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Chicago, the center of the Chicago Metropolitan Area, became a global alpha-level city. Today, Illinois honors Lincoln with its official state slogan, Land of Lincoln, which has been displayed on its license plates since 1954."Illinois" is the modern spelling for the early French Catholic missionaries and explorers' name for the Illinois Native Americans, a name that was spelled in many different ways in the early records. The name "Illinois" derives from the Miami-Illinois verb irenwe·wa - "he speaks the regular way".Illinois was an important manufacturing center during both world wars.The Great Migration from the South established a large community of African Americans in the state, including Chicago, who created the city's famous jazz and blues cultures. presidents have been elected while living in Illinois: Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Additionally, Ronald Reagan, whose political career was based in California, and Hillary Clinton, the first female candidate of a major party in the general election, were both born and raised in Illinois.

Sixty miles to the south of Carbondale is the historic confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, the two forming the border of the southern tip of Illinois.) is a state in the Midwestern region of the United States. With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in northern and central Illinois, and natural resources such as coal, timber, and petroleum in the south, Illinois has a diverse economic base, and is a major transportation hub. state and 25th largest state in terms of land area, and is often noted as a microcosm of the entire United States.After the American Revolutionary War established the United States, American settlers began arriving from Kentucky in the 1780s via the Ohio River, and the population grew from south to north. After construction of the Erie Canal increased traffic and trade through the Great Lakes, Chicago was founded in the 1830s on the banks of the Chicago River, at one of the few natural harbors on southern Lake Michigan.John Deere's invention of the self-scouring steel plow turned Illinois's rich prairie into some of the world's most productive and valuable farmland, attracting immigrant farmers from Germany and Sweden.

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