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State of Illinois
Flag of Illinois State seal of Illinois
Flag of Illinois Seal of Illinois
Nickname(s): Land of Lincoln, The Prairie State
Motto(s): State sovereignty, national union
Map of the United States with Illinois highlighted
Official language(s) English
Capital Springfield
Largest city Chicago
Area  Ranked 25th
 - Total 57,918 sq mi
(149,998 km²)
 - Width 210 miles (340 km)
 - Length 390 miles (629 km)
 - % water 4.0
 - Latitude 36°58'N to 42°30'N
 - Longitude 87°30'W to 91°30'W
Population  Ranked 5th
 - Total (2000) 12,419,293
 - Density 223.4/sq mi 
86.27/km² (11th)
 - Median income  $45,787[1] (18th)
 - Highest point Charles Mound[2]
1,235 ft  (377 m)
 - Mean 600 ft  (182 m)
 - Lowest point Mississippi River[2]
279 ft  (85 m)
Admission to Union  December 3, 1818 (21st)
Governor Rod Blagojevich (D)
U.S. Senators Richard Durbin (D)
Barack Obama (D)
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5
Abbreviations IL US-IL
Web site

Illinois (IPA [ˌɪ.lɨˈnɔɪ]) is a state of the United States of America and the 21st state admitted to the Union. Illinois is the most populous state in the Midwest and the fifth most populous in the nation, and has a large and diverse population. Its balance of vast suburbs and the great metropolis of Chicago in the northeast, rural areas, small industrial cities, and renowned agricultural productivity in central and western Illinois, and the coal mines of the south give it a highly diverse economic base. Its central location, connecting the Great Lakes to the Mississippi River via the Illinois River, made it a transportation hub for 150 years. It is this mixture of factory and farm, of urban and rural, that makes Illinois a microcosm of the United States.

About 2,000 Native American hunters and a small number of French villagers inhabited the area at the time of the American Revolution.[3] American settlers began arriving from Kentucky in the 1810s; they achieved statehood in 1818. Yankees arrived a little later and dominated the north, founding the future metropolis of Chicago in the 1830s. The coming of the railroads in the 1850s made highly profitable the rich prairie farmlands in central Illinois, attracting large numbers of immigrant farmers from Germany and Sweden. Northern Illinois provided major support for Illinoisans Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses S. Grant during the American Civil War. By 1900, factories were being rapidly built in the northern cities, along with coal mines in central and southern areas. This industrialization attracted large numbers of immigrants from Eastern and Southern Europe, and also led to the state's material contribution as a major arsenal in both world wars. In addition to immigrants from Europe, large numbers of blacks left the cotton fields of the South to come to Chicago, where they developed a famous jazz culture.

The state is named for the French adaptation of an Algonquian language (perhaps Miami) word apparently meaning "s/he speaks normally" (Miami ilenweewa,[4][5] Proto-Algonquian *elen-, "ordinary" and -wē, "to speak").[6] Alternately, the name is often associated with the indigenous Illiniwek people, a consortium of Algonquian tribes that thrived in the area. The name Illiniwek is frequently (incorrectly) said to mean "tribe of superior men";[7] in reality, it only means "men".[8][9][10]


[edit] Geography

Chicago, the largest city in Illinois
Chicago, the largest city in Illinois
Main article: Geography of Illinois

The northeastern border of Illinois is Lake Michigan. Its eastern border with Indiana is all of the land west of the Wabash River, and a north-south line above Post Vincennes, or 87° 31' 30" west longitude. Its northern border with Wisconsin is fixed at 42° 30' latitude. Its western border with Missouri and Iowa is the Mississippi River. Its southern border with Kentucky is the Ohio River.[11] Illinois also borders Michigan, but only via a water boundary in Lake Michigan.[12]

Though Illinois lies entirely in the Interior Plains, it 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. Two out of three Illinoisans live in this region. This region includes a few counties in Indiana and Wisconsin and stretches across much of northern Illinois toward the Iowa border, generally along Interstates 80 and 90. Chicagoland is cosmopolitan, densely populated, dynamic, industrialized, and settled by a variety of ethnic groups. Cook County is the most populous county in the state, with over 5.3 million residents in 2004.

