Alabama

Alabama

Overview
Alabama is a state
U.S. state
A U.S. state is any one of the 50 federated states of the United States of America that share sovereignty with the federal government. Because of this shared sovereignty, an American is a citizen both of the federal entity and of his or her state of domicile. Four states use the official title of...

 located in the southeastern region
Southern United States
The Southern United States—commonly referred to as the American South, Dixie, or simply the South—constitutes a large distinctive area in the southeastern and south-central United States...

 of the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. It is bordered by Tennessee
Tennessee
Tennessee is a U.S. state located in the Southeastern United States. It has a population of 6,346,105, making it the nation's 17th-largest state by population, and covers , making it the 36th-largest by total land area...

 to the north, Georgia
Georgia (U.S. state)
Georgia is a state located in the southeastern United States. It was established in 1732, the last of the original Thirteen Colonies. The state is named after King George II of Great Britain. Georgia was the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution, on January 2, 1788...

 to the east, Florida
Florida
Florida is a state in the southeastern United States, located on the nation's Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of 18,801,310 as measured by the 2010 census, it...

 and the Gulf of Mexico
Gulf of Mexico
The Gulf of Mexico is a partially landlocked ocean basin largely surrounded by the North American continent and the island of Cuba. It is bounded on the northeast, north and northwest by the Gulf Coast of the United States, on the southwest and south by Mexico, and on the southeast by Cuba. In...

 to the south, and Mississippi
Mississippi
Mississippi is a U.S. state located in the Southern United States. Jackson is the state capital and largest city. The name of the state derives from the Mississippi River, which flows along its western boundary, whose name comes from the Ojibwe word misi-ziibi...

 to the west. Alabama ranks 30th in total land area and ranks second in the size of its inland waterways. The state ranks 23rd in population with 4.7 million residents in 2009.

From the American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

 until World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, Alabama, like many Southern states, suffered economic hardship, in part because of continued dependence on agriculture.
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Timeline

1807   In Alabama, Former Vice President of the United States Aaron Burr is arrested for treason and confined to Fort Stoddert.

1814   War of 1812: In central Alabama, U.S. forces under General Andrew Jackson defeat the Creek at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend.

1814   Indian Wars: the Creek sign the Treaty of Fort Jackson, giving up huge parts of Alabama and Georgia.

1819   Alabama becomes the 22nd U.S. state.

1861   Alabama secedes from the United States.

1861   American Civil War: Georgia joins South Carolina, Florida, Mississippi, and Alabama in seceding from the United States.

1864   The Union Navy captures Fort Morgan, Alabama, thus breaking Confederate dominance of all ports on the Gulf of Mexico.

1881   In Alabama, the Tuskegee Institute opens.

1883   Alabama becomes the first U.S. state to enact an antitrust law.

1931   The Scottsboro Boys are arrested in Alabama and charged with rape.

 
Encyclopedia
Alabama is a state
U.S. state
A U.S. state is any one of the 50 federated states of the United States of America that share sovereignty with the federal government. Because of this shared sovereignty, an American is a citizen both of the federal entity and of his or her state of domicile. Four states use the official title of...

 located in the southeastern region
Southern United States
The Southern United States—commonly referred to as the American South, Dixie, or simply the South—constitutes a large distinctive area in the southeastern and south-central United States...

 of the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. It is bordered by Tennessee
Tennessee
Tennessee is a U.S. state located in the Southeastern United States. It has a population of 6,346,105, making it the nation's 17th-largest state by population, and covers , making it the 36th-largest by total land area...

 to the north, Georgia
Georgia (U.S. state)
Georgia is a state located in the southeastern United States. It was established in 1732, the last of the original Thirteen Colonies. The state is named after King George II of Great Britain. Georgia was the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution, on January 2, 1788...

 to the east, Florida
Florida
Florida is a state in the southeastern United States, located on the nation's Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of 18,801,310 as measured by the 2010 census, it...

 and the Gulf of Mexico
Gulf of Mexico
The Gulf of Mexico is a partially landlocked ocean basin largely surrounded by the North American continent and the island of Cuba. It is bounded on the northeast, north and northwest by the Gulf Coast of the United States, on the southwest and south by Mexico, and on the southeast by Cuba. In...

 to the south, and Mississippi
Mississippi
Mississippi is a U.S. state located in the Southern United States. Jackson is the state capital and largest city. The name of the state derives from the Mississippi River, which flows along its western boundary, whose name comes from the Ojibwe word misi-ziibi...

 to the west. Alabama ranks 30th in total land area and ranks second in the size of its inland waterways. The state ranks 23rd in population with 4.7 million residents in 2009.

From the American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

 until World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, Alabama, like many Southern states, suffered economic hardship, in part because of continued dependence on agriculture. Despite the growth of major industries and urban centers, white
White American
White Americans are people of the United States who are considered or consider themselves White. The United States Census Bureau defines White people as those "having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa...

 rural interests dominated the state legislature until the 1960s, while urban interests and African American
African American
African Americans are citizens or residents of the United States who have at least partial ancestry from any of the native populations of Sub-Saharan Africa and are the direct descendants of enslaved Africans within the boundaries of the present United States...

s were under-represented. Following World War II, Alabama experienced growth as the economy of the state transitioned from agriculture to diversified interests in heavy manufacturing, mineral extraction, education, and technology. In addition, the establishment or expansion of multiple military installations, primarily those of the U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force, added to state jobs.

Alabama is unofficially nicknamed the Yellowhammer
Northern Flicker
The Northern Flicker is a medium-sized member of the woodpecker family. It is native to most of North America, parts of Central America, Cuba, the Cayman Islands, and is one of the few woodpecker species that migrate. There are over 100 common names for the Northern Flicker...

 State
, after the state bird. Alabama is also known as the "Heart of Dixie
Dixie
Dixie is a nickname for the Southern United States.- Origin of the name :According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the origins of this nickname remain obscure. According to A Dictionary of Americanisms on Historical Principles , by Mitford M...

." The state tree is the Longleaf Pine
Longleaf Pine
Pinus palustris, commonly known as the Longleaf Pine, is a pine native to the southeastern United States, found along the coastal plain from eastern Texas to southeast Virginia extending into northern and central Florida....

, the state flower is the Camellia
Camellia
Camellia, the camellias, is a genus of flowering plants in the family Theaceae. They are found in eastern and southern Asia, from the Himalaya east to Korea and Indonesia. There are 100–250 described species, with some controversy over the exact number...

. The capital of Alabama is Montgomery
Montgomery, Alabama
Montgomery is the capital of the U.S. state of Alabama, and is the county seat of Montgomery County. It is located on the Alabama River southeast of the center of the state, in the Gulf Coastal Plain. As of the 2010 census, Montgomery had a population of 205,764 making it the second-largest city...

. The largest city by population is Birmingham
Birmingham, Alabama
Birmingham is the largest city in Alabama. The city is the county seat of Jefferson County. According to the 2010 United States Census, Birmingham had a population of 212,237. The Birmingham-Hoover Metropolitan Area, in estimate by the U.S...

. The largest city by total land area is Huntsville
Huntsville, Alabama
Huntsville is a city located primarily in Madison County in the central part of the far northern region of the U.S. state of Alabama. Huntsville is the county seat of Madison County. The city extends west into neighboring Limestone County. Huntsville's population was 180,105 as of the 2010 Census....

. The oldest city is Mobile
Mobile, Alabama
Mobile is the third most populous city in the Southern US state of Alabama and is the county seat of Mobile County. It is located on the Mobile River and the central Gulf Coast of the United States. The population within the city limits was 195,111 during the 2010 census. It is the largest...

, founded by French colonists.

Etymology


The Alabama people, a Muskogean-speaking tribe
Muskogean languages
Muskogean is an indigenous language family of the Southeastern United States. Though there is an ongoing debate concerning their interrelationships, the Muskogean languages are generally divided into two branches, Eastern Muskogean and Western Muskogean...

 whose members lived just below the confluence of the Coosa
Coosa River
The Coosa River is a tributary of the Alabama River in the U.S. states of Alabama and Georgia. The river is about long altogether.The Coosa River is one of Alabama's most developed rivers...

 and Tallapoosa River
Tallapoosa River
The Tallapoosa River runs from the southern end of the Appalachian Mountains in Georgia, in the United States, southward and westward into Alabama. It is formed by the confluence of McClendon Creek and Mud Creek in Paulding County, Georgia. Lake Martin at Alexander City, Alabama is a large and...

s on the upper reaches of the Alabama River
Alabama River
The Alabama River, in the U.S. state of Alabama, is formed by the Tallapoosa and Coosa rivers, which unite about north of Montgomery.The river flows west to Selma, then southwest until, about from Mobile, it unites with the Tombigbee, forming the Mobile and Tensaw rivers, which discharge into...

, served as the etymological source
Etymology
Etymology is the study of the history of words, their origins, and how their form and meaning have changed over time.For languages with a long written history, etymologists make use of texts in these languages and texts about the languages to gather knowledge about how words were used during...

 of the names of the river and state. In the Alabama language
Alabama language
Alabama is a Native American language, spoken by the Alabama-Coushatta tribe of Texas. It was once spoken by the Alabama-Quassarte Tribal Town of Oklahoma, but there are no more Alabama speakers in Oklahoma. It is a Muskogean language, and is believed to have been related to the Muklasa and...

, the word for an Alabama person is Albaamo (or variously Albaama or Albàamo in different dialects; the plural form "Alabama persons" is Albaamaha). The word Alabama is believed to have originated from the Choctaw language
Choctaw language
The Choctaw language, traditionally spoken by the Native American Choctaw people of the southeastern United States, is a member of the Muskogean family...

 and was later adopted by the Alabama tribe as their name. The spelling of the word varies significantly between sources. The first usage appears in three accounts of the Hernando de Soto expedition of 1540 with Garcilasso de la Vega using Alibamo, while the Knight of Elvas and Rodrigo Ranjel wrote Alibamu and Limamu, respectively. As early as 1702, the tribe was known to the French
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 as Alibamon with French maps identifying the river as Rivière des Alibamons. Other spellings of the appellation have included Alibamu, Alabamo, Albama, Alebamon, Alibama, Alibamou, Alabamu, and Allibamou.

Although the origin of Alabama could be discerned, sources disagree on its meaning. An 1842 article in the Jacksonville Republican originated the idea that the meaning was "Here We Rest." This notion was popularized in the 1850s through the writings of Alexander Beaufort Meek
Alexander Beaufort Meek
Alexander Beaufort Meek Alexander Beaufort Meek Alexander Beaufort Meek (July 17, 1814 (Columbia, South Carolina) – November 30, 1865 (Columbus, Mississippi) was an American politician, lawyer, chess player, writer and poet. He served as Alabama's Attorney General in 1836.-Works:...

. Experts in the Muskogean languages
Muskogean languages
Muskogean is an indigenous language family of the Southeastern United States. Though there is an ongoing debate concerning their interrelationships, the Muskogean languages are generally divided into two branches, Eastern Muskogean and Western Muskogean...

 have been unable to find any evidence to support such a translation. Scholars believe the word comes from the Choctaw alba (meaning "plants" or "weeds") and amo (meaning "to cut," "to trim," or "to gather"). The meaning may have been "clearers of the thicket" or "herb gatherers" which may refer to clearing of land for cultivation or to collecting medicinal plants.

Indigenous peoples, early history


Indigenous peoples
Indigenous peoples
Indigenous peoples are ethnic groups that are defined as indigenous according to one of the various definitions of the term, there is no universally accepted definition but most of which carry connotations of being the "original inhabitants" of a territory....

 of varying cultures lived in the area for thousands of years before European colonization. Trade with the Northeast via the Ohio River
Ohio River
The Ohio River is the largest tributary, by volume, of the Mississippi River. At the confluence, the Ohio is even bigger than the Mississippi and, thus, is hydrologically the main stream of the whole river system, including the Allegheny River further upstream...

 began during the Burial Mound Period (1000 BC–AD 700) and continued until European contact
European colonization of the Americas
The start of the European colonization of the Americas is typically dated to 1492. The first Europeans to reach the Americas were the Vikings during the 11th century, who established several colonies in Greenland and one short-lived settlement in present day Newfoundland...

. The agrarian Mississippian culture
Mississippian culture
The Mississippian culture was a mound-building Native American culture that flourished in what is now the Midwestern, Eastern, and Southeastern United States from approximately 800 CE to 1500 CE, varying regionally....

 covered most of the state from AD 1000 to 1600, with one of its major centers being at the Moundville Archaeological Site
Moundville Archaeological Site
Moundville Archaeological Site, also known as the Moundville Archaeological Park, is a Mississippian site on the Black Warrior River in Hale County, near the town of Tuscaloosa, Alabama...

 in Moundville, Alabama
Moundville, Alabama
Moundville is a town in Hale and Tuscaloosa Counties in the U.S. state of Alabama. At the 2000 census the population was 1,809. It is part of the Tuscaloosa Metropolitan Statistical Area. Moundville is known for its quintessential southern landscapes and Indian Mounds.-Geography:Moundville is...

. Analysis of artifacts
Artifact (archaeology)
An artifact or artefact is "something made or given shape by man, such as a tool or a work of art, esp an object of archaeological interest"...

 recovered from archaeological excavations at Moundville were the basis of scholars' formulating the characteristics of the Southeastern Ceremonial Complex
Southeastern Ceremonial Complex
The Southeastern Ceremonial Complex is the name given to the regional stylistic similarity of artifacts, iconography, ceremonies, and mythology of the Mississippian culture that coincided with their adoption of maize agriculture and chiefdom-level complex social organization from...

 (SECC). Contrary to popular belief, the SECC appears to have no direct links to Mesoamerica
Mesoamerica
Mesoamerica is a region and culture area in the Americas, extending approximately from central Mexico to Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica, within which a number of pre-Columbian societies flourished before the Spanish colonization of the Americas in the 15th and...

n culture, but developed independently. The Ceremonial Complex represents a major component of the religion of the Mississippian peoples; it is one of the primary means by which their religion is understood.

Among the historical tribes of Native American
Native Americans in the United States
Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples in North America within the boundaries of the present-day continental United States, parts of Alaska, and the island state of Hawaii. They are composed of numerous, distinct tribes, states, and ethnic groups, many of which survive as...

 people living in the area of present-day Alabama at the time of European contact were Iroquoian-speaking Cherokee
Cherokee
The Cherokee are a Native American people historically settled in the Southeastern United States . Linguistically, they are part of the Iroquoian language family...

, and the Muskogean-speaking Alabama
Alabama (people)
The Alabama or Alibamu are a Southeastern culture people of Native Americans, originally from Mississippi...

 (Alibamu), Chickasaw
Chickasaw
The Chickasaw are Native American people originally from the region that would become the Southeastern United States...

, Choctaw
Choctaw
The Choctaw are a Native American people originally from the Southeastern United States...

, Creek
Creek people
The Muscogee , also known as the Creek or Creeks, are a Native American people traditionally from the southeastern United States. Mvskoke is their name in traditional spelling. The modern Muscogee live primarily in Oklahoma, Alabama, Georgia, and Florida...

, Koasati, and Mobile
Mobilian Jargon
Mobilian Jargon was a pidgin used as a lingua franca among Native American groups living along the Gulf of Mexico around the time of European settlement of the region...

.

European settlement


The French founded the first European settlement in the region at Old Mobile
Old Mobile Site
The Old Mobile Site was the location of the French settlement La Mobile and the associated Fort Louis de La Louisiane, in the French colony of New France in North America, from 1702 until 1712. The site is located in Le Moyne, Alabama, on the Mobile River in the Mobile-Tensaw River Delta...

, in 1702. The area was French from 1702 to 1763; part of British West Florida
West Florida
West Florida was a region on the north shore of the Gulf of Mexico, which underwent several boundary and sovereignty changes during its history. West Florida was first established in 1763 by the British government; as its name suggests it largely consisted of the western portion of the region...

 from 1763 to 1780. Thomas Bassett was the first British settler in the state. He settled near what is now Tombigbee River
Tombigbee River
The Tombigbee River is a tributary of the Mobile River, approximately 200 mi long, in the U.S. states of Mississippi and Alabama. It is one of two major rivers, along with the Alabama River, that unite to form the short Mobile River before it empties into Mobile Bay on the Gulf of Mexico...

 in Washington County
Washington County, Alabama
Washington County is a county of the U.S. state of Alabama. The county was named in honor of George Washington, first President of the United States of America. As of 2010, the population was 17,581. Its county seat is Chatom. Washington County is a dry county.-History:The area was long inhabited...

. Alabama became part of Spanish West Florida from 1780 to 1810; part of the independent Republic of West Florida for a short time (90 days); annexed by the U.S. and added to the Territory of Orleans (1810); and, finally, added to the Mississippi Territory
Mississippi Territory
The Territory of Mississippi was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from April 7, 1798, until December 10, 1817, when the final extent of the territory was admitted to the Union as the state of Mississippi....

 in 1812. Throughout these later developments, however, the Spanish had kept a nominal (although largely ignored) governmental presence in the region, based out of Mobile
Mobile, Alabama
Mobile is the third most populous city in the Southern US state of Alabama and is the county seat of Mobile County. It is located on the Mobile River and the central Gulf Coast of the United States. The population within the city limits was 195,111 during the 2010 census. It is the largest...

. When Andrew Jackson
Andrew Jackson
Andrew Jackson was the seventh President of the United States . Based in frontier Tennessee, Jackson was a politician and army general who defeated the Creek Indians at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend , and the British at the Battle of New Orleans...

's forces occupied Mobile in 1814 —while preparing for the Battle of New Orleans
Battle of New Orleans
The Battle of New Orleans took place on January 8, 1815 and was the final major battle of the War of 1812. American forces, commanded by Major General Andrew Jackson, defeated an invading British Army intent on seizing New Orleans and the vast territory the United States had acquired with the...

 —he demonstrated the United States' de facto
De facto
De facto is a Latin expression that means "concerning fact." In law, it often means "in practice but not necessarily ordained by law" or "in practice or actuality, but not officially established." It is commonly used in contrast to de jure when referring to matters of law, governance, or...

authority over the region, effectively ending Spanish governance (though not its claim), while gaining an unencumbered passage to the gulf.

The area making up today's northern and central Alabama, known as the Yazoo lands
Yazoo lands
The Yazoo lands were the sparsely-populated central and western areas of the U.S. state of Georgia, when its western border stretched back to the Mississippi River. It was named for the Yazoo tribe of Native Americans. Several other places and things were named Yazoo, either for or along with the...

, had been claimed by the Province of Georgia
Province of Georgia
The Province of Georgia was one of the Southern colonies in British America. It was the last of the thirteen original colonies established by Great Britain in what later became the United States...

 after 1763. Following the Revolutionary War
American Revolution
The American Revolution was the political upheaval during the last half of the 18th century in which thirteen colonies in North America joined together to break free from the British Empire, combining to become the United States of America...

, it remained a part of the state of Georgia
Georgia (U.S. state)
Georgia is a state located in the southeastern United States. It was established in 1732, the last of the original Thirteen Colonies. The state is named after King George II of Great Britain. Georgia was the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution, on January 2, 1788...

 —although heavily disputed. Conflicting claims to the area were held, first by several Native American
Native Americans in the United States
Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples in North America within the boundaries of the present-day continental United States, parts of Alaska, and the island state of Hawaii. They are composed of numerous, distinct tribes, states, and ethnic groups, many of which survive as...

 tribe
Tribe
A tribe, viewed historically or developmentally, consists of a social group existing before the development of, or outside of, states.Many anthropologists use the term tribal society to refer to societies organized largely on the basis of kinship, especially corporate descent groups .Some theorists...

s (most notably the Chickamauga-Cherokee
Chickamauga Indian
The Chickamauga or Lower Cherokee, were a band of Cherokee who supported Great Britain at the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War. They were followers of the Cherokee chief Dragging Canoe...

 and Yazoo
Yazoo tribe
The Yazoo were a tribe of the Native American Tunica people historically located on the lower course of Yazoo River, Mississippi. It was closely connected to other Tunica peoples, especially the Tunica, Koroa, and possibly the Tioux....

), by other states (e.g. South Carolina
South Carolina
South Carolina is a state in the Deep South of the United States that borders Georgia to the south, North Carolina to the north, and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. Originally part of the Province of Carolina, the Province of South Carolina was one of the 13 colonies that declared independence...

