All About The State Of Illinois
As the 21st state to be added to the Union, Illinois definitely has a lot to offer and today it is the 5th most populated state in the United States. If you have never been here then there is a great deal to learn and we are going to take a look at that. This article is designed to give you some general facts and get you familiar with the state. It is certainly one filled with lots of fascinating people, places and things to do. Let’s get started taking a closer look right now.
First a Little Bit About the State’s Past
The name of the state itself comes from the French pronunciation of the tribes who lived in this area prior to the arrival of European settlers. Since those tribes did not have written language, the French missionaries created the term Illinois to describe them and the word essentially means ‘people’ for all intents and purposes.
It is believed that there have been humans in this state for about 7,000 years which is much longer than earlier settlers had first believed. Archaeology experts do say that before settlers arrived, this was an area of almost constant warfare among tribes, however. Thankfully, the state is far less violent today and it is interesting to note that during the American Revolution, many tribal peoples fought in support of the Americans as they battled the British.
It would not be 1818 until this state became a member of the USA. During the Civil War, this was one of the Union strongholds and it is, in fact, the birth place of Ulysses S. Grant, the great Union general and former president Abraham Lincoln. Many notorious mobsters are also from this state, being located primarily in the Chicago area so there is a colorful past, as well. Current President Barack Obama was also born here.
A Quick Look at State Geography and the Climate of the Area
The Midwest is the overall region that the state is considered to belong to and this means that cold winters can be expected along with relatively warm and humid summers. Deciduous forests and some open plains make up most of the countryside and many rivers exist in this state, as well, including the Mississippi that forms its western border, the longest river in the US. The Great Lakes are to the north and serve as a border to Canada and Michigan. States around Illinois are Missouri, Iowa, Wisconsin, Indiana, Kentucky and Michigan. There are very few points of high elevation and no real mountains to speak of, but some of this state’s territory does lie within what is called the American Bottom.