Illinois ( ), the 21st state admitted to the United States of
America, is the most
populous and demographically diverse Midwestern state and the fifth most
populous state in the nation. With Chicago in the
northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in
central and western Illinois, and natural resources like coal, timber, and
petroleum in the south, Illinois has a broad economic base.
is an important transportation hub; the Port of
connects the Great Lakes to the
Mississippi River via the Illinois River. Illinois is often
viewed as a microcosm of the
United States; an Associated Press
analysis of 21 demographic factors found Illinois the "most average
state", while Peoria has long
been a proverbial social and
population near 40,000 between 1300 and 1400 AD, the Mississippian city of Cahokia, in what is
now southern Illinois, was the largest city within the future
United States, until it was surpassed by New York
City between 1790
About 2,000 Native American hunters and a small
number of French
villagers inhabited the
Illinois area at the time of the American Revolution
. American settlers
began arriving from Kentucky in the
1810s; Illinois achieved statehood in 1818. The future metropolis
of Chicago was founded
in the 1830s on the banks of the Chicago
River, one of the
few natural harbors on southern Lake
's invention of the
self-scouring steel plow
Illinois' rich prairie
into some of the
world's most productive and valuable farmlands, attracting immigrant
farmers from Germany
. By 1900, the growth of industry in
the northern cities and coal mining
the central and southern areas attracted immigrants from Eastern
and Southern Europe
. Its manufacturing made the
state a major arsenal in both World wars
of African Americans from the rural south to Chicago
formed a large
and important community
that created the city's famous jazz
Approximately 66% of the population of
Illinois resides in the northeastern corner of the state, primarily
within the city of Chicago and the
Three U.S. Presidents
have been elected
while they were living in Illinois Abraham Lincoln
, Ulysses S. Grant
, and Barack
. Ronald Reagan
was born in Tampico and grew up in Dixon.
is interred at Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield.
"Illinois" is the modern spelling for the early French
missionary/explorers' name for the Illinois people, a name that was
spelled endless ways in the early records. One very highly regarded
reference book gives this very concise and widely accepted summary
of the expressions in question: "Illinois
, from ilini
plural termination, changed by the French to
)". The book lists dozens of spellings for "Illinois"
and "Illiniwek" before 1800. Among the earliest are "Alimouek",
"Alini8ek", (The French alphabet had no 'w' so '8' was often used
for that sound.) "Eriniouai", "Eriniwek", "Ilinioüetz",
"Ilinioüek", and "Ilinois".
An 1864 history states that "Erinouai," "Erinouek," "Alimouek,"
"Ilinimouek," "Liniouek," and "Illinoets" are all synonyms of
"Illinois," all mean the men.
The earliest mention of what has come to be "Illinois" was Paul
LeJeune's 1640 account that the Eriniouaj
of the Winnebago.The first European face-to-face meeting with the
Illinois on their territory came in 1674 when Marquette followed a
beaten prairie path to a village and asked the people who they
were. "They replied that they were Ilinois." Father Jacques
Marquette, the great Jesuit missionary and explorer, made this
oft-quoted observation about that name:
When one speaks the word “Ilinois,” it is as if one
said, in their language, “the men".
“As if the other Savages were looked upon by them
merely as animals".
In 1697 Father Louis Hennepin, another missionary, offered this
The etymology of this word Illinois comes, as
we have said, from the term Illini, which, in the language
of that Nation. signifies a man finished or complete.
In the same volume he began a chapter about "...the lake named by
the Savages Illinoüack & by us Illinois" with these
The Lake of the Illinois signifies in the language of
these Barbarians, the Lake of the Men.
The word Illinois signifies a grown man, who is in the
prime of his age and vigor.
An 1871 study described the Illinois people's name for themselves
as evidence that the "conviction of personal and tribal excellence
stamps itself on every savage language."
entire body of historical contemporary documentation is dismissed
by at least one Miami-language
maintains that theoretical analysis of modernized, Anglicized
spellings reveals that the Illinois component of the Miami-Illinois
language is merely folklore and urban legend "which has even crept
into anthropological and historical usage," that "neither
‘Ilinioüek’, ‘Illiniwek’, nor, least of all, ‘Illini’ are
legitimate names for the Illinois," that the Illinois were not
among the people who considered speaking the Illinois language
speaking "in the regular way," and that, in short, “virtually all
analyses of the name ‘Illinois’ offered over the past 300 years are
in fact wrong.”
