Illinois History - the history of Illinois
   
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Vacation 2 USA   >   Illinois   >   History
Vacation 2 USA   >   History   >   Illinois History

   
 

Illinois History


Cahokia, the center of the Native American Mississippian culture was located in southern Illinois near present-day Collinsville. When the Mississippian culture disappeared, a political alliance of several tribes, the Illinwek Confederation dominated the region, until they in turn were replaced by the Potawatomi, Miami and Sauk tribes.

Probably the first Europeans to visit the area were the French explorers Jacques Marquette and Louis Joliet, in 1673. As a result, Illinois was part of the French empire until 1763. However, following the Seven Years' War (generally known in the US as the "French and Indian War"), control of the area passed to Britain. In 1783, after the American Revolution, the area became part of the United States' Northwest Territory.

The Illinois Territory was created in 1809, and in 1818 Illinois was admitted to the United States as the 21st state, the last Native American tribes being driven out in 1832.

Illinois served an important part in the American Civil War (1861 to 1865), and contributed over 250,000 men to the Union Army, more than any other northern state except New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio. These men in total mustered 150 infantry regiments, 17 cavalry regiments, and 2 light artillery regiments.

The state was struck by disaster in 1871 when fire broke out in Chicago. This fire, known as the "Great Chicago Fire" killed hundreds and destroyed about 4 square miles (10 km2). Even today, this event is remembered: the second star of the city's municipal flag commemorates the event.

Illinois was continued to grow in the 20th century, and among other things is notable as the site of the first nuclear power generating reactor (Argonne National Laboratory near Chicago in 1957), and the first McDonald's franchise (Des Plaines in 1960).


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Corn Kings and One-Horse Thieves: A Plain-Spoken History of Mid-Illinois

By James Krohe Jr

Southern Illinois University Press
Paperback (360 pages)

Corn Kings and One-Horse Thieves: A Plain-Spoken History of Mid-Illinois
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Winner, ISHS Annual Award for a Scholarly Publication, 2018

In Corn Kings and One-Horse Thieves, James Krohe Jr. presents an engaging history of an often overlooked region, filled with fascinating stories and surprising facts about Illinois’s midsection.
 
Krohe describes in lively prose the history of mid-Illinois from the Woodland period of prehistory until roughly 1960, covering the settlement of the region by peoples of disparate races and religions; the exploitation by Euro-Americans of forest, fish, and waterfowl; the transformation of farming into a high-tech industry; and the founding and deaths of towns. The economic, cultural, and racial factors that led to antagonism and accommodation between various people of different backgrounds are explored, as are the roles of education and religion in this part of the state. The book examines remarkable utopian experiments, social and moral reform movements, and innovations in transportation and food processing. It also offers fresh accounts of labor union warfare and social violence directed against Native Americans, immigrants, and African Americans and profiles three generations of political and government leaders, sometimes extraordinary and sometimes corrupt (the “one-horse thieves” of the title). A concluding chapter examines history’s roles as product, recreation, and civic bond in today’s mid-Illinois.
 
Accessible and entertaining yet well-researched and informative, Corn Kings and One-Horse Thieves draws on a wide range of sources to explore a surprisingly diverse section of Illinois whose history is America in microcosm.

Illinois: A History in Pictures

By Gerald A. Danzer

University of Illinois Press
Paperback (264 pages)

Illinois: A History in Pictures
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Offering a rich and expansive history that extends far beyond the familiar anecdotes about Abraham Lincoln and the Great Chicago Fire, Illinois: A History in Pictures gathers drawings, engravings, photographs, maps, and other illustrations to inspire imaginations young and old to envision the history of Illinois in all its depth and breadth. Gerald A. Danzer distills the story of Illinois from these visual artifacts, exploring the state's history from its earliest peoples and their encounters with European settlers, through territorial struggles and the strife of the Civil War, and into the modern era of industry and urbanization. More than one hundred images capture dramatic moments and illustrate the growth and changes in the Prairie State's history, from the settlement of its territories to the construction of homes, factories, and statehouses. Danzer pays special attention to the maps of Illinois, showing how the state's character and prosperity have been shaped by the Great Lakes and great rivers at its borders and by the roads and railroads built to connect its people. Attending closely to the details of daily life, Illinois: A History in Pictures also focuses on notable people throughout the state's history, including the Ottawa Chief Pontiac and the Sauk Chief Black Hawk, pioneers of social justice Jane Addams and Mother Jones, sports heroes such as Red Grange, and of course American leaders Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan. Danzer connects personal and local experiences to national affairs and global perspectives, pointing to Illinois's diverse populations and culture in the new millennium.

