|Subdivision of:||The North American League|
|Premier Minister:||Rodney Ivanovich|
|Admission to NAL:||1832 (25th)|
The history of Illinoise is much the same *here* as *there* for Illinois, up until European Exploration. The area of Illinoise we know was first entered by Europeans when the French explorers from the Louisianne, Jacques Marquette, S.J. and Louis Joliet, explored the Illinoise River in 1669. The 1755 War entered this area, under troops led by the Virginian George Rogers Clark. Illinoise was thus formed by English colonists from the NAL in the early 19th century in rivalry with Louisianne colonists. This caused great chagrin to many groups of local Plains Indians.
In 1832, the province joined the NAL-SLC.
During the Prohibition era, Illinoise was a common location for the import of illegal alcohol from Louisianne, most of which was to be taken along a long route up to Chicago (the first section of a so-called underground railroad which has long been at the centre of pulp fiction; this was the given way of transporting across the great lakes to New Amsterdam or down south to Atlanta). The then-current government had a bit of a laissez-faire attitude to it at first, generally trying to insure what Liberal Premier-Minister Jaques Zijlstra described as "preserving the best interests for the people and province". Before the national Volstead act there were no "dry laws". When the Volstead Act passed it was met with mixed feelings. But then in 1922 the Conservative Democrat former senator James Meredith was elected the Premier Minister and the prohibition laws rigidly inforced. It was then that the first provincial police force was created (previously there had only been a county police force). One of the NAL's first major testing points for prohibition was in Illinoise, in the R. vs. Anglish & Brown trading co.
It was commonly believed that the Pègre was much bolder following this incident, although St. Patrick's Day Massacre in Chicago, Ouisconsin particularly struck home in Illinoise - it is said that one in 20 people have a relative somehow involved in the incident. Following the incident severe antiracketeering laws were passed. In the thirties and fourties the province relied heavily on secondary industry. Many cities had notorious slum subdivisions or wards. During the Second Great War the province was responsible for a large percentage of the NAL's armanent production.
After GWII the Whig Premier Minister Jeremy Booth started up a programme of regeneration for this area. This was based on Lottery funding in part but not in total. There was not much in the way of education so the Illinoise university was funded as part of the "New Deal".
Illinoise has had a lot of problems with the physical building of its parliament. In 1984, the parliament withdrew from the building they were in because there was a need to extend and alter the facilities needed for a more "modern" centre although this was not possible as it was a listed building. The building has since been converted into a museum about the history of the NAL with a permantent exhibit called "The NAL and the plains", although the Assembly room is still used for some government conferences. It has, since then, long been held in accomodation deemed "temporary".
There has been many times when attempts have been made to turn Illinoise into a native province. Certainly, Illinoise has a lower proportion of people who proclaim themselves "atheist" or "non-religious" than many other provinces and no English Monarch has visited since 1949 when King Edward VI toured the Commonwealth to celebrate the end of GWII.
A referendum was held in 1999 to try to make Illinoise a native province. There was a safe majority against the move, but there was also a low turnout. The general opinion was that most people couldn't care less one way or the other as the SLC meant that the monarchy was a bit of an illusion any way.
The Three Fires Party, amongst other things, advocates a constitutional change to sever all links in Illinoise with England and the Viceroyality. Illinoise is the only place where an advocate of the movement has ever become an elected official; Geoffrey Urbanczyk was MP for Littleton from 1994 to January 1995 when he stepped down stating ill health; the problem was later claimed to be psychosomatic, leaving Urbanczyk open to the tabloid press.
The Parliament of Illinoise is unusual in that it does not make any claim to have political parties, nor are they or their logos marked on their ballot papers. However, it is generally the case that candidates canvass under a political party's funding, colours and logos and will generally give their allegiance to that party or be a member of it. The Parliament, which is elected every 4 years in years which are multiples of 4, is made up of one chamber of 100 MPs.
The leader of Illinoise is the Premier Minister rather than a Governor (currently Rodney Ivanovitch (PC)). He is (nominally rather than de facto) appointed by the Queen of England in the state opening of Parliament. The Premier Minister is elected out of the members of Parliament every 4 years, 2 years after the Parliamentary elections. He is sworn in by the viceroy on his journies around the place.
Illinoise has three senators, one of whom is directly elected, Diane Rodham (CL). The other two are last term's Premier Minister, Peter Petrovitch (PC) and last term's Speaker of Parliament, Sofie Kennerson (CL).
Illinoise is divided into 100 counties. These counties are in turn divided into hundreds, and hundreds are made up of 100 parishes. Somewhat confusingly, there are many "cities" and "towns" which also exist that are made up of "wards". "Wards" are similar in population to a "parish" but have no local government powers of their own; they only exist for tax-collecting and constituencies in local councils. "Wards" have no names, just numbers. The principal difference between a city and a hundred is that a city inherits all the powers of the units below it whereas the hundred devolves them to the parish - but the city also has some powers that in the hundreds are usually at county level (most (in)famously public transport subsidy). The system is set up in such a manner that a parish can become a ward of a city or a ward of a city can become a parish; if five to ten parishes who are situated touching each other and with no enclaves have a population density above a certain threshold they are formed into wards of a town and if a parish above that threshold borders it then it is formed into that town. If a town exceeds 10 parishes it becomes a city.
Not surprisingly, as some parishes lose name there has been some preform to "preserve our historic names".
Illinoise is largely agricultural, but also has significant hand in the trade along the Mississippi and the Mizouri.
The most notable export from Illinoise is the Liederkranz cheese, much akin to the Limburger cheeses of the Batavian Kingdom. Liederkranz is rumoured to be a personal favorite of Louis-Antoine Bourbon-Le Moyne.
Illinoise University was founded in 1952 as part of an attempt to shake off the "Doom and Gloom" still. It is partly government funded. It is the stereotypical "campus university", best known for education in "practical" subjects, such as Art, Sport and Technological and vocational qualifications. and for post-graduate education (Illinoise University sends post-grad courses across the NAL). It is not really as "prestigious" as the University of Chicago, further North, but it was recently at the forefront of a scheme called the "Learning Brain" to encourage people who did not go to university or even College to study Basic Literacy, Basic Numeracy and English for Speakers of other Languages (ESOL) to here.
Other than that, it is well known (at least locally) for its college sport, and has had a reputation for college sport rivalries with the University of Mascoutensi and the University of Chicago. Both Basketball player James Gordon for the Littleton Comets and Louisianne-born Rugby player at national level for Louisianne Martin Ilyavitch studied here. The famous motorcyclist Edwin Blunt, better known by his stage name of Michael Michaelson, studied Art minoring in Biology here.
Despite inheriting a lot of English Culture, Cricket is not well known and there is only one proffessional team maintained by the Illinoise Cricket Council. Rugby, on the other hand, is far more popular, especially amongst the Louisiannais community. Many famous of the NAL's Rugby players come from Illinoise and the Corderton Eagles are reckoned to be one of the best teams in the West of the NAL.
Michael Michaelson is from Illinoise, being born in Corderton and having grown up under adopted parents in Littleton. He is seen as a local hero, but is not really known internationally. He won the Pan-American Grand Prix in 2001 and 2005 but will not compete in 2009 as he is retiring.