The city of Chicago is the most populated city in Illinois and the third in the entire country. Chicago, incorporated as a city in 1837, is located on the shores of Lake Michigan. It was initially a water transport hub but quickly grew to an industrial metropolis as its transport system became more advanced.
Initially, the area was inhabited by a Native American tribe known as Potawatomi. During the Black Hawk war of 1813, native Americans were defeated and driven out of the land. The region was incorporated as a town in 1833 and as a city in 1837. Chicago, at this time, had only 200 occupants but rapidly grew to 6,000 occupants in 7 years.
Where Did the Name Come From?
The first recorded reference of the region was by Robert de la Salle in 1679 in a letter addressed to Henry Joutel. In the letter, he noted that eponymous wild garlic grew abundantly in the region. He explained that the area was called ‘Chicago because of the garlic that grew abundantly in the forest.
The first non-indigenous settler in the land was explorer Jean Baptiste Point du Sable, popularly referred to as the founder of Chicago in 1780.
By 1848 the city had a well-established transportation network between the Eastern and Western United States. The opening of the first railway line, Galena and Chicago Union Railroad, and Illinois and Michigan Canal made the region easily accessible. Chicago attracted more residents as the economy flourished, paving the way for the manufacturing, retail and financial sectors.
The Great Chicago Fire
In 1871, The Great Chicago Fire gutted the city’s thriving economy affecting more than 100,000 homes but did not affect the railroad and industries. To date, it’s not known how the fire started, but it was fueled by the dry climate, wooden structures, and high winds.
The city emerged from the great calamity to build better and more permanent steel and stone buildings. During the rebuilding of the region, in 1885, the world’s first skyscraper came up.
How’s Chicago’s Current Economy?
In the United States, Chicago currently has the third-largest gross metropolitan product at 670.5 billion dollars, according to 2017 estimates. In 2007 MasterCard Worldwide Centers of Commerce Index named Chicago as the fourth most crucial business center globally.
It’s was also termed as the most balanced economy in the whole country, probably because of its high level of diversification. The city and the metropolitan region is the third-highest contributor to the country’s labor pool. For six years since 2013, Chicago was the country’s best region for corporate relocations. Click here to see a list of things to do in Chicago.