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.

The Illinois Railroads: The History of the Rails that Connect the Heart of the Midwest

By Charles River Editors

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Paperback (40 pages)

The Illinois Railroads: The History of the Rails that Connect the Heart of the Midwest
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*Includes pictures *Includes online resources and a bibliography for further reading *Includes a table of contents “Chicago, mistress of the lakes, Controller of our inland trade, The freest city of our states, What wondrous strides thy fame has made!” - Charles Frederick White, “To Chicago” When people think of trains, many conjure up visions of Amtrak, with dining cars and sleeper cars. Some think of the song “The Train They Call the City of New Orleans.” Plenty remember counting railcars as children, and some probably still do that as the cars clickety-clack past a railroad crossing with its flashing red lights, all along pondering what might be in those massive teetering railcars as they snake slowly through the city or across the wide-open prairie on slivers of steel. But, Amtrak did not exist until May 1, 1971 when Congress passed the Rail Passenger Service Act of 1970, establishing the National Railroad Passenger Corporation. Railroads were not created for the purpose of moving people. Railroads were created more than a century ago for transporting goods. Today, there are 48 separate railroads operating throughout just the state of Illinois. Initially, railroads were built a few miles at a time, connecting with waterways and primarily for the transportation of coal. It took decades for these railroads to interconnect. For decades, railroads have been disappearing from the American landscape. The trains that do exist are faster, fewer and a whole new breed. Trains are unlikely to disappear across Illinois, even though mile after mile of railroad track continues to be converted to hiking trails. The reason? Coal. The Illinois Railroads: The History and Construction of the Rails that Connect the Heart of the Midwest looks at the building of the state’s rail system and its importance. Along with pictures of important people, places, and events, you will learn about the Illinois railroads like never before, in no time at all.

The State of Southern Illinois: An Illustrated History

By Herbert K. Russell

Southern Illinois University Press
Hardcover (232 pages)

The State of Southern Illinois: An Illustrated History
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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

Frontier Illinois (A History of the Trans-Appalachian Frontier)

By James E. Davis

James E Davis
Released: 2000-08-22
Other Paperback (544 pages)

Frontier Illinois (A History of the Trans-Appalachian Frontier)
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Now in paperback!

Frontier Illinois
James E. Davis

"A comprehensive, readable history of this distinctive prairie state before the Civil War.... This deft synthesis of existing knowledge is likely to become the standard modern history of Illinois." ―Kirkus Reviews

"Davis provides an incisive portrait of prairie society.... A fresh and sophisticated survey of early Illinois." ―Choice

"O, this is a delightful country!" one newly arrived settler wrote to a friend back East. Indeed, as James E. Davis shows, many newcomers found Illinois a hospitable and relatively peaceful place in which to start a new life. In this sweeping history of the making of the state, Davis tells the story of Illinois from the Ice Age to the eve of the Civil War. He describes the earliest Indian
civilizations, the coming of LaSalle and Joliet and the founding of the French colony, the brief history of British Illinois, and the complex history of subsequent settlement that brought distinct cultural traditions to Illinois.

A major theme of this book is the relative absence of violence, at least after the Blackhawk War of 1832, even over explosive issues such as slavery. Davis treats these developments in careful detail, while keeping the reader mindful of the experiences of Illinois’ ordinary people.

James E. Davis is William and Charlotte Gardner Professor of History and Professor of Geography at Illinois College. He is author of Frontier America, 1800–1840: A Comparative
Demographic Analysis of the Settlement Process and Dreams to Dust.