); and by the US federal government
Federal government of the United States
The federal government of the United States is the national government of the constitutional republic of fifty states that is the United States of America. The federal government comprises three distinct branches of government: a legislative, an executive and a judiciary. These branches and...

; Britain
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was the formal name of the United Kingdom during the period when what is now the Republic of Ireland formed a part of it....

 and Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

. In 1802, the region was joined to the Mississippi Territory
Mississippi Territory
The Territory of Mississippi was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from April 7, 1798, until December 10, 1817, when the final extent of the territory was admitted to the Union as the state of Mississippi....

. Individual statehood was delayed, however, by the territory's lack of a coastline.

Statehood, Civil War and Reconstruction


Alabama became the twenty-second state —admitted to the Union in 1819. Part of the frontier in the 1820s and 1830s, its constitution provided for universal suffrage for white men. Settlers rapidly arrived to take advantage of the fertile soil. Southeastern planters and traders from the Upper South brought slaves
Slavery
Slavery is a system under which people are treated as property to be bought and sold, and are forced to work. Slaves can be held against their will from the time of their capture, purchase or birth, and deprived of the right to leave, to refuse to work, or to demand compensation...

 with them as the cotton plantations expanded. The economy of the central "Black Belt
Black Belt (region of Alabama)
The Black Belt is a region of the U.S. state of Alabama, and part of the larger Black Belt Region of the Southern United States, which stretches from Texas to Maryland. The term originally referred to the region underlain by a thin layer of rich, black topsoil developed atop the chalk of the Selma...

" (named for its dark, productive soil) was built around large cotton plantations whose owners' wealth grew largely from slave labor. The area also drew many poor, disfranchised people who became subsistence farmers. The 1860 census records show that enslaved Africans comprised 45% of the state's total population of 964,201. There were only 2,690 free persons of color
Freedman
A freedman is a former slave who has been released from slavery, usually by legal means. Historically, slaves became freedmen either by manumission or emancipation ....

 living in Alabama at the time.

From 1826 to 1846, Tuscaloosa
Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Tuscaloosa is a city in and the seat of Tuscaloosa County in west central Alabama . Located on the Black Warrior River, it is the fifth-largest city in Alabama, with a population of 90,468 in 2010...

 served as the capital of Alabama. On January 30, 1846, the Alabama legislature announced that it had voted to remove the capital city from Tuscaloosa to Montgomery
Montgomery, Alabama
Montgomery is the capital of the U.S. state of Alabama, and is the county seat of Montgomery County. It is located on the Alabama River southeast of the center of the state, in the Gulf Coastal Plain. As of the 2010 census, Montgomery had a population of 205,764 making it the second-largest city...

. The first legislative session in the new capital met in December 1847. In time, a Capitol building was erected under the direction of a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania architect. The original structure burnt down in 1849 but was rebuilt in 1851 following the original plans.

On January 11, 1861, Alabama declared its secession
Secession in the United States
Secession in the United States can refer to secession of a state from the United States, secession of part of a state from that state to form a new state, or secession of an area from a city or county....

 from the Union
Union (American Civil War)
During the American Civil War, the Union was a name used to refer to the federal government of the United States, which was supported by the twenty free states and five border slave states. It was opposed by 11 southern slave states that had declared a secession to join together to form the...

 and joined the Confederate States of America
Confederate States of America
The Confederate States of America was a government set up from 1861 to 1865 by 11 Southern slave states of the United States of America that had declared their secession from the U.S...

. While few battles were fought in the state, Alabama contributed about 120,000 soldiers to the American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

. Alabama's slaves were freed by the 13th Amendment in 1865. During Reconstruction, the new state legislators created a public school system for the first time, as well as establishing some welfare institutions to help its people. Alabama was officially restored to the Union in 1868.

After the Civil War, the state was still chiefly agricultural, with an economy tied to cotton. Planters resisted working with free labor during Reconstruction and sought to re-establish controls over freedmen. In the early years the Ku Klux Klan
Ku Klux Klan
Ku Klux Klan, often abbreviated KKK and informally known as the Klan, is the name of three distinct past and present far-right organizations in the United States, which have advocated extremist reactionary currents such as white supremacy, white nationalism, and anti-immigration, historically...

 had numerous independent chapters in Alabama that attacked freedmen and other Republicans. After it was suppressed, insurgent
Insurgent
Insurgent, insurgents or insurgency can refer to:* The act of insurgency-Specific insurgencies:* Iraqi insurgency, uprising in Iraq* Insurgency in Jammu and Kashmir, uprising in India* Insurgency in North-East India...

 whites organized paramilitary
Paramilitary
A paramilitary is a force whose function and organization are similar to those of a professional military, but which is not considered part of a state's formal armed forces....

 groups, such as the Red Shirts and White League
White League
The White League was a white paramilitary group started in 1874 that operated to turn Republicans out of office and intimidate freedmen from voting and political organizing. Its first chapter in Grant Parish, Louisiana was made up of many of the Confederate veterans who had participated in the...

, that acted more openly to suppress black voting. Regaining power by the late 1870s, in the last decade of the 19th century, white Democrats passed electoral laws disfranchise most blacks and many poor whites. Having regained power in the state legislature, Democrats passed Jim Crow laws
Jim Crow laws
The Jim Crow laws were state and local laws in the United States enacted between 1876 and 1965. They mandated de jure racial segregation in all public facilities, with a supposedly "separate but equal" status for black Americans...

, including racial segregation
Racial segregation
Racial segregation is the separation of humans into racial groups in daily life. It may apply to activities such as eating in a restaurant, drinking from a water fountain, using a public toilet, attending school, going to the movies, or in the rental or purchase of a home...

 in public facilities, to restore white supremacy in the society.

In 1875, the state passed the Blaine Amendment
Blaine Amendment
The term Blaine Amendment refers to either a failed federal constitutional amendment or actual constitutional provisions that exist in 38 of the 50 state constitutions in the United States both of which forbid direct government aid to educational institutions that have any religious affiliation...

, to prohibit public money from being used to finance Catholic schools.

1900–1960


The new 1901 Constitution of Alabama effectively disfranchised African Americans and many poor whites through voting restrictions, including literacy requirements. While the planter class had persuaded poor whites to support these legislative efforts, the new restrictions resulted in disfranchising poor whites as well, due mostly to imposition of a cumulative poll tax
Poll tax
A poll tax is a tax of a portioned, fixed amount per individual in accordance with the census . When a corvée is commuted for cash payment, in effect it becomes a poll tax...

.

In 1900, 14 Black Belt
Black Belt (U.S. region)
The Black Belt is a region of the Southern United States. Although the term originally described the prairies and dark soil of central Alabama and northeast Mississippi, it has long been used to describe a broad agricultural region in the American South characterized by a history of plantation...

 counties had more than 79,000 voters on the rolls. By June 1, 1903, the number of registered voters had dropped to 1,081. In 1900, Alabama had more than 181,000 African Americans eligible to vote. By 1903, only 2,980 had qualified to register, although at least 74,000 black voters were literate.

By 1941, a total of more whites than blacks had been disfranchised: 600,000 whites to 520,000 blacks. Nearly all African Americans lost the ability to vote.

The disfranchisement was ended by African Americans' leading the Civil Rights Movement
Civil rights movement
The civil rights movement was a worldwide political movement for equality before the law occurring between approximately 1950 and 1980. In many situations it took the form of campaigns of civil resistance aimed at achieving change by nonviolent forms of resistance. In some situations it was...

 and gaining Federal legislation in the mid-1960s to protect their voting and civil rights. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 also protected the suffrage
Suffrage
Suffrage, political franchise, or simply the franchise, distinct from mere voting rights, is the civil right to vote gained through the democratic process...

 of poor whites.

The rural-dominated Alabama legislature consistently underfunded schools and services for the disfranchised African Americans in the segregated state, but did not relieve them of paying taxes. Continued racial discrimination, agricultural depression, and the failure of the cotton crops due to boll weevil
Boll weevil
The boll weevil is a beetle measuring an average length of six millimeters, which feeds on cotton buds and flowers. Thought to be native to Central America, it migrated into the United States from Mexico in the late 19th century and had infested all U.S. cotton-growing areas by the 1920s,...

 infestation led tens of thousands of African Americans to seek opportunities in northern cities. They left Alabama in the early 20th century as part of the Great Migration
Great Migration (African American)
The Great Migration was the movement of 6 million blacks out of the Southern United States to the Northeast, Midwest, and West from 1910 to 1970. Some historians differentiate between a Great Migration , numbering about 1.6 million migrants, and a Second Great Migration , in which 5 million or more...

 to industrial jobs and better futures in northern industrial cities. The population growth rate in Alabama (see "Historical Populations" table below) dropped by nearly half from 1910 to 1920, reflecting the effect of emigration.

At the same time, many rural whites and blacks migrated to the city of Birmingham
Birmingham, Alabama
Birmingham is the largest city in Alabama. The city is the county seat of Jefferson County. According to the 2010 United States Census, Birmingham had a population of 212,237. The Birmingham-Hoover Metropolitan Area, in estimate by the U.S...

 for work in new industrial jobs. It experienced such rapid growth that it was nicknamed "The Magic City." By the 1920s, Birmingham was the 19th largest city in the U.S. and held more than 30% of the population of the state. Heavy industry and mining were the basis of the economy.
Industrial development related to the demands of World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 brought prosperity. Cotton faded in importance as the state developed a manufacturing and service base. In the 1960s under Governor George Wallace
George Wallace
George Corley Wallace, Jr. was the 45th Governor of Alabama, serving four terms: 1963–1967, 1971–1979 and 1983–1987. "The most influential loser" in 20th-century U.S. politics, according to biographers Dan T. Carter and Stephan Lesher, he ran for U.S...

, many whites in the state opposed federal integration efforts in schools and public facilities.

1960–present


Despite massive population changes in the state from 1901 to 1961, the rural-dominated legislature refused to reapportion House and Senate seats based on population. They held on to old representation to maintain political and economic power in agricultural areas. In addition, the state legislature gerrymandered the few Birmingham legislative seats to ensure election by persons living outside Birmingham.

One result was that Jefferson County, containing Birmingham's industrial and economic powerhouse, contributed more than one-third of all tax revenue to the state, but did not receive a proportional amount in services. Urban interests were consistently underrepresented in the legislature. A 1960 study noted that because of rural domination, "A minority of about 25 per cent of the total state population is in majority control of the Alabama legislature."

African Americans were presumed partial to Republicans for historical reasons, but they were disfranchised. White Alabamans felt bitter towards the Republican Party in the aftermath of the Civil War and Reconstruction. These factors created a longstanding tradition that any candidate who wanted to be viable with white voters had to run as a Democrat regardless of political beliefs.

During the Civil Rights Movement, African Americans achieved a protection of voting and other civil rights through the passage of the national Civil Rights Act of 1964
Civil Rights Act of 1964
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was a landmark piece of legislation in the United States that outlawed major forms of discrimination against African Americans and women, including racial segregation...

, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. De jure
De jure
De jure is an expression that means "concerning law", as contrasted with de facto, which means "concerning fact".De jure = 'Legally', De facto = 'In fact'....

segregation ended in the states as Jim Crow laws
Jim Crow laws
The Jim Crow laws were state and local laws in the United States enacted between 1876 and 1965. They mandated de jure racial segregation in all public facilities, with a supposedly "separate but equal" status for black Americans...

 were invalidated or repealed.

Under the Voting Rights Act of 1965, cases were filed in Federal courts to force Alabama to properly redistrict by population both the House and Senate of the state legislature. In 1972, for the first time since 1901, the legislature implemented the Alabama constitution's provision for periodic redistricting based on population. This benefited the urban areas that had developed, as well as all in the population who had been underrepresented for more than 60 years.

After 1972, the state's white voters shifted much of their support to Republican candidates in presidential elections (as also occurred in neighboring southern states). Since 1990 the majority of whites in the state have voted increasingly Republican in state elections. In 2010, Republicans won control of both houses of the legislature for the first time in 136 years.

Geography



Alabama is the thirtieth-largest state in the United States with 52423 square miles (135,774.9 km²) of total area: 3.19% of the area is water, making Alabama twenty-third in the amount of surface water, also giving it the second-largest inland waterway system in the United States. About three-fifths of the land area is a gentle plain with a general descent towards the Mississippi River
Mississippi River
The Mississippi River is the largest river system in North America. Flowing entirely in the United States, this river rises in western Minnesota and meanders slowly southwards for to the Mississippi River Delta at the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains...

 and the Gulf of Mexico. The North Alabama
North Alabama
North Alabama is a region of the U.S. state of Alabama, generally considered to include 12 counties: Cherokee, Colbert, DeKalb, Franklin, Jackson, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Limestone, Madison, Marshall, Morgan, and Winston, with a combined population of 958,247, or 20.84% of the state's population as...

 region is mostly mountainous, with the Tennessee River
Tennessee River
The Tennessee River is the largest tributary of the Ohio River. It is approximately 652 miles long and is located in the southeastern United States in the Tennessee Valley. The river was once popularly known as the Cherokee River, among other names...

 cutting a large valley creating numerous creeks, streams, rivers, mountains, and lakes.
The states bordering Alabama are Tennessee to the north; Georgia to the east; Florida to the south; and Mississippi
Mississippi
Mississippi is a U.S. state located in the Southern United States. Jackson is the state capital and largest city. The name of the state derives from the Mississippi River, which flows along its western boundary, whose name comes from the Ojibwe word misi-ziibi...

 to the west. Alabama has coastline at the Gulf of Mexico
Gulf of Mexico
The Gulf of Mexico is a partially landlocked ocean basin largely surrounded by the North American continent and the island of Cuba. It is bounded on the northeast, north and northwest by the Gulf Coast of the United States, on the southwest and south by Mexico, and on the southeast by Cuba. In...

, in the extreme southern edge of the state. Alabama ranges in elevation from sea level at Mobile Bay
Mobile Bay
Mobile Bay is an inlet of the Gulf of Mexico, lying within the state of Alabama in the United States. Its mouth is formed by the Fort Morgan Peninsula on the eastern side and Dauphin Island, a barrier island on the western side. The Mobile River and Tensaw River empty into the northern end of the...

 to over 1,800 feet (550 m) in the Appalachian Mountains
Appalachian Mountains
The Appalachian Mountains #Whether the stressed vowel is or ,#Whether the "ch" is pronounced as a fricative or an affricate , and#Whether the final vowel is the monophthong or the diphthong .), often called the Appalachians, are a system of mountains in eastern North America. The Appalachians...

 in the northeast. The highest point is Mount Cheaha, at a height of 2413 ft (735 m). Alabama's land consists of 22 million acres (89,030.9 km²) of forest or 67% of total land area. Suburban Baldwin County
Baldwin County, Alabama
-2010:Whereas according to the 2010 U.S. Census Bureau:*85.7% White*9.4% Black*0.7% Native American*0.7% Asian*0.0% Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander*1.5% Two or more races*4.4% Hispanic or Latino -2000:...

, along the Gulf Coast, is the largest county in the state in both land area and water area.

Areas in Alabama administered by the National Park Service
National Park Service
The National Park Service is the U.S. federal agency that manages all national parks, many national monuments, and other conservation and historical properties with various title designations...

 include Horseshoe Bend National Military Park
Horseshoe Bend National Military Park
Horseshoe Bend National Military Park is a U.S. National Military Park managed by the National Park Service that is the site of the last battle of the Creek War on March 27, 1814. General Andrew Jackson's Tennessee militia, aided by the 39th U.S...

 near Alexander City
Alexander City, Alabama
Alexander City is the principal city of the Alexander City Micropolitan Statistical Area, a micropolitan area that covers Coosa and Tallapoosa counties and had a combined population of 53,677 at the 2000 census....

; Little River Canyon National Preserve
Little River Canyon National Preserve
Little River Canyon National Preserve is a United States National Preserve located on top of Lookout Mountain near Fort Payne, Alabama, and DeSoto State Park. Created by an act of Congress in 1992, the nearly preserve protects what is sometimes said to be the nation's longest mountaintop river,...

 near Fort Payne
Fort Payne, Alabama
Fort Payne is a city in DeKalb County, Alabama, United States. At the 2000 census the population was 12,938. The city is the county seat of DeKalb County. It bills itself as the "Official Sock Capital of the World."...

; Russell Cave National Monument
Russell Cave National Monument
The Russell Cave National Monument is a U.S. National Monument in northeastern Alabama, United States, close to the town of Bridgeport. The Monument was established on May 11, 1961, when 310 acres of land were donated by the National Geographic Society to the American people. It is now...

 in Bridgeport
Bridgeport, Alabama
Bridgeport is a small city in Jackson County, Alabama, United States. At the time of 2000 census the population was 2,728. Bridgeport is included in the Huntsville-Decatur Combined Statistical Area.-History:...

; Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site
Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site
Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site, at Moton Field in Tuskegee, Alabama, commemorates the contributions of African American airmen in World War II. Moton Field was the site of primary flight training for the pioneering pilots known as the Tuskegee Airmen. It was constructed in 1941 as a new...

 in Tuskegee
Tuskegee, Alabama
Tuskegee is a city in Macon County, Alabama, United States. At the 2000 census the population was 11,846 and is designated a Micropolitan Statistical Area. Tuskegee has been an important site in various stages of African American history....

; and Tuskegee Institute National Historic Site near Tuskegee. Additionally, Alabama has four National Forests
United States National Forest
National Forest is a classification of federal lands in the United States.National Forests are largely forest and woodland areas owned by the federal government and managed by the United States Forest Service, part of the United States Department of Agriculture. Land management of these areas...

: Conecuh
Conecuh National Forest
The Conecuh National Forest in southern Alabama covers 83,000 acres , along the Alabama - Florida line in Covington and Escambia counties. Topography is level to moderately sloping, broad ridges with stream terraces and broad floodplains....

, Talladega
Talladega National Forest
The Talladega National Forest is located in the U.S. state of Alabama and covers 392,567 acres at the southern edge of the Appalachian Mountains....

, Tuskegee
Tuskegee National Forest
The Tuskegee National Forest is a U.S. National Forest located in Macon County, Alabama, just north of Tuskegee and west of Auburn. The topography is level to moderately sloping, with broad ridges with stream terraces and broad floodplains....

, and William B. Bankhead
William B. Bankhead National Forest
The William B. Bankhead National Forest is Alabama's largest National Forest, with , and is home of Alabama's only National Wild and Scenic River, the Sipsey Fork. It is located in northwestern Alabama, around the town of Double Springs; it is named in honor of William B. Bankhead, a longtime U.S...

. Alabama also contains the Natchez Trace Parkway
Natchez Trace Parkway
The Natchez Trace Parkway is a National Park Service unit in the southeastern United States that commemorates the historic Old Natchez Trace and preserves sections of the original trail....

, the Selma To Montgomery National Historic Trail, and the Trail Of Tears National Historic Trail
Trail of Tears
The Trail of Tears is a name given to the forced relocation and movement of Native American nations from southeastern parts of the United States following the Indian Removal Act of 1830...

. A notable natural wonder in Alabama is "Natural Bridge"
Natural Bridge, Alabama
Natural Bridge is a town at the southwest edge of Winston County, Alabama, United States, located near the intersection of U.S. Highway 278 and Alabama Highway 13. The population was 28 at the 2000 census...

 rock, the longest natural bridge
Natural Bridge
Natural bridge or Natural Bridge can refer to several things:*Natural arch, a land formation sometimes referred to as a natural bridge*Natural Bridge, Alabama*Natural Bridge, New York...

 east of the Rockies
Rocky Mountains
The Rocky Mountains are a major mountain range in western North America. The Rocky Mountains stretch more than from the northernmost part of British Columbia, in western Canada, to New Mexico, in the southwestern United States...

, located just south of Haleyville
Haleyville, Alabama
Haleyville is a city in Winston and Marion counties in the U.S. state of Alabama. Most of the city is located in Winston County, with a small portion of the western limits entering Marion County. Haleyville was originally named Davis Cross Roads, having been established at the crossroads of Byler...

.

A 5 miles (8 km)-wide meteorite impact crater is located in Elmore County
Elmore County, Alabama
Elmore County is a county of the State of Alabama. Its name is in honor of General John A. Elmore. As of 2010 its population was 79,303. Its county seat is Wetumpka.This county is part of the Montgomery Metropolitan Statistical Area.- History :...

