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city lake illinois

Chicago (pop. 2,768,500), third-largest city in the United States, on Lake Michigan in Illinois, hub of the U.S. road, rail, and air systems. Industry is diverse, including the famous meatpacking plants, grain elevators, and chemical, metal, and printing industries. Chicago grew as a French trading post in the 1700s, but it was not until after the Black Hawk War (1832) that the city began to grow rapidly. Even the Great Fire of 1871, which destroyed 2,000 acres of property, could not end Chicago's vitality. Downtown Chicago has some of the world's tallest buildings. The North Side, along the lake, is residential. The West Side is a largely white mixture of various ethnic groups, while the South Side is home to most of the city's African-Americans, who constitute nearly 40% of the population.

See also: Illinois.

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