A History of the Trans-Appalachian Frontier series―Walter Nugent and Malcolm Rohrbough, general editors

Sales territory is worldwide
A History of the Trans-Appalachian Frontier
1998; 432 pages, 13 b&w photos, 5 maps, notes, bibl., index, 6 x 9
cloth 0-253-33423-3 $39.95 L / £28.50
paper 0-253-21406-8 $18.95 t / £13.50

History of the Illinois Central Railroad (Railroads of America)

By John F Stover

Macmillan
Hardcover (575 pages)

History of the Illinois Central Railroad (Railroads of America)
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G/G, 575 PAGES

I remember: early memories of Chester, Illinois

By Jessie Lee Huffstutler

Released: 2014-02-11
Kindle Edition (206 pages)

I remember: early memories of Chester, Illinois
 
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I remember. 116 Pages

City of the Century: The Epic of Chicago and the Making of America

By Donald L. Miller

Miller, Donald L.
Released: 1997-04-03
Paperback (704 pages)

City of the Century: The Epic of Chicago and the Making of America
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The epic of Chicago is the story of the emergence of modern America. Here, witness Chicago's growth from a desolate fur-trading post in the 1830s to one of the world's most explosively alive cities by 1900.

Donald Miller's powerful narrative embraces it all: Chicago's wild beginnings, its reckless growth, its natural calamities (especially the Great Fire of 1871), its raucous politics, its empire-building businessmen, its world-transforming architecture, its rich mix of cultures, its community of young writers and journalists, and its staggering engineering projects—which included the reversal of the Chicago River and raising the entire city from prairie mud to save it from devastating cholera epidemics. The saga of Chicago's unresolved struggle between order and freedom, growth and control, capitalism and community, remains instructive for our time, as we seek ways to build and maintain cities that retain their humanity without losing their energy. City of the Century throbs with the pulse of the great city it brilliantly brings to life.

A history of southern Illinois: a narrative account of its historical progress, its people, and its principal interests Volume v.3

By George Washington Smith

Smith George Washington
Paperback (746 pages)

A history of southern Illinois: a narrative account of its historical progress, its people, and its principal interests Volume v.3
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  • A History of Southern Illinois A Narrative Account of Its Historical Progress Its People and Its Principal Interests
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This is a reproduction of a book published before 1923. This book may have occasional imperfections such as missing or blurred pages, poor pictures, errant marks, etc. that were either part of the original artifact, or were introduced by the scanning process. We believe this work is culturally important, and despite the imperfections, have elected to bring it back into print as part of our continuing commitment to the preservation of printed works worldwide. We appreciate your understanding of the imperfections in the preservation process, and hope you enjoy this valuable book.

The Outfit: The Role of Chicago's Underworld in the Shaping of Modern America

By Gus Russo

BLOOMSBURY USA
Released: 2002-04-24
Hardcover (550 pages)

The Outfit: The Role of Chicago s Underworld in the Shaping of Modern America
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The never-before-told story of the great Chicago crime family called The Outfit.

It is a common misperception that all the true-life organized crime stories have been written. Yet perhaps the most compelling gangster tale is one that has been, until now, too well-hidden. This is the story of the Outfit: the secretive organized crime cartel that began its reign in prohibition-era Chicago before becoming the real puppet master of Hollywood, Las Vegas, and Washington D.C.

The Outfit recounts the adventures and exploits of its bosses, Tony 'Joe Batters' Accardo (the real Godfather), Murray 'The Camel' or 'Curly' Humphreys (one of the greatest political fixers and union organizers this country has ever known), Paul 'The Waiter' Ricca, and Johnny Rosselli (the liaison between the shadowy world and the outside world). Their invisibility was their strength, and what kept their leader from ever spending a single night in jail. The Outfit bosses were the epitome of style and grace, moving effortlessly among national political figures and Hollywood studio heads-until their world started to crumble in the 1970s.

With extensive research including recently released FBI files, the Chicago Crime files of entertainer Steve Allen, first-ever access to the voluminous working papers of the Kefauver Committee, original interviews with the members of the Fourth Estate who pursued the Outfit for forty years, and exclusive access to the journals of Humphrey's widow, veteran journalist Gus Russo uncovers sixty years of corruption and influence, and examines the shadow history of the United States.



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