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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 world's second wealthiest person, billionaire investor Warren Buffett, was born in and still resides there. Notable Illinois institutions of higher education include Loyola University Chicago, Northwestern University, University of Chicago and the several branches of the University of Illinois. Tom Osborne, and athletes Gale Sayers, Bob Gibson, and Ahman Green. 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. Other famous natives are film director Alexander Payne, singer/musician Conor Oberst, College Football Hall of Fame Coach Dr. In some cases, elementary, middle and junior high schools of a single district feed into high schools in another district. Zanuck , Swoosie Kurtz and Hillary Swank were born in the state.

District territories are often complex in structure. Ford, Vice President Dick Cheney, civil rights activist Malcolm X, and various celebrities including Adele & Fred Astaire, Marlon Brando, Johnny Carson, Dick Cavett, Montgomery Clift, Henry Fonda, Harold Lloyd, Darryl F. 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. Former President Gerald R. 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. The world's largest train yard, Union Pacific's Bailey Yard, is located in North Platte, Nebraska. The structure would mimic the system employed by the Hawaii State Department of Education, which has no local school districts. Kool-Aid was created by Edwin Perkins in Hastings, Nebraska.

However, direct control of the new department would fall under the state governor's jurisdiction. Nebraska is also the name of a 1982 album by Bruce Springsteen, widely considered one of his best. In 2002, the Office of the Governor proposed the creation of a monolithic statewide department of education to replace the ISBE. The USS Nebraska was named in honor of this State. 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. State Song: Beautiful Nebraska. The ISBE also makes recommendations to state leaders concerning education spending and policies. It is located on the edge of Tornado Alley.

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. Nebraska generally has cold winters and warm summers. The Illinois State Board of Education or ISBE, autonomous of the governor and the state legislature, administers public education in the state. The religious affiliations of the people of Nebraska are:. See complete listing here... The five largest ancestry groups in Nebraska are: German (38.6%), Irish (12.4%), English (9.6%), Swedish (4.9%), Czech (4.9%). The three largest Protestant denominations in Illinois are: Baptist (15% of total state population), Lutheran (8%), Methodist (8%). The racial makeup of the state is:.

The religious affiliations of the people of Illinois are:. According to the Census Bureau, as of 2003, the population of Nebraska was 1,739,291. Roman Catholics (who are predominant in and around Chicago) account for one-third of the population. Nebraska is known for its agriculture, especially beef and corn (aka maize). Unlike the other Midwestern states, Illinois is not overwhelmingly Protestant--only about half of the people profess that faith. The Bureau of Economic Analysis (http://www.bea.gov/) estimates that Nebraska's total state product in 2003 was $66 billion. Per capital personal income in 2003 was $30,179, 24th in the nation. Females made up approximately 51% of the population. Nebraska is one of the six states of the Frontier Strip.

7.1% of Illinois' population were reported as under 5, 26.1% under 18, and 12.1% were 65 or older. Indeed, one of Nebraska's mottos is "Where the West begins", and a local legend even has it that the West begins precisely at the intersection of 13th and O Streets in Lincoln (where it is marked by a red brick star). The top 5 ancestry groups in Illinois are German (19.6%), African American (15.1%), Irish (12.2%), Mexican (9.2%), Polish (7.5%). The eastern portion of the State could be considered part of the "Midwest", while the western and central portions are part of the "West", although the distinction between these regions is somewhat fluid. Racially, the state is:. In regional terms, Nebraska is located in the Great Plains, at the westernmost extent of the Grain Belt. The rest of the population lives in the smaller cities and on the farms that dot the state's gently rolling plains. The state has 93 counties; see List of Nebraska counties.

More than half of the population of Illinois lives in and around Chicago, the leading industrial and transportation center in the region. The largest city in Nebraska is Omaha, and the capital is Lincoln. At the northern edge of the state on Lake Michigan lies Chicago, the nation's third largest city. Nebraska is bordered by South Dakota to the north; Iowa and Missouri to the east, across the Missouri River; Kansas to the south; Colorado to the southwest, and Wyoming to the west. Census Bureau, as of 2003, the population of Illinois was 12,653,544. See List of Nebraska Governors. According to the U.S. For the last four elections, Republicans have won all of Nebraska's electoral votes, and no Democrat has carried the state since Lyndon Johnson.

