Chicago’s history

Category: Chicago
Last Updated: 31 Jul 2021
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Table of contents

1. History

  • 1. 1. First settlers During the mid. 8th century the area was inhabited by a native American tribe known as the Potawatomis, who had taken the place of the Miami and Sauk and Fox peoples.
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The first permanent settler in Chicago, Haitian Jean Baptiste Pointe du Sable, arrived in the 1770s, married a Potawatomi woman, and founded the area’s first trading post. In 1803 the United States Army built Fort Dearborn, which was destroyed in the 1812 Fort Dearborn massacre. The Ottawa, Ojibwa, and Potawatomi later ceded the land to the United States in the 1816 Treaty of St. Louis. On August 12, 1833, the Town of Chicago was organized with a population of 350.

Within seven years it grew to a population of over 4,000. The City of Chicago was incorporated on March 4, 1837. The name "Chicago" is the French rendering of the Miami-Illinois name shikaakwa, meaning “wild leek. ” The sound shikaakwa in Miami-Illinois literally means 'striped skunk', and was a reference to wild leek, or the smell of onions. The name initially applied to the river, but later came to denote the site of the city.

  • 1. 2. Infrastrukture and regional development The city began its step toward regional primacy as an important transportation hub between the eastern and western United States.

Chicago’s first railway, Galena and Chicago Union Railroad, opened in 1838, which also marked the opening of the Illinois and Michigan Canal. The canal allowed steamboats and sailing ships on the Great Lakes to connect to the Mississippi River. A flourishing economy brought residents from rural communities and immigrants abroad. Manufacturing and retail sectors became dominant among Midwestern cities, influencing the American economy, particularly in meatpacking, with the advent of the refrigerated rail car and the regional centrality of the city's Union Stock Yards. 3] In February 1856, the Chesbrough plan for the building of Chicago's and the United States' first comprehensive sewerage system was approved by the Common Council.  The project raised much of central Chicago to a new grade. Untreated sewage and industrial waste now flowed into the Chicago River, thence into Lake Michigan, polluting the primary source of fresh water for the city. The city responded by tunneling two miles (3 km) out into Lake Michigan to newly built water cribs.

In 1900, the problem of sewage was largely resolved when Chicago reversed the flow of the river, a process that began with the construction and improvement of the Illinois and Michigan Canal and completed with the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal leading to the Illinois River which joins the Mississippi River.

  • 1. 3. Chicago Fire After the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 destroyed a third of the city, including the entire central business district, Chicago experienced rapid rebuilding and growth.

During its rebuilding period, Chicago constructed the world's first skyscraper in 1885, using steel-skeleton construction.

Labor conflicts and unrest followed, including the Haymarket affair on May 4, 1886. Concern for social problems among Chicago’s lower classes led Jane Addams to be a co-founder of Hull House in 1889. Programs developed there became a model for the new field of social work. The city also invested in many large, well-landscaped municipal parks, which also included public sanitation facilities.

  • 1. 4. 20th century The 1920s brought notoriety to Chicago as gangsters, including the notorious Al Capone, battled each other and law enforcement on the city streets during the Prohibition era.

The 1920s also saw a major expansion in industry. The availability of jobs attracted African Americans from the South. Arriving in the tens of thousands during the Great Migration, the newcomers had an immense cultural impact. It was during this wave that Chicago became a center for jazz, with King Oliver leading the way.  In 1933, Mayor Anton Cermak was assassinated while in Miami with President Franklin D. Roosevelt. In the late summer of 1942, during World War II, Chicago held a practice black-out. According to one witness, "the sirens sounded, the lights went out while airplanes flew overhead to spot violators".

After about 30 minutes the beacon on top of the Palmolive Building came back on and the lights were quickly restored. [5] On December 2, 1942, physicist Enrico Fermi conducted the world’s first controlled nuclear reaction at the University of Chicago as part of the top-secret Manhattan Project. Mayor Richard J. Daley was elected in 1955, in the era of machine politics. Starting in the 1960s, many residents left the city for the suburbs, taking out the heart of many neighborhoods, leaving impoverished and disadvantaged citizens behind. Structural changes in industry caused heavy losses of jobs for lower skilled workers.

