Chicago was listed as an alpha+ global city by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network in 2010 mostly because of its US$570m GDP, 2.7 million residents, O'Hare International Airport - the second-busiest airport in the world, and its contribution to the visual arts, novels, film, theater, especially improvisational comedy, and music, particularly jazz, blues, soul, and the creation of house music. But this is Chicago today. How did it arrive here? Read the brief history below.
1. 18th Century and before - The city was first inhabited by the Miami and Sauk and Fox peoples first and later by the Potawatomi people.
2. 1795 - Part of Chicago was ceded by the native Indians after the Northwest Indian War which saw the signing of Treaty of Greenville. Several other treaties will be signed with the Indians from 1803 to 1833 including the 1816 Treaty of St. Louis and the Treaty of Chicago in 1833.
3. March 4, 1837 - From 1833, the town of Chicago was home to just 1000 people. It would grow so fast that it would be incorporated in 1837 and would continue to be the world's fastest growing city for several decades.
4. 1848 - Chicago's first railway, Galena and Chicago Union Railroad is opened together with Illinois and Michigan Canal.
5. 1850s - Chicago would gain prominence through Senator Stephen Douglas, the champion of the Kansas-Nebraska Act and "popular sovereignty" approach to the issue of the spread of slavery. Actually, it is the same act that would bring Abraham Lincoln to national politics.
6. 1860 - Republican National Convention chose Abraham Lincoln for presidency and thus set the stage for the American Civil War.
7. 1871 - The Great Chicago fire would ruin all ancient wooden buildings and in their stead, more beautiful modern stone houses would be built.
8. 1880 - 1920 - Chicago would see a major industrial revolution accompanied by labor strife that would make it a national leader in terms of health and safety issues for workers.
9. 1920s to date - Chicago has been a major logistical, financial, industrial, research and design civil rights and economic contributor to the overall US welfare. It is one of the cities that have given rise to the democratic space that are enjoyed today. In fact, the current President of the United States, Barrack Obama, hails from Chicago.
The city has been and will continue being the top artistic city in the world. Hopefully, you will visit this majestic heartland city that has been so instrumental in making the world what it is today.