Parents and Teachers: Support Ducksters by following us on Ducksters Facebook or Ducksters Twitter.
Ducksters Educational SiteDucksters Educational Site
History Biography Geography Science Games

History >> US Geography >> US State History

Illinois

State History

Illinois has been inhabited by people for thousands of years. Some of the ancient cultures that lived in the area included the Paleo-Indians, the Woodland people, and the Mississippian culture. These people are sometimes called the Mound People as they built large mounds for temples and for burial sites. One of these mounds is Monks Mound near Collinsville, Illinois. It is the largest ancient monument north of Mesoamerica and was likely built over 1000 years ago. It is 100 feet high, 955 feet long, and 775 feet wide.


The city of Chicago, Illinois Skyline
Chicago, Illinois by Adrian104

Native Americans

Before the Europeans arrived in Illinois the land was inhabited by a number of Native American tribes including the Illini, a confederation of around 12 different tribes. Throughout the 1700s other tribes moved into the area including the Iroquois, the Chippewa, the Potawatomi, and the Miami.

Europeans Arrive

In 1673, French explorers Jacques Marquette and Louis Joliet were the first Europeans to arrive in Illinois. They traveled along the Mississippi and the Illinois River making contact with the local Native American tribes. They claimed the land for France and soon the French were moving in to establish the fur trade with the local natives.

Over the next several years the French built a number of forts and small settlements in the region. They got along well with the natives as they mostly wanted to trade and didn't want to take over the land.

Britain and the United States

The British gained control of Illinois after winning the French and Indian War in 1763. However, just 20 years later in 1783, the land became part of the United States after the Revolutionary War and was made part of the Northwest Territory in 1787.

Becoming a State

As Illinois grew, it became more important to the United States. In 1809, the Illinois Territory was created with its own governor and capital city in Kaskaskia. On December 3, 1818, Illinois was admitted to Union as the 21st state. The capital city moved to Vidalia in 1820 and then to Springfield (the current capital) in 1839.

Black Hawk War

As more and more settlers moved into Illinois, Native American tribes were forced to move further west. Some of the tribes decided they wanted their land back. In 1832, a group of Indians led by Sauk chief Black Hawk returned to Illinois to take their land back. Black Hawk and his warriors were defeated by the U.S. army at the Battle of Bad Axe and were forced to move back to Iowa.


Chief Black Hawk
Black Hawk by Charles Bird King

Civil War

Illinois stayed loyal to the Union during the Civil War. Even though there were no major battles in Illinois, over 250,000 men from Illinois served as soldiers in the Union Army. The war ended in 1865 with the surrender of the Confederate Army.

Chicago Fire

One of the worst fire disasters in the history of the United States was the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. It all started with a small fire in a barn in south Chicago. Most of the buildings in those days were made of wood and once the fire got going it was tough to stop. Over 20,000 buildings were completely destroyed.


Abraham Lincoln was a congressman from Illinois
Abraham Lincoln by T.P. Pearson

Timeline More US State History:

Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming


Works Cited

History >> US Geography >> US State History





About Ducksters Privacy Policy   

Follow us on Ducksters Facebook or Ducksters Twitter

This site is a product of TSI (Technological Solutions, Inc.), Copyright 2017, All Rights Reserved. By using this site you agree to the Terms of Use.