In 2000 Costa formulated a "reconstructed or hypothetical
phonemicized form," Inoka.
He came to treat this
hypothetical construct as a standard vernacular expression, and
developed the point of view that it was this expression that the
Illinois people used to refer to themselves rather than any of the
"unworkable" urban legend variations of "Illinois" or "Illiniwek."
However, a search of the early missionary/explorer records before
1800 for "Inoka" or "*Inoka" does not produce any hits because, of
course, the expression first appeared in print in 2000. A search
for "Illinois," on the other hand, documents that the name was used
by the Illinois people to refer to themselves and by others to
refer to the Illinois in hundreds of pages in dozens of volumes
published before 1800.
The state is named for the French
adaptation of an Algonquian
word apparently meaning "s/he speaks normally" (Miami
, Proto-Algonquian *elen-
"ordinary" and -we·
, "to speak"). Alternately, the name is
often associated with the indigenous Illiniwek
people, a consortium
-language tribes that once
thrived in the area. The name Illiniwek
(incorrectly) said to mean "tribe of superior men"; or "men". Both
etymologies are unworkable.
Copper plates found at pre-Columbian
burial sites in Illinois.
the waterways of the Illinois area for thousands of years. The
has been excavated and
demonstrated 7,000 years of continuous habitation. Cahokia, the largest
regional chiefdom and urban center of the pre-Columbian Mississippian culture, was located
near present-day Collinsville,
At its peak, the city had 30,000 to 40,000
people, a population not reached again north of Mexico until
between 1790 and 1800 in New York. They built more than 100 mounds
and a Woodhenge in a planned design expressing the culture's
cosmology. The civilization vanished in the 15th century for
unknown reasons, but historians and archeologists have speculated
that the people depleted the area of resources.
The next major power in the region was the Illinois Confederation
or Illini, a
political alliance among several tribes. There were about 25,000
Illinois Indians in 1700, but systematic attacks and warfare by the
reduced their numbers by 90%.
Gradually, members of the Potawatomi
and other tribes came in from the east and north. In the American Revolution
, the Illinois and
Potawatomi supported the American colonists' cause.
Jacques Marquette and Louis Jolliet explored the Illinois River in 1673. In 1680, other French
explorers constructed a fort at the site of present day Peoria, in
1682 a fort atop Starved Rock in today's
Starved Rock State Park. As a result of this French exploration,
Illinois was part of the French empire until 1763, when it passed
to the British.
small French settlements continued; a few British soldiers were
posted in Illinois, but there were no British or American settlers.
George Rogers Clark claimed the
Illinois Country for Virginia.
area was ceded by Virginia to the new United States in 1783 and
became part of the Northwest
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. The new state debated slavery, finally rejecting it, as
settlers poured into southern Illinois from Kentucky.
the efforts of Nathaniel Pope, the
delegate from Illinois, Congress shifted the northern border north
to 42° 30' north, which added to the state, including Chicago,
the lead mining region. The capital remained at Kaskaskia, but in
1819 was moved to Vandalia. In 1832 the Black
Hawk War was fought in Illinois and current day Wisconsin between the
United States and the Sauk, Fox and Kickapoo Indian
The Indians withdrew to Iowa; when they attempted to
return, they were defeated by U.S. 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, and many travelers 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
story of Joseph in Egypt
supplying grain to his brothers.
the Mormon utopian city of Nauvoo,
located on the Mississippi River, was created, settled, and
flourished. In 1844 the Mormon leader Joseph Smith was murdered in the Carthage 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 after the Mormons left
Illinois in 1846 for the West in a mass exodus.
The state has a varied history in relation to slavery
and the treatment of African Americans
in general. Some slave
labor was used before it became a territory, but slavery was banned
by the time Illinois became a state in 1818. As the southern part
of the state, known as "Little Egypt", was largely settled by
migrants from the South
, the section was
sympathetic to the South and slave labor. For a while the section
continued to allow settlers to bring slaves with them for labor,
but citizens were opposed to allowing blacks as permanent
residents. The Illinois Constitution of 1848 was written with a
provision for exclusionary laws to be passed. In 1853 John A. Logan
later a Union general in the American
, introduced such bills. Laws were passed to prohibit
all African Americans, including freedmen
from settling in the state.
prominence as a Great Lakes port and
then as an Illinois and Michigan
Canal port after 1848, and as a rail hub soon
By 1857, Chicago was Illinois' largest city. With
the tremendous growth of mines and factories in Illinois in the
19th century, Illinois played an important role in the formation of
labor unions in the
. The Pullman
Strike and Haymarket Riot in
particular greatly influenced the development of the American
October 8 until Tuesday, October 10, 1871, the Great Chicago Fire
burned in downtown
Chicago, destroying .
