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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. A number of famous people were born in or lived in West Virginia. Notable Illinois institutions of higher education include Loyola University Chicago, Northwestern University, University of Chicago and the several branches of the University of Illinois.
. 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. The minor league hockey team is:. In some cases, elementary, middle and junior high schools of a single district feed into high schools in another district. The minor league baseball teams are:.

District territories are often complex in structure. Listed alphabetically, the 55 counties of West Virginia are:. 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 three largest Protestant denominations in West Virginia: Baptist (29% of the total state population), Methodist (15%), Presbyterian (4%). 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 religious affiliations of the citizens of West Virginia are:. The structure would mimic the system employed by the Hawaii State Department of Education, which has no local school districts. Females made up approximately 51.4% of the population.

However, direct control of the new department would fall under the state governor's jurisdiction. 5.6% of West Virginia's population were reported as under 5, 22.3% under 18, and 15.3% were 65 or older. In 2002, the Office of the Governor proposed the creation of a monolithic statewide department of education to replace the ISBE. The 5 largest ancestry groups in West Virginia are American (23.2%), German (17.2%), Irish (13.5%), English (12%), Italian (4.8%). 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 racial makeup of the state is:. The ISBE also makes recommendations to state leaders concerning education spending and policies. It was also last in the country in percentage of residents that speak a language other than English in the home (2.7%).

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. Only 1.1% of the state's residents were foreign-born, placing West Virginia last among the 50 states and the District of Columbia in that statistic. The Illinois State Board of Education or ISBE, autonomous of the governor and the state legislature, administers public education in the state. As of 2003, West Virginia was probably the US state least affected by immigration. See complete listing here... The population of West Virginia as of 2003 was 1,810,354. The three largest Protestant denominations in Illinois are: Baptist (15% of total state population), Lutheran (8%), Methodist (8%). Given the unsettled present condition of the US steel industry, continuation of metal-working industries in the Northern Panhandle cannot be assured. In all aspects of heavy industry there is a perception that the electorate favors creation of factory jobs more than implementation of strict environmental controls; this is probably correct, but how much this outlook actually contributed to the choice of location in West Virginia is hard to determine.

The religious affiliations of the people of Illinois are:. Also in the Northern Panhandle, Weirton has been the site of the only tin-processing industry in the USA. Roman Catholics (who are predominant in and around Chicago) account for one-third of the population. Metallurgy, especially steel, has been predominant in the Northern Panhandle due to a spill-over effect from the traditional center of the US steel industry in Pittsburgh. Unlike the other Midwestern states, Illinois is not overwhelmingly Protestant--only about half of the people profess that faith. In the Kanawha River Valley near Charleston and along the southern Ohio River Valley near Huntington chemicals predominate, attracted by a readily available labor force and access by barge carriers. Females made up approximately 51% of the population. Along the western edges of the state the large rivers of the mid-continent erode a distance into the hills and it is here, in the west, that some dense pockets of heavy industry appear.

7.1% of Illinois' population were reported as under 5, 26.1% under 18, and 12.1% were 65 or older. Other wild greens, such as sour dock, lambs quarters, and wild leek (or "ramps") are also still gathered by many for table use, although today more on the basis of avocation or keeping up traditions than out of necessity. The top 5 ancestry groups in Illinois are German (19.6%), African American (15.1%), Irish (12.2%), Mexican (9.2%), Polish (7.5%). Wild gathered ginseng contributed about $ 2 million in 2000 to the West Virginia economy, a figure larger than many conventional cultivated vegetable and fruit crops. Racially, the state is:. One area where this practice is still significant is the gathering of wild North American ginseng, often for the Asian market. The rest of the population lives in the smaller cities and on the farms that dot the state's gently rolling plains. In traditional frontier agriculture there was much gathering of wild "greens" and forest produce to supplement the diet.