Illinois: A History of the Land and Its People

By Roger Biles

Brand: Northern Illinois University Press
Paperback (351 pages)

Illinois: A History of the Land and Its People
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Crossroads of the continent, Land of Lincoln, hub of commerce—or, as Charles Dickens viewed it, a landscape "oppressive in its barren monotony"—Illinois boasts a rich and varied past. In this far-reaching but compact history, Roger Biles provides a much-needed, up-to-date account of the state’s development, from the early native settlements to the present. Focusing on Illinois’s demographic changes over time, he highlights the key figures who contributed to the state’s government, economy, culture, and the arts.

While devoting attention to the touchstones of history, Illinois illuminates also the achievements of ordinary people, including the women, the African Americans, and the other minorities who—along with the politicians, the captains of industry, and the military heroes—contributed to the state’s growth and prosperity. National events shaped the state as well, and Biles explores the impact of such crises as the Civil War and World War II on the people of Illinois.

No history of Illinois can ignore the state’s largest city, the dynamic metropolis on Lake Michigan—Chicago. Drawing on extensive research, Biles illuminates Chicago’s past—its outbursts of labor unrest and racial tensions as well as the splendors of two world’s fairs and an artistic renaissance—while at the same time relating Chicago to the larger story of Illinois and its people.

Connecting lesser-known stories with the main events of the state’s past, Biles writes in an accessible style that is at once entertaining and enlightening. Featuring 67 illustrations, Illinois will captivate readers of all ages and interests.

Roadside History of Illinois

By Stan Banash

Mountain Press Publishing Company
Paperback (496 pages)

Roadside History of Illinois
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Did you know that Chicago was named for a wild onion? Or that the only president born in Illinois was Ronald Reagan? Or that the Ferris Wheel, processed cheese, the game of softball, the fly swatter, and the automatic dishwasher were all invented by Illinoisans? You’ll find these stories and hundreds more in , an entertaining and revealing tour of the Prairie State’s historical places.
Native Illinoisan Stan Banash describes the state’s diverse history as he guides readers along its highways and byways, sometimes tracing routes with a history of their own (the Old Cumberland Road, the Trail of Tears, the Lincoln Highway, and U.S. Route 66, for examples). The engaging text is enhanced with 120 historical and modern photos, along with a map for each region. Old-timers, newcomers, and visitors alike will love this info-packed history.

The Illinois Chronicles: The Story of the State of Illinois -- From its Birth to the Present Day

By Mark Skipworth

What on Earth Books
Released: 2018-02-14
Hardcover (32 pages)

The Illinois Chronicles: The Story of the State of Illinois -- From its Birth to the Present Day
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In celebration of its official Bicentennial year, take a trip through the incredible history of Illinois with this fascinating timeline book that brings to life 200 years of the State’s history

Beautifully illustrated and hugely engaging, The Illinois Chronicles’ show-stopping main feature is a 6-foot-long, fold-out timeline with more than 100 stunning images and illuminating captions that take readers on the Prairie State’s remarkable journey. The informative text is written in the form of nearly 50 “newspaper” articles, capturing important events in Illinois history in an engaging way. Experience key moments such as the birth of Illinois as the 21st state, the Chicago fire, Abraham Lincoln’s political rise, the Chicago World Fair, Barack Obama’s presidential election, the Chicago Cubs’ first world championship, and more. With features such as an Illinois Honor Roll – 36 mini biographies of important people in Illinois history – as well as 27 places to visit, a map, and information on the government branches and state flags, it all adds up to an exciting story of the people and events whose unique legacy can still be felt today.