In 1847, after lobbying by Dorothea L.
, Illinois became one of the first
states to establish a system of state-supported treatment of mental
illness and disabilities, replacing local almshouses.
the American Civil War, over
250,000 Illinois men served in the Union
Army, a figure surpassed by only New York, Pennsylvania, and
Beginning with President Abraham
'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.
20th century, Illinois emerged as one of the most important states
in the union, with a population of nearly 5 million bolstered by
continued immigration from southern and eastern Europe, and by
African-Americans from Mississippi, Louisiana, and
the end of the century, the population would reach 12.4 million.
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 fourth in U.S. oil production.
World War II, Argonne National Laboratory, near Chicago, activated the first experimental
nuclear power generating system in the United States in
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
seaway and the Illinois Waterway
connected Chicago to both the Mississippi River and the Atlantic Ocean.
Ray Kroc opened the first McDonald's franchise in Des Plaines (which still exists today as a museum, with a
working McDonald's across the street).
In 1970, the state's sixth constitutional convention authored a new
constitution to replace the 1870 version, which 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
, inundated many towns and thousands of acres of farmland.
It also flooded many homes and streets slowing transportational
Northeastern border of Illinois is Lake
Michigan. Its eastern border with Indiana is the
Wabash River and a north-south line
above Post Vincennes, 87° 31′ 30″ west longitude. Its northern border
with Wisconsin is fixed at
42° 30' north latitude. Its western border with Missouri and
Iowa is the
southern border with Kentucky is the
Ohio River. Illinois also borders
Michigan, but only
via a water boundary in Lake Michigan.
Illinois, showing major cities and
Though Illinois lies entirely in the Interior Plains
, it has three major
geographical divisions. The first is Northern Illinois, dominated by the
Chicago metropolitan area, including the city of Chicago, its
suburbs, and the adjoining exurban area into which the metropolis
is expanding. As defined by the federal government, the
Chicago metro area includes a few counties in Indiana and
stretches across much of northeastern Illinois.
It is a
cosmopolitan city, densely populated, industrialized, and settled
by a wide variety of ethnic groups. The city of Rockford, the second largest metropolitan area and the
state's third largest city sits along Interstates 39 and 90 some
northwest of Chicago.
Southward and westward, the second major division is Central Illinois
, an area of mostly
. Known as the Heart of Illinois, it
is characterized by small towns and mid-sized cities. The western
section (west of the Illinois River) was originally part of the
Military Tract of 1812
forms the distinctive western bulge of the state. Agriculture,
, as well as educational institutions and
manufacturing centers, figure prominently. Cities include
the third largest metropolitan area in Illinois at 370,000;
Springfield, the state capital; Quincy;
Decatur; Bloomington-Normal; and
Champaign-Urbana. Though the Illinois Quad
geographically almost at the same latitude as Chicago, they are
often grouped in Central Illinois due to economic, political, and
cultural ties to this region.
The third division is Southern
, comprising the area south of U.S. Route 50
and including Little Egypt
the juncture of the Mississippi
and Ohio River
. This region can
be distinguished from the other two by its warmer climate,
different variety of crops (including some cotton
farming in the past), more rugged topography
(the southern tip is unglaciated with the remainder glaciated
during the Illinoian Stage
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.
second area is Williamson
County and Perry
It is home to around 210,000
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 Area
, a region of unglaciated and
therefore higher and more rugged topography, occupies a small part
of the state. Charles
located in this region, has the state's highest elevation above
sea level at 1,235 feet
(376 m). The highest structure in Illinois is
Willis Tower with a
roof elevation of approximately above sea level.
elevation (580 ft) + tower height (1454 ft) = 2034.]
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 German 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.
of southeastern Illinois is part of the extended Evansville, Indiana Metro Area, commonly referred to as the Tri-State
with Indiana and Kentucky.
