The Encyclopedia of Chicago is an historical reference work covering Chicago and the entire Chicago metropolitan area published by the University of Chicago Press. Released in October 2004, the work is the result of a ten-year collaboration between the Newberry Library and the Chicago Historical Society. It exists in both a hardcover print edition and an online format, known as the Electronic Encyclopedia of Chicago. The print edition is 1117 pages and includes 1400 entries, 2000 biographical sketches, 250 significant business enterprise descriptions, and hundreds of maps. Initially, the internet edition included 1766 entries, 1000 more images and sources.The concept was fueled by other regional encyclopedias that had met with commercial success in 1980s and 1990s. Eventually, the vision to create the book found initial financing from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The book was well received and became a bestseller during the 2004 Christmas season following its October 2004 release. The following May the Electronic Encyclopedia of Chicago was released. Northwestern University joined the Newberry Library/Chicago Historical Society collaboration to publish the internet edition. The internet edition was the second of its kind for a U.S. city.
The history of Chicago, Illinois, has played a central role in American economic, cultural and political history and since the 1850s the city has been one of the most dominant Midwest metropolises. The area's recorded history begins with the arrival of French explorers, missionaries and fur traders in the late 17th century and their interaction with the local Pottawatomie Native Americans. There were small settlements and a U.S. Army fort, but the soldiers and settlers were all driven off in 1812. The modern city was incorporated in 1837 by Northern businessmen and grew rapidly from real estate speculation and the realization that it had a commanding position in the emerging inland transportation network, based on lake traffic and railroads, controlling access from the Great Lakes into the Mississippi River basin.
Despite a fire in 1871 that destroyed the Central Business District, the city grew exponentially, becoming the nation's rail center and the dominant Midwestern center for manufacturing, commerce, finance, higher education, religion, broadcasting, sports, jazz, and high culture. The city was a magnet for European immigrants—at first Germans, Irish and Scandinavians, then from the 1890s to 1914, Jews, Czechs, Poles and Italians. They were all absorbed in the city's powerful ward-based political machines. Many joined militant labor unions, and Chicago became notorious for its violent strikes, and high wages.
Large numbers of African Americans migrated from the South starting in the World War I era as part of the Great Migration. Mexicans started arriving after 1910, and Puerto Ricans after 1945. The Cook County suburbs grew rapidly after 1945, but the Democratic party machine kept both the city and suburbs under control, especially under mayor Richard J. Daley, who was chairman of the Cook County Democratic Party. Deindustrialization after 1970 closed the stockyards and most of the steel mills and factories, but the city retained its role as a financial and transportation hub. Increasingly it emphasized its service roles in medicine, higher education, and tourism. The city formed the political base for national leaders of the Democratic Party, especially Stephen A. Douglas in the 1850s, Adlai Stevenson in the 1950s, and Barack Obama in recent years.
The Mayor of Chicago is the chief executive of Chicago, Illinois, the third-largest city in the United States. The mayor is responsible for the administration and management of various city departments, submits proposals and recommendations to the Chicago City Council, is active in the enforcement of the city's ordinances, submits the city's annual budget and appoints city officers, department commissioners or directors, and members of city boards and commissions.
During sessions of the city council, the mayor serves as the presiding officer. The mayor submits proposals and recommendations to the city council of their own accord and on behalf of city departments. The mayor is not allowed to vote on issues except in certain instances, most notably where the vote taken on a matter before the body results in a tie.
The office of mayor was created when Chicago became a city in 1837.
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