|Nickname||The Prairie State|
|Governor||Bruce Rauner, R|
|Senator||Richard Durbin, D |
|Senator||Mark Kirk, R |
|Ratification of Constitution/or statehood||December 3, 1818 (21st)|
|Motto: "State" Sovereignty; National Union"|
Illinois was the twenty-first state to enter into the union. Its capital is Springfield, and the largest city is Chicago. Illinois is bordered by Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Iowa, and Wisconsin. It is considered to be one of the most corrupt states in the nation. It has a population of 12,830,632 according to the 2010 census. Making it the 5th most populous state.
Overall, Illinois is a blue state. Geographically speaking, the vast majority of Illinois is Republican and conservative, but because of the large population of ultraliberal Cook County and parts of the suburbs, the Democratic Party dominates the state. The 2014 gubernatorial election was very tight, even though Bruce Rauner, who won the election, won every county except Cook. Many consider Illinois to be a liberal stronghold, especially in regard to presidential elections.
Currently, Illinois has a Democratic governor, Patrick Joseph Quinn, but has elected Republican governors in the recent past, such as George Ryan, who controversially emptied the state's death row after an investigation by Northwestern University law students proved that one death row inmate was innocent. Critics charged that he only did so to gain sympathy because he was about to be tried for corruption and selling commercial driver's licenses when he was the Illinois Secretary of State. There are 2 senators and 19 Representatives in Illinois.
Illinois is not only the nation’s leading pumpkin producer, but also its leading pumpkin processor. Libby's plants 5,000 acres of Dickinson Select pumpkins each year in and around Morton, Illinois. Morton, where 80 percent of the world's canned pumpkin is packed at the Libby's factory, is known as the "Pumpkin Capital of the World." The town hosts an annual Pumpkin Festival to celebrate the start of the pumpkin canning season. Illinois is a leading producer of soybeans, corn and hogs.
- Gross State Product - $528 Billion (2004)
- Personal income per Capita - $32,965 (2003)
Illinois is not only the nation’s leading pumpkin producer, but also its leading pumpkin processor. Libby's plants 5,000 acres of Dickinson Select pumpkins each year in and around Morton, Illinois. Morton, where 80 percent of the world's canned pumpkin is packed at the Libby's factory, is known as the "Pumpkin Capital of the World." The town hosts an annual Pumpkin Festival to celebrate the start of the pumpkin canning season. Illinois is a leading producer of soybeans, corn and hogs. The state's climate and varied soil types enable farmers to grow and raise many other agricultural commodities, including cattle, wheat, oats, sorghum,hay, sheep, poultry, fruits and vegetables. Illinois also produces several specialty crops, such as buckwheat, horseradish, ostriches, fish and Christmas trees. Marketing of Illinois' agricultural commodities generates more than $9 billion annually. Corn accounts for nearly 40 percent of that total. Marketing of soybeans contributes about one-third, with the combined marketing of livestock, dairy and poultry generating about 23 percent. Illinois has a competitive edge over many other states due to its central location and superior transportation system. More than 2,000 miles of interstate highways and 34,500 miles of other state highways make trucking of goods fast and efficient. Chicago is home to the largest rail gateway in the nation, connecting the eastern and western United States. The state boasts some 1,100 airports, landing areas and heliports, including Chicago's O'Hare International, through which more than 65 million travelers pass annually. Illinois' 1,118 miles of navigable waterways, including the Illinois and Mississippi rivers, make barge traffic an excellent option for shipment of grain to the Gulf of Mexico.
According to the 2010 census.