More than half of the population of Illinois lives in and around Chicago, the leading industrial and transportation center in the region. In 2002, all of the top five counties by agricultural dollar value were located near the eastern Virginia border. At the northern edge of the state on Lake Michigan lies Chicago, the nation's third largest city. In the ridge and valley area along the eastern border near Virginia's Shenandoah Valley, subsidiary valleys are wide and there are some belts of rich soil which are extensively farmed. Census Bureau, as of 2003, the population of Illinois was 12,653,544. The chief animals raised were cattle and chickens. According to the U.S. Income from animals exceeded income from plants by about 7 to 1, with much of the non-animal income derived from sales of fodder.

Its industrial outputs are machinery, food processing, electrical equipment, chemical products, publishing, fabricated metal products, transportation equipment, petroleum and coal. As can be expected in a rugged terrain, raising animals was far more important than growing vegetative crops. Illinois' agricultural outputs are corn, soybeans, hogs, cattle, dairy products and wheat. This description of farming portrays an independent and self-sufficient base of small land owners, but also a significant amount of rural underemployment. The per capita income was $32,965. It should be noted that the rural poverty rate in West Virginia is 20.4% and that this figure is 5 points higher than the urban poverty rate. The 2003 total gross state product for Illinois was $499 billion, placing it 5th in the nation. Traditionally, informal means of supplementing farm income have also been practiced, such as small-scale logging and hunting for food, and to some extent they still are practiced.

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. On the other hand, only 50.5% of the state's farmers considered farming to be their primary occupation, with a significant number of hours worked elsewhere each year, in such areas as factory wage employment when available. Both figures are as of 2004. Family and single-owner operation worked 92.7% of the farms, and an astounding 96.9% were totally or partly owned by the operator. while Cook County is the largest county in terms of population, at 5,327,777. The modal average farm size was a smallish 140 to 179 acres (567,000 to 724,000 mē), most statistics in this section are taken from the 2002 US Census of Agriculture for West Virginia, which sold less than $2,500 of crops annually. McLean County, is the largest county in terms of land area, at 1,184 sq mi. Farming is practiced throughout West Virginia, but in a form different from large extensive cash-crop agriculture elsewhere in the USA.

This division comprises the area generally along and south of Interstate 70. Small to medium oil and natural gas fields still exist and are scattered mostly in the Allegheny/Cumberland Plateau in an arc throughout the western part of state. The combination of coal mining and industrialization, especially in the region around Saint Louis, Missouri, has caused the region to lean Democratic politically. West Virginia was one of the first states to engage in drilling for oil. 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. Most coal today is used by power plants to produce electricity. This region's largely rural character helps to sustain a heavily Republican voting pattern and widespread antipathy toward Chicago. Coal is little used now for home heating either.

Major cities include famously average Peoria, Springfield (the state capital), and Champaign-Urbana (home of the University of Illinois). The railways were once one of the largest customers for coal to drive the steam locomotives, but these have been replaced by diesel locomotives. Agriculture, particularly corn and soybeans, figures prominently. The state has an extensive network of railroads, and much of the coal is transported by rail. Known as the Land of Lincoln, it is characterized by small towns and mid-sized cities. Today health and safety regulations and miners pay are much improved, and mining is usually the best paying job in the coalfields. Southward and westward, the second major division is Central Illinois, an area of rolling hills and flat prairie. Lewis and the United Mine Workers.

While this tendency has historically been balanced by Republican voters in the suburbs, Democrats have significantly increased their suburban support in the past decade. Nevertheles, labor organizing persisted under the leadership of John L. The city of Chicago is heavily Democratic. The effort of unions to organize miners is a violent chapter in the state's history; at one point the federal army had to be called in to quell a rebellion, dropping the only bombs ever dropped by the US Army against its own citizens. This region is cosmopolitan, densely populated, industrialized, and settled by a variety of ethnic groups. In past years the coal companies did mostly as they pleased, keeping miners in virtual servitude through credit at company stores. 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. Higher prices for fuels may soon stimulate increased mining again.