Seven Illinois counties are in
Because of its nearly length and mid-continental situation,
Illinois has a widely varying climate. Most of Illinois has a
humid continental climate
), 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.
precipitation for Illinois varies from just over at the southern
tip to around in the northern portion of the state. Normal annual
snowfall exceeds in the Chicago area, while the southern portion of
the state normally receives less than . The all time high
temperature was , recorded on 14 July 1954, at East St. Louis, Illinois, while the all time low temperature was , recorded
on 5 January 1999, at Congerville,
Illinois averages around 51 days of thunderstorm
activity a year, which ranks
somewhat above average in the 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
five tornadoes per annually. The deadliest tornadoes on record in
the nation have occurred largely in Illinois. The Tri-State Tornado
of 1925 killed 695
people in three states, 613 of whom lived in Illinois. Though this
figure can be attributed to the historically higher population of
Illinois compared to neighboring states (past to present) as well
as modern developments in storm tracking, death tolls due to
tornadoes have dramatically declined.
As of 2008, Illinois has an estimated population of 12,901,563,
which is an increase of 75,754 from the prior year and an increase
of 481,903 or 3.9%, since the year 2000. This includes a natural
increase since the last census of 644,967 people; that is,
1,505,709 births minus 860,742 deaths and a decrease due to the net
migration of 159,182 people out of the state. International
state resulted in an increase of 425,893 people and domestic
migration produced a loss of 585,075 people.
As of the 2007 estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau
, there were
1,768,518 foreign-born inhabitants of the state or 13.8% of the
population, with 48.4% from Latin
, 24.6% from Asia
, 22.8% from
, 2.9% from Africa
, 1.2% from Northern America
and 0.2% from Oceania
. Of the foreign-born population, 43.7% were
and 56.3% were not U.S. citizens. Additionally, the
racial distributions were as follows: 65.0% White American
, 15.0% African American
, 14.9% Latino American
, 4.3% Asian American
, 0.3% American Indian
, and 0.1% Native Hawaiians
and Pacific Islander American
2007, 6.9% of Illinois' population was reported as being under age
5, 24.9% under age 18 and 12.1% were age 65 and over. Females made
up approximately 50.7% of the population.
According to the 2007 estimates, 21.1% of the population had
ancestry, 13.3% had Irish
ancestry, 7.9% had Polish
ancestry, 6.7% had English
ancestry, 6.4% had Italian
ancestry, 4.6% listed themselves as
, 2.4% had Swedish
ancestry, 2.2% had French
ancestry, other than Basque
, 1.6% had Dutch
ancestry, 1.4% had Norwegian
ancestry and 1.3% had Scottish
ancestry. Also, 21.8% of the
population age 5 years and over reported speaking a language other
, with 12.8% of the
population speaking Spanish
speaking other Indo-European
, 2.5% speaking Asian
and Austronesian languages
and 0.8% speaking other languages.
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 the counties
of the Chicago metropolitan area: Will, DuPage, Kane, Lake and McHenry counties, as
well as Cook County.
The remaining population lives in the
smaller cities and rural areas that dot the state's plains.
2000, the state's center of
population was at , located in Grundy County, northeast of the village of Mazon.
Catholics and Protestants are the largest religious groups in
Illinois. Roman Catholics
, who are
heavily concentrated in and around Chicago, account for around 30%
of the population. Chicago and its suburbs are also home to a large
and growing population of Hindu
. The largest denominations by number of
adherents in 2000 were the Roman
with 3,874,933; the United Methodist Church
365,182; the Southern
with 305,838 and Judaism
The 2007 total gross state product
Illinois was approximately $609 billion USD
. The states per capita
in 2007 was $41,012 USD.
Illinois's state income tax
by multiplying net income
by a flat rate
, currently 3%. There are two rates for
state sales tax
: 6.25% for general
merchandise and 1% for qualifying food, drugs and medical
appliances. The property tax
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, township
, municipalities, school districts
and special taxation
districts. The property tax in Illinois is imposed only on real property
Illinois's agricultural outputs are corn
, dairy products
. In most years Illinois is the
leading state for the production of soybeans, with a harvest of 500
million bushels (14 million metric ton
2004. Illinois is ranked second in total corn production. Illinois'
universities are actively researching alternative agricultural
products as alternative crops.
As of 2003, the leading manufacturing industries in Illinois, based
upon value-added, were chemical manufacturing ($16.6 billion), food
manufacturing ($14.4 billion), machinery manufacturing ($13.6
billion), fabricated metal products ($10.5 billion), plastics and
rubber products ($6.8 billion), transportation equipment ($6.7
billion), and computer and electronic products ($6.4
By the early 2000s, Illinois's economy had moved toward a
dependence on high-value-added services, such as financial trading,
, and medicine
In some cases, these services clustered around institutions that
hearkened back to Illinois's earlier economies. For example, the
, a trading exchange for global derivatives
, had begun its life as an
agricultural futures market
important non-manufacturing industries include publishing, petroleum
Illinois is a net importer of fuels for energy, despite large coal
resources and some minor oil production. Illinois exports
electricity, ranking fifth among states in electricity production
and seventh in electricity consumption.