In 1966 James Bevel, Martin Luther King Jr. , and Al Raby led the Chicago Open Housing Movement, which culminated in agreements between Mayor Richard J. Daley and the movement leaders. Two years later, the city hosted the tumultuous 1968 Democratic National Convention, which featured physical confrontations both inside and outside the convention hall, including full-scale riots, or in some cases police riots, in city streets. Major construction projects, including the Sears Tower (which in 1974 became the world’s tallest building), McCormick Place, and O'Hare Airport, were undertaken during Richard J.

Daley's tenure. When he died, Michael Anthony Bilandic was mayor for three years. His loss in a primary election has been attributed to the city’s inability to properly plow city streets during a heavy snowstorm. In 1979, Jane Byrne, the city’s first female mayor, was elected. She popularized the city as a movie location and tourist destination. In 1983 Harold Washington became the first African American to be elected to the office of mayor, in one of the closest mayoral elections in Chicago.

After Washington won the Democratic primary, racial motivations caused a few Democratic alderman and ward committeemen to back the Republican candidate Bernard Epton, who ran on the slogan Before it’s too late, a thinly veiled appeal to fear.  Washington’s term in office saw new attention given to poor and minority neighborhoods. His administration reduced the longtime dominance of city contracts and employment by ethnic whites. Washington died in office of a heart attack in 1987, shortly after being elected to a second term. Current mayor Richard M. Daley, son of the late Richard J.

Daley, was elected in 1989. He has led many progressive changes to the city, including improving parks; creating incentives for sustainable development, including green roofs; and major new developments. Since the 1990s, the city has undergone a revitalization in which some lower class neighborhoods have been transformed as new middle class residents have settled in the city. In 2008, the city earned the title of "City of the Year" from GQ for contributions in architecture and literature, a renaissance in the world of politics and downtown's starring role in the Batman movie The Dark Knight.

2. Geography

  • 2. 1. Topography Chicago is located in northeastern Illinois at the southwestern tip of Lake Michigan.

It sits on the continental divide at the site of the Chicago Portage, connecting the Mississippi River and the Great Lakes watersheds. The city lies beside Lake Michigan, and two rivers — the Chicago River in downtown and the Calumet River in the industrial far South Side — flow entirely or partially through Chicago. The Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal connects the Chicago River with the Des Plaines River, which runs to the west of the city.

Chicago's history and economy are closely tied to its proximity to Lake Michigan. While the Chicago River historically handled much of the region's waterborne cargo, today's huge lake freighters use the city's far south Lake Calumet Harbor. The Lake also moderates Chicago's climate, making it warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. When Chicago was founded in the 1830s, most of the early building began around the mouth of the Chicago River, as can be seen on a map of the city's original 58 blocks.  The overall grade of the city's central, built-up reas, is relatively consistent with the natural flatness of its overall natural geography, generally exhibiting only slight differentiation otherwise. The average land elevation is 579 feet (176 m) above sea level. The lowest points are along the lake shore at 577 feet (176 m), while the highest point at 735 feet (224 m) is a landfill located in the Hegewisch community area on the city's far south side. Lake Shore Drive runs adjacent to a large portion of Chicago's lakefront. Parks along the lakeshore include Lincoln Park, Grant Park, Burnham Park and Jackson Park; 29 public beaches are found all along the shore.

Near downtown, landfills extend into the Lake, providing space for the Jardine Water Purification Plant, Navy Pier, Northerly Island and the Museum Campus, Soldier Field, and large portions of the McCormick Place Convention Center. Most of the city's high-rise commercial and residential buildings can be found within a few blocks of the Lake. Chicagoland is an informal name for the Chicago metro area, used primarily by copywriters, advertising agencies, and traffic reporters. There is no precise definition for the term "Chicagoland," but it generally means "around Chicago" or relatively local.

The Chicago Tribune, which coined the term, includes the city of Chicago, the rest of Cook County, eight nearby Illinois counties; Lake, McHenry, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Grundy, Will and Kankakee, and three counties in Indiana; Lake, Porter, and LaPorte. The Illinois Department of Tourism defines Chicagoland as Cook County without the city of Chicago, and only Lake, DuPage, Kane and Will counties. The Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce defines it as all of Cook, and DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry and Will counties.

  • 2. 2. Climate.The city lies within the humid continental climate zone, and experiences four distinct seasons.