The first is Chicagoland, including the city of Chicago, its suburbs, and the adjoining exurban area into which the metropolis is expanding. Coal has been one of the state's primary economic resources, although many mines have been closed. Illinois has three major geographical divisions. This process of rounding up people already spread around here and there results in the typical zig-zag, curving, and extending shape of the resulting political unit. Illinois also borders Michigan, but only via a water boundary in Lake Michigan. In West Virgina the boundaries were formed after settlement for the purpose of rounding up people with a similar socio-cultural outlook (in this case pro-Union, anti-plantation, highlanders) who were already there, just as the European boundaries round up people with similar nationalities who had been there for a long time. 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. In the USA most state boundaries were established close to the time of settlement and include long straight lines and simplfying features that aid in forming property subdivision for new settlers.

It is in the north-central U.S. This is because the processes that created West Virginia's eastern boundaries are more like the processes that created the boundaries of European countries. See List of Illinois counties. On a map West Virginia's complex shape and irregular outline make it look more like a European country in configuration than an American state. The judiciary is comprised of the state supreme court, which oversees the lower appelate courts and circuit courts. Sea level rose and fell many times during the Mississippian and Pennsylvanian eras, giving a variety of rock strata. 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. Some beds illustrate a coastal swamp environment, some river delta, some shallow water.

The executive branch is led by the Governor of Illinois. The underlying rock strata are sandstones, shales, bituminous coal beds, and limestones laid down in a near shore environment from sediments derived from mountains to the east, in a shallow inland sea on the west. As codified in the state constitution, there are three branches of government: executive, legislative and judicial. Many of the coves are rich in biodiversity and scenic beauty, a fact that is appreciated by native West Virginians, who refer to their home as almost Heaven. The state government of Illinois is modeled after the federal government with adaptations originating from traditions cultivated during the state's frontier era. The native vegetation for most of the state was originally mixed hardwood forest of oak, chestnut, maple, beech, and white pine, with willow along the waterways. Seventeen cavalry regiments were also mustered, as well as two light artillery regiments. (The two plateaus are essentially the same, the difference being only the naming convention of north and south, with West Virginia happening to be in the middle.).

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. Though the relief is not high, the plateau region is extremely rugged in most areas. 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. About 3/4 of the state is within the Cumberland/Allegheny Plateaus region which is not true mountains but rather a dissected plateau. By 1857, Chicago was Illinois' largest city (see History of Chicago). The state is sometimes referred to as The Mountain State, which is a bit of a misnomer, as the only true mountains are the belt of Ridge-and-valley Appalachians along the eastern border with Virginia. Chicago gained prominence as a canal port after 1848, and as a rail hub soon afterward. The Ohio River and the Potomac River form parts of the boundaries.

Illinois is known as the "Land of Lincoln" because it is here that the 16th President spent his formative years. It is bordered by Pennsylvania and Maryland to the north, by Ohio and Kentucky to the west, and by Virginia to the east. With the 1832 Black Hawk War, the last native tribes were driven out of northern Illinois. See: List of West Virginia counties. settlement began in the south part of the state and quickly spread northward, driving out the native residents. The current governor, inaugurated in 2005, is Democrat Joe Manchin. Early U.S. The governor is elected every four years, on the same day as the president, sworn in during January.

state. The remainder of the year sees legislators gathering periodically for interim meetings to discuss issues which will see debate during the next regular session. In 1818, Illinois became the 21st U.S. Typically, the legislature is in session between January and early April. The Illinois Territory was created on February 3, 1809. Consequently, the legislators hold a full-time job in their community of residence, which stands in stark contrast to the neighboring states of Pennsylvania and Ohio. The Illinois-Wabash Company was an early claimant to much of Illinois. Legislators are not full-time, but part-time.

