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WW2 effects: Illinois

Discussion in 'WWII Today' started by JJWilson, Jan 4, 2018.

  1. JJWilson

    JJWilson Well-Known Member

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    Hello everyone, today I have the first WW2 effects of 2018! Today's state, the home of Abe Lincoln, Illinois. Never been to Illinois, but I've heard it's a great place, maybe not in January though.
    Previous WW2 effects: Virginia WW2 effects: Virginia

    Illinois Pre-WW2
    Illinois before the Second World War was much like any other Mid-western state, Largely rural and agricultural, with the exception of one major city, Chicago. Illinois however, (compared to other states in that region) was significantly more modern and urbanized than most other states at that point. Agriculture however, still played the biggest role in the states economy and identity. Illinois was the main supplier in the U.S of soybeans in 1940, and the 4th largest in Corn, along with those crops was the cattle and dairy industry, which also played a big role in the states agricultural economy. Industry even in the 30's and 40's played a rather prominent role in the states economy as well, making everything from tractors, to cigarette lighters. As far as energy goes, Coal was, and still is, Illinois main energy resource. The Great Depression hit the state pretty hard, Chicago however was especially devastated. 26% of Chicago was unemployed in 1940, and about 31% of the whole state itself was out of work.

    Illinois WW2
    With War looming, Illinois began to prepare for the worst in 1940 and 1941. 6 Army Airfields were made in that span, and dozens upon dozens of factories converted and changed to be able to make ammo, jeeps, Tanks, and planes. Before Pearl Harbor the process of "Arming" Illinois was slow and steady, but after December 7th 1941, Illinois kicked into Overdrive. Within the span of 2 or 3 months Chicago's unemployment went from the high 20%'s to 5%. Smaller cities such as Aurora, Joliet, Rockford, and Springfield took on Thousands of people to work in the factories, drastically growing the towns populations. Illinois was firing on all cylinders, and would continue to work at a blistering pace until the end of the war in September of 1945.

    Illinois Post WW2
    Illinois had 900,000 of it's citizens be a part of the military during WW2, 18,601 were killed. Immediately following the war, Illinois suffered a small scale recession, and thousands were laid off across the state as there was no more demand for war material coming from the factories. However, many of those who lost their jobs found work again within the following years, and Illinois emerged an Industrial and Urban powerhouse. The state's population grew by 10% from 1941 to 1946, and only continued to grow afterwards. Illinois maintained it's Industrial prowess after WW2, and today stands as the 4th most industrialized economy in the U.S (behind California, Texas, and Ohio). Chicago has continued to be the home of fortune 500 companies and successful business, (and the home of the Cubs, who even during WW2 hadn't won a championship in 37 years) and a growing population. Illinois is one of the more diversified and continually successful economies in the U.S and was ranked 5th in best states to live in 2016.
     
  2. Biak

    Biak Adjutant Patron  

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    Nice write up but I believe the last sentence needs revised. Illinois is and has been losing residents for years and is currently one of, if not THE worst managed state in the Union. Born and raised in the heart of corn country central Illinois, after 53 years moved 500 miles north.

    That said Illinois has a lot of history and it will always be 'Home'.
     
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  3. JJWilson

    JJWilson Well-Known Member

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    I'll certainly look into that, I very well might have been looking at the wrong graph or state.
     

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