Summers are warm & humid with average high temperatures of 80-84°F (27-29°C) and lows of 61-65 °F (16-19°C). Winters are cold, snowy and windy with temperatures below freezing. Spring and Fall are mild with low humidity. According to the National Weather Service, Chicago’s highest official temperature reading of 107 °F (42 °C) was recorded on June 1, 1934. The lowest temperature of ? 27 °F ( 33 °C) was recorded on January 20, 1985. Along with long, hot dry spells in the summer,

Chicago can suffer extreme winter cold spells. In the entire month of January 1977, the temperature did not rise above 31 °F (-0. 5 °C). The average temperature that month was around 10 °F (-12 °C). Chicago’s yearly precipitation averages about 34 inches (860 millimeters). Summer is typically the rainiest season, with short-lived rainfall and thunderstorms more common than prolonged rainy periods. [8] Winter precipitation tends to be more snow than rain. Chicago's snowiest winter on record was that of 1978–79, with 89. 7 inches (228 cm) of snow in total.

The winter of 2007-08, with more than 61 inches (155 cm) of snow, was the snowiest in nearly three decades, and the winter of 2008/2009 produced nearly 50 inches (127 cm). Average winter snowfall is normally around 38 inches (96. 52 cm). The highest one-day snowfall total in Chicago history was 18. 3 inches (46. 5 cm) on Jan. 3, 1999. Chicago’s highest one-day rainfall total was 6. 63 inches (168. 4 mm) on September 13, 2008. [8] The previous record of 6. 49 inches (164 mm) had been set on August 14, 1987. The record for yearly rainfall is 50. 6 inches set in 2008; 1983 was the wettest year before with 49. 35 inches.

3. Cityscape.

Architecture The outcome of the Great Chicago Fire led to the largest building boom in the history of the nation. Perhaps the most outstanding of these events was the relocation of many of the nation's most prominent architects to the city from New England for construction of the 1893 World Columbian Exposition. In 1885, the first steel-framed high-rise building rose in Chicago ushering in the skyscraper era.  Today, Chicago's skyline is among the world's tallest.

Downtown's historic buildings include the Chicago Board of Trade Building in the Loop, with others along the lakefront and the Chicago River. Once first on the list of largest buildings in the world and still listed twentieth, the Merchandise Mart stands near the junction of the north and south river branches. Presently the three tallest in the city are the Sears Tower, the Aon Center (previously the Standard Oil Building), and the John Hancock Center. The city's architecture includes lakefront high-rise residential towers, low-rise structures, and single-family homes.

Industrialized areas such as the Indiana border, south of Midway Airport, and the banks of the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal are clustered. Future skyline plans entail the supertall Waterview Tower, Chicago Spire, and Trump International Hotel and Tower. The 60602 zip code was named by Forbes as the hottest zip code in the country with upscale buildings such as The Heritage at Millennium Park (130 N. Garland) leading the way for other buildings such at Waterview Tower, The Legacy and Momo. Other new skyscraper construction may be found directly south (South Loop) and north (River North) of the Loop.

Multiple kinds and scales of houses, townhouses, condominiums and apartment buildings can be found in Chicago. Large swaths of Chicago's residential areas away from the lake in the so-called "bungalow belt" are characterized by bungalows built from the early 20th century through the end of World War II. Chicago is also a prominent center of the Polish Cathedral style of church architecture. One of Chicago's suburbs is Oak Park, home to the late Frank Lloyd Wright.

4. Culture and contemporary life

  • 4. 1. Entertainment and performing arts

Chicago’s theatre community spawned modern improvisational theatre. Two renowned comedy troupes emerged — The Second City and I. O. (formerly known as ImprovOlympic). Renowned Chicago theater companies include the Steppenwolf Theatre Company (on the city's north side), the Goodman Theatre, and the Victory Gardens Theater. Chicago offers Broadway-style entertainment at theaters such as Ford Center for the Performing Arts Oriental Theatre, Bank of America Theatre, Cadillac Palace Theatre, Auditorium Building of Roosevelt University, and Drury Lane Theatre Water Tower Place.

Polish language productions for Chicago's large Polish speaking population can be seen at the historic Gateway Theatre in Jefferson Park. Since 1968, the Joseph Jefferson Awards are given annually to acknowledge excellence in theatre in the Chicago area. Classical music offerings include the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, recognized as one of the finest orchestras in the world,which performs at Symphony Center. Also performing regularly at Symphony Center is the Chicago Sinfonietta, a more diverse and multicultural counterpart to the CSO. In the summer, many outdoor concerts are given in Grant Park and Millennium Park.