The area was ceded to the new United States in 1783 and became part of the Northwest Territory. The legislature is bicameral, consisting of the House of Delegates and a Senate. As a result of their exploration, Illinois was part of the French empire until 1763, when it passed to the British. The capital is Charleston, in the south west area of the state. and Louis Joliet explored the Illinois River in 1673. See: List of Governors of West Virginia. French explorers Jacques Marquette,S.J. The final installment of this sum was paid off in 1939.

The Ilini were replaced in Illinois by the Potawatomi, Miami, Sauk, and other tribes. The issue was finally settled in 1915, when the United States Supreme Court ruled that West Virginia owed Virginia $12,393,929.50. The Illini suffered in the seventeenth century as Iroquois expansion forced them to compete with several tribes for land. For several decades thereafter, the two states disputed the new state's share of the Virginian government's debt. The Illiniwek gave Illinois its name. Following the war, Virginia had hoped for at least partial reunification with West Virginia; however, West Virginia remained as an independent state within the Union. The next major power in the region was the Illiniwek Confederation, a political alliance among several tribes. See Wheeling Convention.

That civilization vanished circa 1400-1500 for unknown reasons. Vote records for the remaining 9 counties were lost during the war.[4] (http://www.ls.net/~newriver/va/vasecesh.htm) This new state was admitted to the union in 1863, following Abraham Lincoln's signing of an act on December 31, 1862 that authorized this. Cahokia, the urban center of the pre-Columbian Mississippian culture, was located near present-day Collinsville, Illinois. 18 West Virginia counties voted in favor of secession, 20 voted against secession, and one resulted in a tie. The USS Illinois was named in honor of this state. Though the new state's government was avowedly unionist, the counties it contained were divided in their secession votes. postal abbreviation for the state is IL. Eventually, the state of Kanawha was renamed West Virginia.

The U.S. This reformed government authorized the creation of the state of Kanawha, consisting of the 55 counties that now make up West Virginia. Most of the state's population resides in Chicago and its suburbs. Upon the secession of Virginia from the union on April 27, 1861, anti-secessionist legislators convened a rump legislature and formed a pro-Union reformed government based in Wheeling which claimed to represent all of Virginia. The capital of Illinois is Springfield while its largest city is Chicago, along the waterfront of Lake Michigan. Western Virginia contained several anti-secessionist pockets, particularly around the Wheeling region, and the only three counties in Virginia to vote for Abraham Lincoln. The word Illiniwek means simply "the people". However, the American Civil War allowed western Virginia to form its own state.

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. Under the United States constitution, state boundaries could not be redrawn without the consent of the state in question. Illinois (pronounced [ˌɪləˈnɔɪ] or occasionally [ˌɪləˈnɔɪz]) constitutes the 21st state of the United States, located in the former Northwest Territory. Considerable disagreements existed between those in the western part of Virginia and plantation owners in the plains and tidewater regions. State tree: White oak (Quercus alba). It was originally the western part of the state of Virginia. State snack: Popcorn. West Virginia is the only American state formed as a direct result of the American Civil War.

State song: "Illinois". The US Navy has named a series of ships USS West Virginia in honor of this state. State slogan: "Land of Lincoln". It is also home to the Green Bank Telescope at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory. State prairie grass: Big Bluestem (Andropogon gerardii). Tourist sites include the New River Gorge Bridge (where on Bridge Day (http://www.wvbridgeday.com/) the federal government, which controls the landing site, allows BASE jumping [3] (http://www.wvbridgeday.com/bridge-day-BASE-jumping.php) from the bridge), as well as many national and state parks. State motto: "State sovereignty, national union". The state has a rich, stark beauty reflecting its topography.

State mineral: Fluorite. The state is noted for its coal mining heritage, and union organizing mine wars in particular. State insect: Monarch butterfly. West Virginia broke away from Virginia during the American Civil War. State fossil: Tully Monster (Tullimonstrum gregarium). suburbs in western Maryland and Virginia. State flower: Purple violet (Viola sororia). While many consider it part of the South, many in the state's Northern Panhandle feel a greater affinity for Pittsburgh, while those in the Eastern Panhandle feel a greater connection with Washington D.C.

