Illinois ( ) is a state in the Midwestern United States. It is the 5th most populous state and 25th largest state in terms of land area, and is often noted as a microcosm of the entire country. With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in central and northern Illinois, and natural resources like coal, timber, and petroleum in the south, Illinois has a diverse economic base and is a major transportation hub. The Port of Chicago connects the state to other global ports from the Great Lakes, via the Saint Lawrence Seaway, to the Atlantic Ocean, as well as the Great Lakes to the Mississippi River, via the Illinois River. For decades, O'Hare International Airport has been ranked as one of the world's busiest airports. Illinois has long had a reputation as a bellwether both in social and cultural terms〔 and politics.
Although today the state's largest population center is around Chicago in the northern part of the state, the state's European population grew first in the west, with French Canadians who settled along the Mississippi River, and gave the area the name, ''Illinois''. After the American Revolutionary War established the United States, American settlers began arriving from Kentucky in the 1810s via the Ohio River, and the population grew from south to north. In 1818, Illinois achieved statehood. After construction of the Erie Canal increased traffic and trade through the Great Lakes, Chicago was founded in the 1830s on the banks of the Chicago River, at one of the few natural harbors on southern Lake Michigan.〔"Chicago's Front Door: Chicago Harbor." A digital exhibit published online by the Chicago Public Library. (). Retrieved October 20, 2007. 〕 John Deere's invention of the self-scouring steel plow turned Illinois' rich prairie into some of the world's most productive and valuable farmlands, attracting immigrant farmers from Germany and Sweden. Railroads carried immigrants to new homes, as well as being used to ship their commodity crops out to markets.
By 1900, the growth of industrial jobs in the northern cities and coal mining in the central and southern areas attracted immigrants from Eastern and Southern Europe. Illinois was an important manufacturing center during both world wars. The Great Migration from the South established a large community of African Americans in Chicago, who created the city's famous jazz and blues cultures.〔(【引用サイトリンク】title=Jazz )〕〔(【引用サイトリンク】title=Blues )〕
Three U.S. presidents have been elected while living in Illinois: Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, and Barack Obama. Additionally, Ronald Reagan, whose political career was based in California, was the only U.S. president born and raised in Illinois. Today, Illinois honors Lincoln with its official state slogan, ''Land of Lincoln'', which has been displayed on its license plates since 1954.〔(【引用サイトリンク】title=The History of Illinois License Plates )〕〔(【引用サイトリンク】title=Slogan )〕 The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum is located in the state capital of Springfield.
"Illinois" is the modern spelling for the early French Catholic missionaries and explorers' name for the Illinois Native Americans, a name that was spelled in many different ways in the early records.〔Fay, J. (2009) ''Eriniouaj.'' Retrieved October 21, 2009 from http://www.illinoisprairie.info/Eriniouaj.htm.〕
American scholars previously thought the name "Illinois" meant "man" or "men" in the Miami-Illinois language, with the original ''iliniwek'' transformed via French into Illinois. This etymology is not supported by the Illinois language, as the word for 'man' is ''ireniwa'' and plural 'men' is ''ireniwaki''. The name ''Illiniwek'' has also been said to mean "tribe of superior men",〔(【引用サイトリンク】title=Illinois Symbols )〕 which is a false etymology. The name "Illinois" derives from the Miami-Illinois verb ''irenwe·wa'' "he speaks the regular way". This was taken into the Ojibwe language, perhaps in the Ottawa dialect, and modified into ''ilinwe·'' (pluralized as ''ilinwe·k''). The French borrowed these forms, changing the /we/ ending to spell it as ''-ois,'' a transliteration for its pronunciation in French of that time. The current spelling form, ''Illinois'', began to appear in the early 1670s, when French colonists had settled in the western area. The Illinois' name for themselves, as attested in all three of the French missionary-period dictionaries of Illinois, was ''Inoka'', of unknown meaning and unrelated to the other terms.
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