Ravinia Park, located 25 miles (40 km) north of Chicago, is also a favorite destination for many Chicagoans, with performances occasionally given in Chicago locations such as the Harris Theater. The Civic Opera House is home to the Lyric Opera of Chicago. The Joffrey Ballet and Chicago Festival Ballet perform in various venues, including the Harris Theater in Millennium Park. Chicago is home to several other modern and jazz dance troupes, such as the Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. Other live music genre which are part of the city's cultural heritage include Chicago blues, Chicago soul, jazz, and gospel.

The city is the birthplace of house music and is the site of an influential hip-hop scene. In the 1980s, the city was a center for industrial, punk and new wave. This influence continued into the alternative rock of the 1990s. The city has been an epicenter for rave culture since the 1980s. A flourishing independent rock music culture brought forth Chicago indie. The city has also been spawning a critically acclaimed underground metal scene with various bands gaining national attention in the metal and hard rock world. Annual festivals feature various acts such as Lollapalooza, the Intonation Music Festival and Pitchfork Music Festival.

  • 4.2.Tourism Chicago attracted a combined 44. 2 million people in 2006 from around the nation and abroad.

Upscale shopping along the Magnificent Mile, thousands of restaurants, as well as Chicago's eminent architecture, continue to draw tourists. The city is the United States' third-largest convention destination. Most conventions are held at McCormick Place, just south of Soldier Field. The historic Chicago Cultural Center (1897), originally serving as the Chicago Public Library, now houses the city's Visitor Information Center, galleries, and exhibit halls.

The ceiling of Preston Bradley Hall includes a 38-foot (11 m) Tiffany glass dome. Millennium Park, initially slated to be unveiled at the turn of the 21st century, and delayed for several years, sits on a deck built over a portion of the former Illinois Central rail yard. The park includes the reflective Cloud Gate sculpture (known locally as "The Bean"). A Millennium Park restaurant outdoor transforms into an ice rink in the winter. Two tall glass sculptures make up the Crown Fountain. The fountain's two towers display visual effects from LED images of Chicagoans' faces, with water spouting from their lips.

Frank Gehry's detailed stainless steel band shell Pritzker Pavilion, hosts the classical Grant Park Music Festival concert series. Behind the pavilion's stage is the Harris Theater for Music and Dance, an indoor venue for mid-sized performing arts companies, including Chicago Opera Theater and Music of the Baroque. In 1998, the city officially opened the Museum Campus, a 10-acre (4-ha) lakefront park surrounding three of the city's main museums: the Adler Planetarium, the Field Museum of Natural History, and the Shedd Aquarium. The Museum Campus joins the southern section of Grant Park which includes the renowned Art Institute of Chicago.

Buckingham Fountain anchors the downtown park along the lakefront. The Oriental Institute, part of the University of Chicago, has an extensive collection of ancient Egyptian and Near Eastern archaeological artifacts. Other museums and galleries in Chicago are the Chicago History Museum, DuSable Museum of African-American History, Museum of Contemporary Art, the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, the Polish Museum of America, Museum of Broadcast Communications and the Museum of Science and Industry.

  • 4. 3. Parks When Chicago incorporated in 1837, it chose the motto "Urbs in Horto", a Latin phrase which translates into English as "City in a Garden".

Today the Chicago Park District consists of 552 parks with over 7,300 acres (30 km ) of municipal parkland as well as 33 sand beaches along Lake Michigan, nine museums, two world-class conservatories, 16 historic lagoons and 10 bird and wildlife gardens. Lincoln Park, the largest of these parks, has over 20 million visitors each year, making it second only to Central Park in New York City. Nine lakefront harbors located within a number of parks along the lakefront render the Chicago Park District the nation's largest municipal harbor system.

In addition to ongoing beautification and renewal projects for existing parks, a number of new parks have been added in recent years such as Ping Tom Memorial Park, DuSable Park and most notably Millennium Park. The wealth of greenspace afforded by Chicago's parks is further augmented by the Cook County Forest Preserves, a network of open spaces containing forest, prairie, wetland, streams, and lakes that are set aside as natural areas which lie along the city's periphery, home to both the Chicago Botanic Garden and Brookfield Zoo.