About 68% of Illinois has coal
of the Pennsylvanian
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
. However, this coal has
a high sulfur
content, which causes acid rain
unless special equipment is used to
reduce sulfur dioxide emissions
. 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.
Mattoon was recently chosen as the site for the Department of Energy's
FutureGen project, a
275 megawatt experimental zero
emission coal-burning power plant which just received a second
round of funding from the DOE.
Illinois is a leading refiner of petroleum
in the American Midwest
, with a combined
crude oil distillation capacity of nearly . 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%
compared to less than 1%
. Illinois is ranked 14th in
among states, with a daily output of approximately
Nuclear power arguably 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. With six major
nuclear power plant (Braidwood, Byron, Clinton, Dresden, LaSalle, and Quad Cities) housing
eleven reactors, Illinois is ranked first among the 50 states of
the US in nuclear generating capacity.
In 2005, 48% of
Illinois' electricity was generated using nuclear power.
Estimated wind power resources at 50m
Illinois has seen growing interest in the use of wind power
for electrical generation. Most of
Illinois was rated in 2001 as "fair" for wind energy production by
the Department of
, with some western sections rated "good" and parts of
the south rated "poor". These ratings are for wind turbines with
hub heights; newer wind turbines are
taller, able to reach stronger
winds farther from the ground
. As a result, more areas of
Illinois have become prospective wind farm sites. As of June 2009,
Illinois had 915.06 MW
of installed wind
power nameplate capacity
another 702.9 MW under construction. Illinois ranked tenth among
U.S. states in installed wind power capacity, and was on pace to
become the tenth state to surpass 1 GW. Large wind farms
in Illinois include Cayuga Ridge South
, Mendota Hills
, Rail Splitter
, and Twin Groves
As of 2006, wind energy represented only a negligible part of
Illinois' energy production, and it was estimated that wind power
could provide 5-10% of the state's energy needs.In 2007, the
Illinois General Assembly
mandated that by 2025, 25% of all electricity generated in Illinois
is to come from renewable
Illinois is ranked second in corn
among U.S. states, and Illinois corn is used to produce 40% of the
ethanol consumed in the United States. The Archer Daniels Midland corporation in
Decatur, Illinois is the world's leading producer of ethanol from
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.
Arts and culture
Illinois has numerous museums. The state of the art Abraham Lincoln
Presidential Library and Museum in
Springfield is the largest presidential library in the country;
numerous museums in the city of Chicago are considered some of the
best in the world. These include the John
Shedd Aquarium, the
Field Museum of Natural
History, the Art Institute of
Chicago and the Museum of Science and
Museum of Science and Industry is the only building remaining from
the 1893 World's Columbian
Exposition held in Chicago to celebrate the 400th anniversary
of Columbus' discovery of the new world.
Because of its large population, Chicago is the focus of most
professional sports in Illinois, though St. Louis sports teams
Indianapolis sports teams
also supported in areas of the state in closer proximity to those
The state houses two Major League
teams. The Chicago Cubs
of the National League play in the
second-oldest major league stadium (Wrigley
and are widely known for not winning the World Series, since 1908.
The Chicago White Sox
of the American League
won the World Series
, their first since 1917
. The Chicago
football team has won nine total NFL Championships
, the last occurring
in Super Bowl XX
Coincidentally, the city's Arena
team, the Chicago
, won ArenaBowl XX
in 2006. The
of the NBA
is one of the most
recognized basketball teams
in the world,
due largely to the efforts of Michael
, who led the team to six NBA championships in eight
seasons in the 1990s. The Chicago
of the NHL
began playing in 1926
as a member of the Original Six
have won three Stanley Cups
recently in 1961
(currently the longest Stanley Cup drought of any NHL team). The
soccer club is a
member of MLS
and is one of the
league's most successful and best-supported, since its founding in
1997, winning one league and four Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cups
in that timespan. The
is an AHL
team that is also very popular
and has been a winning team since its first season. The Chicago Blaze
is another minor
league hockey team, playing in the All American Hockey
. In 2006, Chicago became home of the first indoor
lacrosse team, called the Chicago
, who are part of the National Lacrosse League
of the WNBA
of the NPF
, who won their first title in
2008, are also located in the city.
