Alabama State

Yellowhammer state, heart of dixie, cotton state are nick names and audemus jura nostra defendere is motto of the Alabama state. English is official language and 2.12% of people speak Spanish in the state. Montgomery is capital of the state, Birmingham is largest city and Greater Birmingham Area largest metro area.

Alabama total area is 52,419 sq mi, width is 190 miles and length is 330 miles. It is located between 30°11′ N to 35° N latitude and 84°53′ W to 88°28′ W longitude. Total population of the state is 4,833,722 (2013 est.). Alabama state abbreviations are AL, Ala. US-AL.

Early Settlers of Alabama

The ancestors of Alabama (Alibamu), Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, Koasati, and Mobile people lived within the boundaries of what is now known as Alabama. Amongst the foreigners, Spanish immigrants were the first settlers of this state. After them, the English claimed the regions that were situated to the north of the Gulf of Mexico. The province of Carolina included the state of Alabama and Charles II of England granted pieces of land to his fellow men by the charters of 1663 and 1665. With the Spanish and English colonization, the French followed suit and in 1702, they established a settlement on the Mobile River by erecting Fort Louis.  However, in 1711, floods washed the fort away. The Treaty of Paris in 1763 ended the French settlement in Alabama bringing Great Britain to control the lands between Chattahoochee and the Mississippi Rivers.

The treaty of Madrid in 1795 ensured that Spain ceded lands in the east of Mississippi to the United States. Other such treaties and deals ensured that the present day Alabama was then under the control of the United States Government.

1817 saw the division of Mississippi and the eastern portion of the same came to be known as the Alabama territory. Here, St. Stephens on the Tombigbee River became the headquarters and seat of control.

Becoming a State

In 1819, Alabama became a part of the Union and was the 22nd state to be inducted so. A system of state banks was put in place to deal with the slow input of finances and state bonds were sold to the public as well. To raise finances, public lands were sold and notes from the bank were loaned against security. All taxation for state purposes was abolished in 1836. After the panic of 1837, the banks were liquidated due to corrupt and mal practices.

The Democrats ruled Alabama during and before 1832 because there was no other player on the political scene then. However, there was a change in that same year where the party was divided between the Democratic Party and the State’s Rights Party. Whig party also emerged as one of the likely opponents at that time. However, in 1850 during the Compromise, many democrats joined the Whig Party and came together under the banner of the Southern Rights Party.

The Civil Rights Movement

Alabama came to be known as a segregated state and over 30% of the population was African American in the 1960’s. Civil rights leaders chose Birmingham to launch a campaign for desegregation. Injustice was served to the African Americans and 980,000 citizens lived in an unjust environment.

Despite the segregation, the African American population in Alabama was living and growing economically. This did not settle well with the other minorities in the area. To discourage this and the transition that was taking place in the state with the African Americans, independent groups took to violence to halt the proceedings. This continued for long before some action was taken against them.

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Many people including Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth and Rev. Martin Luther King Jr came together to draw national attention to the proceedings taking place in Alabama. When Birmingham did get the attention they desired, people were shown sorry images and videos of non violent protestors being assaulted by the police. Dog squads and high power water hoses were used to keep them at bay. This media frenzy was heightened by the peaceful marches that were led by the reverends.  Eventually, leaders of Birmingham and Shuttlesworth came to an agreement to stop the non violent marches and end the segregation.

This entire episode facilitated the signing of the Civil Rights Act which was presided over by President Lyndon Johnson.  However, it was the Kennedy Administration that helped put the bill together initially. Thereafter, the Voting Rights Act helped secure suffrage for citizens. All the events above, made way for redistricting which gave scores of Alabama citizens the right to vote.