  • 4. 4. Sports

Chicago was named the Best Sports City in the United States by The Sporting News in 1993 and 2006. The city is home to two Major League Baseball teams: the Chicago Cubs of the National League play on the city's North Side, in Wrigley Field, while the Chicago White Sox of the American League play in U. S. Cellular Field on the city's South Side. Chicago is the only city in North America that has had more than one Major League Baseball franchise every year since the American League began in 1900. The Chicago Bears, one of the two remaining charter members of the NFL, have won thirteen NFL Championships.

The other remaining charter franchise also started out in Chicago, the Chicago Cardinals, now the Arizona Cardinals . The Bears play their home games at Soldier Field on Chicago's lakefront. Due in large part to Michael Jordan, the Chicago Bulls of the NBA are one of the most recognized basketball teams in the world. With Jordan leading them, the Bulls took six NBA championships in eight seasons during the 1990s (only failing to do so in the two years of Jordan's absence). The Chicago Blackhawks of the NHL, who began play in 1926 have won three Stanley Cups. The Blackhawks also hosted the 2008-2009 Winter Classic.

Both the Bulls and Blackhawks play at the United Center on the Near West Side. The Chicago Fire soccer club are members of Major League Soccer. The Fire have won one league and four US Open Cups since their inaugural season in 1998. In 2006, the club moved to its current home, Toyota Park, in suburban Bridgeview after playing its first eight seasons downtown at Soldier Field and at Cardinal Stadium in Naperville. The club is now the third professional soccer team to call Chicago home, the first two being the Chicago Sting of the NASL (and later the indoor team of the MISL); and the Chicago Power of the NPSL-AISA.

The Chicago Red Stars of Women's Professional Soccer also play in Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Illinois. The Chicago Rush, of the Arena Football League, The Chicago Bandits of the NPF and the Chicago Wolves, of the AHL, also play in Chicago; they both play at the Allstate Arena. The Chicago Sky of the WNBA, began play in 2006. The Sky's home arena is the UIC Pavilion. The Chicago Slaughter of the CIFL began in 2006 and play at the Sears Centre. The Chicago Storm began play in 2004 in the MISL until 2007 when they moved to the XSL. The Chicago Storm also play at the Sears Centre.

The Chicago Marathon has been held every October since 1977. This event is one of five World Marathon Majors. In 1994 the United States hosted a successful FIFA World Cup with games played at Soldier Field. Chicago was selected on April 14, 2007 to represent the United States internationally in the bidding for the 2016 Summer Olympics.

Chicago also hosted the 1959 Pan American Games, and Gay Games VII in 2006. Chicago was selected to host the 1904 Olympics, but they were transferred to St. Louis to coincide with the World's Fair. 11] On June 4, 2008 The International Olympic Committee selected Chicago as one of four candidate cities for the 2016 games. Chicago is also the starting point for the Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac, a 330-mile (530 km) offshore sailboat race held each July that is the longest annual freshwater sailboat race in the world. 2008 marks the 100th running of the "Mac. " At the collegiate level, Chicago and its suburb, Evanston, have two national athletic conferences, the Big East Conference with DePaul University, and the Big Ten Conference with Northwestern University in Evanston.

  • 4. 5. Media.

The Chicago metropolitan area is the third-largest media market in North America (after New York City and Los Angeles). [12] Each of the big four (CBS, ABC, NBC, and FOX) United States television networks directly owns and operates a station in Chicago (WBBM, WLS, WMAQ, and WFLD, respectively). WGN-TV, which is owned by the Tribune Company, is carried (with some programming differences) as "WGN America" on cable nationwide and in parts of the Caribbean. The city is also the home of The Oprah Winfrey Show (on WLS) and Jerry Springer (on WMAQ), while Chicago Public Radio produces programs such as PRI's This American Life and NPR's Wait Wait...

Don't Tell Me!. PBS on TV in Chicago can be seen on WTTW (producer of shows such as Sneak Previews, The Frugal Gourmet, Lamb Chop's Play-Along, and The McLaughlin Group, just to name a few) and WYCC. There are two major daily newspapers published in Chicago: the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun-Times, with the former having the larger circulation. There are also several regional and special-interest newspapers such as the Chicago Reader, the Daily Southtown, the Chicago Defender, the Chicago Sports Weekly, the Daily Herald, StreetWise, The Chicago Free Press and the Windy City Times.

The city has pushed hard to make Chicago a filming-friendly location. After a long drought of interest from Hollywood movies, Spider-Man 2 filmed a scene in Chicago. Since then, progressively more movies have filmed in Chicago, most notably the massive blockbuster success The Dark Knight, which was a follow up to Batman Begins, which also shot in Chicago.