Southward and westward, the second major division is central Illinois, an area of mostly flat prairie. The western section (west of the Illinois River) was originally part of the Military Tract of 1812 and forms the distinctive western bulge of state. Known as the Heart of Illinois, it is characterized by small towns and mid-sized cities. Agriculture, particularly corn and soybeans, as well as educational institutions and manufacturing centers, figure prominently. Major cities include Peoria–the third largest metropolitan area in Illinois at 370,000, Springfield–the state capital, Decatur, Bloomington-Normal and Champaign-Urbana.[12]

Illinois, showing major cities and roads
Illinois, showing major cities and roads

The third division is southern Illinois, comprising the area south of U.S. Route 50, and including Little Egypt, near the juncture of the Mississippi River and Ohio River. This region can be distinguished from the other two by its warmer climate, different mix of crops (including some cotton farming in the past), more rugged topography (the southern tip is unglaciated with the remainder glaciated during the Illinoian Age and earlier ages), as well as small-scale oil deposits and coal mining. The area is a little more populated than the central part of the state with the population centered in two areas. First, the Illinois suburbs of St. Louis comprise the second most populous metropolitan area in Illinois with nearly 600,000 inhabitants, and are known collectively as the Metro-East. The second area is Williamson County, Jackson County, Franklin County, Saline County and Perry County. It is home to around 210,000 residents.[12]

The region outside of the Chicago Metropolitan area is often described as "downstate Illinois". However, residents of central and southern Illinois view their regions as geographically and culturally distinct, and do not necessarily use this term.

In extreme northwestern Illinois, the Driftless Zone, a region of unglaciated and therefore higher and more rugged topography, occupies a small part of the state. Charles Mound, located in this region, has the state's highest elevation above sea level at 1,235 feet (376 m), though, technically, one could argue that the highest elevation in Illinois is at the top of the Sears Tower with a roof elevation of approximately 2,030 feet above sea level. [Chicago elevation (580 ft.) + tower height (1450) = 2030.]

The floodplain on the Mississippi River from Alton to the Kaskaskia River is the American Bottom, and is the site of the ancient city of Cahokia. It was a region of early French settlement, as well as the site of the first state capital, at Kaskaskia which is separated from the rest of the state by the Mississippi River.[13][12] </ref>

See also List of Illinois counties, List of Illinois county name etymologies

[edit] Climate

Because of its nearly 400 mile (640 km) length and mid-continental situation, Illinois has a widely varying climate. Most of Illinois has a humid continental climate (Koppen climate classification Dfa) with hot, humid summers and cool to cold winters. The southernmost part of the state, from about Carbondale southward, borders on a humid subtropical climate (Koppen Cfa) with more moderate winters. Average yearly precipitation for Illinois varies from just over 48 inches (1,220 mm) at the southern tip to around 35 inches (890 mm) in the northern portion of the state. Normal annual snowfall exceeds 38 inches (96 cm) in Chicagoland, while the southern portion of the state normally receives less than 14 inches (35 cm).[14] The highest temperature recorded in Illinois was 117°F (47°C), recorded on July 14, 1954, at East St. Louis, while the lowest temperature was -36°F (-38°C), recorded on January 5, 1999, at Congerville.[15][13][12]

Illinois averages around 50 days of thunderstorm activity a year which put it somewhat above average for number of thunderstorm days for the United States. Illinois is vulnerable to tornadoes with an average of 35 occurring annually, which puts much of the state at around 5 tornadoes per 10,000 square miles annually.[16] The deadliest tornado on record in the nation occurred largely in Illinois. The Tri-State Tornado of 1925 killed 695 people in three states; 613 of the victims lived in Illinois.[17]

[edit] Recreation

See also: List of Illinois state parks

Illinois has numerous museums. For example, the Burpee Museum of Natural History in Rockford which features the dinosaur fossil Jane the Rockford T-Rex. The state of the art Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield is the largest presidential library in the country. And numerous museums in the city of Chicago are considered some of the best in the world. These include the John G. Shedd Aquarium, the Field Museum of Natural History, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Museum of Science and Industry (Chicago). The Museum of Science and Industry (Chicago) is the only building remaining from the 1893 Columbian Exposition held in Chicago to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Columbus' discovery of the new world.

The Illinois state park system began in 1908 with what is now Fort Massac State Park becoming the first park in a system encompassing over 60 parks and about the same number of recreational and wildlife areas.

Areas under the protection and control of the National Park Service include the Illinois and Michigan Canal National Heritage Corridor near Lockport, the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail, the Lincoln Home National Historic Site in Springfield, the Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trail, and the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail.

[edit] History

Evening sky over a grain elevator west of Champaign
Evening sky over a grain elevator west of Champaign
Main article: History of Illinois

[edit] Pre-Columbian

Cahokia, the urban center of the pre-Columbian Mississippian culture, was located near present-day Collinsville, Illinois. That civilization vanished in the 15th century for unknown reasons. The next major power in the region was the Illiniwek Confederation, or Illini, a political alliance among several tribes. There were about 25,000 Illinois Indians in 1700, but systematic attacks and genocide by the Iroquois reduced their numbers 90%.[18] Members of the Potawatomi, Miami, Sauk, and other tribes came in from the east and north.[12] In the American Revolution, the Illinois and Potawatomi supported the American cause.