- Population: 12,830,632
- Male Population: 6,080,336 (49.0%)
- Female Population: 6,338,957 (51.0%)
- White: 9,177,877 (71.5%)
- Black: 1,866,414 (14.5%)
- Asian: 586,934 (4.6%)
- American Indian: 43,963 (0.3%)
- Other race: 861,412 (56.7%)
- Two or more races: 289,982 (2.3%)
- Hispanic/Latino: 2,029,578 (15.8%)
- Sen. Richard Durbin (D)
- Sen. Mark Kirk (R)
- Rep. Bobby Rush [D, IL-1]
- Rep. Robin Kelly [D, IL-2]
- Rep. Daniel Lipinski [D, IL-3]
- Rep. Luis Gutiérrez [D, IL-4]
- Rep. Mike Quigley [D, IL-5]
- Rep. Peter Roskam [R, IL-6]
- Rep. Danny Davis [D, IL-7]
- Rep. Tammy Duckworth [D, IL-8]
- Rep. Janice Schakowsky [D, IL-9]
- Rep. Robert Dold [R, IL-10]
- Rep. Bill Foster [D, IL-11]
- Rep. Mike Bost [R, IL-12]
- Rep. Rodney Davis [R, IL-13]
- Rep. Randy Hultgren [R, IL-14]
- Rep. John Shimkus [R, IL-15]
- Rep. Adam Kinzinger [R, IL-16]
- Rep. Cheri Bustos [D, IL-17]
- Rep. Darin LaHood [R, IL-18]
- Governor Bruce Rauner (R)
- Lt. Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti (R)
- Secretary of State Jesse White (D)
- Attorney General Lisa Madigan (D)
- State Treasurer Mike Frerichs (D)
- State Comptroller Leslie Munger (R)
- Illinois State Tree – white oak
- Illinois State Bird – cardinal
- Illinois State Fish – bluegill
- Illinois State Animal – white-tailed deer
- Illinois State Insect – monarch butterfly
- Illinois State Mineral – fluorite
- Illinois State Prairie Grass – big bluestem
- Illinois State Reptile – painted turtle
- Illinois State Flower – violet
- Illinois State Snack – popcorn
- Illinois State Fruit – goldrush apple
- Buck, Solon J. Illinois in 1818 (1917) excellent history complete text online
- Biles, Roger. Illinois: a history of the land and its people. (2005). very good recent survey DeKalb: Northern Illinois University Press. ISBN 9780875803494. OCLC 58526330.
- Bridges, Roger D. and Davis, Rodney O., eds. Illinois: its history & legacy. (1984). essays by experts .
- Cole, Arthur Charles. The era of the Civil War, 1848-1870 . excellent history
- Davis, James E. Frontier Illinois. (1998).
- Gove, Samuel Kimball; Nowlan, James Dunlap. Illinois politics & government: the expanding metropolitan frontier (1996) government textbook
- Grossman, James R., Keating, Ann Durkin and Reiff, Janice L. Electronic Encyclopedia of Chicago (2005) (Online ed.).outstanding reference on Chicagoland
- Hallwas, John E., ed Illinois literature: the nineteenth century. (1986).
- Howard, Robert P. Illinois; a history of the Prairie State. (1972). fair textbook
- Jensen, Richard E. Illinois: a history (1977), influential interpretation, stressing traditionalism, modernization and postmodernity
- Keiser, John H. Building for the centuries: Illinois, 1865 to 1898. good survey
- Kleppner, Paul. Political atlas of Illinois (1988) election maps
- Meyer, Douglas K. Making the heartland quilt: a geographical history of settlement and migration in early-nineteenth-century Illinois. (2000).
- Peck, John Mason. A Gazetteer of Illinois, in Three Parts: Containing a General View of the State, a General View of Each County, and a Particular Description of Each (1837) fascinating primary source online
- Sutton, Robert P. ed. The Prairie State; a documentary history of Illinois. (1976). primary and secondard sources
- Walton, Clyde C. ed. An Illinois reader' '(1970). primary and secondary sources
- Works Progress Administration. The WPA guide to Illinois: the Federal Writers' Project guide to 1930s Illinois. (1939), very good primary source
- The source for the facts 
- Quinn/Rauner a Squeaker? Durbin/Oberweis a Cakewalk? Think Again. NIU Today (November 5, 2014). Retrieved on July 26, 2016.