5. Economy

Chicago has the third largest gross metropolitan product in the nation — approximately $440 billion according to 2007 estimates.

The city has also been rated as having the most balanced economy in the United States, due to its high level of diversification.  Chicago was named the fourth most important business center in the world in the MasterCard Worldwide Centers of Commerce Index. Additionally, the Chicago metropolitan area recorded the greatest number of new or expanded corporate facilities in the United States for six of the past seven years. In 2008, Chicago placed 16th on the UBS list of the world's richest cities.  Chicago is a major financial center with the second largest central business district in the U.S. The city is the headquarters of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago (the Seventh District of the Federal Reserve). The city is also home to three major financial and futures exchanges, including the Chicago Stock Exchange, the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (the "Merc"), which includes the former Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT). Perhaps due to the influence of the Chicago school of economics, the city also has markets trading unusual contracts such as emissions (on the Chicago Climate Exchange) and equity style indices (on the US Futures Exchange).

In addition to the exchanges, Chicago and the surrounding areas house many major brokerage firms and insurance companies, such as Allstate and Zurich North America. The city and its surrounding metropolitan area are home to the second largest labor pool in the United States with approximately 4. 25 million workers.

Manufacturing, printing, publishing and food processing also play major roles in the city's economy. Several medical products and services companies are headquartered in the Chicago area, including Baxter International, Abbott Laboratories, and the Healthcare Financial Services division of General Electric.

Moreover, the construction of the Illinois and Michigan Canal, which helped move goods from the Great Lakes south on the Mississippi River, and of the railroads in the 19th century made the city a major transportation center in the United States. In the 1840s, Chicago became a major grain port, and in the 1850s and 1860s Chicago's pork and beef industry expanded. As the major meat companies grew in Chicago many, such as Armour and Company, created global enterprises. Though the meatpacking industry currently plays a lesser role in the city's economy, Chicago continues to be a major transportation and distribution center.

Late in the 19th Century, Chicago was part of the bicycle craze, as home to Western Wheel Company, which introduced stamping to the production process and significantly reduced costs, while early in the 20th Century, the city was part of the automobile revolution, hosting the brass era car builder Bugmobile, which was founded there in 1907. Chicago is also a major convention destination. The city's main convention center is McCormick Place. With its four interconnected buildings, it is the third largest convention center in the world.

Chicago also ranks third in the U. S. (behind Las Vegas and Orlando) in number of conventions hosted annually. In addition, Chicago is home to eleven Fortune 500 companies, while the metropolitan area hosts an additional 21 Fortune 500 companies. The state of Illinois is home to 66 Fortune 1000 companies. Chicago also hosts 12 Fortune Global 500 companies and 17 Financial Times 500 companies. The city claims one Dow 30 company as well: aerospace giant Boeing, which moved its headquarters from Seattle to the Chicago Loop in 2001.

6. Demographics

During its first century as a city, Chicago grew at a rate that ranked among the fastest growing in the world. Within the p of forty years, the city's population grew from slightly under 30,000 to over 1 million by 1890. By the close of the 19th century, Chicago was the fifth largest city in the world, and the largest of the cities that did not exist at the dawn of the century. Within fifty years of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, the population had tripled to over 3 million. As of the 2000 census, there were 2,896,016 people, 1,061,928 households, and 632,909 families residing within Chicago.

More than half the population of the state of Illinois lives in the Chicago metropolitan area. The population density of the city itself was 12,750. 3 people per square mile (4,923. 0/km? ), making it one of the nation's most densely populated cities. There were 1,152,868 housing units at an average density of 5,075. 8 per square mile (1,959. 8/km? ). Of the 1,061,928 households, 28. 9% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 35. 1% were married couples living together, 18. 9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 40. 4% were non-families.

The median income for a household in the city was $38,625, and the median income for a family was $46,748. Males had a median income of $35,907 versus $30,536 for females. Below the poverty line are 19. 6% of the population and 16. 6% of the families. At the 2007 U. S. Census estimates, Chicago's population was: 38. 9% White (30. 9% non-Hipic-White), 35. 6% Black or African American, 0. 5% American Indian and Alaska Native, 5. 3% Asian, 0. 1% Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander, 21. 3% some other race and 1. 6% two or more races. 28. 1% of the total population were Hipic or Latino of any race. 5]. The main ethnic groups in Chicago are African American, Irish, German, Italian, Mexican, English, Bulgarian, Greek, Chinese, Lithuanian, Polish, Serbian, Ukrainian and Puerto Rican. Many of Chicago's politicians have come from this massive Irish population, including the current mayor, Richard M. Daley. Poles in Chicago constitute the largest Polish population outside of the Polish capital, Warsaw, making it one of the most important Polonia centers, a fact that the city celebrates every Labor Day weekend at the Taste of Polonia Festival in Jefferson Park.

