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Colonial Era, 1763-1776

Jacques Marquette and Louis Jolliet crossed portions of what is now Illinois in 1673, extending the reach of New France in America. France dominated the Mississippi Valley for almost a century, surrendering most of its North American claims to Great Britain in 1763. For much of the period settlements anchored on the Mississippi between Cahokia and Kaskaskia served as a breadbasket of French Louisiana.