State fish: Bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus). West Virginia is a culturally Southern state of the United States, known as The Mountain State.. State dance: Square dance. The three largest Protestant denominations in West Virginia: Baptist (29% of the total state population), Methodist (15%), Presbyterian (4%). State capital: Springfield. The religious affiliations of the citizens of West Virginia are:. State bird: Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis). Females made up approximately 51.4% of the population.

State animal: White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus). 5.6% of West Virginia's population were reported as under 5, 22.3% under 18, and 15.3% were 65 or older. Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President, is buried in Springfield, Illinois. The 5 largest ancestry groups in West Virginia are American (23.2%), German (17.2%), Irish (13.5%), English (12%), Italian (4.8%). Ronald Reagan, the 40th President, was born in Tampico, Illinois. The racial makeup of the state is:. Non-Religious – 8%. It was also last in the country in percentage of residents that speak a language other than English in the home (2.7%).

Other Religions – 3%. Only 1.1% of the state's residents were foreign-born, placing West Virginia last among the 50 states and the District of Columbia in that statistic. Other Christian – 1%. As of 2003, West Virginia was probably the US state least affected by immigration. Roman Catholic – 33%. The population of West Virginia as of 2003 was 1,810,354. Protestant – 51%. Given the unsettled present condition of the US steel industry, continuation of metal-working industries in the Northern Panhandle cannot be assured. In all aspects of heavy industry there is a perception that the electorate favors creation of factory jobs more than implementation of strict environmental controls; this is probably correct, but how much this outlook actually contributed to the choice of location in West Virginia is hard to determine.

1.9% mixed race. Also in the Northern Panhandle, Weirton has been the site of the only tin-processing industry in the USA. 0.2% American Indian. Metallurgy, especially steel, has been predominant in the Northern Panhandle due to a spill-over effect from the traditional center of the US steel industry in Pittsburgh. 3.4% Asian. In the Kanawha River Valley near Charleston and along the southern Ohio River Valley near Huntington chemicals predominate, attracted by a readily available labor force and access by barge carriers. 12.3% Hispanic. Along the western edges of the state the large rivers of the mid-continent erode a distance into the hills and it is here, in the west, that some dense pockets of heavy industry appear.

15.1% Black. Other wild greens, such as sour dock, lambs quarters, and wild leek (or "ramps") are also still gathered by many for table use, although today more on the basis of avocation or keeping up traditions than out of necessity. 67.8% White Non-Hispanic. Wild gathered ginseng contributed about $ 2 million in 2000 to the West Virginia economy, a figure larger than many conventional cultivated vegetable and fruit crops. The Junior United States Senator is Barack Obama (Democrat). One area where this practice is still significant is the gathering of wild North American ginseng, often for the Asian market. Durbin (Democrat). In traditional frontier agriculture there was much gathering of wild "greens" and forest produce to supplement the diet.

The Senior United States Senator is Richard J. In 2002, all of the top five counties by agricultural dollar value were located near the eastern Virginia border. The Treasurer of Illinois is Judy Baar Topinka (Republican). In the ridge and valley area along the eastern border near Virginia's Shenandoah Valley, subsidiary valleys are wide and there are some belts of rich soil which are extensively farmed. The Secretary of State of Illinois is Jesse White (Democrat). The chief animals raised were cattle and chickens. The Lieutenant Governor of Illinois is Pat Quinn (Democrat). Income from animals exceeded income from plants by about 7 to 1, with much of the non-animal income derived from sales of fodder.

The Governor of Illinois is Rod Blagojevich (Democrat). As can be expected in a rugged terrain, raising animals was far more important than growing vegetative crops. This description of farming portrays an independent and self-sufficient base of small land owners, but also a significant amount of rural underemployment. It should be noted that the rural poverty rate in West Virginia is 20.4% and that this figure is 5 points higher than the urban poverty rate. Traditionally, informal means of supplementing farm income have also been practiced, such as small-scale logging and hunting for food, and to some extent they still are practiced.