[edit] European exploration

French explorers Jacques Marquette 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 small French settlements continued; a few British soldiers were posted in Illinois but there were no British or American settlers. In 1778 George Rogers Clark claimed the Illinois Country for Virginia. The area was ceded by Virginia to the new United States in 1783 and became part of the Northwest Territory. [19]

[edit] 19th century

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1800 2,458
1810 12,282 399.7%
1820 55,211 349.5%
1830 157,445 185.2%
1840 476,183 202.4%
1850 851,470 78.8%
1860 1,711,951 101.1%
1870 2,539,891 48.4%
1880 3,077,871 21.2%
1890 3,826,352 24.3%
1900 4,821,550 26.0%
1910 5,638,591 16.9%
1920 6,485,280 15.0%
1930 7,630,654 17.7%
1940 7,897,241 3.5%
1950 8,712,176 10.3%
1960 10,081,158 15.7%
1970 11,113,976 10.2%
1980 11,426,518 2.8%
1990 11,430,602 0.0%
2000 12,419,293 8.6%

The Illinois-Wabash Company was an early claimant to much of Illinois. The Illinois Territory was created on February 3, 1809, with its capital at Kaskaskia. In 1818, Illinois became the 21st U.S. state after exaggerating its population totals. The new state debated slavery then rejected it, as settlers poured into southern Illinois from Kentucky.

Thanks to Nathaniel Pope, the delegate from Illinois, Congress shifting the northern border 41 miles north to 42° 30' north, which added 8,500 square miles to the state, including Chicago, Galena and the lead mining region. The capital remained at Kaskaskia, but in 1819 it was moved to Vandalia. In the 1832 Black Hawk War Indians who had removed to Iowa attempted to return, but were defeated by the militia and forced back to Iowa.

The winter of 1830-1831 is called the "Winter of the Deep Snow". A sudden, deep snowfall blanketed the state, making travel impossible for the rest of the winter. Many travellers perished. Several severe winters followed, including the "Winter of the Sudden Freeze". On December 20, 1836, a fast-moving cold front passed through, freezing puddles in minutes and killing many travelers who could not reach shelter. The adverse weather resulted in crop failures in the northern part of the state. The southern part of the state shipped food north and this may have contributed to its name: "Little Egypt", after the Biblical story of Joseph in Egypt supplying grain to his brothers.[20]

Illinois is known as the "Land of Lincoln" because it is here that the 16th President spent most of his life, practicing law and living in Springfield. In 1837, with Lincoln's support and urging, the General Assembly voted to move the capital to Springfield. As early as 1840, Illinois was called the "Sucker State". Illinois was not a strong anti-slavery state. In 1853, led by Democrat John A. Logan, the legislature passed a Black Code designed to keep free blacks out of the state.

By 1839 the Mormon utopian city of Nauvoo, located on the Mississippi River, was created and settled, and flourished. In 1844 the Mormon leader Joseph Smith was killed in an Illinois jail. After close to six years of rapid development the Mormon city of Nauvoo, which rivaled Chicago as Illinois' largest city, saw a rapid decline. In 1846 the Mormons had left Illinois for the West in a mass exodus.

Chicago gained prominence as a Great Lakes port and then as an Illinois and Michigan Canal port after 1848, and as a rail hub soon afterward. By 1857, Chicago was Illinois' largest city. [19]

Further information: History of Chicago

[edit] American Civil War

During the American 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, which were numbered from the 7th to the 156th regiments. Seventeen cavalry regiments were also gathered, as well as two light artillery regiments.[21]

[edit] Twentieth century

In the 20th century, Illinois emerged as one of the most important states in the union with a population of nearly 5 million. By the end of the century, the population would reach 12.4 million. The Century of Progress world's fair was held at Chicago in 1933. Oil strikes in Marion County and Crawford County lead to a boom in 1937, and, by 1939, Illinois ranked 4th in U.S. oil production.

Following World War II, Argonne National Laboratory, near Chicago, activated the first experimental nuclear power generating system in United States in 1957. By 1960, the first privately financed nuclear plant in United States, Dresden 1, was dedicated near Morris. Chicago became an ocean port with the opening of the Saint Lawrence Seaway, in 1959. The seaway and the Illinois Waterway connected Chicago to both the Mississippi River and the Atlantic Ocean. In 1960, Ray Kroc opened the first McDonald's franchise in Des Plaines.

