When Did Illinois Become a State?

The Illinois State Capitol.
The Illinois State Capitol.

Illinois is a state located within the Great Lakes and Midwestern regions of the US. The state’s capital is Springfield while its largest city is Chicago. Other cities of Illinois include Peoria, Rockford, Champaign, Naperville, Joliet, Elgin, Evanston, and Belleville among others. Illinois is characterized by wetlands, farmlands, rolling hills, and forests. It is also known for its skyscrapers such as the neo-Gothic Tribune Tower (which has 36 floors and rises to 462 feet) and the Willis Tower (110-story and scales a height of 1,450 feet). The economy drivers are agriculture, manufacturing, and natural resources. Its GDP as of 2018 was US$ 880 billion. Illinois was admitted into the Union on December 3, 1818. 

History of Illinois’ Statehood

Illinois was formerly known as Illinois Country before becoming the Territory of Illinois on March 1, 1809. Becoming a territory was an indication that the region was a territory of the US. Originally, the territory included portions of lands that became states of Wisconsin, eastern Minnesota, Illinois, and western Upper Peninsula of Michigan. In 1818, the southern half of the Illinois Territory was admitted to the US while the other parts became present-day Wisconsin, Michigan, and Minnesota. Thus, the official year that the Illinois State became part of the Union was 1818. At the time the population of the state was only 35,000 and most parts were uninhabited. 

Interesting Facts About Illinois 

Illinois has been nicknamed the Prairie State. The state flower is violet while the state mammal is the white-tailed deer. Historically, Illinois was the first state to ratify the 13th amendment which preceded the abolishment of slavery in the US. Another fact is that before settling on modern-day capital of Springfield, Illinois had two other capitals: Kaskaskia and Vandalia.


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