Its industrial outputs are machinery, food processing, electrical equipment, chemical products, publishing, fabricated metal products, transportation equipment, petroleum and coal. Since 1991, two of Nebraska's five electoral votes are awarded based on the winner of the statewide election; the other three go to the highest vote-getter in each of the state's three congressional districts. Illinois' agricultural outputs are corn, soybeans, hogs, cattle, dairy products and wheat. In effect, the Assembly (the house) was abolished; as noted, today's Nebraska state legislators are referred to (especially by themselves) as "Senators". The per capita income was $32,965. Finally in 1934, due in part to the budgetary pressure of the Great Depression, Nebraska's unicameral legislature was put in place by a state initiative. The 2003 total gross state product for Illinois was $499 billion, placing it 5th in the nation. Nebraska's unicameral legislature today has rules that bills can contain only one subject, and must be given at least five days of consideration.

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. Votes in these committees were secretive, and would sometimes add provisions to bills that neither house had approved. Both figures are as of 2004. Unicameral supporters also argued that a bicameral legislature had a significant undemocratic feature in the committees that reconciled Assembly and Senate legislation. while Cook County is the largest county in terms of population, at 5,327,777. Norris argued. McLean County, is the largest county in terms of land area, at 1,184 sq mi. For years, United States Senator George Norris and other Nebraskans encouraged the unicameral referendum.

This division comprises the area generally along and south of Interstate 70. The Nebraska legislature can also override a governor's veto with a 3/5ths majority, in contrast to the 2/3rds majority required in some other states. The combination of coal mining and industrialization, especially in the region around Saint Louis, Missouri, has caused the region to lean Democratic politically. The senators are elected with no party affiliation next to their names on the ballot, and the speaker and committee chairs are chosen at large, so that members of any party can be (and often are) chosen for these positions. 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. Nebraska's Legislature is also the only one in the United States that is nonpartisan. This region's largely rural character helps to sustain a heavily Republican voting pattern and widespread antipathy toward Chicago. Although this house is known simply as the "Legislature", its members still call themselves "senators".

Major cities include famously average Peoria, Springfield (the state capital), and Champaign-Urbana (home of the University of Illinois). Nebraska is the only state in the United States with a unicameral legislature, that is a legislature with only one house. Agriculture, particularly corn and soybeans, figures prominently. As an example in Nebraska, Monowi, which in the 1930s had a population of 150, now (2005) has a population of one. Known as the Land of Lincoln, it is characterized by small towns and mid-sized cities. "Rural flight" as it is called has led to offers of free land and tax breaks as enticements to newcomers. Southward and westward, the second major division is Central Illinois, an area of rolling hills and flat prairie. Between 1996 and 2004 almost half a million people, nearly half with college degrees, left the six states.

While this tendency has historically been balanced by Republican voters in the suburbs, Democrats have significantly increased their suburban support in the past decade. 89% of the total number of cities in those states have fewer than 3000 people; hundreds have fewer than than 1000. The city of Chicago is heavily Democratic. Nebraska, in common with five other Mid-West states (Kansas, Oklahoma, North and South Dakota and Iowa), is feeling the brunt of falling populations. This region is cosmopolitan, densely populated, industrialized, and settled by a variety of ethnic groups. [1] (http://www.rootsweb.com/~neresour/OLLibrary/Journals/HPR/Vol06/nhrv06pc.html). 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 adoption of national prohibition in 1918 with Nebraska as the thirty-sixth state necessary to make prohibition a part of our constitution.