On the other hand, only 50.5% of the state's farmers considered farming to be their primary occupation, with a significant number of hours worked elsewhere each year, in such areas as factory wage employment when available. Family and single-owner operation worked 92.7% of the farms, and an astounding 96.9% were totally or partly owned by the operator. The modal average farm size was a smallish 140 to 179 acres (567,000 to 724,000 mē), most statistics in this section are taken from the 2002 US Census of Agriculture for West Virginia, which sold less than $2,500 of crops annually. Farming is practiced throughout West Virginia, but in a form different from large extensive cash-crop agriculture elsewhere in the USA.

Small to medium oil and natural gas fields still exist and are scattered mostly in the Allegheny/Cumberland Plateau in an arc throughout the western part of state. West Virginia was one of the first states to engage in drilling for oil. Most coal today is used by power plants to produce electricity. Coal is little used now for home heating either.

The railways were once one of the largest customers for coal to drive the steam locomotives, but these have been replaced by diesel locomotives. The state has an extensive network of railroads, and much of the coal is transported by rail. Today health and safety regulations and miners pay are much improved, and mining is usually the best paying job in the coalfields. Lewis and the United Mine Workers.

Nevertheles, labor organizing persisted under the leadership of John L. The effort of unions to organize miners is a violent chapter in the state's history; at one point the federal army had to be called in to quell a rebellion, dropping the only bombs ever dropped by the US Army against its own citizens. In past years the coal companies did mostly as they pleased, keeping miners in virtual servitude through credit at company stores. Higher prices for fuels may soon stimulate increased mining again.

Coal has been one of the state's primary economic resources, although many mines have been closed. This process of rounding up people already spread around here and there results in the typical zig-zag, curving, and extending shape of the resulting political unit. In West Virgina the boundaries were formed after settlement for the purpose of rounding up people with a similar socio-cultural outlook (in this case pro-Union, anti-plantation, highlanders) who were already there, just as the European boundaries round up people with similar nationalities who had been there for a long time. In the USA most state boundaries were established close to the time of settlement and include long straight lines and simplfying features that aid in forming property subdivision for new settlers.

This is because the processes that created West Virginia's eastern boundaries are more like the processes that created the boundaries of European countries. On a map West Virginia's complex shape and irregular outline make it look more like a European country in configuration than an American state. Sea level rose and fell many times during the Mississippian and Pennsylvanian eras, giving a variety of rock strata. Some beds illustrate a coastal swamp environment, some river delta, some shallow water.

The underlying rock strata are sandstones, shales, bituminous coal beds, and limestones laid down in a near shore environment from sediments derived from mountains to the east, in a shallow inland sea on the west. Many of the coves are rich in biodiversity and scenic beauty, a fact that is appreciated by native West Virginians, who refer to their home as almost Heaven. The native vegetation for most of the state was originally mixed hardwood forest of oak, chestnut, maple, beech, and white pine, with willow along the waterways. (The two plateaus are essentially the same, the difference being only the naming convention of north and south, with West Virginia happening to be in the middle.).

Though the relief is not high, the plateau region is extremely rugged in most areas. About 3/4 of the state is within the Cumberland/Allegheny Plateaus region which is not true mountains but rather a dissected plateau. The state is sometimes referred to as The Mountain State, which is a bit of a misnomer, as the only true mountains are the belt of Ridge-and-valley Appalachians along the eastern border with Virginia. The Ohio River and the Potomac River form parts of the boundaries.

It is bordered by Pennsylvania and Maryland to the north, by Ohio and Kentucky to the west, and by Virginia to the east. See: List of West Virginia counties. The current governor, inaugurated in 2005, is Democrat Joe Manchin. The governor is elected every four years, on the same day as the president, sworn in during January.

