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With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in central and northern Illinois, and natural resources like coal, timber, and petroleum in the south, Illinois has a diverse economic base and is a major transportation hub.
The Port of Chicago connects the state to other global ports from the Great Lakes, via the Saint Lawrence Seaway, to the Atlantic Ocean, as well as the Great Lakes to the Mississippi River, via the Illinois Waterway on the Illinois River.
They built an urban complex of more than 100 platform and burial mounds, a 50 acres (20 ha) plaza larger than 35 football fields, and a woodhenge of sacred cedar, all in a planned design expressing the culture's cosmology.
The state became a transportation hub for the nation.In 1680, French explorers under René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle and Henri de Tonti constructed a fort at the site of present-day Peoria, and in 1682, a fort atop Starved Rock in today's Starved Rock State Park.French Empire Canadiens came south to settle particularly along the Mississippi River, and Illinois was part of first New France and then of La Louisiane until 1763, when it passed to the British with their defeat of France in the Seven Years' War. A few British soldiers were posted in Illinois, but few British or American settlers moved there, as the Crown made it part of the territory reserved for Indians west of the Appalachians, and then part of the British Province of Quebec.French explorers Jacques Marquette and Louis Jolliet explored the Illinois River in 1673.Marquette soon after founded a mission at the Grand Village of the Illinois in Illinois Country.
The French borrowed these forms, changing the /we/ ending to spell it as -ois, a transliteration for its pronunciation in French of that time.