Bloggers Note: I think I am going to try to do some Chicago history blogs on this webpage. You guys seem to like the Wednesday history ones. Friday will be just for us. I realized this year that I don't know much about Chicago history. The fire, Al Capone, riots in 1968, the '85 Bears, and Michael Jordan. That's basically all I've got. Oh, and I pretended to read Devil In The White City one time so the World's Fair thing where Pabst Blue Ribbon got their blue ribbon and they had light bulbs. I started looking up other shit and I will drop it here when I think something is cool. And by "cool" I mean...well I know this is straight nerd shit. Anyways, if you like it let me know. If you don't, that's cool too. You should tell me that as well.
Chicago, Illinois. Just rolls off the tongue. #1 Best City in the world according to the most premium travel magazine in the world. We are so lucky to live in a place this great and we owe everything to...Mississippi. Well, maybe we shouldn't thank them because the entire reason Chicago is in Illinois is slavery.
You see, Mississippi gained state hood status in 1817 and people in the North started freaking out because Mississippi being in the Union gave the southern racist fuck slave states the majority in Congress. The North looked at their roster of territories for their next state to balance things out and they had NOBODY ready. No northern areas had a large enough population to secure statehood. Back then Illinois looked much different. When the people who decided borders back in the day first made Illinois it was destined to be just another flat ass cornfield like Iowa
I couldn't find an image of the original map of Illinois that wouldn't get us sued so I took a picture of my computer with a free map with a piece of paper over it, but if this isn't good enough for you can click here
Just a broke ass state with nothing going on. A true fly over state. Worse than Indiana. No lake frontage at all and…not enough people. So then people who made maps and wanted to balance out congress after Mississippi was granted statehood were just like "what if we scoot that border up just a little bit. Say…51 miles"…and
Bam. Chicago is in Illinois. Wisconsin couldn't say shit about it because they weren't apart of the congress yet and all they had were some fat people who trapped beavers, not too dissimilar to what the people of Wisconsin are like today. Illinois gained Chicago, Rockford. That pushed Illinois over the threshold to get statehood which is insane because in 1820 when the government did a formal census there were only 55,211 people in the entire state. Imagine being like "we are Orland Park and we have 55k people" and congress being like "yep, you're a full blown state now, congratulations". That is all it took. Can you imagine if we kept those same general population guidelines to get representatives in congress.
That was it though. A handshake deal that changed Illinois forever. Chicago gave them access to the Great Lakes system which helped make Chicago and Illinois an economic hub for the entire Midwest. 200 years later we look like this