The remainder of the year sees legislators gathering periodically for interim meetings to discuss issues which will see debate during the next regular session. Typically, the legislature is in session between January and early April. Consequently, the legislators hold a full-time job in their community of residence, which stands in stark contrast to the neighboring states of Pennsylvania and Ohio. Legislators are not full-time, but part-time.

The legislature is bicameral, consisting of the House of Delegates and a Senate. The capital is Charleston, in the south west area of the state. See: List of Governors of West Virginia. The final installment of this sum was paid off in 1939.

The issue was finally settled in 1915, when the United States Supreme Court ruled that West Virginia owed Virginia $12,393,929.50. For several decades thereafter, the two states disputed the new state's share of the Virginian government's debt. Following the war, Virginia had hoped for at least partial reunification with West Virginia; however, West Virginia remained as an independent state within the Union. See Wheeling Convention.

Vote records for the remaining 9 counties were lost during the war.[2] (http://www.ls.net/~newriver/va/vasecesh.htm) This new state was admitted to the union in 1863, following Abraham Lincoln's signing of an act on December 31, 1862 that authorized this. 18 West Virginia counties voted in favor of secession, 20 voted against secession, and one resulted in a tie. Though the new state's government was avowedly unionist, the counties it contained were divided in their secession votes. Eventually, the state of Kanawha was renamed West Virginia.

This reformed government authorized the creation of the state of Kanawha, consisting of the 55 counties that now make up West Virginia. Upon the secession of Virginia from the union on April 27, 1861, anti-secessionist legislators convened a rump legislature and formed a pro-Union reformed government based in Wheeling which claimed to represent all of Virginia. Western Virginia contained several anti-secessionist pockets, particularly around the Wheeling region, and the only three counties in Virginia to vote for Abraham Lincoln. However, the American Civil War allowed western Virginia to form its own state.

Under the United States constitution, state boundaries could not be redrawn without the consent of the state in question. Considerable disagreements existed between those in the western part of Virginia and plantation owners in the plains and tidewater regions. It was originally the western part of the state of Virginia. West Virginia is the only American state formed as a direct result of the American Civil War.

The US Navy has named a series of ships USS West Virginia in honor of this state. It is also home to the Green Bank Telescope at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory. Tourist sites include the New River Gorge Bridge (where on Bridge Day (http://www.wvbridgeday.com/) the federal government, which controls the landing site, allows BASE jumping [1] (http://www.wvbridgeday.com/bridge-day-BASE-jumping.php) from the bridge), as well as many national and state parks. The state has a rich, stark beauty reflecting its topography.

The state is noted for its coal mining heritage, and union organizing mine wars in particular. West Virginia broke away from Virginia during the American Civil War. suburbs in western Maryland and Virginia. While many consider it part of the South, many in the state's Northern Panhandle feel a greater affinity for Pittsburgh, while those in the Eastern Panhandle feel a greater connection with Washington D.C.

West Virginia is a culturally Southern state of the United States, known as The Mountain State.. Lost Counties, Cities and Towns of Virginia. Charles Elwood Yeager. Woodson.

Carter G. Jerry West. Washington. Booker T.

Dr. Vance. Cyrus R. Sir John William David Swan.

General Adam Stephen. Ellsworth Milton Statler. Morgan Spurlock. Red Sovine.

Sam Snead. Smith. Michael W. Harry F. Sinclair.

Alex Schoenbaum. Soupy Sales. Nick Saban. Jack Rollins.

"Jay" Rockefeller IV. John D. Cal Ripken, Jr. Mary Lou Retton.

Walter Philip Reuther. Ed Rabel. Page. William N.

Nick Nolte. John Forbes Nash, Jr. Randy Moss. Kathy Mattea.

"Pistol Pete" Pete Maravich. MacCorkle. William A. Jessica Lynch.

Pfc. Chief Logan. Matt Lauer. John Kruk.