The city was formerly home to several other teams, such as the
of the NFL, the
of the WHA, the
Chicago Rockers of the CBA
, the Chicago Skyliners
of the IBL, the
of Arena Football,
the Chicago Blitz
of the USFL
, the Chicago Sting
of the MISL
of the NPSL
and the Chicago Blaze
Chicago is not the only place in Illinois where professional sports
are played. The Rockford
is one of the oldest CBA
teams in the league.
The Peoria Chiefs
and Kane County Cougars
are minor league
baseball teams affiliated with MLB
. The Schaumburg Flyers
and Joliet JackHammers
Independent League baseball teams.
In addition to the Chicago Wolves, the AHL
has two teams in Illinois outside of Chicago: the Rockford IceHogs
serves as the AHL
affiliate of the Chicago Blackhawks, and the
is the AHL
affiliate of the St. Louis Blues
Illinois has a long tradition of motor
. Oval tracks in Joliet, Cicero and Madison have hosted NASCAR,
CART and IRL races, whereas
the Sports Car Club of
America among other national and regonal road racing clubs ahve visited circuits in
Beloit and Carpentersville.
Illinois also has several short
Parks and recreation
Illinois state parks' system
began in 1908 with what is now Fort
Park, becoming the first park in a system encompassing over 60
parks and about the same number of recreational and wildlife
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
Lincoln Home National
Historic Site in Springfield; the Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trail; the
Trail of Tears National Historic
Trail; and the American
Under its constitution, Illinois has three branches of government:
executive, legislative and judicial. Legislative functions are
granted to the Illinois
, composed of the 118-member Illinois House of
and the 59-member Illinois Senate
. The executive branch is led
by the Governor of Illinois
but four other executive officials are separately elected by the
people. The judiciary is composed of the Supreme Court of Illinois and the lower appellate and circuit courts.
Historically, Illinois was a major battleground state between the
and the Democratic
. In recent elections, it has gradually shifted more
Democratic at the national and state level and has become a solid
Democratic state in the Midwest. Chicago and most of Cook County
votes strongly Democratic. In addition, Democratic voters have moved to
the traditionally Republican "collar counties" (the suburbs
surrounding Chicago's Cook County,
Illinois), which are becoming increasingly diverse.
Republicans continue to prevail in rural
northern and central Illinois; Democrats usually win in southern
Illinois and in the Quad Cities and
East St. Louis metropolitan areas.
Illinois has voted for
Democratic presidential candidates in the last five elections.
easily won the state's 21
electoral votes in 2008, by a margin of 25 percentage points with
61.9% of the vote.
Politics in the state, particularly those of the Chicago machine
been famous for highly visible corruption cases, as well as for
crusading reformers, such as governors Adlai Stevenson
(D) and James R. Thompson
(R). In 2006, former Governor
(R) was convicted of
racketeering and bribery. In 2008, then-Governor Rod Blagojevich
(D) was served a criminal
complaint on corruption charges, stemming from allegations that he
conspired to sell the vacated Senate seat left by President
(D) to the highest bidder.
In the late 20th century, Congressman Dan Rostenkowski
(D) was imprisoned for
mail fraud; former governor and federal judge Otto Kerner, Jr.
(D) was imprisoned for
bribery; and State Auditor of Public Accounts (Comptroller)
(R) 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
(R) was found to have defrauded
the state of a million dollars.
Illinois has the unique distinction of having popularly elected two
of the six African Americans
have served in the U.S. Senate: Carol Moseley-Braun
and Barack Obama
was appointed to the Senate to replace Barack Obama
, who resigned to become president.
Illinois has sent more African-Americans to the Senate than any
other state, with three in total.
The first Governor was Shadrach Bond
who served from 1818 to 1822.
Two presidents have claimed Illinois as their political base:
former Representative of Illinois's 7th
congressional district Abraham
(born in Kentucky) and the current President of the United
, former Illinois U.S. Senator Barack
Obama (born in Honolulu, Hawaii).
Ronald Reagan was born in Tampico, Illinois, but ran from his political home state of
California, where he served as Governor.
Governor Adlai Stevenson
Democratic nominee for president in 1952 and 1956.
Illinois was ranked 4th in the U.S. in the number of full-time
sworn officers with 321 per
100,000 persons, behind Louisiana (415),
New York (384), and
In this ranking, only New York had a higher total
population than Illinois. Illinois is also near the top of most law
enforcement numbers lists, such as number of agencies per state,
number of agencies with special jurisdictions, and number of local
police agencies. Even taking into account that Illinois is the
fifth most populous state, many of the ratios are higher than more
populated states. There is much overlap in jurisdiction amongst the
different law enforcement agencies.