The Chicago Metropolitan area is also a major center for those of Indian ancestry. 7. Law and government Chicago is the county seat of Cook County. The government of the City of Chicago is divided into executive and legislative branches. The Mayor of Chicago is the chief executive, elected by general election for a term of four years, with no term limits. The mayor appoints commissioners and other officials who oversee the various departments. In addition to the mayor, Chicago's two other citywide elected officials are the clerk and the treasurer.

The City Council is the legislative branch and is made up of 50 aldermen, one elected from each ward in the city. The council enacts local ordinances and approves the city budget. Government priorities and activities are established in a budget ordinance usually adopted each November. The council takes official action through the passage of ordinances and resolutions. During much of the last half of the 19th century, Chicago's politics were dominated by a growing Democratic Party organization dominated by ethnic ward-heelers.

During the 1880s and 1890s, Chicago had a powerful radical tradition with large and highly organized socialist, anarchist and labor organizations. For much of the 20th century, Chicago has been among the largest and most reliable Democratic strongholds in the United States, with Chicago's Democratic vote the state of Illinois tends to be "solid blue" in presidential elections since 1992. The citizens of Chicago have not elected a Republican mayor since 1927, when William Thompson was voted into office.

The strength of the party in the city is partly a consequence of Illinois state politics, where the Republicans have come to represent the rural and farm concerns while the Democrats support urban issues such as Chicago's public school funding. Although Chicago includes less than 25% of the state's population, eight of Illinois' nineteen U. S. Representatives have part of the city in their districts. Former Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley's mastery of machine politics preserved the Chicago Democratic Machine long after the demise of similar machines in other large U. S. cities. 15] During much of that time, the city administration found opposition mainly from a liberal "independent" faction of the Democratic Party. The independents finally gained control of city government in 1983 with the election of Harold Washington. Since 1989, Chicago has been under the leadership of Richard M. Daley, the son of Richard J. Daley. Because of the dominance of the Democratic Party in Chicago, the Democratic primary vote held in the spring is generally more significant than the general elections in November. 8. Education There are 680 public schools, 394 private schools, 83 colleges, and 88 libraries in Chicago proper.

Chicago Public Schools (CPS), is the governing body of a district that contains over 600 public elementary and high schools citywide, including several selective-admission magnet schools. The school district, with an enrollment exceeding 400,000 students (2005 stat. ), ranks as third largest in the U. S.

Private schools in Chicago are largely run by religious groups. The two largest systems are run by Christian religious denominations, Roman Catholic and Lutheran, respectively. The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago operates the city's Roman Catholic schools, including Jesuit preparatory schools.

Some of the more prominent examples of schools run by the Archdiocese are: Brother Rice High School, Loyola Academy, St. Ignatius College Prep, St. Scholastica Academy, Mount Carmel High School, Mother McAuley Liberal Arts High School, Marist High School, and St. Patrick High School and Resurrection High School. In addition to Chicago's network of 32 Lutheran Schools, Chicago also has private schools run by other denominations and faiths such as Ida Crown Jewish Academy in West Rogers Park, and the Fasman Yeshiva High School in Skokie, a nearby suburb.

There are also a number of private schools run in a completely secular educational environment such as: Latin School, University of Chicago Laboratory Schools in Hyde Park, Francis W. Parker School, Chicago City Day School in Lake View, and Morgan Park Academy. Chicago is also home of the prestigious Chicago Academy for the Arts, an arts high school focused on 6 different categories of the arts, Media Arts, Visual Arts, Music, Dance, Musical Theatre and Theatre. It has been heralded as the best arts high school in the country.

Children commute from as far away as South Bend, Indiana every day to attend classes. Since the 1890s, Chicago has been a world center in higher education and research. Six universities in or immediately adjoining the city, Northwestern University, the University of Chicago, DePaul University, University of Illinois Chicago, Loyola University Chicago, and the Illinois Institute of Technology, are among the top echelon of doctorate-granting research universities. Northwestern University, established in 1851, is a nonsectarian, private, research university located in the adjacent northern suburb of Evanston.