, just north of Montgomery. This is the Wetumpka crater
Wetumpka crater
The Wetumpka impact crater is the only confirmed impact crater in Alabama, United States. It is located east of downtown Wetumpka in Elmore County. The crater is 7.6 km in diameter and its age is estimated to be about 83 million years old based on fossils found in the youngest disturbed deposits,...

, the site of "Alabama's greatest natural disaster." A 1000 feet (304.8 m)-wide meteorite hit the area about 80 million years ago. The hills just east of downtown Wetumpka showcase the eroded remains of the impact crater that was blasted into the bedrock, with the area labeled the Wetumpka crater or astrobleme ("star-wound") because of the concentric rings of fractures and zones of shattered rock that can be found beneath the surface. In 2002, Christian Koeberl with the Institute of Geochemistry University of Vienna published evidence and established the site as an internationally recognized impact crater.

Urban areas





Rank Metropolitan Area Population
(2010 Census)
Counties
1 Birmingham-Hoover
Birmingham-Hoover Metropolitan Area
The Birmingham-Hoover Metropolitan Statistical Area, also known as Greater Birmingham, is a metropolitan area composed of seven counties in central Alabama centered around its primary city of Birmingham. The population of this metropolitan area as of the 2009 census estimate was about 1,131,070....

1,128,047 Bibb
Bibb County, Alabama
Bibb County is a county in the U.S. state of Alabama. Its name is in honor of William W. Bibb, the first Governor of Alabama. As of 2010 the population was 22,915. The county seat is Centreville...

, Blount
Blount County, Alabama
Blount County is a county located in the U.S. state of Alabama. As of the 2010 United States Census, the population was 57,322. Its county seat is Oneonta.Blount County is a dry county.-History:...

, Chilton
Chilton County, Alabama
-2010:Whereas according to the 2010 U.S. Census Bureau:*84.1% White*9.7% Black*0.4% Native American*0.3% Asian*0.0% Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander*1.2% Two or more races*7.8% Hispanic or Latino -2000:...

, Jefferson
Jefferson County, Alabama
Jefferson County is the most populous county in the U.S. state of Alabama, with its county seat being located in Birmingham.As of the 2010 U.S. Census, the population of Jefferson County was 658,466...

, St. Clair
St. Clair County, Alabama
St. Clair County is a county of the U.S. state of Alabama.It is a part of the Birmingham–Hoover–Cullman Combined Statistical Area. Its name is in honor of General Arthur St...

, Shelby
Shelby County, Alabama
Shelby County is a county of the U.S. state of Alabama and a part of the Birmingham–Hoover–Cullman Combined Statistical Area. It is named in honor of Isaac Shelby, Governor of Kentucky. The county seat of Shelby County is Columbiana. As of 2010 U.S. Census the population was 195,085. Shelby...

, Walker
Walker County, Alabama
Walker County is a county of the U.S. state of Alabama.Its name is in honor of John Williams Walker, a member of the United States Senate. As of 2010 the population was 67,023...

2 Huntsville
Huntsville Metropolitan Area
The Huntsville Metropolitan Area is a metropolitan statistical area in northern Alabama. The Huntsville Metropolitan Area's population was estimated at 395,645.-Counties:The metro area comprises two counties:Limestone and Madison.-Places:...

417,593 Limestone
Limestone County, Alabama
Limestone County is a county of the U.S. state of Alabama, and is included in the Huntsville Metropolitan Area.It is also included in the merged Huntsville-Decatur Metro Area. Its name comes from Limestone Creek, a local stream. In 2000, the population was 65,676. As of 2010 the county's...

, Madison
Madison County, Alabama
Madison County is a county of the U.S. state of Alabama, and is a major part of the Huntsville Metropolitan Area.It is also included in the merged Huntsville-Decatur Combined Statistical Area. The county is named in honor of James Madison, fourth President of the United States of America, and the...

3 Mobile
Mobile metropolitan area
Metropolitan Mobile has a population of 412,992 within Mobile County Alabama in the southwestern tip of Alabama. The Mobile metropolitan area is the third-largest metropolitan area in the state of Alabama. The Mobile–Daphne–Fairhope combined statistical area also includes the micro but...

412,992 Mobile
Mobile County, Alabama
Mobile County[p] is a county of the U.S. state of Alabama. Its name is in honor of a tribe of Indians, the Maubila tribe . As of 2011, its population was 415,704. Its county seat is Mobile, Alabama...

4 Montgomery
Montgomery Metropolitan Area
The Montgomery, Alabama Metropolitan Statistical Area is a metropolitan statistical area in central Alabama...

374,536 Autauga
Autauga County, Alabama
Autauga County is a county in the U.S. state of Alabama. As of the 2010 census the population was 54,571. Its county seat is Prattville.Autauga County is part of the Montgomery Metropolitan Statistical Area.-History:...

, Elmore
Elmore County, Alabama
Elmore County is a county of the State of Alabama. Its name is in honor of General John A. Elmore. As of 2010 its population was 79,303. Its county seat is Wetumpka.This county is part of the Montgomery Metropolitan Statistical Area.- History :...

, Lowndes
Lowndes County, Alabama
Lowndes County is a county of the U.S. state of Alabama. It is named in honor of William Lowndes, a member of the United States Congress from South Carolina. As of the 2010 census, the population was 11,299...

, Montgomery
Montgomery County, Alabama
Montgomery County is a county in the U.S. state of Alabama. It is the most populous county in the Montgomery Metropolitan Statistical Area; its population in 2010 was 229,363 .- History :...

5 Tuscaloosa
Tuscaloosa metropolitan area
The Tuscaloosa metropolitan area, as defined by the United States Census Bureau, is an area consisting of three counties in west central Alabama, anchored by the city of Tuscaloosa...

219,461 Greene
Greene County, Alabama
Greene County is the least populous county in the U.S. state of Alabama. Its name is in honor of Revolutionary War General Nathanael Greene of Rhode Island. As of 2010 the population was 9,045...

, Hale
Hale County, Alabama
Hale County is a county of the U.S. state of Alabama. It is named in honor of Confederate officer Stephen Fowler Hale. As of 2010 the population was 15,760. Its county seat is Greensboro and it is part of the Tuscaloosa Metropolitan Statistical Area....

, Tuscaloosa
Tuscaloosa County, Alabama
Tuscaloosa County is a county of the U.S. state of Alabama.It is named in honor of the pre-Choctaw chief Tuskaloosa. In 2010, the population was 194,656...

6 Decatur
Decatur Metropolitan Area
The Decatur Metropolitan Area is a moderately urban region of North-Central Alabama. The 2008 estimate population is 150,125, one third of which resides within the boundaries of its core city, Decatur, Alabama....

153,829 Lawrence
Lawrence County, Alabama
Lawrence County is a county of the U.S. state of Alabama, and is included in the Decatur Metropolitan Area, as well as the Huntsville-Decatur Combined Statistical Area. It was named after James Lawrence, a captain in the United States Navy from New Jersey. As of the 2010 census, the population was...

, Morgan
Morgan County, Alabama
Morgan County is the most populous county in the Decatur Metropolitan Area, and the second most populous county in the Huntsville-Decatur Combined Statistical Area in the U.S. State of Alabama. It was created by the Alabama Territorial legislature on February 6, 1818 from land acquired from the...

7 Florence-Muscle Shoals 147,137 Colbert
Colbert County, Alabama
Colbert County is a county of the U.S. state of Alabama. Its name is in honor of brothers George and Levi Colbert, Chickasaw Indian chiefs. George Colbert operated a ferry across the Tennessee River in 1790 near present day Cherokee....

, Lauderdale
Lauderdale County, Alabama
-2010:Whereas according to the 2010 U.S. Census Bureau:*86.4% White*10.0% Black*0.4% Native American*0.7% Asian*0.0% Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander*1.4% Two or more races*2.2% Hispanic or Latino -2000:...

8 Dothan
Dothan metropolitan area
The Dothan Metropolitan Statistical Area, as defined by the United States Census Bureau, is an area consisting of three counties in southeastern Alabama, anchored by the city of Dothan...

145,639 Geneva
Geneva County, Alabama
-2010:Whereas according to the 2010 U.S. Census Bureau:*86.3% White*9.5% Black*0.8% Native American*0.3% Asian*0.0% Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander*1.6% Two or more races*3.4% Hispanic or Latino -2000:...

, Henry
Henry County, Alabama
Henry County is a county of the U.S. state of Alabama. Its name is in honor of Patrick Henry, famous orator and Governor of Virginia. As of 2010, its population was 17,302...

, Houston
Houston County, Alabama
Houston County is a county of the U.S. state of Alabama. As of 2010 the population was 101,547. Its county seat is Dothan.Houston County is part of the Dothan Metropolitan Statistical Area.- History :...

9 Auburn-Opelika
Auburn Metropolitan Area
The Auburn Metropolitan Area—officially the Auburn-Opelika, Alabama Metropolitan Statistical Area—is a metro area in east-central Alabama with a 2009 population of 135,883. It was the 19th fastest growing metro area in the United States between 1990 and 2000...

140,247 Lee
Lee County, Alabama
Lee County is a county of the U.S. state of Alabama. It is named in honor of Robert E. Lee, commanding general of the Confederate Army. As of 2010 the population was 140,247. It is part of the Auburn, Alabama Metropolitan Area. The county seat is Opelika, and the largest city is Auburn...

10 Anniston-Oxford
Anniston-Oxford Metropolitan Area
The Anniston-Oxford Metropolitan Statistical Area is the most populated metropolitan area in Northeast Alabama next to Huntsville. At the 2000 census, it had a population of 112,249...

112,249 Calhoun
Calhoun County, Alabama
Calhoun County is a county in the U.S. state of Alabama. Its name is in honor of John C. Calhoun, famous member of the United States Senate from South Carolina. As of 2010 the population was 118,572. It is included in the Anniston-Oxford Metropolitan Statistical Area...

11 Gadsden
Gadsden Metropolitan Statistical Area
Gadsden Metropolitan Statistical Area covers all of Etowah County located in Northeast Alabama. As of 2000, the population was 103,459. It consists of Gadsden and its surrounding towns.-Suburbs:The Gadsden Metro area includes the following suburbs:...

104,430 Etowah
Etowah County, Alabama
Etowah County is a county of the U.S. state of Alabama. Its name is from the Cherokee language, which means "edible tree". It is the center of the Gadsden Metropolitan Area which includes Etowah and Cherokee Counties. As of 2010 the population was 104,430. Its county seat is Gadsden...

Total 3,362,483

Rank City Population
(2010 Census)
County
1 Birmingham
Birmingham, Alabama
Birmingham is the largest city in Alabama. The city is the county seat of Jefferson County. According to the 2010 United States Census, Birmingham had a population of 212,237. The Birmingham-Hoover Metropolitan Area, in estimate by the U.S...

212,237 Jefferson
Jefferson County, Alabama
Jefferson County is the most populous county in the U.S. state of Alabama, with its county seat being located in Birmingham.As of the 2010 U.S. Census, the population of Jefferson County was 658,466...

2 Montgomery
Montgomery, Alabama
Montgomery is the capital of the U.S. state of Alabama, and is the county seat of Montgomery County. It is located on the Alabama River southeast of the center of the state, in the Gulf Coastal Plain. As of the 2010 census, Montgomery had a population of 205,764 making it the second-largest city...

205,764 Montgomery
Montgomery County, Alabama
Montgomery County is a county in the U.S. state of Alabama. It is the most populous county in the Montgomery Metropolitan Statistical Area; its population in 2010 was 229,363 .- History :...

3 Mobile
Mobile, Alabama
Mobile is the third most populous city in the Southern US state of Alabama and is the county seat of Mobile County. It is located on the Mobile River and the central Gulf Coast of the United States. The population within the city limits was 195,111 during the 2010 census. It is the largest...

195,111 Mobile
Mobile County, Alabama
Mobile County[p] is a county of the U.S. state of Alabama. Its name is in honor of a tribe of Indians, the Maubila tribe . As of 2011, its population was 415,704. Its county seat is Mobile, Alabama...

4 Huntsville
Huntsville, Alabama
Huntsville is a city located primarily in Madison County in the central part of the far northern region of the U.S. state of Alabama. Huntsville is the county seat of Madison County. The city extends west into neighboring Limestone County. Huntsville's population was 180,105 as of the 2010 Census....

180,105 Madison
Madison County, Alabama
Madison County is a county of the U.S. state of Alabama, and is a major part of the Huntsville Metropolitan Area.It is also included in the merged Huntsville-Decatur Combined Statistical Area. The county is named in honor of James Madison, fourth President of the United States of America, and the...

 
Limestone
Limestone County, Alabama
Limestone County is a county of the U.S. state of Alabama, and is included in the Huntsville Metropolitan Area.It is also included in the merged Huntsville-Decatur Metro Area. Its name comes from Limestone Creek, a local stream. In 2000, the population was 65,676. As of 2010 the county's...

5 Tuscaloosa
Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Tuscaloosa is a city in and the seat of Tuscaloosa County in west central Alabama . Located on the Black Warrior River, it is the fifth-largest city in Alabama, with a population of 90,468 in 2010...

90,468 Tuscaloosa
Tuscaloosa County, Alabama
Tuscaloosa County is a county of the U.S. state of Alabama.It is named in honor of the pre-Choctaw chief Tuskaloosa. In 2010, the population was 194,656...

6 Hoover
Hoover, Alabama
Hoover is a city in Jefferson and Shelby Counties in north central Alabama, in the United States. The largest suburb of Birmingham, the population of the city was 62,742 as of the 2000 census and 81,619 in the 2010 census. Hoover is part of the Birmingham-Hoover, AL MSA and is also included in the...

81,619 Jefferson
Shelby
Shelby County, Alabama
Shelby County is a county of the U.S. state of Alabama and a part of the Birmingham–Hoover–Cullman Combined Statistical Area. It is named in honor of Isaac Shelby, Governor of Kentucky. The county seat of Shelby County is Columbiana. As of 2010 U.S. Census the population was 195,085. Shelby...

7 Dothan
Dothan, Alabama
Dothan is a city located in the southeastern corner of the US state of Alabama, situated approximately west of the Georgia state line and north of Florida. It is the seat of Houston County, with portions extending into nearby Dale County and Henry County...

65,496 Houston
Houston County, Alabama
Houston County is a county of the U.S. state of Alabama. As of 2010 the population was 101,547. Its county seat is Dothan.Houston County is part of the Dothan Metropolitan Statistical Area.- History :...

8 Decatur
Decatur, Alabama
Decatur is a city in Limestone and Morgan Counties in the U.S. state of Alabama. The city, affectionately known as "The River City", is located in Northern Alabama on the banks of Wheeler Lake, along the Tennessee River. It is the largest city and county seat of Morgan County...

55,683 Morgan
Morgan County, Alabama
Morgan County is the most populous county in the Decatur Metropolitan Area, and the second most populous county in the Huntsville-Decatur Combined Statistical Area in the U.S. State of Alabama. It was created by the Alabama Territorial legislature on February 6, 1818 from land acquired from the...

 
Limestone
9 Auburn
Auburn, Alabama
Auburn is a city in Lee County, Alabama, United States. It is the largest city in eastern Alabama with a 2010 population of 53,380. It is a principal city of the Auburn-Opelika Metropolitan Area...

53,380 Lee
Lee County, Alabama
Lee County is a county of the U.S. state of Alabama. It is named in honor of Robert E. Lee, commanding general of the Confederate Army. As of 2010 the population was 140,247. It is part of the Auburn, Alabama Metropolitan Area. The county seat is Opelika, and the largest city is Auburn...

10 Madison
Madison, Alabama
As of the census of 2000, there were 29,329 people, 11,143 households, and 8,067 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,266.5 people per square mile . There were 12,121 housing units at an average density of 523.4 per square mile...

42,938 Madison
Limestone
11 Florence
Florence, Alabama
Florence is the county seat of Lauderdale County, Alabama, United States, in the northwestern corner of the state.According to the 2005 Census Bureau estimates, the city's population was 36,721....

39,319 Lauderdale
Lauderdale County, Alabama
-2010:Whereas according to the 2010 U.S. Census Bureau:*86.4% White*10.0% Black*0.4% Native American*0.7% Asian*0.0% Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander*1.4% Two or more races*2.2% Hispanic or Latino -2000:...

12 Gadsden
Gadsden, Alabama
The city of Gadsden is the county seat of Etowah County in the U.S. state of Alabama, and it is located about 65 miles northeast of Birmingham, Alabama. It is the primary city of the Gadsden Metropolitan Statistical Area, which has a population of 103,459. Gadsden is closely associated with the...

36,856 Etowah
Etowah County, Alabama
Etowah County is a county of the U.S. state of Alabama. Its name is from the Cherokee language, which means "edible tree". It is the center of the Gadsden Metropolitan Area which includes Etowah and Cherokee Counties. As of 2010 the population was 104,430. Its county seat is Gadsden...

13 Vestavia Hills
Vestavia Hills, Alabama
Vestavia Hills is a city in Jefferson and Shelby Counties in the U.S. state of Alabama. It is a suburb of the city of Birmingham.-History:Vestavia Hills is named for the estate of former Birmingham mayor George B. Ward. It was situated on the crest of Shades Mountain in what is now the northern...

34,033 Jefferson
14 Prattville
Prattville, Alabama
Prattville is a city in Autauga and Elmore counties in the U.S. state of Alabama. As of the 2010 Census, the population of the city is 33,960. Nicknamed "The Fountain City" due to the many artesian wells in the area, Prattville is part of the Montgomery metropolitan statistical area and serves as...

33,960 Autauga
Autauga County, Alabama
Autauga County is a county in the U.S. state of Alabama. As of the 2010 census the population was 54,571. Its county seat is Prattville.Autauga County is part of the Montgomery Metropolitan Statistical Area.-History:...

15 Phenix City
Phenix City, Alabama
Phenix City is a city and the county seat in Russell County in the U.S. state of Alabama. Portions of Lee County are addressed as Phenix City, 36870 ZIP code, for the sole purpose that Smiths Station does not have full incorporation to annex the area...

32,822 Russell
Russell County, Alabama
Russell County is a county of the U.S. state of Alabama. Its name is in honor of Colonel Gilbert C. Russell, who fought in the wars against the Creek Indians. As of 2010, the population was 52,947...


Climate


The state is classified as humid subtropical
Humid subtropical climate
A humid subtropical climate is a climate zone characterized by hot, humid summers and mild to cool winters...

 (Cfa) under the Koppen Climate Classification. The average annual temperature is 64 °F (18 °C). Temperatures tend to be warmer in the southern part of the state with its proximity to the Gulf of Mexico, while the northern parts of the state, especially in the Appalachian Mountains in the northeast, tend to be slightly cooler. Generally, Alabama has very hot summers and mild winters with copious precipitation throughout the year. Alabama receives an average of 56 inches (1,422.4 mm) of rainfall annually and enjoys a lengthy growing season of up to 300 days in the southern part of the state.

Summers in Alabama are among the hottest in the United States, with high temperatures averaging over 90 °F (32.2 °C) throughout the summer in some parts of the state. Alabama is also prone to tropical storms and even hurricanes. Areas of the state far away from the Gulf are not immune to the effects of the storms, which often dump tremendous amounts of rain as they move inland and weaken.

South Alabama reports many thunderstorms. The Gulf Coast, around Mobile Bay, averages between 70 and 80 days per year with thunder reported. This activity decreases somewhat further north in the state, but even the far north of the state reports thunder on about 60 days per year. Occasionally, thunderstorms are severe with frequent lightning
Lightning
Lightning is an atmospheric electrostatic discharge accompanied by thunder, which typically occurs during thunderstorms, and sometimes during volcanic eruptions or dust storms...

 and large hail
Hail
Hail is a form of solid precipitation. It consists of balls or irregular lumps of ice, each of which is referred to as a hail stone. Hail stones on Earth consist mostly of water ice and measure between and in diameter, with the larger stones coming from severe thunderstorms...

 – the central and northern parts of the state are most vulnerable to this type of storm. Alabama ranks seventh in the number of deaths from lightning and ninth in the number of deaths from lightning strikes per capita.

Alabama, along with Kansas
Kansas
Kansas is a US state located in the Midwestern United States. It is named after the Kansas River which flows through it, which in turn was named after the Kansa Native American tribe, which inhabited the area. The tribe's name is often said to mean "people of the wind" or "people of the south...