At the state level, there are at least eleven law enforcement
agencies. At the county level, there are county sheriffs
and many specialized police
At the local level, most cities and many villages have municipal
park district police
forces, and even local specialized police
forces. Many colleges also have their own police or public safety
forces that have full police power on campus.
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
. The ISBE also makes recommendations to state leaders
concerning education spending and policies.
Primary and secondary schools
Education is compulsory from kindergarten through the twelfth grade
in Illinois, commonly but not exclusively divided into three tiers
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
Colleges and universities
Using the criterion established by the
Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching
, there are
eleven "National Universities" in the state. Three of these rank
among the top 100 National Universities in the United States, as
determined by the U.S. News & World Report
rankings: the University of
Chicago (8), Northwestern
University (12) and the University of Illinois
(40). The other eight National Universities,
including two more that rank in the top 120 are: Illinois Institute of
Technology (102), Loyola University
Chicago (116), DePaul
University, Illinois State
Illinois University, the University of Illinois at
Chicago, Northern Illinois
University and Trinity International
the "National Universities", Illinois has several other major
universities and colleges, both public and private, including:
Eastern Illinois University, Northeastern Illinois
University, Western Illinois
University, Columbia College
University, Chicago State
University and Robert Morris
There are also dozens of small liberal arts colleges
across the state.
Additionally, Illinois supports 49 public community colleges
in the Illinois Community College
of its central location and its proximity to the Rust Belt and Grain
is a national crossroads for air, auto, rail and truck
O'Hare International Airport (ORD) is one of the busiest airports in the world,
with 59.3 million domestic passengers annually, along with 11.4
million international passengers in 2008.
It is a major
for United Airlines
and American Airlines
, and a major airport
expansion project is currently underway. Chicago Midway International
Airport (MDW) is
the secondary airport in the Chicago metropolitan area, serving
17.3 million domestic and international passengers in
Illinois has an extensive passenger and freight rail transportation
network. Chicago is a
hub and in-state passengers
are served by Amtrak's Illinois
, featuring the Chicago to Carbondale Illini
, the Chicago to Quincy
, and the
Chicago to St. Louis Lincoln
. Currently there is trackwork on the Chicago-St.
Louis line to bring the maximum speed up to which would reduce the
trip time by an hour and a half. 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 some immediate suburbs by the Chicago Transit Authority
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
Major U.S. Interstate highways crossing the state include:I-24
, and I-94
Illinois carries the distinction of having the most primary
(2-digit) Interstates pass through it among the 50 states. In 2007,
there were 1,248 traffic fatalities on Illinois roadways, the
fewest since 1924.
In addition to the state's rail lines, the Mississippi River
and Illinois River
provide major transportation
routes for the state's agricultural interests. Lake Michigan connects
Illinois to all waterways east.
Chicago is the
largest city in the state and the third most populous
city in the United States, with its
2008 estimated population of 2,853,114.
The U.S. Census Bureau
seven other cities with populations of over 100,000 within
Illinois. Based upon the Census Bureau's official 2008
population estimates, they are: Aurora, a
Chicago outlier which at 171,782, eclipsed
Rockford for the title of "Second City" of Illinois in
However, at 157,272, Rockford is not only the number
three city, it also remains the largest city in the state not
located within the Chicago metropolitan area. Joliet,
located southwest of Chicago, is the fourth largest city in the
state, with a population of 146,125.
It is also one of the
fastest growing cities in the U.S. Naperville, a suburb of Chicago, is fifth with 143,117, it
shares its western border with the state's second largest city,
along Illinois Route 59.
Springfield, the state capital of Illinois, comes in sixth with
117,352. Peoria, which
decades ago was the second largest city in the state, comes in
seventh with 114,114. The eighth largest and final city in the
100,000 club is Elgin,
an outlying northwest suburb of Chicago with a 2008 estimated
population of 106,330.
major urban areas include the Illinois portion of Greater St. Louis (often called the
Metro-East area), which has a population
of over 691,000 people, the Illinois portion of the Quad Cities area,
which has a population of 215,000, the Champaign-Urbana Metropolitan
Area, which has a combined population of 210,000 and the
with a combined population of over 125,000.
