Illinois becomes the Union’s 18th state

Illinois achieved full statehood on Dec 3, 1818. Though Illinois presented unique challenges to immigrants unaccustomed to the soil and vegetation of the area, it also promised great opportunities and it grew to become a bustling and densely populated state. With it’s access to both Lake Michigan in the Northeast and the Mississippi river along it’s western border, Illinois quickly became a crossroads for trade for the western expansion of the United States.

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