, has the most reported EF5 tornadoes
Enhanced Fujita Scale
The Enhanced Fujita Scale rates the strength of tornadoes in the United States based on the damage they cause.Implemented in place of the Fujita scale introduced in 1971 by Ted Fujita, it began operational use on February 1, 2007. The scale has the same basic design as the original Fujita scale:...

 of any state – according to statistics from the National Climatic Data Center
National Climatic Data Center
The United States National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, North Carolina is the world's largest active archive of weather data. The center became established in late 1951, with the move into the new facility occurring in early 1952....

 for the period January 1, 1950, to October 31, 2006. Several long – tracked F5 tornadoes have contributed to Alabama reporting more tornado fatalities than any other state, even surpassing Texas
Texas
Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...

 which has a much larger area within Tornado Alley
Tornado Alley
Tornado Alley is a colloquial and popular media term that most often refers to the area of the United States where tornadoes are most frequent. Although an official location is not defined, the area between the Rocky Mountains and Appalachian Mountains is usually associated with it.The areas...

. The state suffered damage in the Super Outbreak
Super Outbreak
The Super Outbreak is the second largest tornado outbreak on record for a single 24-hour period, just behind the tornado outbreak of April 25–28, 2011...

 of April 1974, and the April 25–28, 2011 tornado outbreak
April 25–28, 2011 tornado outbreak
An extremely large and violent tornado outbreak, the largest tornado outbreak ever recorded, and popularly known as the 2011 Super Outbreak, occurred from April 25 to 28, 2011. The outbreak affected the Southern, Midwestern, and Northeastern United States, leaving catastrophic destruction in...

.

The peak season for tornadoes varies from the northern to southern parts of the state. Alabama is one of the few places in the world that has a secondary tornado season in November and December, along with the spring severe weather season. The northern part of the state — along the Tennessee Valley — is one of the areas in the U.S. most vulnerable to violent tornadoes. The area of Alabama and Mississippi most affected by tornadoes is sometimes referred to as Dixie Alley
Dixie Alley
Dixie Alley is a nickname sometimes given to areas of the southern United States that are particularly vulnerable to strong or violent tornadoes...

, as distinct from the Tornado Alley
Tornado Alley
Tornado Alley is a colloquial and popular media term that most often refers to the area of the United States where tornadoes are most frequent. Although an official location is not defined, the area between the Rocky Mountains and Appalachian Mountains is usually associated with it.The areas...

 of the Southern Plains.

Winters are generally mild in Alabama, as they are throughout most of the southeastern United States
Southeastern United States
The Southeastern United States, colloquially referred to as the Southeast, is the eastern portion of the Southern United States. It is one of the most populous regions in the United States of America....

, with average January low temperatures around 40 °F (4.4 °C) in Mobile and around 32 °F (0 °C) in Birmingham. Although snow is a rare event in much of Alabama, areas of the state north of Montgomery may receive a dusting of snow a few times every winter, with an occasional moderately heavy snowfall every few years. Historic snowfall events include New Year's Eve 1963 snowstorm
New Year's Eve 1963 snowstorm
The New Year's Eve 1963 snowstorm was a significant winter storm occurring from December 31, 1963 to January 1, 1964 over most of the Southern United States. The storm began when a surface low-pressure system moved northward through the eastern Gulf of Mexico and up the fall line east of the...

 and the 1993 Storm of the Century. The annual average snowfall for the Birmingham area is 2 inches (50.8 mm) per year. In the southern Gulf coast, snowfall is less frequent, sometimes going several years without any snowfall.

Demographics





The United States Census Bureau
United States Census Bureau
The United States Census Bureau is the government agency that is responsible for the United States Census. It also gathers other national demographic and economic data...

, as of July 1, 2008, estimated Alabama's population at 4,661,900, which represents an increase of 214,545, or 4.8%, since the last census in 2000. This includes a natural increase since the last census of 121,054 people (that is 502,457 births minus 381,403 deaths) and an increase due to net migration of 104,991 people into the state. Immigration
Immigration to the United States
Immigration to the United States has been a major source of population growth and cultural change throughout much of the history of the United States. The economic, social, and political aspects of immigration have caused controversy regarding ethnicity, economic benefits, jobs for non-immigrants,...

 from outside the United States resulted in a net increase of 31,180 people, and migration within the country produced a net gain of 73,811 people. The state had 108,000 foreign-born (2.4% of the state population), of which an estimated 22.2% were illegal immigrants (24,000).

The center of population
Center of population
In demographics, the center of population of a region is a geographical point that describes a centerpoint of the region's population...

 of Alabama is located in Chilton County
Chilton County, Alabama
-2010:Whereas according to the 2010 U.S. Census Bureau:*84.1% White*9.7% Black*0.4% Native American*0.3% Asian*0.0% Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander*1.2% Two or more races*7.8% Hispanic or Latino -2000:...

, outside of the town of Jemison
Jemison, Alabama
Jemison is a town in Chilton County, Alabama, United States. At the 2000 census the population was 2,248. The center of population of Alabama is located outside of Jemison, an area known as Jemison Division. .-Geography:...

.

Race and ancestry


According to the 2010 U.S. Census, Alabama had a population of 4,779,736. In terms of race and ethnicity, the state was 68.5% White (67.0% Non-Hispanic White Alone), 26.2% Black or African American, 0.6% American Indian and Alaska Native, 1.1% Asian, 0.1% Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander, 2.0% from Some Other Race, and 1.5% from Two or More Races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race made up 3.9% of the population.

The largest reported ancestry groups in Alabama are: African American
African American
African Americans are citizens or residents of the United States who have at least partial ancestry from any of the native populations of Sub-Saharan Africa and are the direct descendants of enslaved Africans within the boundaries of the present United States...

 (26.2%), English
English American
English Americans are citizens or residents of the United States whose ancestry originates wholly or partly in England....

 (23.6%), Irish
Irish American
Irish Americans are citizens of the United States who can trace their ancestry to Ireland. A total of 36,278,332 Americans—estimated at 11.9% of the total population—reported Irish ancestry in the 2008 American Community Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau...

 (7.7%), German
German American
German Americans are citizens of the United States of German ancestry and comprise about 51 million people, or 17% of the U.S. population, the country's largest self-reported ancestral group...

 (5.7%), and Scots-Irish
Scots-Irish American
Scotch-Irish Americans are an estimated 250,000 Presbyterian and other Protestant dissenters from the Irish province of Ulster who immigrated to North America primarily during the colonial era and their descendants. Some scholars also include the 150,000 Ulster Protestants who immigrated to...

 (2.0%). Those citing "American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

" ancestry in Alabama are of overwhelmingly English extraction, however most English American
English American
English Americans are citizens or residents of the United States whose ancestry originates wholly or partly in England....

s identify simply as having American ancestry because their roots have been in North America for so long, in many cases since the early 1600s. Demographers estimate that a minimum of 20-23% of people in Alabama are of predominantly English ancestry and state that the figure is probably much higher. In the 1980 census, 41% of the people in Alabama cited that they were of English ancestry, making them the largest ethnic group at the time. There are also many more people in Alabama of Scots-Irish
Scots-Irish American
Scotch-Irish Americans are an estimated 250,000 Presbyterian and other Protestant dissenters from the Irish province of Ulster who immigrated to North America primarily during the colonial era and their descendants. Some scholars also include the 150,000 Ulster Protestants who immigrated to...

 origins than are self-reported. Many people in Alabama claim Irish ancestry because of the term Scots-Irish
Scots-Irish
Scotch-Irish or Scots-Irish may refer to;* Ulster Scots people, an ethnic group in the Ulster province of Ireland which ultimately traces its roots back to settlers from Scotland and northern England....

, but most of the time in Alabama this term is used for those with Scottish roots, rather than Irish.

In 1984, under the Davis–Strong Act, Alabama established a state Indian Commission and officially recognized seven American Indian tribes, including the Echota Cherokee Tribe of Alabama, which is a 501 (c)(3) group. It is made up of descendants of the Chickamauga
Chickamauga Indian
The Chickamauga or Lower Cherokee, were a band of Cherokee who supported Great Britain at the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War. They were followers of the Cherokee chief Dragging Canoe...

 Cherokee
Cherokee
The Cherokee are a Native American people historically settled in the Southeastern United States . Linguistically, they are part of the Iroquoian language family...

 and others who managed to evade Indian Removal
Indian Removal
Indian removal was a nineteenth century policy of the government of the United States to relocate Native American tribes living east of the Mississippi River to lands west of the river...

 in the 1830s. Working with Auburn University
Auburn University
Auburn University is a public university located in Auburn, Alabama, United States. With more than 25,000 students and 1,200 faculty members, it is one of the largest universities in the state. Auburn was chartered on February 7, 1856, as the East Alabama Male College, a private liberal arts...

, the tribe has begun a revival of the Cherokee language
Cherokee language
Cherokee is an Iroquoian language spoken by the Cherokee people which uses a unique syllabary writing system. It is the only Southern Iroquoian language that remains spoken. Cherokee is a polysynthetic language.-North American etymology:...

.

Religion


Alabama is located in the middle of the Bible Belt
Bible Belt
Bible Belt is an informal term for a region in the southeastern and south-central United States in which socially conservative evangelical Protestantism is a significant part of the culture and Christian church attendance across the denominations is generally higher than the nation's average.The...

. A majority of people in Alabama today identify as Protestant. As of 2000, the three largest denominational groups in Alabama are Evangelical Protestant, Mainline Protestant, and Catholic. The Southern Baptist Convention
Southern Baptist Convention
The Southern Baptist Convention is a United States-based Christian denomination. It is the world's largest Baptist denomination and the largest Protestant body in the United States, with over 16 million members...

 has the highest number of adherents in Alabama with 1,380,121, followed by the United Methodist Church
United Methodist Church
The United Methodist Church is a Methodist Christian denomination which is both mainline Protestant and evangelical. Founded in 1968 by the union of The Methodist Church and the Evangelical United Brethren Church, the UMC traces its roots back to the revival movement of John and Charles Wesley...

 with 327,734 members, and the Catholic Church with 150,647 adherents.

In a 2007 survey, nearly 70% of respondents could name all four of the Christian Gospels
Synoptic Gospels
The gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke are known as the Synoptic Gospels because they include many of the same stories, often in the same sequence, and sometimes exactly the same wording. This degree of parallelism in content, narrative arrangement, language, and sentence structures can only be...

. Of those who indicated a religious preference, 59% said they possessed a "full understanding" of their faith and needed no further learning. In a 2007 poll, 92% of Alabamians reported having at least some confidence in churches in the state. In the 2008 American Religious Identification Survey, 80% of Alabama respondents reported their religion as Christian (other than Catholic,) 6% as Catholic, and 11% as having no religion at all.

Health


A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are a United States federal agency under the Department of Health and Human Services headquartered in Druid Hills, unincorporated DeKalb County, Georgia, in Greater Atlanta...

 study showed that Alabama was one of the worst in the country for obesity with most counties having over 29% of adults obese, except for ten which exceeded 26%. Residents were least likely of any state in the nation to exercise. Alabama has one of the highest incidents of adult onset diabetes in the country, exceeding 10% of adults.

Economy


The state has invested in aerospace, education, health care, banking, and various heavy industries, including automobile manufacturing, mineral extraction, steel production and fabrication
Fabrication (metal)
Fabrication as an industrial term refers to building metal structures by cutting, bending, and assembling. The cutting part of fabrication is via sawing, shearing, or chiseling ; torching with handheld torches ; and via CNC cutters...

.

According to the United States Bureau of Economic Analysis
Bureau of Economic Analysis
The Bureau of Economic Analysis is an agency in the United States Department of Commerce that provides important economic statistics including the gross domestic product of the United States. Its stated mission is to "promote a better understanding of the U.S...

, the 2008 total gross state product
Gross state product
Gross state product is a measurement of the economic output of a state or province...

 was $170 billion, or $29,411 per capita. Alabama's 2008 GDP increased 0.7% from the previous year. The single largest increase came in the area of information. In 1999, per capita income
Per capita income
Per capita income or income per person is a measure of mean income within an economic aggregate, such as a country or city. It is calculated by taking a measure of all sources of income in the aggregate and dividing it by the total population...

 for the state was $18,189.

As of September 2010, the state's unemployment rate is 8.9%.

Largest employers


According to the Birmingham Business Journal
Birmingham Business Journal
The Birmingham Business Journal is a weekly business newspaper published in Birmingham, Alabama. The newspaper was founded in 1983 by Tina Verciglio-Savas and became a part of American City Business Journals in 1999. The newspaper publishes business news in the Birmingham area and also the state of...

, the five employers which employs the most employees in Alabama as of 2011 fwere:
Employer Number of employees
Redstone Arsenal
Redstone Arsenal
Redstone Arsenal is a United States Army base and a census-designated place adjacent to Huntsville in Madison County, Alabama, United States and is part of the Huntsville-Decatur Combined Statistical Area...

25,373
University of Alabama at Birmingham
University of Alabama at Birmingham
The University of Alabama at Birmingham is a public university in Birmingham in the U.S. state of Alabama. Developing from an extension center established in 1936, the institution became an autonomous institution in 1969 and is today one of three institutions in the University of Alabama System...

 (includes UAB Hospital
UAB Hospital
The University of Alabama Hospital , is a Level I trauma center hospital located in Birmingham, Alabama....

)
18,750
Maxwell Air Force Base
Maxwell Air Force Base
Maxwell Air Force Base , officially known as Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base, is a United States Air Force installation under the Air Education and Training Command . The installation is located in Montgomery, Alabama, US. It was named in honor of Second Lieutenant William C...

12,280
State of Alabama 9,500
Mobile County Public School System
Mobile County Public School System
Mobile County Public School System is a school district based in the Mobile County Public Schools Central Office Campus in an unincorporated area in Mobile County, Alabama United States....

8,100

Agriculture


Alabama's agricultural outputs include poultry and eggs, cattle, plant nursery items, peanuts, cotton, grains such as corn and sorghum
Sorghum
Sorghum is a genus of numerous species of grasses, one of which is raised for grain and many of which are used as fodder plants either cultivated or as part of pasture. The plants are cultivated in warmer climates worldwide. Species are native to tropical and subtropical regions of all continents...

, vegetables, milk, soybean
Soybean
The soybean or soya bean is a species of legume native to East Asia, widely grown for its edible bean which has numerous uses...

s, and peaches. Although known as "The Cotton State," Alabama ranks between eighth and tenth in national cotton production, according to various reports, with Texas, Georgia
Georgia (U.S. state)
Georgia is a state located in the southeastern United States. It was established in 1732, the last of the original Thirteen Colonies. The state is named after King George II of Great Britain. Georgia was the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution, on January 2, 1788...

 and Mississippi
Mississippi
Mississippi is a U.S. state located in the Southern United States. Jackson is the state capital and largest city. The name of the state derives from the Mississippi River, which flows along its western boundary, whose name comes from the Ojibwe word misi-ziibi...

 comprising the top three.

Industry


Alabama's industrial
Industry
Industry refers to the production of an economic good or service within an economy.-Industrial sectors:There are four key industrial economic sectors: the primary sector, largely raw material extraction industries such as mining and farming; the secondary sector, involving refining, construction,...

 outputs include iron and steel products (including cast-iron and steel pipe); paper, lumber
Lumber
Lumber or timber is wood in any of its stages from felling through readiness for use as structural material for construction, or wood pulp for paper production....

, and wood products; mining (mostly coal); plastic products; cars and trucks; and apparel. Also, Alabama produces aerospace
Aerospace
Aerospace comprises the atmosphere of Earth and surrounding space. Typically the term is used to refer to the industry that researches, designs, manufactures, operates, and maintains vehicles moving through air and space...

 and electronic
Electronics
Electronics is the branch of science, engineering and technology that deals with electrical circuits involving active electrical components such as vacuum tubes, transistors, diodes and integrated circuits, and associated passive interconnection technologies...

 products, mostly in the Huntsville
Huntsville, Alabama
Huntsville is a city located primarily in Madison County in the central part of the far northern region of the U.S. state of Alabama. Huntsville is the county seat of Madison County. The city extends west into neighboring Limestone County. Huntsville's population was 180,105 as of the 2010 Census....

 area, location of NASA
NASA
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is the agency of the United States government that is responsible for the nation's civilian space program and for aeronautics and aerospace research...

's George C. Marshall Space Flight Center and the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command
United States Army Aviation and Missile Command
The United States Army Aviation and Missile Command is primarily responsible for life cycle management of army missile, helicopter, unmanned ground vehicle and unmanned aerial vehicle weapon systems. The central part of AMCOM's job involves acquisition and sustainment support for aviation and...

, headquartered at Redstone Arsenal
Redstone Arsenal
Redstone Arsenal is a United States Army base and a census-designated place adjacent to Huntsville in Madison County, Alabama, United States and is part of the Huntsville-Decatur Combined Statistical Area...

.

Most Alabama's economic growth is due to the state's expanding automotive manufacturing industry. Located in the state are Honda Manufacturing of Alabama
Honda Manufacturing of Alabama
Honda Manufacturing of Alabama is an automobile manufacturer located in Lincoln, Alabama. It builds vehicles for Honda sales in North America. Production began on November 14, 2001, with the plant producing its two millionth vehicle on September 3, 2010...

, Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama
Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama
Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama is an automobile factory in Montgomery, Alabama. It is owned and operated by Hyundai Motor Company of Korea. Construction completed in June, 2004, with the first vehicles produced in March of 2005. The official grand opening ceremony on May 20, 2005, was...

, Mercedes-Benz U.S. International
Mercedes-Benz U.S. International
Mercedes-Benz U.S. International is a Mercedes-Benz automobile manufacturing plant near Vance, Alabama. It is located about miles west of Birmingham and about miles east of downtown Tuscaloosa. The factory was announced in 1993 and produced its first vehicle, a ML320, in February 1997.From...

, and Toyota Motor Manufacturing Alabama
Toyota Motor Manufacturing Alabama
Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Alabama, Inc. is a truck engine factory near Huntsville, Alabama, United States. It is owned and operated by Toyota Motor Corporation of Japan...

, as well as their various suppliers. Since 1993, the automobile industry has generated more than 67,800 new jobs in the state. Alabama currently ranks 4th in the nation in automobile output.

Steel producers Nucor
Nucor
Nucor Corporation , a Fortune 300 company headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, is one of the largest steel producers in the United States, and the largest of the "mini-mill" operators...

, SSAB
SSAB
SSAB Swedish Steel AB , or simply SSAB is a Swedish company, formed in 1978 and specialised in processing raw material to steel. Industrivärden is the largest shareholder.-Swedish operations:...

, ThyssenKrupp
ThyssenKrupp
ThyssenKrupp AG is a German multinational conglomerate corporation headquartered in Duisburg Essen, Germany. The corporation consists of 670 companies worldwide. While ThyssenKrupp is one of the world's largest steel producers, the company also provides components and systems for the automotive...

, and U.S. Steel
U.S. Steel
The United States Steel Corporation , more commonly known as U.S. Steel, is an integrated steel producer with major production operations in the United States, Canada, and Central Europe. The company is the world's tenth largest steel producer ranked by sales...

 have facilities in Alabama and employ over 10,000 people. In May 2007, German steelmaker ThyssenKrupp
ThyssenKrupp
ThyssenKrupp AG is a German multinational conglomerate corporation headquartered in Duisburg Essen, Germany. The corporation consists of 670 companies worldwide. While ThyssenKrupp is one of the world's largest steel producers, the company also provides components and systems for the automotive...

 selected Alabama for a $3.7 billion steel production plant, with the promise of 2,700 permanent jobs. When ThyssenKrupp's new facilities reach full production capacity, Alabama is expected to become the third largest steel producing state in the country behind Indiana and Pennsylvania.

The Hunt Refining Company
Hunt Refining Company
Hunt Refining Company was founded by oilman H.L. Hunt as an asphalt refining company in 1946. Today it owns and operates a petroleum refinery in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. The plant also includes a coker and a diesel hydrotreater. In 2006, they announced plans for a $500 million expansion to the...