In 1970, the state's sixth constitutional convention authored a new constitution to replace the 1870 version. It was ratified in December. The first Farm Aid concert was held in Champaign to benefit American farmers, in 1985. The worst upper Mississippi River flood of the century, the Great Flood of 1993, inundated many towns and thousands of acres of farmland. [19]

[edit] Demographics

Illinois Population Density Map
Illinois Population Density Map

As of 2006, Illinois has an estimated population of 12,831,970, which is an increase of 65,200 from the prior year and an increase of 412,323, or 3.3%, since the year 2000. This includes a natural increase since the last census of 481,799 people (that is 1,138,398 births minus 656,599 deaths) and a decrease due to net migration of 71,456 people out of the state. Immigration from outside the United States resulted in an increase of 402,257 people, and migration within the country produced a loss of 473,713 people.[22]

As of 2004 there were 1,682,900 foreign-born (13.3%).[23]

At the northern edge of the state on Lake Michigan lies Chicago, the nation's third largest city. In 2000, 23.3% of the population lived in the city of Chicago, 43.3% in Cook County and 65.6% in Illinois's part of Chicagoland, the leading industrial and transportation center in the region, which includes Will, DuPage, Kane, Lake, and McHenry Counties as well as Cook County. The rest of the population lives in the smaller cities and in the rural areas that dot the state's plains. According to the 2000 census, the state population center was 41.278216° N 88.380238° W in Grundy County northeast of Mazon.[24][19][13][12]

Demographics of Illinois (csv)
By race White Black AIAN Asian NHPI
AIAN is American Indian or Alaskan Native   -   NHPI is Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander
2000 (total population) 80.71% 15.73% 0.62% 3.84% 0.11%
2000 (Hispanic only) 11.78% 0.35% 0.19% 0.08% 0.04%
2005 (total population) 80.34% 15.63% 0.62% 4.45% 0.11%
2005 (Hispanic only) 13.72% 0.39% 0.20% 0.09% 0.04%
Growth 2000-2005 (total population) 2.30% 2.07% 3.74% 19.16% 10.13%
Growth 2000-2005 (non-Hispanic only) -0.68% 1.81% 0.91% 19.36% 10.18%
Growth 2000-2005 (Hispanic only) 19.75% 13.28% 10.14% 9.96% 10.06%
Religious affiliation[25]
Christian: 80%
Protestant: 49%
Baptist: 12%
Lutheran: 7%
Methodist: 7%
Presbyterian: 3%
Other/general Protestant: 20%
Roman Catholic: 30%
Other Christian: 1%
Other religions: 4%
Non-religious: 16%

The top five ancestry groups in Illinois are: German American (19.6%), African American (15.1%), Irish American (12.2%), Mexican American (9.2%), and Polish-American (7.5%). Nearly three in ten whites in Illinois claimed at least partial German ancestry on the Census. Blacks are present in large numbers in the city of Chicago, East St. Louis, and the southern tip of the state. Residents citing American and British ancestry are especially concentrated in the southeastern part of the state. Metropolitan Chicago has the greatest numbers of people of Irish, Mexican, and Polish ancestry.

7.1% of Illinois' population was reported as under age 5, 26.1% under age 18, and 12.1% were 65 or older. Females made up approximately 51% of the population.[26][13]

According to the 2000 U.S. Census, 10.85% of the population aged 5 and older speak Spanish at home, while 1.60% speak Polish [12].

[edit] Religion

Protestants are the largest religious group in Illinois. However, Illinois is not as heavily Protestant as neighboring states are. Roman Catholics, who are heavily concentrated in and around Chicago, account for 30% of the population. Chicago and its suburbs are also home to a large population of Hindus, Jews, Muslims and Sikhs.

[edit] Economy

Illinois Quarter
Main article: Economy of Illinois

The 2004 total gross state product for Illinois was nearly $522 billion USD,[27] placing it 5th in the nation. The 2004 per capita income was $34,721 USD.[28]

Illinois's state income tax is calculated by multiplying net income by a flat rate, currently 3%.[29] There are two rates for state sales tax: 6.25% for general merchandise and 1% for qualifying food, drugs and medical appliances.[30] The property tax is the largest single tax in Illinois, and is the major source of tax revenue for local government taxing districts. The property tax is a local—not state—tax, imposed by local government taxing districts which include counties, townships, municipalities, school districts, and special taxing districts. The property tax in Illinois is imposed only on real property.[19][13][12]

[edit] Agricultural and industry

Illinois's agricultural outputs are corn, soybeans, hogs, cattle, dairy products, and wheat. In most years Illinois is the leading state for the production of soybeans [13], with a harvest of 500 million bushels in 2004. Illinois is ranked second in total corn production.[31] Illinois's universities are actively researching alternative agricultural products as alternative crops.

Its industrial outputs are machinery, food processing, electrical equipment, chemical products, publishing, fabricated metal products, transportation equipment, petroleum, and coal.

