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.

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.

The Conquest of the Illinois

By George Rogers Clark

Independently published
Paperback (149 pages)

The Conquest of the Illinois
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On the night of July 4th 1778, George Rogers Clark and his men sprung a surprise attack on the village of Kashaskia, “and within a very short time we were in complete possession of the place, with every avenue guarded to prevent any one from escaping and giving the alarm to the other villages.”

Thus began Clark’s conquest of Illinois.

For the next year and a half, Clark and his troops swept through the state taking hold of the old French posts, that were now occupied by British garrisons, including Cahokia and Vincennes.

Fighting against the experienced Anglo-Irish soldier Governor Henry Hamilton, the young Clark was pushed to his limits and explains in detail how he was able to outmanoeuvre his opponent.

The Conquest of the Illinois by George Rogers Clark is a fascinating first person account of one of the most important campaigns of the American Revolution. The book explains the full planning of Clark’s expedition and its aftermath. It is essential reading for anyone interested in the American Revolution and those who fought in it.

George Rogers Clark was a surveyor, soldier, and militia officer from Virginia who became the highest ranking American military officer on the northwestern frontier during the American Revolutionary War. Because the British ceded the entire Northwest Territory to the United States in the 1783 Treaty of Paris, Clark has often been hailed as the "Conqueror of the Old Northwest". This edition of his memoir was edited by Milo Milton Quaife and published in 1920.

History of the Ninth Regiment Illinois Cavalry Volunteers (Classic Reprint)

By Illinois Cavalry; Th Regiment

Forgotten Books
Paperback (500 pages)

History of the Ninth Regiment Illinois Cavalry Volunteers (Classic Reprint)
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Excerpt from History of the Ninth Regiment Illinois Cavalry Volunteers

As the work has progressed I have found it very difficult to harmonize the facts as given in letters and diaries, with the recollections Of Comrades or my own ideas of the same.

I have endeavored, so far as possible, to be guided by the written accounts made at the time in which the events treated Of occurred.

About the Publisher

Forgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books. Find more at www.forgottenbooks.com

This book is a reproduction of an important historical work. Forgotten Books uses state-of-the-art technology to digitally reconstruct the work, preserving the original format whilst repairing imperfections present in the aged copy. In rare cases, an imperfection in the original, such as a blemish or missing page, may be replicated in our edition. We do, however, repair the vast majority of imperfections successfully; any imperfections that remain are intentionally left to preserve the state of such historical works.

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

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 Roadside History of Illinois, 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 example). 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.

History as They Lived It: A Social History of Prairie du Rocher, Illinois (Shawnee Books (Paperback))

By Margaret Kimball Brown

Southern Illinois University Press
Paperback (376 pages)

History as They Lived It: A Social History of Prairie du Rocher, Illinois (Shawnee Books (Paperback))
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“His­tory as They Lived It deserves to be placed within the rich context of Illinois Country historiography going back more than a century. . . . It brings together the fully ripened thoughts of a mature scholar at the very moment that students of the Illinois Country need such a book.”—from the foreword by Carl J. Ekberg

Settled in 1722, Prairie du Rocher was at the geographic center of a French colony in the Mississippi Valley, which also included other villages in what is now Illinois and Missouri: Cahokia, Kaskaskia, Fort de Chartres, St. Philippe, Ste. Genevieve, and St. Louis.  Located in an alluvial valley near towering limestone bluffs, which inspired the village’s name—French for “prairie of the rock”— Prairie du Rocher is the only one of the seven French colonial villages that still exists today as a small compact community.

The village of Prairie du Rocher endured governance by France, Great Britain, Virginia, and the Illinois territory before Illinois became a state in 1818. Despite these changes, the villagers persisted in maintaining the community and its values. Margaret Kimball Brown looks at one of the oldest towns in the region through the lenses of history and anthropology, utilizing extensive research in archives and public records to give historians, anthropologists, and general readers a lively depiction of this small community and its people.

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.

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

By James E. Davis

Indiana University Press
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



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