Wikijunior:North America/United States/Alabama

Location of Alabama in the United States

Alabama is a state located in the southern region of the United States. It is bordered by Tennessee to the north, Georgia to the east, Florida and the Gulf of Mexico to the south, and Mississippi to the west. The capital of Alabama is Montgomery and it's largest city is Huntsville. Other big cities in Alabama include Birmingham and Mobile. Residents are known as Alabamians or Alabamans.

Alabama's State Flag

History edit

Humans have inhabited Alabama for 10,000 years. Native American tribes that inhabited Alabama included the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, and Creek.

The French founded the first settlement in the state in 1702, although Alabama was later controlled by the British, then the Spanish. In 1819 Alabama was the twenty-second state admitted to the union. Alabama was the new frontier in the 1820s and 1830s. Settlers rapidly arrived to take advantage of fertile soils. Planters brought slaves with them, and traders brought in more from the Upper South as the cotton plantations expanded. The economy of the central "Black Belt" featured large cotton plantations whose owners built their wealth on the labor of enslaved African Americans. It was named for the dark, fertile soil. According to the 1860 census, enslaved Africans made up 45% of the state's population.

In 1861 Alabama separated from the union and joined the Confederate States of America. Although there were not many battles fought in the state, Alabama contributed about 120,000 soldiers to the Civil War. All the slaves were freed by 1865. Following Reconstruction, Alabama was readmitted to the Union in 1868.

During the 1950s and 1960s, Alabama was an important part of the civil rights movement.

Geography edit

Alabama is the 30th largest state in the United States with 52,423 square miles (135,775 square kilometers) of total area. It is bordered by Tennessee to the north, Georgia to the east, Florida and the Gulf of Mexico to the south, and Mississippi to the west. Alabama has more inland waterways than any other state.The climate of Alabama is described as temperate with an average annual temperature of 64°F (18°C). Temperatures tend to be warmer in the southern part of state because of how close it is to the Gulf of Mexico. Northern parts of the state tend to be cooler because they are closer to the Appalachian Mountains. Most of the time, Alabama has very hot summers with mild winters. Tornadoes are also common.

The Yellowhammer, one of Alabama's State Birds


Population edit

In 2018, the United States Census Bureau estimated the population of Alabama was 4,887,871. English is the most-spoken language (95.1%), followed by (in order) Spanish (2.2%), German (0.4%), French (including Patois, Cajun) (0.3%), and Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Arabic, African languages, Japanese, and Italian (latter seven tied) (0.1%).

In 2010, 68.5% of people in Alabama were White/Caucasian, 26.2% were black, 1.1% were Asian, 0.6% were Native American, and 0.1% were Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander.

Famous Alabamians edit

  • Hank Williams - Country singer
  • Booker T. Washington - Educator
  • George Washington Carver - Scientist who invented more than 100 uses for the peanut
  • Nat "King" Cole - Jazz singer
  • Harper Lee - Author of To Kill a Mockingbird
  • Jefferson Davis - President of the Confederacy during the Civil War
  • Helen Keller - Deaf and blind activist
  • Jesse Owens - Gold medal track and field athlete
  • Rosa Parks - Civil rights activist who refused to give up her seat on the bus to a white man

State Symbols edit

  • The state is nicknamed the Yellowhammer State, the Heart of Dixie, and the Cotton State, among others, although none of these are official.
  • The state's motto is "Audemus iura nostra defendere" which is Latin for "We dare to defend our rights"
  • The state's slogans are "Share the Wonder", "Alabama the beautiful", "Where America finds its voice", "Sweet Home Alabama", and "Heart of Dixie"
  • The state amphibian is the Red Hills salamander
  • The state birds are the yellowhammer and the wild turkey
  • The state butterfly is the eastern tiger swallowtail
  • The state fishes are the largemouth bass and the fighting tarpon
  • The state flowers are the camellia and the oak-leaf hydrangea
  • The state horse breed is the racking horse
  • The state insect is the monarch butterfly
  • The state mammal is the American black bear
  • The state reptile is the Alabama red-bellied turtle
  • The state tree is the longleaf pine
  • The state beverage is Conecuh Ridge Whiskey
  • The state colors are red & white
  • The state dance is the square dance
  • The state foods are pecan, blackberry, and peach
  • The state fossil is Basilosaurus
  • The state gemstone is star blue quartz
  • The state mineral is hematite
  • The state rock is marble
  • The state shell is Johnstone's junonia
  • The state soil is bama
  • The state song is "Alabama"