History of Illinois

By | September 23, 2022

Northern state of America nicknamed Prairie State and Land of Lincoln. According to ablogtophone, Illinois has an area of ​​approximately 141,000 km², approximately 13 million inhabitants. The state capital is Springfield.

The name of the state already shows that Indians used to live in this area. Illinois is named after the Indians who used to live a lot in this area: the Illini Indians.

The first Europeans to explore the area were the French Louis Jolliet and Jacques Marquette. They did this in 1673. The Frenchman Robert de la Salle soon founded settlements, including at the later Peoria and Starved Rock. Although the state was initially populated by the French, the English took possession of the area in 1763. During the American Revolution, in which America resisted British rule, Illinois fell into the hands of the Americans.

Illinois Flag

Abraham Lincoln

According to bestitude, the reason that Illinois is also called The Land of Lincoln lies in the fact that President Abraham Lincoln grew up in this state. During the American Civil War (1861-1865), Illinois joined the Union (Northern States). The state of Illinois joined the United States on December 3, 1818.

Lincoln Home National Historic Site

Abraham Lincoln was the 16th president of the United States of America from 1861 to 1865 and also the first president to come from the ranks of the Republican Party. However, he also went down in the nation’s history as a supporter of slaves, a savior of American democracy, a winner of the Civil War, and a man who was able to hold the United States together. However, he eventually paid for his political courage with his own life. On April 14, 1865, he was shot in the box of Ford’s Theater in Washington by Confederate actor John Wilkes Booth. Lincoln succumbed to his injuries the next day.

Very little is known about Lincoln’s private life. He himself never wrote more than ten pages in his lifetime. Visitors can learn about his upbringing and youth at the newly opened presidential library in Springfield, Illinois. It was here that he felt most at home, and it was also here that an uneducated country boy became an important lawyer and later a politician.

Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trail

From 1846 to 1869, Mormons – members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints – traveled across the territory of the United States of America to find their promised land. They originally settled in the settlement of Nauvoo, Illinois, but their leaders did not agree with the location and therefore organized another move. The area of today’s Salt Lake City was blindly chosen.

The plan for this move included building a winter base on the Missouri River. In April 1847, 149 Mormons set out on a long and painful journey, which initially actually followed the route of the already well-known Oregon Trail. However, once they crossed the Rocky Mountains, they turned south and continued to the Great Salt Lake, where they arrived in July of that year.

By 1869, more than 70,000 members of this church had walked along this path, later called the Mormon Trail. The loss of life was by no means great, thanks mainly to the excellent paramilitary organization, discipline and mutual aid. Mormon caravans thus suffered far fewer losses than pioneers traveling the Oregon Trail. During the journey, the Mormons managed to build many interesting structures, especially churches, on the trail.

When the Mormons arrived at the Great Salt Lake, they were somewhat disillusioned with the surrounding landscape, which was very inhospitable, desolate, and surrounded by mountains on all sides. However, within just one year, they managed to build an efficient irrigation system here, and within ten years, prosperous agriculture was already operating in the desert. The Mormon Church is still very widespread and successful today, with around seven million people worldwide.

Trail Of Tears National Historic Trail

The original inhabitants of Arkansas, Illinois, Georgia and other areas of North America were the Cherokee Indians, whose culture was among the most advanced in this part of America. The members of this tribe were mainly engaged in agriculture and their culture was so developed that they even had their own writing. At the beginning of the 19th century, these Indians were granted the status of a sovereign nation that had its own rights and obligations and was completely self-sufficient.

In 1838, during the administration of President Andrew Jackson, they were all forcibly removed to Oklahoma. The route they had to take involuntarily was called the Trail of Tears. It was an arduous march for a new home to an unknown landscape, to nowhere, during which more than 5,000 members of the tribe perished. Thanks to this inhumane act, the USA was able to seize more territory and greatly expand its land.

Those who were more fortunate managed to escape to the mountains and find a peaceful place to live. Their descendants live today in the number of several thousand individuals on the Qualla Indian Reservation. Here you will find a tourist information center where you can get to know the life of simple Indians who achieved great cultural and general education for their time, and for which they eventually paid. There is even an Indian Village located in the Oconaluftee area today.