[edit] Energy

Illinois is a net importer of fuels for energy, despite large coal resources and some minor oil production. The state is ranked fifth among states in electricity production and seventh in electricity consumption.[32]

[edit] Coal

About 68% of Illinois has coal-bearing strata of the Pennsylvanian geologic period. According to the Illinois State Geological Survey, 211 billion tons of bituminous coal are estimated to lie under the surface, having a total heating value greater than the estimated oil deposits in the Arabian Peninsula.[33] However, this coal has a high sulfur content, which causes acid rain unless special equipment is used to reduce sulfur dioxide emissions.[19][13][12] Many Illinois power plants are not equipped to burn high-sulfur coal. In 1999, Illinois produced 40.4 million tons of coal, but only 17 million tons (42%) of Illinois coal was consumed in Illinois. Most of the coal produced in Illinois is exported to other states, while much of the coal burned for power in Illinois (21 million tons in 1998) is mined in the Powder River Basin of Wyoming.[34]

Several cities in Illinois are being considered as sites for the Department of Energy's FutureGen project, a 275 megawatt experimental zero emission coal-burning power plant.

[edit] Petroleum

Illinois is a leading refiner of petroleum in the American Midwest, with a combined crude oil distillation capacity of nearly 0.9 million barrels per day. However, Illinois has very limited crude oil proved reserves that account for less than 1% of U.S. crude oil proved reserves. Residential heating is 81% natural gas compared to less than 1% heating oil. Illinois is ranked 14th in oil production among states, with a daily output of approximately 28,000 barrels in 2005.[35]

[edit] Nuclear power

It could be said that nuclear power began in Illinois with the Chicago Pile-1, the world's first artificial self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction in the world's first nuclear reactor, built on the University of Chicago campus. As of 2006, Illinois has 6 Nuclear power plants which contain 11 electricity producing reactors. As of January 1, 2005 Illinois ranked 1st among the 31 States with nuclear capacity.[36]

[edit] Wind power

Illinois has seen growing interest in the use of wind power for electrical generation.[37] Most of Illinois is rated "fair" for wind energy production by the Department of Energy, with some western sections rated "good" and parts of the south rated "poor."[38] Currently, there are four major wind farms in Illinois; the two largest farms each have a production capacity over 50 megawatts. A number of larger projects have also been proposed.[39] Although it currently represents only a negligible part of Illinois' energy production, it is estimated that wind power could provide 5-10% of the state's energy needs.[14]

[edit] Biofuels

Illinois is ranked second in corn production among U.S. states, and Illinois corn is used to produce 40% of the ethanol consumed in the United States.[40] The Archer Daniels Midland corporation in Decatur, Illinois is the world's leading producer of ethanol from corn.

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is one of the partners in the Energy Biosciences Institute (EBI), a $500 million biofuels research project funded by petroleum giant BP.[41][42] Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich recently announced a $25 million grant program to fund the construction of five new ethanol and biodiesel plants in Illinois.[43]

[edit] Transportation

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

Because of its central location and its proximity to the Rust Belt and Grain Belt, Illinois is a national crossroads for rail, auto and truck traffic.

O'Hare International Airport (ORD) is one of the two busiest airports in the world, with 62 million domestic passengers annually along with 12 million international passengers. [44]

See also: List of Illinois Routes.

In addition to the states rail lines, the Mississippi River and Illinois River provide major routes for the states agricultural interests. Lake Michigan connects Illinois to all waterways east. See also: Category:Illinois waterways.

[edit] Law and government

Illinois Government
Governor of Illinois Rod Blagojevich (D)
Lieutenant Governor of Illinois: Pat Quinn (D)
Attorney General of Illinois: Lisa Madigan (D)
Secretary of State of Illinois: Jesse White (D)
Comptroller of Illinois: Daniel Hynes (D)
Treasurer of Illinois: Alexi Giannoulias (D)
Senior United States Senator: Richard J. Durbin (D)
Junior United States Senator: Barack Obama (D)
See also: 2006 Election for statewide offices in the State of Illinois

The state government of Illinois is modeled after the Kentucky model with some adaptations.[45] 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, composed of the 118-member Illinois House of Representatives and the 59-member Illinois Senate. The judiciary is comprised of the Supreme Court of Illinois, which oversees the lower appellate and circuit courts.[11]

The dome on the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield is taller than the dome on the United States Capitol.
The dome on the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield is taller than the dome on the United States Capitol.

[edit] Politics

Historically, Illinois has traditionally been a major battleground state between the Republican Party and the Democratic Party. As evidenced by increasing Democratic margins in recent elections, it has gradually shifted more Democratic at the national and state level, and now leans solidly Democratic in national elections to become the most Democratic state in the Midwest. Illinois voted for Democratic presidential candidates in the last four elections. John Kerry easily won the state's 21 electoral votes in 2004 by a margin of 11 percentage points with 54.8% of the vote. Traditionally, the central cities, especially Cook, Rock Island, and St. Clair counties, have been Democratic strongholds, while the suburbs of Chicago have been historically Republican. However, Lake County, while still mostly Republican, has been trending towards the Democrats. Small cities and towns are typically Republican strongholds. Rural districts in the northern third of the state have historically been Republican; those in the middle third mixed, and those in Little Egypt (the southern third of the state) are more equally split.

