"Illinois" is the modern spelling for the early French Catholic missionaries and explorers' name for the Illinois Native Americans, a name that was spelled in many different ways in the early records. The name "Illinois" derives from the Miami-Illinois verb irenwe·wa "he speaks the regular way".
This was taken into the Ojibwe language, perhaps in the Ottawa dialect, and modified into ilinwe· (pluralized as ilinwe·k).
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.
Illinois was an important manufacturing center during both world wars.
John Deere's invention of the self-scouring steel plow turned Illinois's rich prairie into some of the world's most productive and valuable farmland, attracting immigrant farmers from Germany and Sweden.
The Illinois and Michigan Canal (1848) made transportation between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River valley faster and cheaper.
The French borrowed these forms, changing the /we/ ending to spell it as -ois, a transliteration for its pronunciation in French of that time.
The current spelling form, Illinois, began to appear in the early 1670s, when French colonists had settled in the western area.