The University maintains the top–rated Kellogg Graduate School of Management, the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, the McCormick School of Engineering, the Bienen School of Music, and the Medill School of Journalism. Northwestern also has a downtown Chicago campus, with the Feinberg School of Medicine and School of Law, both being located in the city's Streeterville neighborhood. Northwestern is a member of the Big Ten Athletic Conference. The University of Chicago, established in 1891, is a nonsectarian, private, research university located in Hyde Park on the city's South Side.

The university has had 82 Nobel Prize laureates among its faculty and alumni, the highest of any university in the world. Academic programs at the University of Chicago have initiated entire schools of thought named after Chicago, most notably the Chicago School of Economics. The university also maintains the Pritzker School of Medicine, the University of Chicago Law School, and the Booth School of Business. The University of Illinois at Chicago, a nationally ranked public research institution, is the largest university within the city.  UIC boasts the nation's largest medical school. 16] State funded universities in Chicago (besides UIC) include Chicago State University and Northeastern Illinois University. The city also has a large community college system known as the City Colleges of Chicago. Prominent Catholic universities in Chicago include Loyola University and DePaul University. Loyola, established in 1870 as Saint Ignatius College, has campuses on city's North Side as well as downtown, and a Medical Center in the West suburban Maywood, is the largest Jesuit university in the country while DePaul, a Big East Conference university is the largest Catholic university in the U. S.

Loyola University Chicago is a private Jesuit university. The Illinois Institute of Technology is a private Ph. D. -granting technological university. The main campus is established in Bronzeville, and is home to renowned engineering and architecture programs. The university was host to world-famous modern architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe for many years. IIT also maintains a formal academic and research relationship with the Argonne National Laboratory. The IIT Institute of Design is located downtown, and the Stuart School of Business and Chicago-Kent College of Law are located within the city's financial district.

IIT shares it's main campus with the VanderCook College of Music, the only independent college in the country focusing exclusively on the training of music educators, and Shimer College, a private liberal arts college which follows the Great Books program. Lake Forest College is Chicago's national liberal arts college. North Park University is located in Chicago's Albany park neighborhood, it enrolls a little over 3,000 students and has been listed on US News' college review as one of the best universities in the Midwest.


  1. Annual Estimates of the Population of Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Areas: April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2007 (CBSA-EST2007-01)": www. census. gov/popest/metro/CBSA-est2007-annual. html 2. "Population in Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Areas Ranked by 2000 Population for the United States and Puerto Rico": www. census. gov/population/cen2000/phc-t29/tab03a. csv 3. "Chicago in the World City Network". Globalization and World Cities Study Group and Network Loughborough University: http://www. lboro. ac. uk/gawc/projects/projec16. htm 4.
  2. Choose Chicago - the official visitors site for Chicago | Industry Statistics 5. Swenson, John F. “Chicagoua/Chicago: The Origin, Meaning, and Etymology of a Place Name. ” Illinois Historical Journal 84. 4 (Winter 1991): 235–248 6. McCafferty, Michael. kDisc: "Chicago" Etymology. LINGUIST list posting, Dec. y21, 2001 7. Bruegmann, Robert (2004–2005). Built Environment of the Chicago Region. Encyclopedia of Chicago (online version). 8. www. enjoyillinois. com 9. Chicago Seasonal Temperature and Precipitation Rankings (11/25/2005)
  3.  "Best Sports Cities 2006: Who, where and how": http://www. sportingnews. com/yourturn/viewtopic. hp? t=113586 11. "City Mayors: World's richest cities": www. citymayors. com/economics/richest_cities. html 12. Norcliffe, Glen. The Ride to Modernity: The Bicycle in Canada, 1869-1900 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2001), p. 107. 13. Schneirov, Richard (April 1, 1998). Labor and Urban Politics. University of Illinois Press. pp. 173–174. 14. Montejano, David, ed (January 1, 1998). Chicano Politics and Society in the Late Twentieth Century. University of Texas Press. pp. 33–34. 15. Chicago falls to 3rd in U. S. convention industry (4/26/2006). Crain's Chicago Business. 16. http://glores. ru/wiki/en. wikipedia. org

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Chicago’s history. (2018, Feb 03). Retrieved from

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