Politics in the state (and especially in Chicago) have been famous for over a century for high visibility corruption cases, as well as for crusading reformers such as governors Adlai Stevenson (Dem) and James Thompson (GOP). In 2006, former Governor George Ryan (GOP) was convicted of racketeering and bribery. In the late 20th century Congressman Dan Rostenkowski (Dem) was imprisoned for mail fraud; former governor and federal judge Otto Kerner, Jr. (Dem.) was imprisoned for bribery; and State Auditor of Public Accounts (Comptroller) Orville Hodge (GOP) was imprisoned for embezzlement. In 1912 William Lorimer, the GOP boss of Chicago, was expelled from the U.S. Senate for bribery, and in 1921 Governor Len Small (GOP) was found to have defrauded the state of a million dollars.[46][19][13]

Illinois elected two of the five African-Americans who have served in the U.S. Senate: Carol Moseley-Braun and Barack Obama. [47]

[edit] Largest cities

Chicago's skyline
Chicago's skyline
See also: List of cities in Illinois and List of towns and villages in Illinois

Chicago is the largest city in the state and the third most populous city in the United States. The US Bureau of the Census currently lists six other cities with populations of over 100,000 within Illinois. Based upon the Bureau's official 2005 scientific estimates, [15] they are: Aurora, a Chicago suburb which at 168,181 has recently (2002) eclipsed Rockford for the title of "Second City" of Illinois. However, at 152,916, Rockford is not only the number three city, but also remains the largest city in the state not located within the Chicago metropolitan area. Naperville, another suburb located west of Chicago, is the fourth largest city in the state, with a population of 141,579. Joliet, a city southwest of Chicago, is fifth with 136,208. Springfield, the state capital of Illinois, comes in sixth with 115,668. The final city in the 100,000 club is Peoria, which decades ago was actually the second largest city in the state; its 2005 population was 112,685.

[edit] Education

Rockefeller Chapel, constructed in 1928, is the tallest structure on the University of Chicago campus.
Rockefeller Chapel, constructed in 1928, is the tallest structure on the University of Chicago campus.

[edit] 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 the Illinois School Report Card. The ISBE also makes recommendations to state leaders concerning education spending and policies.

[edit] Primary and secondary schools

See also: List of school districts in Illinois and List of high schools in Illinois

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.

[edit] Colleges and universities

See also: List of colleges and universities in Illinois

Education has been a high priority of many ethic and religious groups, as attested by the large number of colleges and universities in Illinois. The two most prominent research universities are the University of Chicago and Northwestern University. Public universities include the Champaign, Chicago and Springfield branches of the University of Illinois, as well as Illinois State University (1857), Southern Illinois University (1869), Northern Illinois University (1895), Eastern Illinois University (1895), and Western Illinois University (1899). Illinois supports 49 public community colleges in the Illinois Community College System, as well as dozens of small, private, colleges and universities.

[edit] Sports

Soldier Field following renovation.
Soldier Field following renovation.
See also: List of professional sports teams in Illinois

Because of its large and diverse population, Chicago is the focus of most professional sports in Illinois. It is the home to 15 different professional sports teams.

The Chicago Cubs of the National League play in the second-oldest major league stadium and are famous as "lovable losers" whose fans are nevertheless famously dedicated. The Chicago White Sox of the American League won the World Series championship in 2005, their first since 1917. The Chicago Bears football team has won 9 total NFL Championships, the last occurring in Super Bowl XX. The city's Arena Football League team, the Chicago Rush, won ArenaBowl XX. The Chicago Bulls of the NBA are one of the most recognized basketball teams in the world, thanks to the heroics of a player often cited as the best ever, Michael Jordan, who led the team to six NBA championships in eight seasons in the 1990s. The Chicago Blackhawks of the NHL began playing in 1926 as a member of the Original Six and have won several Stanley Cups. The Chicago Fire soccer club are members of MLS and are one of the league's most successful and best-supported since its founding in 1997, winning one league and four US Open Cups in that timespan. Chicago also has a professional Lacrosse team, the Chicago Machine.

Chicago sports teams, like the Bulls, often carry a national following. However, downstate fans are sometimes loyal to adjacent sports markets, such as St. Louis or Green Bay.

