Chicago is the city most populous of the state of Illinois , in the United States . It is the seat of Cook County , the second county most populous in the United States after Los Angeles County in California . It has less than 1% of its territory in DuPage County . It was founded in 1833 , near a beaching between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River watershed . [3]

With about 2.7 million inhabitants according to the 2010 census , is the most populous city in the Midwest and the third most populous in the United States, [1] after New York and Los Angeles . It is the fifth most densely populated city in Illinois. Its metropolitan area , commonly known as ” Big Chicago “is the 27th urban agglomeration most populous in the world, [4] harboring an estimated 9.5 million people spread across the U.S. states of Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin [5] .

Today, the city retains its status as a major hub for industry and telecommunications infrastructure, with O’Hare International Airport being the second busiest airport in terms of traffic movements around the world. In 2008, the city received 45,600 domestic and overseas visitors. [6] In 2010, the Chicago metropolitan area had the 4th largest Gross Domestic Product (GDP) among metropolitan areas in the world. [7]

The city is a center for business and finance and is listed as one of the world’s top ten Global Financial Centres Index. The Study Group of the Global Cities Loughborough University rated Chicago as an ” alpha world city “. [8] In a 2010 survey done by the Foreign Policy and AT Kearney, Chicago was ranked sixth, just after Paris and Hong Kong . [7] The ranking assesses five dimensions: value of capital markets, diversity of human capital, international information resources, international cultural resources, and political influence. Chicago was ranked by the magazine Forbes as the fifth most economically powerful city in the world. [9] Chicago is a stronghold of the Democratic Party and has been home to many influential politicians, including the current U.S. president , Barack Obama .

The city’s notoriety expressed in popular culture is found in novels, plays, movies, songs, various types of journals (for example, sports, entertainment, business, trade, and academic), and the media. Chicago has numerous nicknames, which reflect the impressions and opinions about historical and contemporary Chicago. The best-known names include: “Chi-town,” “Windy City” and “Second City.” Chicago has also been called “the most American of big cities.”

By the nineteenth century

Native Americans potawatomis inhabited the region before the arrival of the first Europeans . The presence of these native date from 3000 BC Near the end of the seventeenth century , explorers passed through the area where potawatomis natives living near the current Chicago River . The name given by the natives was Checagou the river, and the city name has its origin in this native word. Meetings between these natives and explorers were friendlies.

The first Europeans to pass through the region today is the city of Chicago are the French Louis Joillet , an explorer, and Lacques Piquette , a missionary. Both were on their way to Quebec in 1673 . From then until 1698 , hunters and missionaries used often a port installed on Lake Huron . In 1683 , French Jesuits founded a settlement in the region, Fort Chicago .

Due to conflicts between the natives Fox and French traders, natives blocked access to the fort port city in 1698 . The fort was then abandoned in 1705 . Little is known about the history of the region, since then and until 1779 , when a trader Jean Baptiste Pointe du Sable , a settler Haiti , founded the first permanent settlement, at the mouth of the Chicago River .

At the end of the eighteenth century , conflicts between natives and U.S. military occurred in general character, in the northern United States . As part of the peace agreement that ended the conflict, the area where Chicago now located was ceded by the natives to the U.S. government in the Treaty of Greenville .
the 1,800th – one thousand eight hundred fifty
Chicago in 1838 .

In 1803 , the government built a military outpost south of the mouth of the Chicago River, named Fort Dearborn . Around 1812 , a small settlement and agricultural trade had developed near the Fort Dearborn. But in 1812 , with the U.S. at war with the UK , the government ordered that the entire population was evacuated the fort. On August 15th of 1812 , a contingent of 150 soldiers and settlers in the southbound Fort Wayne , State of Indiana , were attacked by about 500 natives. About half of the contingent were killed by the natives, and the rest captured.

