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.

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.

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 (42 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.

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.

THE HISTORY OF WARSAW ILLINOIS: INCLUDING THE MORMON PERIOD

By Brian Stutzman

Bowker
Paperback (311 pages)

THE HISTORY OF WARSAW ILLINOIS: INCLUDING THE MORMON PERIOD
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Starting as the home of 2 military forts, this Mississippi River town grew into a thriving port town, only to be economically crushed by 3 key events as told in this fascinating yet easy to read book. Mormon history flows through Hancock County, Illinois, but very little is known of Warsaw, until now. Home of the key witness for the prosecution of those that murdered Joseph Smith, Warsaw as also home to 4 of the 5 who stood trial for that crime. Best known as the home of anti-Mormon newspaper editor Thomas Sharp, Warsaw was much more than the hotbed of ill Mormon feelings.

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.

It Happened in Southern Illinois (Shawnee Classics)

By John W. Allen

Brand: Southern Illinois University Press
Paperback (440 pages)

It Happened in Southern Illinois (Shawnee Classics)
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In this collection of articles describing the people, places, and folkways of southern Illinois, John W. Allen provides entertaining and informative glimpses into the region’s past. Included here are sketches of the early pioneering days when wolves were literally chased from the door, stories about the many Indian artifacts discovered among the rolling hills and valleys of the area, and articles pertaining to the strategic role the region played during the Civil War. Allen also describes the activities of such infamous outlaws as Samuel Mason and the Harpe brothers as well as the famous Illinois-born heroes “Bat” Masterson, “Wild Bill” Hickok, and Wyatt Earp.

            In his warm and friendly style, Allen reminisces about the self-sufficient and satisfying rural life of a previous generation with its oxcarts, pie suppers, threshing machines, kerosene lamps, and blacksmith shops. Any reader interested in southern Illinois and its history will delight in this collection of stories from John W. Allen’s popular newspaper column, “It Happened in Southern Illinois.”

Ensemble: An Oral History of Chicago Theater

By Mark Larson

Agate Midway
Hardcover (704 pages)

Ensemble: An Oral History of Chicago Theater
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Chicago is a bona fide theater town, bursting with an explosive, innovative vitality that’s fed every sector of the entertainment industry—from Hollywood to Broadway to Studio 8H—for as long as it’s delighted adoring local fans. Ensemble is an in-depth, first-of-its-kind history of Chicago’s internationally celebrated theater scene, spanning 65 years and told through first-person accounts from the people who made it happen.

Among many other topics, this book explores the early days of the fabled Compass Players and the legendary Second City in the ’50s and ’60s; the rise of internationally acclaimed ensembles like Steppenwolf in the ’70s; the explosion of storefront and neighborhood companies that began in earnest in the ’80s; and the enduring global influence of the city as the center of improv training and performance.

Drawing from more than 300 interviews, author Mark Larson has woven a narrative that expresses the spirit of Chicago’s ensemble ethos: the voices of celebrities such as Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Ed Asner, George Wendt, Michael Shannon, and Tracy Letts comingle with stories from designers, composers, and others who have played a crucial role in making Chicago theater so powerful, influential, and unique.

History Of The Second Regiment: Illinois Volunteer Infantry From Organization To Muster-Out

Kessinger Publishing, LLC
Paperback (444 pages)

History Of The Second Regiment: Illinois Volunteer Infantry From Organization To Muster-Out
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This scarce antiquarian book is a facsimile reprint of the original. Due to its age, it may contain imperfections such as marks, notations, marginalia and flawed pages. Because we believe this work is culturally important, we have made it available as part of our commitment for protecting, preserving, and promoting the world's literature in affordable, high quality, modern editions that are true to the original work.

The History of Stephenson County, Illinois: Containing ... Biographical Sketches ... War Record ... Statistics ... Portraits of Early Settlers ... ... History of Illinois, &C. ... [1880 ]

By M. H. Tilden

Cornell University Library
Paperback (744 pages)

The History of Stephenson County, Illinois: Containing ... Biographical Sketches ... War Record ... Statistics ... Portraits of Early Settlers ... ... History of Illinois, &C. ... [1880 ]
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Originally published in 1880. This volume from the Cornell University Library's print collections was scanned on an APT BookScan and converted to JPG 2000 format by Kirtas Technologies. All titles scanned cover to cover and pages may include marks notations and other marginalia present in the original volume.


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