, a subsidiary of Hunt Consolidated, Inc., is based in Tuscaloosa and operates a refinery there. The company also operates terminals in Mobile, Melvin, and Moundville
Moundville, Alabama
Moundville is a town in Hale and Tuscaloosa Counties in the U.S. state of Alabama. At the 2000 census the population was 1,809. It is part of the Tuscaloosa Metropolitan Statistical Area. Moundville is known for its quintessential southern landscapes and Indian Mounds.-Geography:Moundville is...

. JVC America, Inc.
JVC
, usually referred to as JVC, is a Japanese international consumer and professional electronics corporation based in Yokohama, Japan which was founded in 1927...

, a wholly owned subsidiary of JVC Americas Corp., operates an optical disc
Optical disc
In computing and optical disc recording technologies, an optical disc is a flat, usually circular disc which encodes binary data in the form of pits and lands on a special material on one of its flat surfaces...

 replication and packaging plant in Tuscaloosa.

Michelin North America
Michelin
Michelin is a tyre manufacturer based in Clermont-Ferrand in the Auvergne région of France. It is one of the two largest tyre manufacturers in the world along with Bridgestone. In addition to the Michelin brand, it also owns the BFGoodrich, Kleber, Riken, Kormoran and Uniroyal tyre brands...

 operated a 1000000 square feet (9.3 ha) BFGoodrich Tire manufacturing plant in Opelika
Opelika, Alabama
Opelika is a city in and the county seat of Lee County in the east central part of the U.S. state of Alabama. It is a principal city of the Auburn-Opelika Metropolitan Area. According to 2010 Census, the population of Opelika was 26,477...

 from 1963 to 2009, when it shut down. GAF Materials Corporation
GAF Materials Corporation
GAF Materials Corporation is a company based in Wayne, New Jersey, that has roots dating back to the late 19th century. The GAF acronym stands for General Aniline & Film. The company has historically been primarily focused on manufacturing of roofing materials for residential and commercial...

 formerly operated a plant in Mobile, but ceased production operations in 2010. The plant had previously been idled in 2007 before resuming in 2008 and may reopen in the future once demand recovers.

Tourism


An estimated 100,000 tourists annually from other countries visit the state, including from Canada, England, Germany and Japan. In 2006, 22.3 million tourists spent $8.3 billion providing an estimated 162,000 jobs in the state.

Health


UAB Hospital
UAB Hospital
The University of Alabama Hospital , is a Level I trauma center hospital located in Birmingham, Alabama....

 is the only Level I trauma center
Trauma center
A trauma center is a hospital equipped to provide comprehensive emergency medical services to patients suffering traumatic injuries. Trauma centers grew into existence out of the realization that traumatic injury is a disease process unto itself requiring specialized and experienced...

 in Alabama. UAB is the largest employer in Alabama, with a workforce of about 20,000.

Banking


Alabama has the headquarters of Regions Financial Corporation, BBVA Compass and Superior Bancorp. Birmingham-based Compass Banchshares was acquired by Spanish-based BBVA in September 2007, although the headquarters of BBVA Compass remains in Birmingham. In November 2006, Regions Financial completed its merger with AmSouth Bancorporation
AmSouth Bancorporation
AmSouth Bancorporation was a banking company headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama, and operated for its final year in existence as a bank holding company of Regions Financial Corporation after a merger between the two banks. AmSouth was previously known as First National Bank of Birmingham, which...

, which was also headquartered in Birmingham. SouthTrust Corporation, another large bank headquartered in Birmingham, was acquired by Wachovia
Wachovia
Wachovia was a diversified financial services company based in Charlotte, North Carolina. Before its acquisition by Wells Fargo in 2008, Wachovia was the fourth-largest bank holding company in the United States based on total assets...

 in 2004 for $14.3 billion. The city still has major operations for Wachovia and its now post-operating bank Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo & Company is an American multinational diversified financial services company with operations around the world. Wells Fargo is the fourth largest bank in the U.S. by assets and the largest bank by market capitalization. Wells Fargo is the second largest bank in deposits, home...

, which includes a regional headquarters, a operations center campus and a $400 million dollar data center. Nearly a dozen smaller banks are also headquartered in the Birmingham, such as Superior Bancorp, ServisFirst and New South Federal Savings Bank. Birmingham also serves as the headquarters for several large investment management companies, including Harbert Management Corporation
Harbert Management Corporation
Harbert Management Corporation, based in Birmingham, Alabama, is a U.S. investment management company founded in 1993 by Raymond J. Harbert.The company has investment funds in 12 alternative asset classes in three areas of concentration: real estate, private capital, and absolute return strategies....

.

Electronics


Telecommunications provider AT&T
AT&T
AT&T Inc. is an American multinational telecommunications corporation headquartered in Whitacre Tower, Dallas, Texas, United States. It is the largest provider of mobile telephony and fixed telephony in the United States, and is also a provider of broadband and subscription television services...

, formerly BellSouth
BellSouth
BellSouth Corporation is an American telecommunications holding company based in Atlanta, Georgia. BellSouth was one of the seven original Regional Bell Operating Companies after the U.S...

, also has a major presence in Alabama with several large offices in Birmingham. The company has over 6,000 employees and more than 1,200 contract employees.

Many commercial technology companies are headquartered in Huntsville, such as the network access company ADTRAN
Adtran
ADTRAN, Inc. is a provider of telecommunications networking equipment and internetworking products.Its headquarters are in Huntsville, Alabama.The company is ISO 9001 and TL9000 certified.ADTRAN was a NASDAQ-100 Index stock from 1996 to 1998....

, computer graphics company Intergraph
Intergraph
Intergraph Corporation is an American software development and services company. It provides enterprise engineering and geospatially powered software to businesses, governments, and organizations around the world. Intergraph operates through two divisions: Process, Power & Marine and Security,...

, design and manufacturer of IT infrastructure Avocent
Avocent
Avocent, a business of Emerson Network Power, is an information technology products manufacturer headquartered in Huntsville, Alabama. Avocent was formed in 2000 from the merger of the world’s two largest KVM switch manufacturers: Apex and Cybex Computer Products Corporation...

, and telecommunications provider Deltacom
Deltacom
Deltacom, Inc. is a regional CLEC operating in the southern United States. Deltacom provides voice , Internet service and wide area network connectivity via frame relay, ATM, or dedicated point-to-point circuits...

. Cinram
Cinram
Cinram International Income Fund is a Toronto, Ontario-based manufacturer of pre-recorded DVDs, VHS videocassettes, CD-Audio, CD-ROMs, and audio cassettes. Cinram was established in 1969 in Montreal by Isidore Philosophe and Samuel Sokoloff....

 manufactures and distributes 20th Century Fox DVDs and Blu-ray Discs out of their Huntsville plant.

Construction


Rust International has grown to include Brasfield & Gorrie
Brasfield & Gorrie
Brasfield & Gorrie, LLC is a privately held construction management, general contractor|general contracting, and design-build service provider. Founded in 1921 by Thomas C. Brasfield as the Thomas C...

, BE&K
BE&K
BE&K, Inc., based in Birmingham, Alabama, is a global engineering and construction company. BE&K is named after its founders Peter Bolvig, William Edmonds, and Ted Kennedy and was founded in 1972 after the three men left the Birmingham based Rust International to start their own company. The...

, Hoar Construction
Hoar Construction
Hoar Construction is a privately held heavy construction company specializing in commercial and industrial buildings, health care, and retail construction. Founded in 1940 by F. R. Hoar, and headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama, the company is currently ranked as one of the top construction...

 and B.L. Harbert International
B.L. Harbert International
B.L. Harbert International, LLC, based in Birmingham, Alabama, began construction operations in 2000 under the leadership of Billy L. Harbert. The company was originally founded as the Harbert International division of Harbert Corporation. B.L. Harbert has two main operating divisions, the U.S....

, which all routinely are included in the Engineering News-Record lists of top design, international construction, and engineering firms. (Rust International was acquired in 2000 by Washington Group International
Washington Group International
Washington Group International was an American corporation which provided integrated engineering, construction and management services to businesses and governments around the world. Based in Boise, Idaho, it had approximately 25,000 employees working in over 40 states and more than 30 countries...

, which was in turn acquired by San-Francisco based URS Corporation in 2007.)

Transportation


The Port of Mobile
Port of Mobile
The Port of Mobile, located in Mobile, Alabama, United States, is the only deep-water port in the state, and was the 9th largest by tonnage in the nation in 2008. It is located along the Mobile River where it empties into Mobile Bay...

, Alabama's only saltwater port, is a busy seaport on the Gulf of Mexico
Gulf of Mexico
The Gulf of Mexico is a partially landlocked ocean basin largely surrounded by the North American continent and the island of Cuba. It is bounded on the northeast, north and northwest by the Gulf Coast of the United States, on the southwest and south by Mexico, and on the southeast by Cuba. In...

 with inland waterway access to the Midwest
Midwestern United States
The Midwestern United States is one of the four U.S. geographic regions defined by the United States Census Bureau, providing an official definition of the American Midwest....

 by way of the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway
Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway
The Tennessee–Tombigbee Waterway is a 234-mile man-made, artificial waterway that extends from the Tennessee River to the junction of the Black Warrior-Tombigbee River system near Demopolis, Alabama, United States. The Tenneessee-Tombigbee Waterway links commercial navigation from the nation’s...

. The Port of Mobile is currently the 9th-largest by tonnage
Tonnage
Tonnage is a measure of the size or cargo carrying capacity of a ship. The term derives from the taxation paid on tuns or casks of wine, and was later used in reference to the weight of a ship's cargo; however, in modern maritime usage, "tonnage" specifically refers to a calculation of the volume...

 in the United States.

Barge
Barge
A barge is a flat-bottomed boat, built mainly for river and canal transport of heavy goods. Some barges are not self-propelled and need to be towed by tugboats or pushed by towboats...

 transportation in and out of the Port of Tuscaloosa and other commercial navigation make the Black Warrior River
Black Warrior River
The Black Warrior River is a waterway in west central Alabama in the southeastern United States. The river rises in the extreme southern edges of the Appalachian Highlands and flows 178 miles to the Tombigbee River, of which the Black Warrior is the primary tributary...

 useful in the state of Alabama.

Law and government



State government


The foundational document for Alabama's government is the Alabama Constitution
Alabama Constitution
The Constitution of the State of Alabama is the basic governing document of the U.S. state of Alabama. It was adopted in 1901 and is the sixth constitution that the state has had....

, which was ratified in 1901. At almost 800 amendments and 310,000 words, it is the world's longest constitution and is roughly forty times the length of the U.S. Constitution. There is a significant movement to rewrite and modernize Alabama's constitution. This movement is based upon the fact that Alabama's constitution highly centralizes power in Montgomery and leaves practically no power in local hands. Any policy changes proposed around the state must be approved by the entire Alabama legislature and, frequently, by state referendum. One criticism of the current constitution claims that its complexity and length were intentional to codify segregation and racism.

Alabama is divided into three equal branches:
The legislative branch is the Alabama Legislature
Alabama Legislature
The Alabama Legislature is the legislative branch of the state government of Alabama. It is a bicameral body composed of the Alabama House of Representatives, with 105 members, and the Alabama Senate, with 35 members...

, a bicameral assembly composed of the Alabama House of Representatives
Alabama House of Representatives
The Alabama House of Representatives is the lower house of the Alabama Legislature, the state legislature of the U.S. state of Alabama. The House is composed of 105 members representing an equal amount of districts, with each constituency containing at least 42,380 citizens. There are no term...

, with 105 members, and the Alabama Senate
Alabama Senate
The Alabama State Senate is the upper house of the Alabama Legislature, the state legislature of the U.S. state of Alabama. The body is composed of 35 members representing an equal amount of districts across the state, with each district containing at least 127,140 citizens...

, with 35 members. The Legislature is responsible for writing, debating, passing, or defeating state legislation.

The executive branch is responsible for the execution and oversight of laws. It is headed by the Governor of Alabama. Other members of executive branch include the cabinet, the Attorney General of Alabama
Attorney General of Alabama
The Attorney General of Alabama is an elected, constitutional officer of the State of Alabama. The office of the Attorney General is located at the state capitol in Montgomery, Alabama. Henry Hitchcock was elected Alabama's first attorney general in 1819....

, the Alabama Secretary of State, the Alabama Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries, the Alabama State Treasurer, and the State Auditor of Alabama
State auditor of Alabama
The State Auditor of Alabama is constitutionally required to make a full and complete report to the Governor of Alabama showing the receipts and disbursement of every character, all claims audited and paid out, and all taxes and revenues collected and paid into the treasury. The office also makes...

.

The judicial branch is responsible for interpreting the Constitution
Alabama Constitution
The Constitution of the State of Alabama is the basic governing document of the U.S. state of Alabama. It was adopted in 1901 and is the sixth constitution that the state has had....

 and applying the law in state criminal and civil cases. The highest court is the Supreme Court of Alabama.

Taxes


Alabama levies a 2, 4, or 5 percent personal income tax, depending upon the amount earned and filing status. Taxpayers are not allowed to deduct their federal income tax from their Alabama state tax, but can deduct federal Social Security and Medicare taxes.

The state's general sales tax rate is 4%. The collection rate could be substantially higher, depending upon additional city and county sales taxes. For example, the total sales tax rate in Mobile is 10% and there is an additional restaurant tax of 1%, which means that a diner in Mobile would pay a 11% tax on a meal. Sales and excise taxes in Alabama account for 51% of all state and local revenue, compared with an average of about 36% nationwide. Alabama is also one of the few remaining states that levies a tax on food and medicine. Alabama's income tax on poor working families is among the nation's very highest. Alabama is the only state that levies income tax on a family of four with income as low as $4,600, which is barely one-quarter of the federal poverty line. Alabama's threshold is the lowest among the 41 states and the District of Columbia with income taxes.

The corporate income tax rate is currently 6.5%. The overall federal, state, and local tax burden in Alabama ranks the state as the second least tax-burdened state in the country. Property tax
Property tax
A property tax is an ad valorem levy on the value of property that the owner is required to pay. The tax is levied by the governing authority of the jurisdiction in which the property is located; it may be paid to a national government, a federated state or a municipality...

es are the lowest in the United States. The current state constitution requires a voter referendum to raise property taxes.

Since Alabama's tax structure largely depends on consumer spending, it is subject to high variable budget structure. For example, in 2003 Alabama had an annual budget deficit as high as $670 million.

Local and county government


Alabama has 67 counties
County (United States)
In the United States, a county is a geographic subdivision of a state , usually assigned some governmental authority. The term "county" is used in 48 of the 50 states; Louisiana is divided into parishes and Alaska into boroughs. Parishes and boroughs are called "county-equivalents" by the U.S...

. Each county has its own elected legislative branch, usually called the County Commission, which usually also has executive authority in the county. Because of the restraints placed in the Alabama Constitution
Alabama Constitution
The Constitution of the State of Alabama is the basic governing document of the U.S. state of Alabama. It was adopted in 1901 and is the sixth constitution that the state has had....

, all but seven counties (Jefferson, Lee, Mobile, Madison, Montgomery, Shelby, and Tuscaloosa) in the state have little to no home rule
Home rule
Home rule is the power of a constituent part of a state to exercise such of the state's powers of governance within its own administrative area that have been devolved to it by the central government....

. Instead, most counties in the state must lobby the Local Legislation Committee of the state legislature to get simple local policies such as waste disposal to land use zoning.

Alabama is an alcoholic beverage control state
Alcoholic beverage control state
Alcoholic beverage control states, generally called control states, are those in the United States that have state monopoly over the wholesaling and/or retailing of some or all categories of alcoholic beverages, such as beer, wine, and distilled spirits....

; the government holds a monopoly on the sale of alcohol. However, counties can declare themselves "dry"; the state does not sell alcohol in those areas.

Rank County Population
(2010 Census)
Seat Largest city
1 Jefferson
Jefferson County, Alabama
Jefferson County is the most populous county in the U.S. state of Alabama, with its county seat being located in Birmingham.As of the 2010 U.S. Census, the population of Jefferson County was 658,466...

658,466 Birmingham
Birmingham, Alabama
Birmingham is the largest city in Alabama. The city is the county seat of Jefferson County. According to the 2010 United States Census, Birmingham had a population of 212,237. The Birmingham-Hoover Metropolitan Area, in estimate by the U.S...

Birmingham
2 Mobile
Mobile County, Alabama
Mobile County[p] is a county of the U.S. state of Alabama. Its name is in honor of a tribe of Indians, the Maubila tribe . As of 2011, its population was 415,704. Its county seat is Mobile, Alabama...

412,992 Mobile
Mobile, Alabama
Mobile is the third most populous city in the Southern US state of Alabama and is the county seat of Mobile County. It is located on the Mobile River and the central Gulf Coast of the United States. The population within the city limits was 195,111 during the 2010 census. It is the largest...

Mobile
3 Madison
Madison County, Alabama
Madison County is a county of the U.S. state of Alabama, and is a major part of the Huntsville Metropolitan Area.It is also included in the merged Huntsville-Decatur Combined Statistical Area. The county is named in honor of James Madison, fourth President of the United States of America, and the...

334,811 Huntsville
Huntsville, Alabama
Huntsville is a city located primarily in Madison County in the central part of the far northern region of the U.S. state of Alabama. Huntsville is the county seat of Madison County. The city extends west into neighboring Limestone County. Huntsville's population was 180,105 as of the 2010 Census....

Huntsville
4 Montgomery
Montgomery County, Alabama
Montgomery County is a county in the U.S. state of Alabama. It is the most populous county in the Montgomery Metropolitan Statistical Area; its population in 2010 was 229,363 .- History :...

229,363 Montgomery
Montgomery, Alabama
Montgomery is the capital of the U.S. state of Alabama, and is the county seat of Montgomery County. It is located on the Alabama River southeast of the center of the state, in the Gulf Coastal Plain. As of the 2010 census, Montgomery had a population of 205,764 making it the second-largest city...

Montgomery
5 Shelby
Shelby County, Alabama
Shelby County is a county of the U.S. state of Alabama and a part of the Birmingham–Hoover–Cullman Combined Statistical Area. It is named in honor of Isaac Shelby, Governor of Kentucky. The county seat of Shelby County is Columbiana. As of 2010 U.S. Census the population was 195,085. Shelby...

195,085 Columbiana
Columbiana, Alabama
Columbiana is a city in Shelby County, Alabama, United States. At the 2010 census the population was 4,197. The city is the county seat of Shelby County.-History:...

Hoover
Hoover, Alabama
Hoover is a city in Jefferson and Shelby Counties in north central Alabama, in the United States. The largest suburb of Birmingham, the population of the city was 62,742 as of the 2000 census and 81,619 in the 2010 census. Hoover is part of the Birmingham-Hoover, AL MSA and is also included in the...

 (part)
Alabaster
Alabaster, Alabama
Alabaster is a city and southern suburb of Birmingham in Shelby County, Alabama, United States. At the 2000 census the population was 22,619. According to the 2005 U.S. Census estimates, the city had a population of 27,517. At the 2010 census the population was 30,352. Alabaster is still a growing...

6 Tuscaloosa
Tuscaloosa County, Alabama
Tuscaloosa County is a county of the U.S. state of Alabama.It is named in honor of the pre-Choctaw chief Tuskaloosa. In 2010, the population was 194,656...

194,656 Tuscaloosa
Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Tuscaloosa is a city in and the seat of Tuscaloosa County in west central Alabama . Located on the Black Warrior River, it is the fifth-largest city in Alabama, with a population of 90,468 in 2010...

Tuscaloosa
7 Baldwin
Baldwin County, Alabama
-2010:Whereas according to the 2010 U.S. Census Bureau:*85.7% White*9.4% Black*0.7% Native American*0.7% Asian*0.0% Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander*1.5% Two or more races*4.4% Hispanic or Latino -2000:...

182,265 Bay Minette
Bay Minette, Alabama
Bay Minette is a city in Baldwin County, Alabama, United States. As of the 2000 census, the population of the city was 7,820. According to the 2007 U.S. Census estimates, the city had an population of about 7,726 people. The city is the county seat of Baldwin County...

Daphne
Daphne, Alabama
Daphne is a city in Baldwin County, Alabama, United States, on the eastern shoreline of Mobile Bay. The city is located along I-10, 11 miles east of Mobile and 150 miles southwest of the state capital of Montgomery. The United States Census 2000 lists the population of the city as 16,581 making...