John Knowles. Don Knotts. Knight. John S.

Grandpa Jones. Johnnie Johnson (musician). Stonewall Jackson (born and raised before partition of Virginia; died in the year of partition). Julia Neale Jackson.

Hot Rod Hundley. Sam Huff. Lou Holtz. Homer Hickam.

John Henry. Devil Anse Hatfield. Hall. Tom T.

Hal Greer. Henry Louis Gates Jr. Jennifer Garner. Bob Evans.

General John Echols. Brig. General Isaac H. Duval. Brig.

Duncan. Donald F. Brad Dourif. Paul Dooley.

Joyce DeWitt. Bob Denver. Mike D'Antoni. Ted Cassidy.

Johnson N. Camden. Harry Flood Byrd. Byrd. Robert C.

Selva Lewis "Lew" Burdette. Mark Bulger. Pearl Buck. Nnamdi Azikiwe.

Dr. State Quarter design: . State motto: Montani semper liberi ("Mountaineers Are Always Free"). De facto state anthem: "Take Me Home, Country Roads" by Bill Danoff, Taffy Nivert, and John Denver (most famously performed by Denver).

State songs: "West Virginia, My Home Sweet Home," "The West Virginia Hills," and "This Is My West Virginia"

    . State tree: Sugar Maple. State soil: Monongahela silt loam. State insect: Honeybee.

    State gem: Fossil coral. State fruit: Golden Delicious Apple. State flower: Rhododendron. State colors: Blue and Gold.

    State butterfly: Monarch Butterfly. State bird: Cardinal. State animal: Black Bear. Wheeling Nailers.

    West Virginia Power (Charleston). Princeton Devil Rays. Bluefield Orioles (team represents the cities of Bluefield, West Virginia and Bluefield, Virginia, but plays its home games in Virginia). Wheeling Jesuit University.

    West Virginia Wesleyan College. West Virginia University at Parkersburg. West Virginia University Institute of Technology. West Virginia University.

    West Virginia State University. West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine. West Liberty State College. University of Charleston.

    Shepherd University. Salem International University. Potomac State College of West Virginia University. Ohio Valley College.

    Mountain State University. Marshall University. Glenville State College. Fairmont State University.

    Eastern West Virginia Community & Technical College. Davis and Elkins College. Concord University. Bluefield State College.

    Bethany College. Appalachian Bible College. Alderson-Broaddus College. Wyoming County.

    Wood County. Wirt County. Wetzel County. Webster County.

    Wayne County. Upshur County. Summers County. Tyler County.

    Tucker County. Taylor County. Roane County. Ritchie County.

    Randolph County. Raleigh County. Putnam County. Preston County.

    Pocahontas County. Pleasants County. Pendleton County. Ohio County.

    Nicholas County. Morgan County. Monroe County. Monongalia County.

    Mingo County. Mineral County. Mercer County. Mason County.

    Marshall County. Marion County. McDowell County. Logan County.

    Lincoln County. Lewis County. Kanawha County. Jefferson County.

    Jackson County. Harrison County. Hardy County. Hancock County.

    Hampshire County. Greenbrier County. Grant County. Gilmer County.

    Fayette County. Doddridge County. Clay County. Calhoun County.

    Cabell County. Brooke County. Braxton County. Boone County.

    Berkeley County. Barbour County. Non-Religious – 8%. Other Religions – 1%.

    Other Christian – 1%. Roman Catholic – 6%. Protestant – 79%. 0.9% mixed race.

    0.2% American Indian. 0.5% Asian. 0.7% Hispanic. 3.2% Black.

    94.6% White non-Hispanic. Non-Religious – 8%. Other Religions – 1%. Other Christian – 1%.

    Roman Catholic – 6%. Protestant – 79%. 0.9% mixed race. 0.2% American Indian.

    0.5% Asian. 0.7% Hispanic. 3.2% Black. 94.6% White non-Hispanic.

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