The Fort Dearborn was rebuilt only in 1816 , by American soldiers, and during between 1812 until now, the Chicago area was inhabited again. This year, the survivors of the massacre were released by the natives, many of whom decided to return to the fort. Other people also moved to the settlement, a new community has grown up around the Fort Dearborn. On August 12 of 1833 , now with a population of approximately 200 inhabitants [12] , the Fort Dearborn was elevated to post of village , settlement and renamed Chicago.

In 1834 , the U.S. government forced the Potawatomi, fox and other natives who lived in the region to sell their lands. As payment, the natives received a small sum of money . Were also forced to move to native reserves, located in Kansas . A total of 3000 native forcibly migrated, and the small town of Chicago has grown so much. Just three years after the departure of the natives, the town of Chicago has had approximately 4000 inhabitants. On March 4th of 1837 , Chicago was elevated to the rank of town .

By 1848 , a canal was built, connecting Lake Michigan with the waterway system River Mississippi – Missouri , and making the city a center of Chicago primary national transport .
1850 – 1.9 thousand
Chicago in 1858 .

By the 1850s , large amounts of railroads were built, connecting the city to other regions of the state. The first was opened in 1848 . Around 1856 , the city of Chicago was already the primary center of a mesh of 10 railway lines, whose total length was 4800 km. The city became the center rail world’s busiest and most important in the country. Dozens of trains departed and arrived at the central station in Chicago. So, Chicago was already the largest city in the state of Illinois, with a population of over 100 thousand inhabitants.

However, the rapid growth of the city had its downside. The city had a lousy system of sanitation with sewage seeping into the soil and contaminating the city. Logo, Chicago acquired the reputation of being the dirtiest city in the United States. In this, the municipality of the city developed a massive program, whose goal was to create a large and efficient sewer system. Pipes were scattered throughout the city, with gravity forcing the waste up inside the pipes. In 1855 , the City Campus as a whole was increased from one to two meters, to cover the newly created permanent and sewer system of the city.

Chicago has grown enormously during the American Civil War ( 1861 – 1865 ). The railway system was modernized and expanded, as well as deposits of charge, to accommodate more easily load coming from various parts of the country, and sent to the front lines. Trade in wheat industry and the city also rose sharply because of the war.

After the war, immigrant Europeans settled in large numbers in Chicago. Small apartments, crowded, in poor neighborhoods, located near factories and commercial, have become a common sight in the city. In 1870 , Chicago was the main supplier of grain , cattle and wood , and possess a population of about 300 000 inhabitants.
Artist’s rendering of the Great Chicago Fire in 1871 .

Buildings, houses and even streets in Chicago were almost all built of wood – natural fact the world’s largest supplier of this raw material. In the summer of 1871 , a season unusually and extremely dry, with only a quarter of normal rainfall, created the scenario suitable for a big fire , which inicou up in the south, and quickly engulfed the entire city. The Great Chicago Fire , which began in a stable, soon spread due to winds dry and strong. The fire killed 300 people, besides making 90,000 homeless, and causing more than $ 200 million in damage.

The city was quickly rebuilt however. [13] Chicago attracted many architects of renown, who wanted to actively participate in the reconstruction process. A detailed plan of urban planning was created and developed. The engineering and architecture of the city became known worldwide. In 1885 , the first skyscraper of metal was built in the center of Chicago. Increasingly, industries and firms settled in the city, and more migrants from other parts of the country and the world went to Chicago. By 1890 , Chicago was already the second largest city in the United States , surpassed only by New York . More than a million people lived then and around Chicago.
1900th – 1950
The Wabash Avenue in the 1900s .

In World War I , the Chicago industrial capacity was expanded to meet the needs of war, while thousands of african-Americans from the south of the country, settled in the city to work in industry, and in search of a life better. However, the african-Americans were segregated from the rest of the population, with the most massive living a poor neighborhood in the south of the city.

On July 27th of 1919 , a young african american who was swimming at a beach in a neighborhood african american swam by mistake, heading south, landing at another beach, located in a “white neighborhood” in the city. White people threw stones toward the boy, who was forced to retreat, and return to his neighborhood to swim, and drowned himself in the way. This generated a huge racial conflict that caused the death of 23 african-Americans, 15 whites, and the destruction of about a thousand homes.

