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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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.

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 State University (Campus History)

By April Karlene Anderson

Arcadia Publishing
Released: 2017-10-23
Paperback (128 pages)

Illinois State University (Campus History)
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Illinois State University was founded in 1857 as Illinois's first public higher education institution. Initially named Illinois State Normal University (ISNU) due to its mission to train teachers, the university gained early national recognition for its work in developing educational philosophies. One of those philosophies, Herbartianism, was brought to ISNU in the 1890s and was cultivated by some of the profession's leading educators, including Charles DeGarmo, head of modern languages and reading at the university. ISNU celebrated 100 years of service in 1957 and, on January 1, 1964, dropped "normal" from its name. Now known as Illinois State University, the institution offers over 130 undergraduate and graduate degree programs ranging from the humanities to the sciences and nursing within its six colleges. With an enrollment of over 20,000 students and over 200,000 alumni, Redbird Nation continues to thrive as it moves toward its third century of academic excellence.

Illinois: A History of the Prairie State

By Robert P. Howard

Brand: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
Hardcover (650 pages)

Illinois: A History of the Prairie State
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Book by Howard, Robert P.

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

By James Krohe Jr

Krohe Jr James
Paperback (360 pages)

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

Roadside History of Illinois (Roadside History Series)

By Stan Banash

Brand: Mountain Press Publishing Company
Paperback (496 pages)

Roadside History of Illinois (Roadside History Series)
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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.

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.

Galena, Illinois: A Brief History

By Diann Marsh

Brand: The History Press
Released: 2010-08-20
Paperback (192 pages)

Galena, Illinois: A Brief History
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With 85 percent of its buildings on the National Register of Historic Places, Galena truly is a place drenched in history. From the ancient burial mounds crowding the high banks of the Mississippi to the home of President Ulysses S. Grant, the Illinois town's rich past is everywhere on display. Follow Diann Marsh in her dogged pursuit of that fascinating heritage and catch glimpses of unforgettable incidents like the courageous defense put up by a handful of Galena settlers during the Black Hawk War or the monster flood that turned a day in 1892 into a bridge-snapping spectacle. Fortunes are won and lost within the space of a page, but the legacy left by Galena's determined citizens and cared for by passionate guardians like Marsh is one that is sure to endure.

Baseball: A History of America's Game (Illinois History of Sports)

By Benjamin G. Rader

University of Illinois Press
Paperback (296 pages)

Baseball: A History of America s Game (Illinois History of Sports)
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In this third edition of his lively history of America's game--widely recognized as the best of its kind--Benjamin G. Rader expands his scope to include commentary on Major League Baseball through the 2006 season: record crowds and record income, construction of new ballparks, a change in the strike zone, a surge in recruiting Japanese players, and an emerging cadre of explosive long-ball hitters.

Witchcraft in Illinois: A Cultural History

By Michael Kleen

The History Press
Released: 2017-09-18
Paperback (160 pages)

Witchcraft in Illinois: A Cultural History
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Although Illinois saw no dramatic witch trials, witchcraft has been a part of Illinois history and culture from French exploration to the present day. On the Illinois frontier, pioneers pressed silver dimes into musket balls to ward off witches, while farmers dutifully erected fence posts according to phases of the moon. In 1904, the quiet town of Quincy was shocked to learn of Bessie Bement's suicide, after the young woman sought help from a witch doctor to break a hex. In turn-of-the-century Chicago, Lauron William de Laurence's occult publishing house churned out manuals for performing bizarre rituals intended to attract love and exact revenge. For the first time in print, Michael Kleen presents the full story of the Prairie State's dalliance with the dark arts.


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