[edit] Lists

[edit] See also

[edit] References

Illinois Symbols[48]
State animal: White-tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus)
State amphibian: Eastern Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum tigrinum)
State bird: Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)
State capital: Springfield
State dance: Square dance
State fish: Bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus)
State flower: Purple violet (Viola sororia)
State fossil: Tully Monster (Tullimonstrum gregarium)
State insect: Monarch Butterfly
State mineral: Fluorite
State motto: "State sovereignty, national union"
State Nickname: The Prairie State
State prairie grass: Big Bluestem (Andropogon gerardii)
State reptile: Painted Turtle (Chrysemys picta)
State slogan: "Land of Lincoln"
State snack: Popcorn
State soil: Drummer Silty Clay Loam
State song: "Illinois"
State tree: White oak (Quercus alba)
  1. ^ US Census Bureau, median household income by state 2004. Retrieved on 2006-07-01.
  2. ^ a b Elevations and Distances in the United States. U.S Geological Survey (29 April 2005). Retrieved on November 6, 2006.
  3. ^ Biles (2005) ch 1
  4. ^ Comments by Michael McCafferty on "Readers' Feedback (page 4)". The KryssTal. Retrieved on 2007-02-23.
  5. ^ Costa, David J. 2000. "Miami-Illinois Tribe Names". In the Papers of the 31st Algonquian Conference, University of Manitoba Press, pp. 146-7
  6. ^ Illinois. Retrieved on 2007-02-23.
  7. ^ Illinois Symbols. State of Illinois. Retrieved on 2006-04-20.
  8. ^ Lee Sultzman (1997-07-17). Illinois History. Retrieved on 2007-02-23.
  9. ^ Illinois History. An IlGenWeb Special Project. Retrieved on 2007-02-23.
  10. ^ Native American Tribes of Illinois. Retrieved on 2007-02-23.
  11. ^ a b Wikisource. Illinois Constitution of 1818.
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h i (1978) in Nelson, Ronald E. (ed.): Illinois: Land and Life in the Prairie State. ISBN 0-8403-1831-6. 
  13. ^ a b c d e f g Horsley, A. Doyne (1986). Illinois: A Geography. ISBN 0-86531-522-1. 
  14. ^ Illinois State Climatologist Office. Climate Maps for Illinois. Accessed April 22, 2006.
  15. ^ Midwestern Regional Climate Center (MRCC). Illinois Extreme Temperature list. Accessed April 22, 2006.
  16. ^ [1] NOAA National Climatic Data Center. Retrieved on October 24, 2006.
  17. ^ PAH Webmaster (2005-11-02). NWS Paducah, KY: NOAA/NWS 1925 Tri-State Tornado Web Site -- General Information. Retrieved on 2006-11-16.
  18. ^ Frederick E. Hoxie, Encyclopedia of North American Indians (1996) 266-7, 506
  19. ^ a b c d e f g Biles, Roger (2005). Illinois: A History of the Land and its People. ISBN 0-87580-349-0. 
  20. ^ Duff, Judge Andrew D. Egypt. Republished, Springhouse Magazine. Accessed May 1, 2006.
  21. ^ Illinois in the Civil War. Illinois Infantry, Cavalry, and Artillery Units. Accessed November 26, 2006.
  22. ^ United States Census BureauPopulation Estimates Program
  23. ^ United States Census Bureau. 2004 American Community Survey.
  24. ^ American Congress on Surveying and Mapping. State Centers of Population. Accessed April 20, 2006.
  25. ^ American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS). CUNY Key Findings. 2001.
  26. ^ United States Census Bureau. Illinois Quick Facts, 2004. Accessed August 28, 2006.
  27. ^ Bureau of Economic Analysis. Gross State Products. October 26, 2005.
  28. ^ Bureau of Economic Analysis. State Per Capita Personal Income. March 28, 2006.
  29. ^ Illinois Department of Revenue. Individual Income Tax. Accessed May 27, 2006.
  30. ^ Illinois Department of Revenue. Illinois Sales Tax Reference Manual (PDF). p117. January 1, 2006.
  31. ^ Ethanol Fact Sheet. Illinois Corn Growers Association. [2]
  32. ^ "Illinois in the Global Energy Marketplace," by Robert Finley. 2001. Illinois State Geological Survey publication. [3]
  33. ^ Illinois State Geological Survey. Coal in Illinois. Accessed April 20, 2006.
  34. ^ "Illinois in the Global Energy Marketplace," by Robert Finley. 2001. Illinois State Geological Survey publication. [4]
  35. ^ United States Department of Energy. Petroleum Profile: Illinois. Accessed April 4, 2006.
  36. ^ United States Department of Energy. Illinois Nuclear Industry. Accessed April 4, 2006.
  37. ^ "Illinois Wind." Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs, Western Illinois University
  38. ^ Wind Powering America: Illinois Wind Maps. US Dept. Of Energy [5]
  39. ^ American Wind Energy Association. Wind Project Database: Illinois [6]
  40. ^ Ethanol Fact Sheet. Illinois Corn Growers Association. [7]
  41. ^ Energy Biosciences Institue. [8]
  42. ^ Gov. Blagojevich joins Gov. Schwarzenegger, top BP executives to celebrate launch of $500 million biosciences energy research partnership with University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, UC-Berkeley. Press release, Feb 1, 2007. [9]
  43. ^ "Illinois invests $25 million in five new biofuels facilities." Biodiesel Magazine, Oct. 2006. [10]
  44. ^ See [11]<.ref> It is a hub for United Airlines and American Airlines, and a major airport expansion project is currently underway. Chicago Midway International Airport (MDW) is the secondary airport serving metro Chicago, with 19 million passengers in 2006 See also: List of airports in Illinois. Illinois has an extensive rail network transporting both passengers and freight. Chicago is a national Amtrak hub and in-state passengers are served by Amtrak's Illinois Service featuring the Chicago to Carbondale Illini and Chicago to Quincy Illinois Zephyr. Nearly every North American railway meets at Chicago, making it one of the largest and most active rail hubs in the world. Extensive commuter rail is provided in the city proper and immediate northern suburbs by the Chicago Transit Authority's 'L' system. The largest suburban commuter rail system in the United States, operated by Metra, uses existing rail lines to provide direct commuter rail access for hundreds of suburbs to the city and beyond. See also: List of Illinois railroads. Major U.S. Interstate highways crossing the state include: I-24, I-39, I-55, I-57, I-64, I-70, I-72, I-74, I-80, I-88, I-90, and I-94. Illinois carries the distinction of having the most primary (2-digit) Interstates pass through it among the 50 states. In 2005, there were 1,355 traffic deaths on Illinois roadways, the lowest in more than 60 years.<ref></ref><ref></ref><ref></ref><ref>[[Governor of Illinois]]. [ Press release]. Accessed [[April 20]], [[2006]].</li> <li id="_note-31">'''[[#_ref-31|^]]''' Biles (2005) pp 38-49</li> <li id="_note-32">'''[[#_ref-32|^]]''' James L. Merriner, ''Grafters and Goo Goos: Corruption and Reform in Chicago, 1833-2003'' (2004)</li> <li id="_note-33">'''[[#_ref-33|^]]''' [ U.S. Senate: Art & History Home]</li></ol></ref>