8 Lee
Lee County, Alabama
Lee County is a county of the U.S. state of Alabama. It is named in honor of Robert E. Lee, commanding general of the Confederate Army. As of 2010 the population was 140,247. It is part of the Auburn, Alabama Metropolitan Area. The county seat is Opelika, and the largest city is Auburn...

140,247 Opelika
Opelika, Alabama
Opelika is a city in and the county seat of Lee County in the east central part of the U.S. state of Alabama. It is a principal city of the Auburn-Opelika Metropolitan Area. According to 2010 Census, the population of Opelika was 26,477...

Auburn
Auburn, Alabama
Auburn is a city in Lee County, Alabama, United States. It is the largest city in eastern Alabama with a 2010 population of 53,380. It is a principal city of the Auburn-Opelika Metropolitan Area...

9 Morgan
Morgan County, Alabama
Morgan County is the most populous county in the Decatur Metropolitan Area, and the second most populous county in the Huntsville-Decatur Combined Statistical Area in the U.S. State of Alabama. It was created by the Alabama Territorial legislature on February 6, 1818 from land acquired from the...

119,490 Decatur
Decatur, Alabama
Decatur is a city in Limestone and Morgan Counties in the U.S. state of Alabama. The city, affectionately known as "The River City", is located in Northern Alabama on the banks of Wheeler Lake, along the Tennessee River. It is the largest city and county seat of Morgan County...

Decatur
10 Calhoun
Calhoun County, Alabama
Calhoun County is a county in the U.S. state of Alabama. Its name is in honor of John C. Calhoun, famous member of the United States Senate from South Carolina. As of 2010 the population was 118,572. It is included in the Anniston-Oxford Metropolitan Statistical Area...

118,572 Anniston
Anniston, Alabama
Anniston is a city in Calhoun County in the state of Alabama, United States.As of the 2000 census, the population of the city is 24,276. According to the 2005 U.S. Census estimates, the city had a population of 23,741...

Anniston

Politics


The current governor of the state is Republican
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

 Robert Bentley. The lieutenant governor is Republican Kay Ivey
Kay Ivey
Kay Ellen Ivey is a Republican politician and formerly served as the 38th Alabama State Treasurer. Ivey is the 30th and current Lieutenant Governor of Alabama, since January 2011.-Early life, education, and early political career:...

. The Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court is Democrat Sue Bell Cobb
Sue Bell Cobb
Sue Bell Cobb is an American jurist and was the Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court from 2007 until her resignation in 2011. Cobb was the first woman elected as Alabama's Chief Justice and had previously served from 1995 to 2007 as a judge on the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals, the state...

. The Republican Party currently holds a majority in both houses of the Legislature
Alabama Legislature
The Alabama Legislature is the legislative branch of the state government of Alabama. It is a bicameral body composed of the Alabama House of Representatives, with 105 members, and the Alabama Senate, with 35 members...

. The Legislature has the power to override a gubernatorial veto
Veto
A veto, Latin for "I forbid", is the power of an officer of the state to unilaterally stop an official action, especially enactment of a piece of legislation...

 by a simple majority (most state Legislatures require a two-thirds majority to override a veto).

During Reconstruction following the American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

, Alabama was occupied by federal troops of the Third Military District
Third Military District
The Third Military District existed in the American South during the Reconstruction era that followed the American Civil War. It comprises Georgia, Florida and Alabama and was headquartered in Atlanta....

 under General John Pope
John Pope (military officer)
John Pope was a career United States Army officer and Union general in the American Civil War. He had a brief but successful career in the Western Theater, but he is best known for his defeat at the Second Battle of Bull Run in the East.Pope was a graduate of the United States Military Academy in...

. In 1874, the political coalition known as the Redeemers
Redeemers
In United States history, "Redeemers" and "Redemption" were terms used by white Southerners to describe a political coalition in the Southern United States during the Reconstruction era which followed the American Civil War...

 took control of the state government from the Republicans, in part by suppressing the African American vote.

After 1890, a coalition of whites passed laws to segregate
Racial segregation
Racial segregation is the separation of humans into racial groups in daily life. It may apply to activities such as eating in a restaurant, drinking from a water fountain, using a public toilet, attending school, going to the movies, or in the rental or purchase of a home...

 and disenfranchise black residents, a process completed in provisions of the 1901 constitution. Provisions which disfranchised African Americans also disfranchised poor whites, however. By 1941 more whites than blacks had been disfranchised: 600,000 to 520,000, although the impact was greater on the African-American community, as almost all of its citizens were disfranchised.

From 1901 through the 1960s, the state did not redraw election districts as population grew and shifted within the state. The result was a rural minority that dominated state politics until a series of court cases required redistricting in 1972.

Alabama state politics gained nationwide and international attention in the 1950s and 1960s during the American Civil Rights Movement, when majority whites bureaucratically, and at times, violently resisted protests for electoral and social reform. George Wallace
George Wallace
George Corley Wallace, Jr. was the 45th Governor of Alabama, serving four terms: 1963–1967, 1971–1979 and 1983–1987. "The most influential loser" in 20th-century U.S. politics, according to biographers Dan T. Carter and Stephan Lesher, he ran for U.S...

, the state's only four-term governor, was a controversial figure. Only with the passage of the Federal Civil Rights Act of 1964
Civil Rights Act of 1964
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was a landmark piece of legislation in the United States that outlawed major forms of discrimination against African Americans and women, including racial segregation...

 and Voting Rights Act
Voting Rights Act
The Voting Rights Act of 1965 is a landmark piece of national legislation in the United States that outlawed discriminatory voting practices that had been responsible for the widespread disenfranchisement of African Americans in the U.S....

 of 1965 did African Americans regain suffrage and other civil rights.

In 2007, the Alabama Legislature
Alabama Legislature
The Alabama Legislature is the legislative branch of the state government of Alabama. It is a bicameral body composed of the Alabama House of Representatives, with 105 members, and the Alabama Senate, with 35 members...

 passed, and Republican Governor Bob Riley
Bob Riley
Bob Riley may refer to:* Bob Riley, 52nd Governor of Alabama* Bob C. Riley, acting Governor of Arkansas for 11 days in 1975* Bob Riley , sports car designer and founder of Riley Technologies...

 signed, a resolution expressing "profound regret" over slavery and its lingering impact. In a symbolic ceremony, the bill was signed in the Alabama State Capitol
Alabama State Capitol
The Alabama State Capitol, also known as the First Confederate Capitol, is the state capitol building for Alabama. It is located on Capitol Hill, originally Goat Hill, in Montgomery. It was declared a National Historic Landmark on December 19, 1960....

, which housed Congress of the Confederate States of America
Confederate States of America
The Confederate States of America was a government set up from 1861 to 1865 by 11 Southern slave states of the United States of America that had declared their secession from the U.S...

.

State elections


With the disfranchisement of African Americans, the state became part of the "Solid South
Solid South
Solid South is the electoral support of the Southern United States for the Democratic Party candidates for nearly a century from 1877, the end of Reconstruction, to 1964, during the middle of the Civil Rights era....

," a system in which the Democratic Party
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

 became essentially the only political party in every Southern state. For nearly 100 years, local and state elections in Alabama were decided in the Democratic Party primary
Primary election
A primary election is an election in which party members or voters select candidates for a subsequent election. Primary elections are one means by which a political party nominates candidates for the next general election....

, with generally only token Republican challengers running in the General Election.

Developments in the 1986 Democratic primary election led to the election of the first Republican
Alabama Republican Party
The Alabama Republican Party is the state affiliate of the national Republican Party in Alabama. It is the dominant political party in Alabama. The state party is governed by the Alabama Republican Executive Committee. Most of the committee's more than 200 members are elected in district...

 Governor in more than 100 years and started Republicans on the road to political dominance in the state. One million voters cast ballots in the 1986 Democratic primary. The then-incumbent Lieutenant Governor, Bill Baxley
Bill Baxley
William Joseph Baxley II is an American Democratic politician and attorney.He was born in Dothan, Alabama and attended law school at the University of Alabama, graduating in 1964. He served two terms as Attorney General of Alabama, from 1971–1979; at the age of 27, he was the youngest to hold that...

, lost the Democratic
Alabama Democratic Party
The Alabama Democratic Party is the local branch of the Democratic Party in the state of Alabama. It is chaired by Judge Mark Kennedy. The Executive Director is Bradley Davidson....

 nomination for Governor by approximately 8,000 votes to then fellow Democratic Attorney General Charles Graddick
Charles Graddick
Charles Allen Graddick is Circuit Judge of the 13th Judicial Circuit of Alabama, United States.Graddick attended the all-male University Military School, the forerunner of UMS-Wright Preparatory School, graduating in 1963...

. The state Democratic party's five-member election contest committee invalidated the primary election result claiming that thousands of Republicans had "illegally" voted in the Democratic primary for Graddick and as a result they removed Graddick from the ballot. The Democratic Party then placed Baxley's name on the ballot as the Democratic candidate instead of Graddick. The voters of the state revolted at what they perceived as disenfranchisement of their right to vote and elected the Republican challenger Guy Hunt as Governor. Hunt had been nominated in a statewide Republican primary that had 28,000 participants compared to the 1,000,000 plus of the Democratic primary. That November Hunt became the first Republican Governor elected in Alabama since Reconstruction when he won 57% of the vote statewide against Baxley.

Since 1986, Republicans have won six of the seven Governors elections and become increasingly competitive in Alabama politics at many levels. They currently control both seats
111th United States Congress
The One Hundred Eleventh United States Congress was the meeting of the legislative branch of the United States federal government from January 3, 2009 until January 3, 2011. It began during the last two weeks of the George W. Bush administration, with the remainder spanning the first two years of...

 in the U.S. Senate and six out of the state's seven congressional seats
112th United States Congress
The One Hundred Twelfth United States Congress is the current meeting of the legislative branch of the United States federal government, composed of the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives. It convened in Washington, D.C. on January 3, 2011, and will end on January...

.

Republicans hold all nine seats on the Alabama Supreme Court
Alabama Supreme Court
The Supreme Court of Alabama is the highest court in the state of Alabama. The court consists of an elected Chief Justice and eight elected Associate Justices. Each justice is elected in partisan elections for staggered six year terms. The Governor of Alabama may fill vacancies when they occur...

  and all ten seats on the state appellate courts. Until 1994, no Republicans held any of the court seats. This change also began, likely in part, due to the same perception by voters of Democratic party efforts to disenfranchise voters again in 1994. In that general election, the then-incumbent Chief Justice of Alabama, Sonny Hornsby, refused to leave office after losing the election by approximately 3,000 votes to Republican Perry Oliver Hooper, Sr. Hornsby sued Alabama in court and defiantly remained in office for more than a year before finally giving up the seat after losing in court. This ultimately would lead to a collapse of support for Democrats at the ballot box in the next three or four election cycles and ultimately losing the last of the nineteen court seats following the resignation of the last Democrat in August, 2011.

Today, Republicans also hold all seven of the statewide elected executive
Political party strength in Alabama
The following table displays, by color, the party of elected officials in the U.S. state of Alabama from 1817 to the current year.As such, it may indicate the political party strength at any given time...

 branch offices. Republicans also hold six of the eight elected seats on the Alabama State Board of Education
Alabama State Board of Education
The Alabama State Board of Education is a nine-member body which authorizes the education policy for the state of Alabama. The governor is the ex officio president of the board. The remaining eight members are elected from single-member districts for four-year terms with no limit on the number of...

. In 2010, Republicans took large majorities of both chambers of the state legislature giving them control of that body for the first time in 136 years. However, Democrats hold one of the three seats on the Alabama Public Service Commission.

Only two Republican Lieutenant Governors have been elected since Reconstruction, Steve Windom
Steve Windom
Stephen Ralph Windom is an American politician who served as a Senator in the Alabama State Senate from 1989 to 1998 and as the 27th Lieutenant Governor of Alabama from 1999 to 2003....

 and Kay Ivey
Kay Ivey
Kay Ellen Ivey is a Republican politician and formerly served as the 38th Alabama State Treasurer. Ivey is the 30th and current Lieutenant Governor of Alabama, since January 2011.-Early life, education, and early political career:...

, the current Lieutenant Governor. Windom served as Lt. Governor under Democratic Gov. Don Siegelman
Don Siegelman
Don Eugene Siegelman is an American Democratic Party politician who held numerous offices in Alabama. He was the 51st Governor of Alabama for one term from 1999 to 2003...

. Before 2011, the last time that Alabama had a governor and Lieutenant Governor of the same party was the period between 1983 and 1987 when George Wallace
George Wallace
George Corley Wallace, Jr. was the 45th Governor of Alabama, serving four terms: 1963–1967, 1971–1979 and 1983–1987. "The most influential loser" in 20th-century U.S. politics, according to biographers Dan T. Carter and Stephan Lesher, he ran for U.S...

 was serving his fourth term as governor and Bill Baxley
Bill Baxley
William Joseph Baxley II is an American Democratic politician and attorney.He was born in Dothan, Alabama and attended law school at the University of Alabama, graduating in 1964. He served two terms as Attorney General of Alabama, from 1971–1979; at the age of 27, he was the youngest to hold that...

 was serving as Lieutenant Governor; both were Democrats.

In Alabama, the members of the Legislature take office immediately after the November elections, but the statewide officials, such as the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, and other constitutional offices take office in the following January.

Local elections


Many local offices (County Commissioners, Boards of Education, Tax Assessors, Tax Collectors, etc.) in the state are still held by Democrats. Local elections in most rural counties are generally decided in the Democratic primary and local elections in metropolitan and suburban counties are generally decided in the Republican Primary, although there are exceptions.

Alabama's 67 County Sheriffs are elected in partisan races and Democrats still retain the majority of those posts. The current split is 42 Democrats
Alabama Democratic Party
The Alabama Democratic Party is the local branch of the Democratic Party in the state of Alabama. It is chaired by Judge Mark Kennedy. The Executive Director is Bradley Davidson....

, 24 Republicans
Alabama Republican Party
The Alabama Republican Party is the state affiliate of the national Republican Party in Alabama. It is the dominant political party in Alabama. The state party is governed by the Alabama Republican Executive Committee. Most of the committee's more than 200 members are elected in district...

, and 1 Independent (Choctaw). However, most of the Democratic sheriffs preside over rural and less populated counties and the majority of Republican sheriffs preside over more urban/suburban and heavily populated counties. Two Alabama counties (Montgomery and Calhoun) with a population of over 100,000 have Democratic sheriffs and five Alabama counties with a population of under 75,000 have Republican sheriffs (Autauga, Coffee, Dale, Coosa, and Blount). The state has one female sheriff (Morgan) and 9 African-American sheriffs.

Federal elections

Presidential elections results
Year Republican
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

Democratic
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

State winner
2008
United States presidential election, 2008
The United States presidential election of 2008 was the 56th quadrennial presidential election. It was held on November 4, 2008. Democrat Barack Obama, then the junior United States Senator from Illinois, defeated Republican John McCain, the senior U.S. Senator from Arizona. Obama received 365...

60.32% 1,266,546 38.80% 813,479 John McCain
John McCain
John Sidney McCain III is the senior United States Senator from Arizona. He was the Republican nominee for president in the 2008 United States election....

2004 62.46% 1,176,394 36.84% 693,933 George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

2000 56.47% 944,409 41.59% 695,602 George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

1996 50.12% 769,044 43.16% 662,165 Bob Dole
Bob Dole
Robert Joseph "Bob" Dole is an American attorney and politician. Dole represented Kansas in the United States Senate from 1969 to 1996, was Gerald Ford's Vice Presidential running mate in the 1976 presidential election, and was Senate Majority Leader from 1985 to 1987 and in 1995 and 1996...

1992 47.65% 804,283 40.88% 690,080 George Bush
George H. W. Bush
George Herbert Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 41st President of the United States . He had previously served as the 43rd Vice President of the United States , a congressman, an ambassador, and Director of Central Intelligence.Bush was born in Milton, Massachusetts, to...

1988 59.17% 815,576 39.86% 549,506 George Bush
1984 60.54% 872,849 38.28% 551,899 Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan
Ronald Wilson Reagan was the 40th President of the United States , the 33rd Governor of California and, prior to that, a radio, film and television actor....

1980 48.75% 654,192 47.45% 636,730 Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan
Ronald Wilson Reagan was the 40th President of the United States , the 33rd Governor of California and, prior to that, a radio, film and television actor....

1976 42.61% 504,070 55.73% 659,170 Jimmy Carter
Jimmy Carter
James Earl "Jimmy" Carter, Jr. is an American politician who served as the 39th President of the United States and was the recipient of the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize, the only U.S. President to have received the Prize after leaving office...

1972 72.43% 728,701 25.54% 256,923 Richard Nixon
Richard Nixon
Richard Milhous Nixon was the 37th President of the United States, serving from 1969 to 1974. The only president to resign the office, Nixon had previously served as a US representative and senator from California and as the 36th Vice President of the United States from 1953 to 1961 under...

1968* 13.99% 146,923 18.72% 196,579 George Wallace
George Wallace
George Corley Wallace, Jr. was the 45th Governor of Alabama, serving four terms: 1963–1967, 1971–1979 and 1983–1987. "The most influential loser" in 20th-century U.S. politics, according to biographers Dan T. Carter and Stephan Lesher, he ran for U.S...

 (I)
1964 69.45% 479,085 30.55% 210,732 Barry Goldwater
Barry Goldwater
Barry Morris Goldwater was a five-term United States Senator from Arizona and the Republican Party's nominee for President in the 1964 election. An articulate and charismatic figure during the first half of the 1960s, he was known as "Mr...

1960 42.16% 237,981 56.39% 318,303 John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy
John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy , often referred to by his initials JFK, was the 35th President of the United States, serving from 1961 until his assassination in 1963....

*State won by George Wallace
George Wallace
George Corley Wallace, Jr. was the 45th Governor of Alabama, serving four terms: 1963–1967, 1971–1979 and 1983–1987. "The most influential loser" in 20th-century U.S. politics, according to biographers Dan T. Carter and Stephan Lesher, he ran for U.S...


of the American Independent Party
American Independent Party
The American Independent Party is a right-wing political party of the United States that was established in 1967 by Bill and Eileen Shearer. In 1968, the American Independent Party nominated George C. Wallace as its presidential candidate and retired Air Force General Curtis E. LeMay as the vice...

,
at 65.86%, or 691,425 votes


From 1876 through 1956, Alabama supported only Democratic presidential candidates, by large margins. In 1960, the Democrats won with John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy
John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy , often referred to by his initials JFK, was the 35th President of the United States, serving from 1961 until his assassination in 1963....

 on the ballot, but the Democratic electors from Alabama gave 6 of their 11 electoral votes as a protest to Harry Byrd
Harry F. Byrd
Harry Flood Byrd, Sr. of Berryville in Clarke County, Virginia, was an American newspaper publisher, farmer and politician. He was a descendant of one of the First Families of Virginia...

. In 1964
United States presidential election, 1964
The United States presidential election of 1964 was held on November 3, 1964. Incumbent President Lyndon B. Johnson had come to office less than a year earlier following the assassination of his predecessor, John F. Kennedy. Johnson, who had successfully associated himself with Kennedy's...

, Republican Barry Goldwater
Barry Goldwater
Barry Morris Goldwater was a five-term United States Senator from Arizona and the Republican Party's nominee for President in the 1964 election. An articulate and charismatic figure during the first half of the 1960s, he was known as "Mr...

 carried the state.

In the 1968 presidential election
United States presidential election, 1968
The United States presidential election of 1968 was the 46th quadrennial United States presidential election. Coming four years after Democrat Lyndon B. Johnson won in a historic landslide, it saw Johnson forced out of the race and Republican Richard Nixon elected...

, Alabama supported native son and American Independent Party
American Independent Party
The American Independent Party is a right-wing political party of the United States that was established in 1967 by Bill and Eileen Shearer. In 1968, the American Independent Party nominated George C. Wallace as its presidential candidate and retired Air Force General Curtis E. LeMay as the vice...

 candidate George Wallace
George Wallace
George Corley Wallace, Jr. was the 45th Governor of Alabama, serving four terms: 1963–1967, 1971–1979 and 1983–1987. "The most influential loser" in 20th-century U.S. politics, according to biographers Dan T. Carter and Stephan Lesher, he ran for U.S...

 over both Richard Nixon
Richard Nixon
Richard Milhous Nixon was the 37th President of the United States, serving from 1969 to 1974. The only president to resign the office, Nixon had previously served as a US representative and senator from California and as the 36th Vice President of the United States from 1953 to 1961 under...

 and Hubert Humphrey
Hubert Humphrey
Hubert Horatio Humphrey, Jr. , served under President Lyndon B. Johnson as the 38th Vice President of the United States. Humphrey twice served as a United States Senator from Minnesota, and served as Democratic Majority Whip. He was a founder of the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party and...