The first is Chicagoland, including the city of Chicago, its suburbs, and the adjoining exurban area into which the metropolis is expanding. The National Arbor Day Foundation is still headquartered in Nebraska City. Illinois has three major geographical divisions. Arbor Day began in Nebraska. Illinois also borders Michigan, but only via a water boundary in Lake Michigan. At that time, the capital was moved from Omaha to Lancaster, later renamed Lincoln after the recently assassinated President Abraham Lincoln. 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. Nebraska became the 37th state in 1867, shortly after the Civil War.

It is in the north-central U.S. Many of the first farm settlers built their homes out of sod because they found so few trees on the grassy land. See List of Illinois counties. In the 1860s, the first great wave of homesteaders poured into Nebraska to claim free land granted by the federal government. The judiciary is comprised of the state supreme court, which oversees the lower appelate courts and circuit courts. The territorial capital of Nebraska was Omaha. 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 Kansas-Nebraska Act became law on May 30, 1854 which established the US territories of Nebraska and Kansas.

The executive branch is led by the Governor of Illinois. Much of the history of the State is the story of the impact of the Nebraska farmer. As codified in the state constitution, there are three branches of government: executive, legislative and judicial. Nebraskans have practiced scientific farming to turn the Nebraska prairie into a land of ranches and farms. The state government of Illinois is modeled after the federal government with adaptations originating from traditions cultivated during the state's frontier era. Once considered part of the Great American Desert, it is now a leading farming state. Seventeen cavalry regiments were also mustered, as well as two light artillery regiments. Nebraska a midwestern State of the United States, Nebraska gets its name from a Native American (Oto) word meaning "flat water", after the Platte River that flows through the State.

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. Chokecherry Places, Essays from the High Plains, Merrill Gilfillan, Johnson Press, Boulder, Colorado, trade paperback, ISBN 1-55566-227-7. 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. Lincoln Stars, United States Hockey League. By 1857, Chicago was Illinois' largest city (see History of Chicago). Omaha Beef, Arena Football. Chicago gained prominence as a canal port after 1848, and as a rail hub soon afterward. Creighton Bluejays, college basketball.

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

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

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

The Ilini were replaced in Illinois by the Potawatomi, Miami, Sauk, and other tribes. Omaha metropolitan area (including Bellevue, Papillion, and La Vista). The Illini suffered in the seventeenth century as Iroquois expansion forced them to compete with several tribes for land. Interstate 680 (North Omaha loop). The Illiniwek gave Illinois its name. Interstate 480 (Metro Omaha loop). The next major power in the region was the Illiniwek Confederation, a political alliance among several tribes. Interstate 180 (Lincoln spur).

That civilization vanished circa 1400-1500 for unknown reasons. Interstate 129. Cahokia, the urban center of the pre-Columbian Mississippian culture, was located near present-day Collinsville, Illinois. Interstate 76. The USS Illinois was named in honor of this state. Interstate 80. postal abbreviation for the state is IL. No Religion – 9%.

The U.S. Non-Christian Religions – 1%. Most of the state's population resides in Chicago and its suburbs. Other Christian – 1%. The capital of Illinois is Springfield while its largest city is Chicago, along the waterfront of Lake Michigan. Roman Catholic – 28%. The word Illiniwek means simply "the people". Other Protestants/general Protestant – 21%.

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. Presbyterian – 4%. Illinois (pronounced [ˌɪləˈnɔɪ] or occasionally [ˌɪləˈnɔɪz]) constitutes the 21st state of the United States, located in the former Northwest Territory. Baptist – 9%. State tree: White oak (Quercus alba). Methodist – 11%. State snack: Popcorn. Lutheran – 16%.

State song: "Illinois". Protestant – 61%

    . State slogan: "Land of Lincoln". Christian – 90%
      . State prairie grass: Big Bluestem (Andropogon gerardii). 1.4% Mixed race. State motto: "State sovereignty, national union". 0.9% American Indian.

      State mineral: Fluorite. 1.3% Asian. State insect: Monarch butterfly. 4% Black. State fossil: Tully Monster (Tullimonstrum gregarium). 5.5% Hispanic. State flower: Purple violet (Viola sororia). 87.3% White.

      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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