History of Illinois

By Thomas Ford

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Paperback (572 pages)

History of Illinois
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History of Illinois is a classic history of the midwestern state.

Illinois: Mapping the Prairie State through History: Rare And Unusual Maps From The Library Of Congress (Mapping the States through History)

By Vincent Virga

Brand: Globe Pequot
Hardcover (128 pages)

Illinois: Mapping the Prairie State through History: Rare And Unusual Maps From The Library Of Congress (Mapping the States through History)
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These books, produced from the archives of the Library of Congress and edited by Vincent Virga, offer a glimpse into the history of the United States through rare historical full-color maps, narrative captions, and short essays. Combining 50 rare, beautiful, and diverse maps of the Prairie State from the collections of the Library of Congress, a foreword by Vincent Virga about the Library of Congress collection and the Illinois maps, informative captions about the origins and contents of those maps, and essays on state history, this book is a collectible for cartography buffs and a celebration of Illinois for residents, former residents, and visitors.

The Settlement of Illinois, 1778-1830

By Arthur Clinton Boggess

Released: 2011-03-30
Kindle Edition (165 pages)

The Settlement of Illinois, 1778-1830
 
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This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery.

The Pioneer History of Illinois: Containing the Discovery in 1673 and the History of the Country to the Year 1818, When the State Government Was Organised (Classic Reprint)

By John Reynolds

Forgotten Books
Paperback (510 pages)

The Pioneer History of Illinois: Containing the Discovery in 1673 and the History of the Country to the Year 1818, When the State Government Was Organised (Classic Reprint)
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Excerpt from The Pioneer History of Illinois: Containing the Discovery in 1673 and the History of the Country to the Year 1818, When the State Government Was Organised

Among the many authors I consulted on this subject, I obtained much valuable information from the works of my friend, the talented and Rev. Mr. Peck, of St. Clair County, Ill. 'many facts stated in the Pioneer History, Since the year 1800, came under my own personal Observation, which may be relied on as true.

About the Publisher

Forgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books. Find more at www.forgottenbooks.com

This book is a reproduction of an important historical work. Forgotten Books uses state-of-the-art technology to digitally reconstruct the work, preserving the original format whilst repairing imperfections present in the aged copy. In rare cases, an imperfection in the original, such as a blemish or missing page, may be replicated in our edition. We do, however, repair the vast majority of imperfections successfully; any imperfections that remain are intentionally left to preserve the state of such historical works.

The State of Southern Illinois: An Illustrated History (Shawnee Books)

By Herbert K. Russell

Southern Illinois University Press
Hardcover (232 pages)

The State of Southern Illinois: An Illustrated History (Shawnee Books)
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In The State of Southern Illinois: An Illustrated History, Herbert K. Russell offers fresh interpretations of a number of important aspects of Southern Illinois history. Focusing on the area known as “Egypt,” the region  south of U.S. Route 50 from Salem south to Cairo, he begins his book with the earliest geologic formations and  follows Southern Illinois’s history into the twenty-first century. The volume is richly illustrated with maps and photographs, mostly in color, that highlight the informative and straightforward text.

Perhaps most notable is the author’s use of dozens of heretofore neglected sources to dispel the myth that Southern Illinois is merely an extension of Dixie. He corrects the popular impressions that slavery was introduced by early settlers from the South and that a majority of Southern Illinoisans wished to secede. Furthermore, he presents the first in-depth discussion of twelve pre–Civil War, free black communities located in the region. He also identifies the roles coal mining, labor violence, gangsters, and the media played in  establishing the area’s image. He concludes optimistically, unveiling a twenty-first-century Southern Illinois filled with myriad attractions and opportunities for citizens and tourists alike.

The State of Southern Illinois is the most accurate all-encompassing volume of history on this unique area that often regards itself as a state within a state. It offers an entirely new perspective on race relations, provides insightful information on the cultural divide between north and south in Illinois, and pays tribute to an often neglected and misunderstood region of this multidimensional state, all against a stunning visual backdrop.


Superior Achievement from the Illinois State Historical Society, 2013



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