. Wallace was the official Democratic candidate in Alabama, while Humphrey was the National Democratic
National Democratic Party of Alabama
National Democratic Party of Alabama was a political party active in the state of Alabama, founded by John L. Cashin, Jr. in 1968. The American Bald Eagle was the symbol of the NDPA. It was often opposed by the Democratic Rooster in local democratic elections...

 nominee. In 1976
United States presidential election, 1976
The United States presidential election of 1976 followed the resignation of President Richard Nixon in the wake of the Watergate scandal. It pitted incumbent President Gerald Ford, the Republican candidate, against the relatively unknown former governor of Georgia, Jimmy Carter, the Democratic...

, Democratic candidate Jimmy Carter
Jimmy Carter
James Earl "Jimmy" Carter, Jr. is an American politician who served as the 39th President of the United States and was the recipient of the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize, the only U.S. President to have received the Prize after leaving office...

 from Georgia carried the state, the region, and the nation, but Democratic control of the region slipped after that.

Since 1980, conservative Alabama voters have increasingly voted for Republican candidates at the Federal level, especially in Presidential elections. By contrast, Democratic candidates have been elected to many state-level offices and until 2010 comprised a longstanding majority in the Alabama Legislature
Alabama Legislature
The Alabama Legislature is the legislative branch of the state government of Alabama. It is a bicameral body composed of the Alabama House of Representatives, with 105 members, and the Alabama Senate, with 35 members...

; see Dixiecrat
Dixiecrat
The States' Rights Democratic Party was a short-lived segregationist political party in the United States in 1948...

.

In 2004
United States presidential election, 2004
The United States presidential election of 2004 was the United States' 55th quadrennial presidential election. It was held on Tuesday, November 2, 2004. Republican Party candidate and incumbent President George W. Bush defeated Democratic Party candidate John Kerry, the then-junior U.S. Senator...

, George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

 won Alabama's nine electoral votes by a margin of 25 percentage points with 62.5% of the vote, mostly white voters. The 11 counties that voted Democratic were Black Belt
Black Belt (region of Alabama)
The Black Belt is a region of the U.S. state of Alabama, and part of the larger Black Belt Region of the Southern United States, which stretches from Texas to Maryland. The term originally referred to the region underlain by a thin layer of rich, black topsoil developed atop the chalk of the Selma...

 counties, where African Americans are the majority racial group.

The state's two U.S. senators
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

 are Jefferson B. Sessions III
Jeff Sessions
Jefferson Beauregard "Jeff" Sessions III is the junior United States Senator from Alabama. First elected in 1996, Sessions is a member of the Republican Party...

 and Richard C. Shelby
Richard Shelby
Richard Craig Shelby is the senior U.S. Senator from Alabama. First elected to the Senate in 1986, he is the ranking member of the United States Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs and was its chairman from 2003 to 2007....

, both Republicans.

In the U.S. House of Representatives, the state is represented by seven members, six of whom are Republicans: (Jo Bonner
Jo Bonner
Josiah Robins Bonner, Jr. is the U.S. Representative for , serving since 2003. He is a member of the Republican Party.-Early life, education, and early political career:...

, Mike D. Rogers
Mike D. Rogers
Michael Dennis "Mike" Rogers , is the U.S. Representative for , serving since 2003. He is a member of the Republican Party.-Early life and education:...

, Robert Aderholt
Robert Aderholt
Robert Brown Aderholt is the U.S. Representative for , serving since 1997. He is a member of the Republican Party.The district includes most of the far northern suburbs of Birmingham, as well as the southern suburbs of Huntsville and Decatur.- Early life, education and career :Aderholt was born in...

, Morris J. Brooks, Martha Roby
Martha Roby
Martha Dubina Roby is the U.S. Representative for . She is a member of the Republican Party. She narrowly defeated incumbent Representative Bobby Bright on November 2 during the United States House of Representatives elections in Alabama, 2010 and assumed office in January 2011.-Early life,...

, and Spencer Bachus
Spencer Bachus
Spencer Thomas Bachus III is the U.S. Representative for , serving since 1993. He is a member of the Republican Party and the senior member of the Alabama U. S. House delegation...

) and one Democrat: Terri Sewell
Terri Sewell
Terrycina Andrea "Terri" Sewell is the U.S. Representative for . She is a member of the Democratic Party and the first black woman elected to Congress from Alabama...

).

Primary and secondary education


Public primary and secondary education in Alabama is under the overview of the Alabama State Board of Education
Alabama State Board of Education
The Alabama State Board of Education is a nine-member body which authorizes the education policy for the state of Alabama. The governor is the ex officio president of the board. The remaining eight members are elected from single-member districts for four-year terms with no limit on the number of...

 as well as local oversight by 67 county school boards and 60 city boards of education. Together, 1,541 individual schools provide education for 743,364 elementary and secondary students.

Public school funding is appropriated through the Alabama Legislature through the Education Trust Fund. In FY 2006–2007, Alabama appropriated $3,775,163,578 for primary and secondary education. That represented an increase of $444,736,387 over the previous fiscal year. In 2007, over 82 percent of schools made adequate yearly progress (AYP) toward student proficiency under the National No Child Left Behind law, using measures determined by the State of Alabama. In 2004, 23 percent of schools met AYP.

While Alabama's public education system has improved, it lags behind in achievement compared to other states. According to U.S. Census data, Alabama's high school graduation rate – 75% – is the second lowest in the United States (after Mississippi). The largest educational gains were among people with some college education but without degrees.


Colleges and universities


Alabama's programs of higher education include 14 four-year public universities, two-year community colleges, and 17 private, undergraduate and graduate universities. In the state are two medical schools (University of Alabama at Birmingham
University of Alabama School of Medicine
The University of Alabama School of Medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham is a public medical school located in Birmingham, Alabama. The UAB School of Medicine has branch campuses in Huntsville and at the University of Alabama College of Community Health Sciences in Tuscaloosa...

 and University of South Alabama
University of South Alabama
The University of South Alabama is a public, doctoral-level university in Mobile, Alabama, USA. It was created by the Alabama Legislature in 1963, and replaced existing extension programs operated in Mobile by the University of Alabama. No other areas of the state were willing to support such a...

), two veterinary colleges (Auburn University
Auburn University
Auburn University is a public university located in Auburn, Alabama, United States. With more than 25,000 students and 1,200 faculty members, it is one of the largest universities in the state. Auburn was chartered on February 7, 1856, as the East Alabama Male College, a private liberal arts...

 and Tuskegee University
Tuskegee University
Tuskegee University is a private, historically black university located in Tuskegee, Alabama, United States. It is a member school of the Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund...

), a dental school (University of Alabama at Birmingham
University of Alabama at Birmingham
The University of Alabama at Birmingham is a public university in Birmingham in the U.S. state of Alabama. Developing from an extension center established in 1936, the institution became an autonomous institution in 1969 and is today one of three institutions in the University of Alabama System...

), an optometry college (University of Alabama at Birmingham
University of Alabama at Birmingham
The University of Alabama at Birmingham is a public university in Birmingham in the U.S. state of Alabama. Developing from an extension center established in 1936, the institution became an autonomous institution in 1969 and is today one of three institutions in the University of Alabama System...

), two pharmacy schools (Auburn University
Auburn University
Auburn University is a public university located in Auburn, Alabama, United States. With more than 25,000 students and 1,200 faculty members, it is one of the largest universities in the state. Auburn was chartered on February 7, 1856, as the East Alabama Male College, a private liberal arts...

 and Samford University
Samford University
Samford University, founded as Howard College is a private, coeducational, Alabama Baptist Convention-affiliated university located in Homewood, a suburb of Birmingham, Alabama, United States. It includes the , Cumberland School of Law, McWhorter School of Pharmacy, Brock School of Business, Ida V....

), and five law schools (University of Alabama School of Law
University of Alabama School of Law
The University of Alabama School of Law located in Tuscaloosa, Alabama is a nationally ranked top-tier law school and the only public law school in the state. In total, it is one of five law schools in the state, and one of three that are ABA accredited.The diverse student body, of approximately...

, Birmingham School of Law
Birmingham School of Law
The Birmingham School of Law is a state accredited law school located in Birmingham, Alabama. Founded in 1915 by Judge Hugh A. Locke, a judge of the Chancery Court and president of the , the Birmingham School of Law offers a part-time program of study in which graduates receive the Juris Doctor ...

, Cumberland School of Law
Cumberland School of Law
Cumberland School of Law is an ABA accredited law school at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama. The 11th oldest law school in the United States, it is 160 years old and has more than 11,000 graduates. Its alumni include two United States Supreme Court Justices; Nobel Peace Prize recipient...

, Miles Law School
Miles Law School
Miles Law School is a state accredited law school located in Birmingham, Alabama. It is independent of Miles College.Miles Law School was founded on August 26, 1974. Among the founders were Bishop C. A. Kirkendoll of the C.M.E. Church, Dr. W. Clyde Williams, former president of Miles College,...

, and the Thomas Goode Jones School of Law
Thomas Goode Jones School of Law
The Thomas Goode Jones School of Law, also known as Jones Law, JLS or JSL, is one of the professional graduate schools of Faulkner University. Located in Montgomery, Alabama-History:...

). Public, post-secondary education in Alabama is overseen by the Alabama Commission on Higher Education. Colleges and universities in Alabama offer degree programs from two-year associate degrees to 16 doctoral level programs.

The largest single campus is the University of Alabama
University of Alabama
The University of Alabama is a public coeducational university located in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, United States....

, located in Tuscaloosa
Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Tuscaloosa is a city in and the seat of Tuscaloosa County in west central Alabama . Located on the Black Warrior River, it is the fifth-largest city in Alabama, with a population of 90,468 in 2010...

, with 31,747 enrolled for fall 2011. Troy University
Troy University
Troy University is a public university that is located in Troy, Alabama, United States. It was originally founded in 1887 as Troy Normal School. Its main campus enrollment is 7,194 students. The total enrollment of all Troy University campuses is 29,689...

 is the largest institution in the state, enrolling 29,689 students (as of 2010) across four Alabama campuses (Troy
Troy, Alabama
Troy is a city in Pike County, Alabama, United States. As of the 2010 census, the population was 18,003. Troy experienced a growth spurt of over 4,000+ people since 2000. The city is the county seat of Pike County....

, Dothan
Dothan, Alabama
Dothan is a city located in the southeastern corner of the US state of Alabama, situated approximately west of the Georgia state line and north of Florida. It is the seat of Houston County, with portions extending into nearby Dale County and Henry County...

, Montgomery
Montgomery, Alabama
Montgomery is the capital of the U.S. state of Alabama, and is the county seat of Montgomery County. It is located on the Alabama River southeast of the center of the state, in the Gulf Coastal Plain. As of the 2010 census, Montgomery had a population of 205,764 making it the second-largest city...

, and Phenix City
Phenix City, Alabama
Phenix City is a city and the county seat in Russell County in the U.S. state of Alabama. Portions of Lee County are addressed as Phenix City, 36870 ZIP code, for the sole purpose that Smiths Station does not have full incorporation to annex the area...

), as well as sixty learning sites in seventeen other states and eleven other countries. The oldest institutions are the public University of North Alabama
University of North Alabama
The University of North Alabama is a coeducational university located in Florence, Alabama, and the state's oldest four-year public university....

 in Florence
Florence, Alabama
Florence is the county seat of Lauderdale County, Alabama, United States, in the northwestern corner of the state.According to the 2005 Census Bureau estimates, the city's population was 36,721....

 and the Catholic Church-affiliated Spring Hill College
Spring Hill College
Spring Hill College is a private, Roman Catholic Jesuit liberal arts college in the United States. It was founded in 1830 on the Gulf Coast in Mobile, Alabama, by Most Rev. Michael Portier, Bishop of Mobile, Alabama...

 in Mobile
Mobile, Alabama
Mobile is the third most populous city in the Southern US state of Alabama and is the county seat of Mobile County. It is located on the Mobile River and the central Gulf Coast of the United States. The population within the city limits was 195,111 during the 2010 census. It is the largest...

, both founded in 1830.

Accreditation of academic programs is through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools is one of the six regional accreditation organizations recognized by the United States Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation...

 (SACS) as well as other subject-focused national and international accreditation agencies such as the Association for Biblical Higher Education (ABHE), the Council on Occupational Education
Council on Occupational Education
The Council on Occupational Education or is national institutional accrediting agency recognized by the US Department of Education. Originally founded in 1971 as a regional accrediting agency of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, COE became a national accrediting agency in 1995...

 (COE), and the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools
Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools
The Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools is a non-profit education corporation recognized by both the United States Secretary of Education and Council for Higher Education Accreditation as an independent and autonomous national accrediting body that accredits institutions of...

 (ACICS).

According to the 2011 U.S. News and World Report, Alabama had three universities ranked in the top 100 Public Schools in America (University of Alabama at 31, Auburn University
Auburn University
Auburn University is a public university located in Auburn, Alabama, United States. With more than 25,000 students and 1,200 faculty members, it is one of the largest universities in the state. Auburn was chartered on February 7, 1856, as the East Alabama Male College, a private liberal arts...

 at 36, and University of Alabama at Birmingham
University of Alabama at Birmingham
The University of Alabama at Birmingham is a public university in Birmingham in the U.S. state of Alabama. Developing from an extension center established in 1936, the institution became an autonomous institution in 1969 and is today one of three institutions in the University of Alabama System...

 at 73).

Professional sports teams


Alabama has several minor league
Minor league
Minor leagues are professional sports leagues which are not regarded as the premier leagues in those sports. Minor league teams tend to play in smaller, less elaborate venues, often competing in smaller cities. This term is used in North America with regard to several organizations competing in...

 professional teams including four minor league baseball
Minor league baseball
Minor league baseball is a hierarchy of professional baseball leagues in the Americas that compete at levels below Major League Baseball and provide opportunities for player development. All of the minor leagues are operated as independent businesses...

 teams.
Club City Sport League Venue Notes
Alabama Hammers
Alabama Hammers
The Alabama Hammers are a professional indoor football team in the Professional Indoor Football League. Based in Huntsville, Alabama, the Hammers play their home games at the Von Braun Center....

Huntsville Arena football
Arena football
Arena football is a variety of gridiron football played by the Arena Football League . It is a proprietary game, the rights to which are owned by Gridiron Enterprises, and is played indoors on a smaller field than American or Canadian outdoor football, resulting in a faster and higher-scoring game....

Southern Indoor Football League
Southern Indoor Football League
The Southern Indoor Football League was an indoor football league based in the Southern and Eastern United States. The most recent incarnation of the league was a consolidation of an earlier league of the same name that was formed by Thom Hager along with Dan Blum, Robert Winfrey and Dan Ryan in...

Von Braun Center
Von Braun Center
The Von Braun Center , known as the Von Braun Civic Center until 1997, is a multi-purpose indoor arena, meeting, and performing arts complex, with a maximum arena seating capacity of 10,000, located in Huntsville, Alabama...

Birmingham Barons
Birmingham Barons
The Birmingham Barons are a minor league baseball team based in Birmingham, Alabama. The team, which plays in the Southern League, is the Double-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox major-league club....

Birmingham Baseball Southern League
Southern League (baseball)
The Southern League is a minor league baseball league which operates in the Southern United States. It is classified a Double-A league. The original league was formed in , and shut down in . A new league, the Southern Association, was formed in , consisting of twelve teams...

Regions Park
Huntsville Havoc
Huntsville Havoc
The Huntsville Havoc are a professional ice hockey team in the Southern Professional Hockey League . They play their home games at the Von Braun Center in downtown Huntsville, Alabama.-History:...

Huntsville Ice Hockey
Ice hockey
Ice hockey, often referred to as hockey, is a team sport played on ice, in which skaters use wooden or composite sticks to shoot a hard rubber puck into their opponent's net. The game is played between two teams of six players each. Five members of each team skate up and down the ice trying to take...

Southern Professional Hockey League
Southern Professional Hockey League
The Southern Professional Hockey League is a low-level professional ice hockey league based in Charlotte, North Carolina, with teams located in the southeastern United States.- History :...

Von Braun Center
Von Braun Center
The Von Braun Center , known as the Von Braun Civic Center until 1997, is a multi-purpose indoor arena, meeting, and performing arts complex, with a maximum arena seating capacity of 10,000, located in Huntsville, Alabama...

Huntsville Stars
Huntsville Stars
The Huntsville Stars are a minor league baseball team of the Southern League and are the Double-A affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers. They are located in Huntsville, Alabama and are named for the space industry with which Huntsville is economically tied .The Stars play their home games at Joe W...

Huntsville Baseball Southern League Joe W. Davis Stadium
Joe W. Davis Stadium
Joe W. Davis Stadium was built in 1985 in Huntsville, Alabama, United States to host the Southern League Huntsville Stars minor league baseball team. The stadium is a multi-purpose facility that seats 10,200 with 15 air-conditioned skyboxes. Ticket offices and general office are located on the...

Mobile BayBears
Mobile BayBears
The Mobile BayBears are a minor league baseball team based in Mobile, Alabama, United States. The team, which plays in the Southern League, is the Double-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks major league club. The BayBears play in Hank Aaron Stadium, named after baseball's former all-time home...

Mobile Baseball Southern League Hank Aaron Stadium
Hank Aaron Stadium
Hank Aaron Stadium is a baseball park in Mobile, Alabama. It hosts the Mobile BayBears, a minor-league professional team in the Southern League. The stadium opened in 1997 and has a capacity of 6,000. The ballpark was named after Major League Baseball's home run king and Mobile native Hank Aaron...

Montgomery Biscuits
Montgomery Biscuits
The Montgomery Biscuits are a minor league baseball team based in Montgomery, Alabama. The team is the Class AA affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays and plays in the Southern League. The 2004 season was the team's first in Montgomery...

Montgomery Baseball Southern League Montgomery Riverwalk Stadium
Montgomery Riverwalk Stadium
Montgomery Riverwalk Stadium is the home of the Montgomery Biscuits of the Southern League. The minor league baseball ballpark opened in Montgomery, Alabama in 2004. It is built into the Riverfront Inn and has a total capacity of 7,000, including general-admission lawn seating. The stadium offers...

Rocket City United
Rocket City United
Rocket City United is an American soccer team based in Huntsville, Alabama, United States. Founded in 2007, the team plays in the National Premier Soccer League , a national amateur league at the fourth tier of the American Soccer Pyramid, in the Southeast Division.The team plays its home games at...

Huntsville Soccer National Premier Soccer League
National Premier Soccer League
The National Premier Soccer League is a United States soccer league recognized by the United States Soccer Federation and FIFA as a Division IV league...

Madison City Schools Stadium
Tennessee Valley Tigers
Tennessee Valley Tigers
The Tennessee Valley Tigers is a women's American football team located in Huntsville, Alabama. The Tigers joined the Women's Spring Football League in 2011 and will play their first WSFL season in the spring of 2012. This will be the Tigers' fourth season overall, after three seasons in the...

Huntsville Football
American football
American football is a sport played between two teams of eleven with the objective of scoring points by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone. Known in the United States simply as football, it may also be referred to informally as gridiron football. The ball can be advanced by...

Independent Women's Football League
Independent Women's Football League
The Independent Women's Football League was founded in 2000, and began play in 2001.IWFL founders began with the goal to establish a quality women's football league that would be respected as the top level of women's tackle football in the world....

Milton Frank Stadium
Milton frank stadium
Milton Frank Stadium is a 12,000-seat multi-purpose stadium in Huntsville, Alabama. It was used for Alabama A&M football games before the creation of Louis Crews Stadium. It is currently used mainly for Huntsville City Schools high school and middle school football and soccer games. Construction...

replaced the Alabama Renegades

Venues


Alabama has four of the world's largest stadiums by seating capacity: Talladega Superspeedway
Talladega Superspeedway
Talladega Superspeedway is a motorsports complex located north of Talladega, Alabama, United States. It is located on the former Anniston Air Force Base just outside the small city of Lincoln. It was constructed by International Speedway Corporation, a business controlled by the France Family, in...

 in Talladega
Talladega, Alabama
Talladega is a city in Talladega County, Alabama, United States. At the 2000 census the population was 15,143. The city is the county seat of Talladega County. Talladega is approximately 50 miles east of Birmingham, Alabama....

