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Many indigenous tribes engaged in constant warfare.According to Suzanne Austin Alchon, "At one site in the central Illinois River valley, one-third of all adults died as a result of violent injuries." As the Illini declined during the Beaver Wars era, members of the Algonquian-speaking Potawatomi, Miami, Sauk, and other tribes including the Fox (Mesquakie), Ioway, Kickapoo, Mascouten, Piankashaw, Shawnee, Wea, and Winnebago (Ho-Chunk) came into the area from the east and north around the Great Lakes.The Mississippi River, the Ohio River, and the Wabash River form parts of the boundaries of Illinois.For decades, O'Hare International Airport has been ranked as one of the world's busiest airports.

The current spelling form, Illinois, began to appear in the early 1670s, when French colonists had settled in the western area.

The Koster Site has been excavated and demonstrates 7,000 years of continuous habitation.

Cahokia, the largest regional chiefdom and urban center of the Pre-Columbian Mississippian culture, was located near present-day Collinsville, Illinois.

The Great Migration from the South established a large community of African Americans in the state, including Chicago, who created the city's famous jazz and blues cultures. presidents have been elected while living in Illinois: Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Additionally, Ronald Reagan, whose political career was based in California, and Hillary Clinton, the first female candidate of a major party in the general election, were both born and raised in Illinois.

Chicago, the center of the Chicago Metropolitan Area, became a global alpha-level city. Today, Illinois honors Lincoln with its official state slogan, Land of Lincoln, which has been displayed on its license plates since 1954.

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