What to Know Before Donating to A Charity in Illinois?

Illinois (/ˌɪləˈnɔɪ/ IL-ə-NOY) is a state in the Midwestern United States. Chicago is the largest city and the state capital is Springfield; Other major metropolitan areas include Metro East (in the St. Louis metropolitan area), Peoria, and Rockford. Of the fifty U.S. states, Illinois has the fifth largest gross domestic product (GDP), sixth largest population, and twenty-fifth largest land area. Illinois has a highly diverse economy with the cosmopolitan city of Chicago in the Northeast, major industrial and agricultural centers in the North and Central, and natural resources such as coal, lumber, and petroleum in the South. Due to its central location and favorable geographic location, the state is a major transportation hub: the Port of Chicago has access to the Atlantic Ocean via the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence Seaway, and from Mississippi to the Gulf from Mexico via the Illinois Channel. Additionally, the Mississippi, Ohio, and Wabash rivers are part of the state lines. Chicago O'Hare International Airport has been among the top ten busiest airports in the world for decades. Illinois has long been considered a microcosm of the United States and an indicator of American culture, exemplified by the phrase "Will this be played in Peoria?". Modern Illinois has been inhabited by various indigenous cultures for thousands of years, including advanced civilizations centered in the Cahokia region. The French were the first Europeans to settle near the Mississippi River in what they called Illinois Country, part of the large settlement of New France, in the 17th century. After US independence in 1783, American settlers arrived from Kentucky across the Ohio River and the population grew from south to north. Illinois was part of the oldest territory in the United States, the Northwest Territory, and gained statehood in 1818. The Erie Canal brought increased commercial activity to the Great Lakes, and the Little Colony of Chicago became one of the fastest growing cities in the world, benefiting from its location as one of the few natural harbors on southwest Lake Michigan. John Deere of Illinois' invention of the self-cleaning steel plow transformed the state's abundant prairie into some of the most productive and valuable farmland in the world, attracting immigrant farmers from Germany and Sweden. In the mid-19th century, the Illinois and Michigan Canal and an extensive railroad network greatly facilitated trade and settlement, making the state a transportation hub for the country. In the 1900s, growing industrial employment in northern cities and coal mining in central and southern regions attracted immigrants from eastern and southern Europe. Illinois has grown into one of the most industrialized states in the United States and continues to be a major manufacturing center. The Great Migration from the South created a large community of African Americans, especially in Chicago, who established the city's famous jazz and blues cultures. Chicago has grown into a major cultural, economic, and population center and is now one of the world's leading business centers. About 65 percent of the state's 12.8 million residents live in the Chicagoland metro area. Three US presidents have been elected while in Illinois: Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, and Barack Obama; Also, Ronald Reagan was born and raised in this state. Today, Illinois honors Lincoln with its official slogan, "Land of Lincoln," which has appeared on its license plates since 1954. The state is home to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield and the future home of the Barack Obama Presidential Center . In Chicago.

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