core of a "megalopolis", a super-city stretching from the northern suburbs of Boston to the southern suburbs of Washington and therefore occasionally called BosWash. State slogan: "Land of Lincoln". New York is also the site of the only extra-territorial enclave within the boundaries of the USA, the United Nations compound on Manhattan's East River. State prairie grass: Big Bluestem (Andropogon gerardii). In addition, Rhode Island shares a water border with New York. State motto: "State sovereignty, national union". New York State's borders touch (clockwise from the northwest) two Great Lakes (Erie and Ontario, which are connected by the Niagara River), the provinces of Ontario and Quebec in Canada, three New England states (Vermont, Massachusetts, and Connecticut), the Atlantic Ocean, and two Mid-Atlantic states (New Jersey and Pennsylvania).

State mineral: Fluorite. The court system in New York is notable for its "backwards" naming: the state's trial court is called the New York Supreme Court, while the highest court in the state is the New York Court of Appeals. State insect: Monarch butterfly. New York State has its counties pay a higher percentage of welfare costs than any other state and New York State is the only state which requires counties to pay a portion of Medicaid. State fossil: Tully Monster (Tullimonstrum gregarium). For decades it has been the established practice for Albany to pass legislation for some meritorious project, but then mandate county and municipal government to actually pay for it. State flower: Purple violet (Viola sororia). Other officially incorporated governmental units are towns, cities, and villages.

State fish: Bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus). New York's subordinate political units are its 62 counties. State dance: Square dance. New York's legislature also has more committees than any other legislature in the nation. State capital: Springfield. Pennsylvania, whose staff is the second largest, only had 2,947, and California only 2,359. State bird: Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis). New York's legislature also has more paid staff, 3,428 than any other legislature in the nation.

State animal: White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus). Of those bills, only 4 percent, 693, actually became law, the lowest passing percentage in the country. Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President, is buried in Springfield, Illinois. In 2002, 16,892 bills were introduced in the New York legislature, more than twice as many as in the Illinois General Assembly, whose members are the second most prolific. Ronald Reagan, the 40th President, was born in Tampico, Illinois. From 1984 until 2005, no budget had been passed on time, and for many years the legislature was unable to pass legislation for which there was supposed to be a consensus, such as reforming the so-called Rockefeller drug laws. Non-Religious – 8%. The Assembly has long been controlled by the Democrats, the Senate has long been controlled by the Republicans.

Other Religions – 3%. New York's legislature is notoriously dysfunctional. Other Christian – 1%. The legislative branch is called the Legislature and consists of a Senate and an Assembly. Unlike most States, the New York electoral law permits electoral fusion, and New York ballots tend to have, in consequence, a larger number of parties on them, some being permanent minor parties that seek to influence the major parties and others being ephemeral parties formed to give major-party candidates an additional line on the ballot. Roman Catholic – 33%. As in all fifty states, the head of the executive branch of government is a Governor. Protestant – 51%. New York was one of the thirteen colonies that revolted against British rule in the American Revolution.

1.9% mixed race. See: History of New York. 0.2% American Indian. It is sometimes called New York State when there is need to distinguish it from New York City. 3.4% Asian. postal abbreviation is NY. 12.3% Hispanic. New York is a state in the northeastern United States whose U.S.

15.1% Black. For a complete list, see Colleges and Universities in the State of New York. 67.8% White Non-Hispanic. New York's public land grant (agriculture) and forestry colleges are at private schools: Cornell and Syracuse Universities, respectively. The Junior United States Senator is Barack Obama (Democrat). 3.1% mixed race. Durbin (Democrat). 0.4% American Indian.

The Senior United States Senator is Richard J. 5.5% Asian. The Treasurer of Illinois is Judy Baar Topinka (Republican). 15.1% Hispanic. The Secretary of State of Illinois is Jesse White (Democrat). 15.9% Black. The Lieutenant Governor of Illinois is Pat Quinn (Democrat). 62.0% White, not of Hispanic origin.

The Governor of Illinois is Rod Blagojevich (Democrat). See: Politics of New York. See: List of political parties in New York. See: List of census-designated places in New York. See: List of villages in New York.

See: List of towns in New York. See: List of cities in New York. See: List of New York counties. See: Political subdivisions of New York State.

See: List of New York Governors.

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