[edit] Bibliography

  • Biles, Roger. Illinois: A History of the Land and Its People (2005)
  • Bridges, Roger D. and Davis, Rodney O., Illinois : Its History and Legacy (1984) (ISBN: 0933150865)
  • Cole, Arthur Charles. The Era of the Civil War, 1848-1870 (1919). ISBN 0-8369-5646-X. narrative history
  • Davis, James E. Frontier Illinois (1998). ISBN 0-253-33423-3. analytic history
  • Gove, Samuel K. and James D. Nowlan. Illinois Politics & Government: The Expanding Metropolitan Frontier (1996). ISBN 0-8032-7014-3. Government text with guide to further sources.
  • Grossman, James R., Ann Durkin Keating, and Janice L. Reiff, eds. The Encyclopedia of Chicago (2004). ISBN 0-226-31015-9. online version; major scholarly guide to the metro area's history, geography, and culture
  • Hallwas, John E. ed., Illinois Literature: The Nineteenth Century (1986). OCLC 14228886.
  • Howard, Robert P. Illinois: A History of the Prairie State (1972). ISBN 0-8028-7025-2. textbook
  • Jensen, Richard. Illinois: A History (2001). ISBN 0-252-07021-6. interpretation using a traditional-modern-postmodern model.
  • Keiser, John H. Building for the Centuries: Illinois 1865-1898 (1977). ISBN 0-252-00617-8, narrative history
  • Meyer, Douglas K. Making the Heartland Quilt: A Geographical History of Settlement and Migration in Early-Nineteenth-Century Illinois (2000). ISBN 0-8093-2289-7.
  • Kilduff, Pygman. Illinois: History Government Geography (1962) school text
  • Kleppner, Paul. Political Atlas of Illinois (1988). ISBN 0-87580-136-6. Maps for 1980s.
  • Peck, J. M. A Gazetteer of Illinois (1837). ISBN 1-55613-782-6.
  • Sutton, Robert P. ed. The Prairie State: A Documentary History of Illinois (1977). ISBN 0-8028-1651-7. 2 vol of primary sources
  • Walton, C. Clyde. ed. An Illinois Reader (1970), primary sources
  • Works Progress Administration. Illinois: A Descriptive and Historical Guide (1939). ISBN 0-394-72195-0. A famous survey covering every town and city and much more.

[edit] External links

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