Illinois was a long French colony before the English took over the
area in 1765. The French-looking name, which refers to the
Indigenous people of the Illinois department, has been retained.
The nickname of Illinois is "Land of Lincoln", which proudly refers
to one of the most famous U.S. presidents, Abraham Lincoln. He not
only lived here, but was also buried in 1865 after his violent death
in Springfield, the capital of Illinois.
The state motto of this U.S. state is State sovereignity,
national union. This emphasizes both the independence of the
state and the loyalty to the state of the USA, which Illinois has
proven not only in the Civil War.
- Area: 140,998 sq km
- Population: 12,830,632
- Abbreviation: IL
- Capital: Springfield
- Local time: GMT -5
- Nickname: The Prairie State
Map of Illinois
In terms of landscape, Illinois can be divided into three parts;
the north is dominated by the third largest metropolis in the USA, Chicago and
its catchment area. In the extreme south there is a slightly hilly
landscape and the center is characterized by the famous and
extensive prairie in the center of the United States.
Illinois: climate and weather
The climate in Illinois is quite different due to the wide
north-south expansion. Most regions, however, are characterized by a
humid continent. Here you can find wet and hot summers with cold
winters, the transition times are sometimes short. Illinois can be
traveled all year round, especially since Chicago as a city has
plenty of sights, museums and events even in the colder seasons.
Metropolis Chicago and the flat prairie
Overall, the state is rather flat, the highest point is just 376
m high (Charles Mound). Illinois is bordered by numerous
natural elements. The Mississippi forms the border
with Iowa and Missouri, the Ohio River the border
with Kentucky. Other neighboring countries
are Indiana and Wisconsin. Well-known rivers are the Chicago River,
the Embarras River, the Illinois River, the Kaskaskia River, the
Sangamon River and the Wabash River.
Illinois also has access to Lake Michigan in its northeastern
region, where it also has a maritime border with Michigan. Illinois
residents are mostly European, mostly German, Irish, Polish and
British. Chicago, in particular, has a relatively high proportion of
Polish immigrants. Many Latin Americans and Asians have also
immigrated in recent years. The proportion of Hispanics is about
15%, as is the proportion of African Americans.
The largest church are the Catholics, followed by Protestant
groups such as the United Methodist Church and the Baptists. The
largest cities are after Chicago, Aurora, Rockford, Joliet,
Naperville, Springfield, Peoria and Elgin.
In 1673, the first Europeans came to the country with Louis
Joliet, a French researcher and Jacques Marquette, a missionary. In
1712, France joined the area of the southern French colony of
Louisiana, but had to cede the area to Great Britain in 1765. The
area was later taken over by the now independent USA, which
connected it to the northwestern territory in 1787. Illinois
territory was then established in 1809 and in 1818 became the 21st
state in the United States of America.
Chicago, the dominant metropolis on Lake Michigan, was
particularly promoted by its location at the intersection of various
railroad lines. In 1893 the World Columbian Exposition took place
here, where, among other things, the zipper and the ferris wheel
were presented. The O'Hare International Airport is one
of the largest airports, it is of central importance within the
Politically, there is a strong contrast in Illinois between the
rural regions and the metropolis of Chicago and the surrounding
area. The rural parts tend towards the conservative Republicans,
while the urban region tends towards the Democrats.
Illinois is economically located in the Cornbelt, where
extensive maize and soybean fields are predominant, but fruit and
wheat are also grown. There is a large food industry in particular
around Chicago and the good transport routes, and Chicago is still
part of the old and very important industrial region of the USA, the
Iron and steel production still played a role today, but
information technology and high-tech, as well as financial services
and insurance services, are playing an increasingly important role
in the Illinois economy. The state is still on the outskirts
of Tornado Alley, since Illinois is relatively populated, the number
of victims is among the highest due to these natural disasters. In
summer, as in many countries in the Midwest, thunderstorms and heavy
downpours can often occur.