The 1920s was a time of prosperity in the city as well as in the United States in general. The industry is still thriving, the townspeople spent their money without thinking. Good times created the first world war that seemed they would last forever. The decade of 20 was also marked by high rates of crime , with several gangs fighting each other for control of regional drug and alcohol (then banned in the country). [14]

The Great Depression , in 1929 , and lasted until 1939 , with the beginning of World War II , was a blow to the city’s economy. Industries, shops and firms went bankrupt daily basis. The rate of unemployment was 40%. Still, a great World’s Fair was organized in 1933 , the centennial of the city. Economic growth returned to occur with the Second World War . In 1942 , the city was the site of the first nuclear fission controlled, which helped in the development of the atomic bomb .
1950 – current times
The Chicago River with Trump International Hotel and Tower in the background.

The city continued a period of moderate development, but continuous since the end of World War II until today. With the election of Mayor Richard J. Daley , in 1955 , who ruled the city until his death in 1976 , Chicago had four major expressways and O’Hare International Airport constructed, and the inauguration of the Sears Tower , which would be the tallest skyscraper in the world by 1998 when it was surpassed by the Petronas Towers .

Since the 1950s , many middle-class citizens left high and Chicago, moving towards the suburbs , leaving behind many impoverished neighborhoods. However, since the early 1990s , the city has recovered from the decline that had affected much of central cities in the United States since the end of World War II. Many formerly abandoned neighborhoods began to show signs of revitalization, and cultural diversity of the city has grown, thanks to higher percentages of racial-ethnic groups such as Asians and Hispanics in the city.

In April 1968 , a great popular demonstration took place in the city in favor of the murder of social activist Martin Luther King Jr. . Eleven people died and damages of ten million dollars have been caused. Measures have been implemented to improve social services such as education , health and shelter to those in need, but so far, great social and economic differences exist between the white population and african American city. In 1983 , Harold Washington became the first african american mayor of the city, and in 1989 , Richard M. Daley , son of Richard J. Daley was elected mayor, and exercises his office until today.
See also: Metropolitan Chicago
Aerial photograph of downtown and the north side of town, with beaches that line the shore of Lake Michigan .

Chicago is located in northeastern State American from Illinois , the southwestern tip of Lake Michigan , and around the Chicago River . The city’s total area is 606.1 km ², with them, 588.3 km ² is land and 17.8 km ² are covered by bodies of water (2.94% of the city area). Besides the Chicago River, the Calumet River also runs through the city at the southern end of town.

The Chicago metropolitan area is spread by eleven counties differ, located in three U.S. states: The counties of Cook (Chicago where the city itself is located), Du Page , Kane , Kendall , Lake , McHenry and Will in the State Illinois, the counties of Lake, Porter and LaPorte in the state of Indiana , and the county of Kenosha , State of Wisconsin .

The Chicago metropolitan area has 9,286,207 inhabitants, while Cook County has about 5.2 million inhabitants, the second largest county in population in the United States, second only to Los Angeles County . The Chicago metropolitan area has an area of ​​17,951 km ².

The city of Chicago has minimal population growth within its boundaries population since the 1940s . Most of the population growth in metropolitan Chicago was primarily its suburbs, where many shopping malls , modern office buildings and industrial complexes are located.
The Chicago River and the Michigan Avenue Bridge.
View from Millennium Park .

Chicago has the largest amount of area for parks in the United States. Are approximately 220 facilities throughout the city, which have a total area of ​​30 km ² area green. Chicago is also the American city that spends more (per capita) in its parks. The most famous parks in the city are:

The Millennium Park , which occupies a large area (101,000 m²) between the financial center of the city and coastline. It was opened in 2004 .
Grant Park , built on a former landfill in 1901 .
Lincoln Park , occupies 4.9 km ² in the north of the city, along the coast of Lake Michigan . It has a zoo , free access to the public all year round, and numerous sports facilities and residential, and a hint of golf .
Garfield Park , occupies 748,000 m² in the west of the city. It has one of the largest conservatories in the country.


