History of Alabama
The U.S. State of Alabama was admitted as the 22nd state of the union on December 14th, 1819. Sitting along the Gulf coast in the southeastern United States, the land encompassing present-day Alabama was home to several tribes of Native American societies such as the Cherokee, Iroquois, Creek, and other regional tribes.
The Spanish were the first European civilization to reach Alabama and make contact with the Native American tribes who lived there. They passed through the region during their mid 16th century exploration. The French eventually established the first European settlement in Alabama in 1702, which they named, “Old Mobile.”
After the territory exchanged hands between the French, the British, The Spanish, and later the Americans in 1813, it remained referred to as the Alabama Territory until it’s inception to statehood.
Huntsville served as a temporary capital while the state’s constitution was being written between 1819 and 1820, after which a permanent capital was established in Cahaba, Alabama. From 1820 through 1825, Cahaba served as Alabama’s first capital. Eventually moving once again to Tuscaloosa, it was announced in 1846 that Montgomery would serve as the new capital of Alabama. Currently, Montgomery has served as the capital of Alabama for over 170 years.
Present Day – Alabama
Currently, Alabama ranks as 30th in regards to the largest state by land area and 24th in regards to populace, and it has the most inland waterways than any other state, nearly 1,500 miles. Some of its largest cities include Birmingham, the capital of Montgomery, Huntsville, Mobile, and Tuscaloosa. With a population, nearly five million, several well-known companies and organizations are among the highest employers in the state. As of 2011, The University of Alabama at Birmingham, Maxwell Air Force Base, the Mobile County School District, and the State of Alabama are the largest employers, with each employing several thousand of Alabama citizens. Among them are Auburn University, AT&T, Birmingham City Schools, Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama, Mercedes-Benz U.S. International, Montgomery Public Schools, the University of Alabama – Tuscaloosa, and Walmart.
As noted, with Mercedes-Benz and Hyundai being two major employers in the state, Honda and Toyota also have manufacturing locations within the state. The automotive industry has provided a rather large economic boost to the state since the 1990’s.
In addition industry, Alabama also boasts a strong agrarian community. Although known as “The Cotton State,” Alabama’s main crop outputs include poultry, eggs, cattle, fish, peanuts, grains, dairy, and peaches.
Government of Alabama
Kay Ivey, a republican, is currently serving as Alabama’s governor. She was appointed in 2017 and is the second female governor in Alabama’s history and the first Republican female governor. Each of the state’s two federal Senators come from different political parties, Doug Jones was recently elected in 2017 as a Democrat and Republican Richard Shelby who has been in office since 1986. Alabama is represented by seven members in the U.S. House of Representatives, six of which are Republican with the remaining member a Democrat. Throughout its history, Alabama has remained a staple in conservative politics and as a strong symbol of the South.
Links to Alabama government offices:
- Governor: Kay Ivey
- Attorney General: Steve Marshall
- State Auditor: Jim Zeigler
- Secretary of State: John H. Merrill
- Department of Conservation