Archaeologists are not sure exactly when the first humans arrived in what is now Illinois. But archaeologists have unearthed ancient spearheads and tools suggesting that people lived here at least 10,000 years ago. The first known Indian tribes of Illinois, including the Miami and Illinivec (also known as the Illinois), lived on earth thousands of years later. The first Europeans to reach the area were the French explorers Jacques Marquette and Louis Jollier, who arrived in 1673. In 1717, Illinois became part of the Louisiana Territory, a French colony. But in 1763, at the end of the French and Indian War, the French ceded or surrendered the region to Britain. After the American Revolution, Illinois became a US territory, and in 1818 it was declared the 21st state.

Geography of Illinois

During the Civil War (1861-1865), Illinois did not host major battles, but over 250,000 soldiers from Illinois fought for the Union. The disaster occurred in 1871 when a huge fire engulfed Chicago, Illinois. But the redevelopment that followed the Great Chicago Fire turned Chicago into a modern city, home to the world’s first skyscrapers. The name Illinois comes from an Indian tribe living on the land when the area was first explored by Europeans. Much of Illinois was once covered in prairie grass, giving the state its nickname.

Geography of Illinois

Illinois borders Wisconsin to the north; Lake Michigan, Indiana and Kentucky to the east; Kentucky and Missouri in the south; and Missouri and Iowa to the west. The state can be divided into three regions. The Central Plains region covers almost the entire state and contains fertile land and low hills. It includes the Great Lakes Plain, which runs along Lake Michigan; elevated bottomless plains in the northwest; and to the plains in the north. The Till Plains are part of the National Corn Belt, named after the fields of corn that grow there. The Shawnee Hills region in southern Illinois is a narrow strip of land with higher elevations, rivers, and forests. The Gulf Coastal Plain is a hilly area at the southern tip of the state. It is sometimes called Egypt because it looks like the fertile delta of the Egyptian Nile.

Wildlife of Illinois

Black bears, bobcats and white tailed deer are some of the common mammals of this state. Bird watchers may look for quails, orioles, meadowsweet, bluebirds, and northern cardinals (the state bird). Scarlet snakes, snapping turtles, and five-walled skinks are some of the state’s reptiles. Amphibians of Illinois include tiger salamanders, western choir frogs, and American toads. Boxerbuck, red maple, bracken and sweet gums grow throughout the state. The Illinois bunch of flowers, the Illinois rose, and the leopard lily are some of the colorful wildflowers of this state.


Population: 113,546 thousand people (2007)
Founded: 1680
City status since: 1845
Time zone: UTC-6 summer UTC-5
Elevation: 200.9 m
Zip code: 61602–61606, 61614, 61615

The American city of Peoria is located in the northern part of the United States. Peoria is part of the state called Illinois. The date of the appearance of the first settlement on the site of the present city is 1680. This settlement was a fort built by the French colonists. It was the first European settlement in Illinois. This fort was burned at the end of the seventeenth century. In 1813, a fort named Clark was built here. Twelve years later, it received the official name of Peoria. Twenty years later, the settlement was given the status of a city.

The first industrial enterprise in Peoria is John Hamlin’s mill. It was built in 1830. Seven years later, the first large pig farm was built in the city. Gradually, the city began to develop industrially, there were enterprises for the production of carriages, wagons, pottery, storage, foundry, sugar, ice and furniture production. In 1925, a bulldozer company was founded in Peoria. Among the most famous natives of Peoria: Dan Fogelberg (composer, poet, performer) and Jerry Hadley (opera singer).


Population: 116.250 thousand people (2010)
Area: 170.0 sq. km
Founded: 1821
City status since: 1840
Time zone: UTC-6, summer UTC-5
Altitude: 182 m
Zip code: 62701

Spingfield is one of the most common place names in the United States. Springfield in Illinois is the state capital, although not the largest city in the region. It lies in the middle of a plowed prairie on the Sangamon River. The south and southeast of the city is framed by the Spingfield Reservoir, which serves as a source of water for the population and a recreation area.

The first “whites” entered these parts in the 18th century. They were fur miners and traders. The settlement on the site of Springfield was founded by a certain John Kelly and named Calhoun – in honor of the ideologue of the future Confederation, John Calhoun. However, in 1839 the city was renamed Springfield on the initiative of its most famous native, Abraham Lincoln (16th President of the United States). In the same year, he contributed to the transfer of the capital of Illinois here. By the beginning of the 20th century, Springfield was the “blackest” city in the state, which subsequently resulted in major social unrest.

The sights of the city are represented by administrative buildings built in the 19th century, as well as museums, monuments, recreation areas, parks, and recreational areas. Springfield is home to the large Abraham Lincoln Memorial, where the body of the American president rests.

Geography of Illinois
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