Chicago has a climate temperate continental , with four distinct seasons. As in the inner cities of the American continent, sudden changes in temperature and a standard of precipitation unstable characteristics are considered normal in the city.

The average temperature in the city is -5 ° C in winter and 23 ° C in summer . The average annual rainfall in the city is 84 inches. The highest temperature ever recorded in the city was 44 ° C, on July 24 of 1935 , having achieved in recent times maximum of 42 ° C in July 17 of 1995 . The lowest temperature ever recorded in the city was -33 ° C, recorded on January 11 of 1982 .

According to the census National 2000 , 41.97% of city residents are white , 36.77% are african American , 0.36% Native American , 4.35% Asian , 0.06% Native Polynesians , 13.58 % from other races, and 2.92% descendants of two or more races . 26.02% of the population are Hispanic of any race.

The african-Americans constitute the largest ethnic group in the city, about a million people.

They suffered much, lack of education proper, racial discrimination and racial segregation. However, an increasing number of african-American achieves professional success, having a standard of living higher and higher, and in multicultural neighborhoods upper class. However, the majority african-american city continues to live in neighborhoods predominantly african-Americans. Some of these neighborhoods have a high standard of living, while others are merely slums .
Market Polish in Chicago.

Other ethnic majority are Irish , Germans , Italians and Poles . Many politicians in the city are descendants of Irish, including the current mayor, Richard M. Daley. Chicago has the largest Polish population outside of Warsaw , the capital and largest city of Poland. It is also considered the second largest city in Serbia in the world, after Belgrade .

Chicago also has the largest community Swedish United States – the city is home to approximately 123,000 Americans with Swedish ancestry. After the Great Chicago Fire, many Swedish carpenters descent helped rebuild the city, which led to the popular saying the Swedes built Chicago (the Swedes built Chicago). Chicago also has the second largest community in Lithuania , and the third largest community in Greek , in the world.

The Hispanics are currently the racial-ethnic group in higher population growth. There are about 750 000 currently living in Chicago, a growth of 300% since 1970 . 70% of Latinos are Mexican , 15% Puerto Rican , and 1%, Cubans , and the rest from other countries in Latin America .

Other minority groups include Indians , Chinese , Filipinos , Koreans , Russians , Norwegians and Ukrainians .
Social Problems
Chicago police officers in Marquette Park .

The main social problems in Chicago are the crime , the poverty , racial discrimination and socioeconomic inequality among the townspeople.

Crime rates Chicago has been high since the 1960′s . The number of homicides reached a maximum of 970 in 1974 (then the city’s population was just over three million, resulting in a rate of 29 homicides per 100 000 inhabitants), and reaching a maximum of 34 homicides per 100 thousand inhabitants again in 1992 (943 homicides), when the city had fewer than three million inhabitants. After 1992, the number of homicides falling gradually to 705 homicides in 1999 – still registering more murders than any other American city (even New York , whose population is about three times larger than that of Chicago). The homicide rate would drop to 448 in 2004 , although the rate of homicides per 100 thousand inhabitants of Chicago is still the highest among large U.S. cities.

Chicago has one of the lowest rates of unemployment in the United States. But one-fifth of the city’s inhabitants must receive some type of assistance (benefit) social, in order to survive. High prices in general make life in Chicago (as well as in other major urban centers) prohibitive for low-income people. Hispanics and especially african-Americans are the most affected by poverty. One third of african Americans are below the poverty line American, and half of those african American males are unemployed.

The racial and ethnic segregation is very high in Chicago, with white people living in neighborhoods with a predominantly white population, Hispanics in predominantly Hispanic neighborhoods, and african-Americans in predominantly black neighborhoods. The crime and health problems affect many more Hispanic neighborhoods and african Americans. The rate of infant mortality is significantly higher among the african-American population than among the white population.

Another major problem in Chicago are high rates of family problems in the city. A particular problem is the high rate of divorce in the city. Half the people who receive help local women who are unable to support themselves and their children .

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