- Biles (2005) ch 1
- "Chicago's Front Door: Chicago Harbor." A digital exhibit
published online by the Chicago Public Library. . Retrieved October 20, 2007.
- Hodge, F. W. (1910) Handbook of American Indians north of Mexico, Volume
- Perrot, N. (1864). Mémoire sur les moeurs, coustumes, et relligion des
sauvages de l'Amérique Septentrionale, 220.
- LeJeune P. (1641). Account of what happened in New France in the year
- Marquette, J. (1674). Travel and discovery of some countries and nations of
North America, 15.
- Marquette, Travel and discovery, 20.
- Hennepin, L. (1697). New
Discovery of a Vast Country situated in America, between New Mexico
and the Frozen Ocean, 196.
- Hennepin, Discovery, 53.
- Trumbull, J. Hammod (1871). On Algonkin Names for Man,
- Costa, D. (2007 January).
[www.myaamiaproject.org/OtherFiles/CostaNewsletter.pdf Illinois] in
The Society For The Study Of The Indigenous Languages Of The
Americas Newsletter, XXV:4, 25 (4).
- Costa, David J. 2000. "Miami-Illinois Tribe Names", in
Papers of the 31st Algonquian Conference, University of
Manitoba Press, p. 46.
- Search Results: nothing found. (n.d.) Retrieved
October 21, 2002
- Early Canada Online Search Results: 511 pages in 54
documents. (n.d.). Retrieved October 21, 2002
- Fay, J. (2009) Eriniouaj. Retrieved October 21, 2009
- Costa, David J. 2000. "Miami-Illinois Tribe Names". In the
Papers of the 31st Algonquian Conference, University of Manitoba
Press, pp. 146-7
- Frederick E. Hoxie, Encyclopedia of North American
Indians (1996) 266-7, 506
- Duff, Judge Andrew D. Egypt. Republished, Springhouse Magazine,
accessed May 1, 2006.
- James Pickett Jones, Black Jack: John A. Logan and Southern
Illinois in the Civil War Era 1967 ISBN 0-8093-2002-9.
- Roland Tweet, Miss Gale's Books: The Beginnings of the Rock
Island Public Library, (Rock Island, IL: Rock Island Public
Library, 1997), 15.
- Illinois in the Civil War. Illinois Infantry, Cavalry, and Artillery Units.
Retrieved November 26, 2006.
- Illinois State Climatologist Office. Climate Maps for Illinois. Retrieved April 22,
- " Annual average number of tornadoes, 1953–2004",
NOAA National Climatic Data Center. Retrieved on October 24,
- " Average Weather for Cairo, IL",weather.com
- " Chicago Weather", ustravelweather.com
- " Moline Weather", ustravelweather.com
- " Peoria Weather", ustravelweather.com
- " Rockford Weather", ustravelweather.com
- " Springfield Weather", ustravelweather.com
- See Statemaster. Retrieved 29 July 2007.
- Bureau of Economic Analysis.
Gross State Products. October 26, 2005.
- Bureau of Economic Analysis.
State Per Capita Personal Income. March 28,
- Illinois Department of Revenue. Individual Income Tax. Accessed May 27,
- Illinois Department of Revenue. Illinois Sales Tax Reference Manual (PDF).
p133. January 1, 2006.
- " State Soy Crop Statistics", Soy Stats, The American
- " Ethanol Fact Sheet", Illinois Corn Growers
- " Manufacturing in Illinois", Illinois Department
of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.
- " Illinois in the Global Energy Marketplace",
Finley, 2001. Illinois State Geological Survey
State Geological Survey. Coal in Illinois. Retrieved December 4,
- United States Department of
Energy. Petroleum Profile: Illinois. Retrieved April 4,
- United States Department of
Energy. Illinois Nuclear Industry. Retrieved April 4,
- "Illinois Wind." Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs,
Western Illinois University
- " Wind Powering America: Illinois Wind Maps",
2001. United States Department of Energy.
- " Wind Power on the Illinois Horizon", Rob
Kanter, September 14, 2006. University of Illinois Environmental
- " Wind Farm Conference Tackles Complicated
Issue", Lori Olbert, December 13, 2007. WYZZ-TV / WMBD-TV.
- " Ethanol Fact Sheet", Illinois Corn Growers
- " BP Pledges $500 Million for Energy Biosciences
Institute and Plans New Business to Exploit Research", BP.com,
June 14, 2006.
- " 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, Illinois.gov. February 1,
Illinois Constitution of
- U.S. Senate: Art & History Home