Illinois Online Masters
Illinois, constituent state of the United States of America. It stretches southward 385 miles (620 km) from the Wisconsin border in the north to Cairo in the south. In addition to Wisconsin, the state borders Lake Michigan to the northeast, Indiana to the east, Kentucky to the southeast, Missouri to the west, and Iowa to the northwest. Illinois was named for the Illinois Indians. The capital is Springfield, in the west-central part of the state.
Admitted as the 21st member of the union on December 3, 1818, Illinois lies within both the so-called old industrial belt and the fertile agricultural heart of the country. The presence of Chicago, one of the country’s most prominent cities, creates sharp distinctions between the state’s largest urban and suburban northeast and the more evenly balanced urban-rural population downstate. In political life, Illinois is divided between Cook County (which contains much of the Chicago metropolitan area) and “downstate”—that is, all the other counties, even those north of Cook, such as Lake County. although its northern portion touches the Upper Midwest, its southern point is farther south than Richmond, Virginia, and has great affinities with neighboring Kentucky and Missouri. Further contrasts derive from the racial and ethnic complexity of the population.
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