Illinois is a state located in the Midwestern section of the United States. It is bordered by Iowa and Missouri to the west, Wisconsin to the north, Indiana to the east and Kentucky to the south-east (it also shares a water boundary with Michigan). It is the 25th largest state by area and the 5th largest state by population. It has been a historically important state because of its location, access to fresh water, natural resources and suitability for agriculture. The European history of the state began in 1673 when French explorers Jacques Marquette and Louis Jolliet entered the region. However, before this time Native American tribes had long lived in the region. Let’s take a brief look at the history of Illinois and discover when it became a state.
A brief history
In terms of European history, the territory first belonged to the French and it was part of the French empire of La Louisiane. It remained in French hands until 1763 when it became British territory after the Seven Years War. In 1778 George Rogers Clark claimed the region for Virginia and in 1783 it was given to the United States to become part of the Northwest Territory. On February 3, 1809, the Illinois Territory was created. This territory originally included modern day Illinois, Wisconsin and parts of Minnesota and Michigan. In preparation for statehood the remaining territory was added to the Michigan territory.
When did Illinois become a state?
There were many discussions in the lead up to Illinois being made a state. One of these issues was the northern border, which was moved twice during discussions. It was first moved to 10 miles north of the southernmost portion of Lake Michigan (the same as the provision made for Indiana), but the Illinois delegate Nathaniel Pope wanted more and it was eventually moved further north. The original bill for statehood, was submitted to the US Congress on January 23, 1818, and on December 3, 1818, it became the 21st state of the United States of America.