, Bryant-Denny Stadium
Bryant-Denny Stadium
Bryant–Denny Stadium, located in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, is the home stadium for the University of Alabama football team. The stadium opened in 1929, and was originally named Denny Stadium, in honor of former Alabama president George Hutchenson Denny...

 in Tuscaloosa
Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Tuscaloosa is a city in and the seat of Tuscaloosa County in west central Alabama . Located on the Black Warrior River, it is the fifth-largest city in Alabama, with a population of 90,468 in 2010...

, Jordan-Hare Stadium
Jordan-Hare Stadium
Jordan–Hare Stadium is the playing venue for Auburn University's football team located on campus in Auburn, Alabama, USA. The stadium is named for Ralph "Shug" Jordan, the University's winningest football coach, and Cliff Hare, a member of Auburn's first football team as well as Dean of the Auburn...

 in Auburn
Auburn, Alabama
Auburn is a city in Lee County, Alabama, United States. It is the largest city in eastern Alabama with a 2010 population of 53,380. It is a principal city of the Auburn-Opelika Metropolitan Area...

 and Legion Field
Legion Field
Legion Field is a large stadium in Birmingham, Alabama, United States, primarily designed to be used as a venue for American football, but is occasionally used for other large outdoor events. The stadium is named in honor of the American Legion, a U.S. organization of military veterans. At its peak...

 in Birmingham
Birmingham, Alabama
Birmingham is the largest city in Alabama. The city is the county seat of Jefferson County. According to the 2010 United States Census, Birmingham had a population of 212,237. The Birmingham-Hoover Metropolitan Area, in estimate by the U.S...

.

The Talladega Superspeedway motorsports complex hosts a series of NASCAR
NASCAR
The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing is a family-owned and -operated business venture that sanctions and governs multiple auto racing sports events. It was founded by Bill France Sr. in 1947–48. As of 2009, the CEO for the company is Brian France, grandson of the late Bill France Sr...

 events. It has a seating capacity of 143,000 and is the thirteenth largest stadium in the world and sixth largest stadium in America. Bryant-Denny Stadium serves as the home of the University of Alabama
University of Alabama
The University of Alabama is a public coeducational university located in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, United States....

 football team has a seating capacity of 101,821. It is the fifth largest stadium in America and the eighth largest non-racing stadium in the world. Jordan-Hare Stadium is the home field of the Auburn University
Auburn University
Auburn University is a public university located in Auburn, Alabama, United States. With more than 25,000 students and 1,200 faculty members, it is one of the largest universities in the state. Auburn was chartered on February 7, 1856, as the East Alabama Male College, a private liberal arts...

 football team and has a seating capacity of 87,451. It is the twelfth largest college football stadium in America. Legion Field is home for the UAB Blazers
UAB Blazers
The UAB Blazers are the forest green and old gold-swathed athletic teams at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. The school is one of the twelve member institutions of Conference USA and participates in Division I of the NCAA...

 football program and the Papajohns.com Bowl. It seats 71,594.

Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile
Mobile, Alabama
Mobile is the third most populous city in the Southern US state of Alabama and is the county seat of Mobile County. It is located on the Mobile River and the central Gulf Coast of the United States. The population within the city limits was 195,111 during the 2010 census. It is the largest...

 serves as the home of the NCAA Senior Bowl
Senior Bowl
The Senior Bowl is a post-season college football exhibition game played in Mobile, Alabama which showcases the best NFL Draft prospects of those collegiate players who have completed their eligibility. First played in 1950 in Jacksonville, Florida, the game moved to Mobile's Ladd Peebles Stadium...

, GoDaddy.com Bowl, Alabama-Mississippi All Star Classic and home of the University of South Alabama
University of South Alabama
The University of South Alabama is a public, doctoral-level university in Mobile, Alabama, USA. It was created by the Alabama Legislature in 1963, and replaced existing extension programs operated in Mobile by the University of Alabama. No other areas of the state were willing to support such a...

 football team. Ladd-Peebles Stadium opened in 1948 and seats 40,646.

In 2009, Bryant-Denny Stadium and Jordan-Hare Stadium became the homes of the Alabama High School Athletic Association
Alabama High School Athletic Association
The Alabama High School Athletic Association , based in Montgomery, is the agency which oversees interscholastic athletic programs for public schools in Alabama....

 state football championship games, known as the Super Six. Bryant-Denny hosts the Super Six in odd-numbered years, with Jordan-Hare taking the games in even-numbered years. Previously, the Super Six was held at Legion Field in Birmingham.

Transportation



Air transportation



Major airports in Alabama include Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport (BHM), Huntsville International Airport
Huntsville International Airport
Huntsville International Airport , also known as Carl T. Jones Field, is an airport located 9 miles southwest of the central business district of Huntsville, a city in Madison County, Alabama, United States...

 (HSV), Dothan Regional Airport
Dothan Regional Airport
Dothan Regional Airport is a public use airport in the Dale County portion of Dothan, Alabama, located five nautical miles northwest of the central business district of Dothan, a city primarily in Houston County, Alabama, United States...

 (DHN), Mobile Regional Airport
Mobile Regional Airport
Mobile Regional Airport is a joint public and military use airport located 11 nautical miles west of the central business district of Mobile, a city in Mobile County, Alabama, United States. It is also near Pascagoula, Mississippi....

 (MOB), Montgomery Regional Airport
Montgomery Regional Airport
Montgomery Regional Airport , also known as Dannelly Field, is a joint civil-military public airport located six miles southwest of the central business district of Montgomery, a city in Montgomery County and the capital of the U.S. state of Alabama...

 (MGM), Muscle Shoals – Northwest Alabama Regional Airport
Northwest Alabama Regional Airport
Northwest Alabama Regional Airport is a public-use airport in Colbert County, Alabama, United States. It located one nautical mile east of the central business district of Muscle Shoals. The airport is operated by the counties of Colbert and Lauderdale. It is mostly used for general aviation, but...

 (MSL), Tuscaloosa Regional Airport
Tuscaloosa Regional Airport
Tuscaloosa Regional Airport is a city-owned public-use airport located three nautical miles northwest of the central business district of Tuscaloosa, a city in Tuscaloosa County, Alabama, United States...

 (TCL), and Pryor Field Regional Airport
Pryor Field Regional Airport
Pryor Field Regional Airport is a public airport located three miles northeast of the central business district of Decatur and south of Athens, in Limestone County, Alabama, United States...

 (DCU).

Rail


For rail transport, Amtrak
Amtrak
The National Railroad Passenger Corporation, doing business as Amtrak , is a government-owned corporation that was organized on May 1, 1971, to provide intercity passenger train service in the United States. "Amtrak" is a portmanteau of the words "America" and "track". It is headquartered at Union...

 schedules the Crescent, a daily passenger train, running from New York to New Orleans with stops at Anniston, Birmingham, and Tuscaloosa.

Roads


Alabama has five major interstate roads that cross the state: I-65 runs north–south roughly through the middle of the state; I-59/I-20 travels from the central west border to Birmingham, where I-59 continues to the north-east corner of the state and I-20 continues east towards Atlanta; I-85 originates in Montgomery and runs east-northeast to the Georgia border, providing a main thoroughfare to Atlanta; and I-10 traverses the southernmost portion of the state, running from west to east through Mobile. Another interstate road, I-22, is currently under construction. When completed around 2012 it will connect Birmingham with Memphis, Tennessee
Memphis, Tennessee
Memphis is a city in the southwestern corner of the U.S. state of Tennessee, and the county seat of Shelby County. The city is located on the 4th Chickasaw Bluff, south of the confluence of the Wolf and Mississippi rivers....

. Several U.S.Highways also pass through the state, such as US 11
U.S. Route 11
U.S. Route 11 is a north–south United States highway extending 1,645 miles across the eastern United States. The southern terminus of the route is at U.S. Route 90 in the Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge in eastern New Orleans, Louisiana. The northern terminus is at the United...

, US 29
U.S. Route 29
U.S. Route 29 is a north–south United States highway that runs for from the western suburbs of Baltimore, Maryland, to Pensacola, Florida. This highway's northern terminus is at Maryland Route 99 in Ellicott City, Maryland...

, US 31
U.S. Route 31
U.S. Route 31 is a long north–south highway connecting northern Michigan to southern Alabama, with its northern terminus at Interstate 75 near Mackinaw City, Michigan, and southern terminus at the combined U.S. Route 90 & U.S. Route 98 at Spanish Fort, Alabama...

, US 43
U.S. Route 43
U.S. Route 43 is a north–south United States highway that runs for 410 miles from central Tennessee to Mobile, Alabama. The highway's southern terminus is in Mobile, Alabama, at U.S. Route 45. Its northern terminus is Columbia, Tennessee, at U.S. Route 31.-Alabama:Between Mobile and Fayette...

, US 72
U.S. Route 72
U.S. Route 72 is an east–west United States highway that runs for 337 miles from southeast Tennessee through northern Alabama and northern Mississippi to southwest Tennessee. The highway's eastern terminus is Chattanooga, Tennessee. Its western terminus is Memphis, Tennessee...

, US 78
U.S. Route 78
U.S. Highway 78 is an east–west United States highway that runs for 715 miles from Memphis, Tennessee, to Charleston, South Carolina. Between Memphis and Birmingham, Alabama, it is being upgraded to become Interstate 22....

, US 80
U.S. Route 80
U.S. Route 80 is an east–west United States highway, much of which was once part of the early auto trail known as the Dixie Overland Highway. As the "0" in the route number indicates, it was originally a cross-country route, from the Atlantic to the Pacific...

, US 82
U.S. Route 82
U.S. Route 82 is an east–west United States highway in the southern United States. What started as a 1932 addition to the system across central Mississippi and southern Arkansas eventually became a 1,609 mile route extending from the White Sands of New Mexico to Georgia's Atlantic coast.The...

, US 84
U.S. Route 84
U.S. Route 84 is an east–west United States highway. It started as a short Georgia-Alabama route in the original 1926 scheme, but now extends all the way to Colorado. The highway's eastern terminus is a short distance east of Midway, Georgia, at an intersection with I-95. The road continues...

, US 90
U.S. Route 90
U.S. Route 90 is an east–west United States highway. Despite the "0" in its route number, U.S. 90 never was a full coast-to-coast route; it has always ended at Van Horn, Texas. A short-lived northward extension to U.S...

, US 98
U.S. Route 98
U.S. Route 98 is an east–west United States highway that runs from western Mississippi to southern Florida. It was established in 1933 as a route between Pensacola, Florida and Apalachicola, Florida, and has since been extended westward into Mississippi and eastward across the Florida...

, US 231
U.S. Route 231
U.S. Route 231 is a parallel route of U.S. Route 31. It currently runs for 912 miles from St. John, Indiana, at U.S. Route 41 to south of U.S. Route 98 in Downtown Panama City, Florida.One of its most notable landmarks is the William H...

, US 278
U.S. Route 278
U.S. Route 278 is a parallel route of U.S. Route 78. It currently runs for 1,074 miles from Hilton Head Island, South Carolina to Wickes, Arkansas at U.S. Highway 71/U.S. Highway 59. It might be notable that it is longer than its parent highway, US Hwy-78. US Hwy-278 passes through the states of...

, US 280
U.S. Route 280
U.S. Route 280 is a spur of U.S. Highway 80. It currently runs for 392 miles from Blichton, Georgia at U.S. Highway 80 to Birmingham, Alabama at I-20/I-59. For much of its route, U.S. 280 travels through rural areas and smaller cities in southern Georgia and east central Alabama. Once the...

, and US 431
U.S. Route 431
U.S. Route 431 is a spur of U.S. Route 31. It currently runs for 556 miles from Owensboro, Kentucky at U.S. Route 60 to Dothan, Alabama, at U.S. Route 231 and U.S. Route 84. Through many parts of US 431 it is a two lane with not many places of it being a four lane highway.-Alabama:U.S. 431 is...

.

There are four toll roads in the state: Alabama River Parkway in Montgomery
Montgomery, Alabama
Montgomery is the capital of the U.S. state of Alabama, and is the county seat of Montgomery County. It is located on the Alabama River southeast of the center of the state, in the Gulf Coastal Plain. As of the 2010 census, Montgomery had a population of 205,764 making it the second-largest city...

; Black Warrior Parkway in Tuscaloosa
Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Tuscaloosa is a city in and the seat of Tuscaloosa County in west central Alabama . Located on the Black Warrior River, it is the fifth-largest city in Alabama, with a population of 90,468 in 2010...

; Emerald Mountain Expressway in Montgomery
Montgomery, Alabama
Montgomery is the capital of the U.S. state of Alabama, and is the county seat of Montgomery County. It is located on the Alabama River southeast of the center of the state, in the Gulf Coastal Plain. As of the 2010 census, Montgomery had a population of 205,764 making it the second-largest city...

; Foley Beach Express in Foley
Foley, Alabama
Foley is a city in Baldwin County, Alabama, United States.The 2000 census lists the population of the city as 7,590.Foley is a principal city of the Daphne–Fairhope–Foley Micropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Baldwin County....

; Montgomery Expressway in Montgomery and four toll bridges: Alabama River Parkway Bridge in Montgomery; Black Warrior Parkway Bridge in Tuscaloosa; Emerald Mountain Expressway Bridge in Montgomery; and Foley Beach Express Bridge in Foley.

In March 2011, Alabama ranked among the top five "Worst" states on the American State Litter Scorecard, for overall poor effectiveness and quality of its statewide public space cleanliness—primarily roadway and adjacent litter removals—from state and related efforts.

Ports


Alabama has one seaport, in Mobile on the Gulf of Mexico
Gulf of Mexico
The Gulf of Mexico is a partially landlocked ocean basin largely surrounded by the North American continent and the island of Cuba. It is bounded on the northeast, north and northwest by the Gulf Coast of the United States, on the southwest and south by Mexico, and on the southeast by Cuba. In...

. The state's other ports are on rivers with access to the Gulf.

Water ports of Alabama, listed from north to south:
align = bottom |
Port name Location Connected to
Port of Florence
Florence, Alabama
Florence is the county seat of Lauderdale County, Alabama, United States, in the northwestern corner of the state.According to the 2005 Census Bureau estimates, the city's population was 36,721....

 
Florence
Florence, Alabama
Florence is the county seat of Lauderdale County, Alabama, United States, in the northwestern corner of the state.According to the 2005 Census Bureau estimates, the city's population was 36,721....

/Muscle Shoals
Muscle Shoals, Alabama
Muscle Shoals is a city in Colbert County, Alabama, United States. As of 2007, the United States Census Bureau estimated the population of the city to be 12,846. The city is included in The Shoals MSA. It is famous for its contributions to American popular music.-Geography:Muscle Shoals is located...

, on Pickwick Lake
Pickwick Lake
Pickwick Lake is the reservoir created by Pickwick Landing Dam as part of the Tennessee Valley Authority. The lake stretches from Pickwick Landing Dam to Wilson Dam....

Tennessee River
Tennessee River
The Tennessee River is the largest tributary of the Ohio River. It is approximately 652 miles long and is located in the southeastern United States in the Tennessee Valley. The river was once popularly known as the Cherokee River, among other names...

Port of Decatur
Port of Decatur
The Port of Decatur is a transshipment port on the Tennessee River, in the city of Decatur, Alabama, United States of America. The port was founded in 1971.- Port facilities :...

 
Decatur
Decatur, Alabama
Decatur is a city in Limestone and Morgan Counties in the U.S. state of Alabama. The city, affectionately known as "The River City", is located in Northern Alabama on the banks of Wheeler Lake, along the Tennessee River. It is the largest city and county seat of Morgan County...

, on Wheeler Lake
Wheeler Lake
Wheeler Lake is located in the northern part of the United States state of Alabama, between Rogersville and Huntsville. Created by Wheeler Dam along the Tennessee River, it stretches 60 miles from Wheeler Dam to Guntersville Dam...

Tennessee River
Port of Guntersville
Guntersville, Alabama
Guntersville is a city in Marshall County, Alabama, United States and is included in the Huntsville-Decatur Combined Statistical Area. At the 2010 census, the population of the city was 8,197. The city is the county seat of Marshall County. Guntersville is located in a HUBZone as identified by the...

 
Guntersville
Guntersville, Alabama
Guntersville is a city in Marshall County, Alabama, United States and is included in the Huntsville-Decatur Combined Statistical Area. At the 2010 census, the population of the city was 8,197. The city is the county seat of Marshall County. Guntersville is located in a HUBZone as identified by the...

, on Lake Guntersville
Tennessee River
Port of Birmingham
Birmingham, Alabama
Birmingham is the largest city in Alabama. The city is the county seat of Jefferson County. According to the 2010 United States Census, Birmingham had a population of 212,237. The Birmingham-Hoover Metropolitan Area, in estimate by the U.S...

 
Birmingham
Birmingham, Alabama
Birmingham is the largest city in Alabama. The city is the county seat of Jefferson County. According to the 2010 United States Census, Birmingham had a population of 212,237. The Birmingham-Hoover Metropolitan Area, in estimate by the U.S...

, on Black Warrior River
Black Warrior River
The Black Warrior River is a waterway in west central Alabama in the southeastern United States. The river rises in the extreme southern edges of the Appalachian Highlands and flows 178 miles to the Tombigbee River, of which the Black Warrior is the primary tributary...

Tenn-Tom Waterway
Port of Tuscaloosa
Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Tuscaloosa is a city in and the seat of Tuscaloosa County in west central Alabama . Located on the Black Warrior River, it is the fifth-largest city in Alabama, with a population of 90,468 in 2010...

 
Tuscaloosa
Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Tuscaloosa is a city in and the seat of Tuscaloosa County in west central Alabama . Located on the Black Warrior River, it is the fifth-largest city in Alabama, with a population of 90,468 in 2010...

, on Black Warrior River
Tenn-Tom Waterway
Port of Montgomery
Montgomery, Alabama
Montgomery is the capital of the U.S. state of Alabama, and is the county seat of Montgomery County. It is located on the Alabama River southeast of the center of the state, in the Gulf Coastal Plain. As of the 2010 census, Montgomery had a population of 205,764 making it the second-largest city...

 
Montgomery
Montgomery, Alabama
Montgomery is the capital of the U.S. state of Alabama, and is the county seat of Montgomery County. It is located on the Alabama River southeast of the center of the state, in the Gulf Coastal Plain. As of the 2010 census, Montgomery had a population of 205,764 making it the second-largest city...

, on Woodruff Lake
Alabama River
Alabama River
The Alabama River, in the U.S. state of Alabama, is formed by the Tallapoosa and Coosa rivers, which unite about north of Montgomery.The river flows west to Selma, then southwest until, about from Mobile, it unites with the Tombigbee, forming the Mobile and Tensaw rivers, which discharge into...

Port of Mobile
Port of Mobile
The Port of Mobile, located in Mobile, Alabama, United States, is the only deep-water port in the state, and was the 9th largest by tonnage in the nation in 2008. It is located along the Mobile River where it empties into Mobile Bay...

 
Mobile
Mobile, Alabama
Mobile is the third most populous city in the Southern US state of Alabama and is the county seat of Mobile County. It is located on the Mobile River and the central Gulf Coast of the United States. The population within the city limits was 195,111 during the 2010 census. It is the largest...

, on Mobile Bay
Mobile Bay
Mobile Bay is an inlet of the Gulf of Mexico, lying within the state of Alabama in the United States. Its mouth is formed by the Fort Morgan Peninsula on the eastern side and Dauphin Island, a barrier island on the western side. The Mobile River and Tensaw River empty into the northern end of the...

Gulf of Mexico
Gulf of Mexico
The Gulf of Mexico is a partially landlocked ocean basin largely surrounded by the North American continent and the island of Cuba. It is bounded on the northeast, north and northwest by the Gulf Coast of the United States, on the southwest and south by Mexico, and on the southeast by Cuba. In...


See also




Further reading

For a detailed bibliography, see the History of Alabama
History of Alabama
Alabama became a state of the United States of America on December 14, 1819. After the Indian Wars and removals of the early 19th century forced most Native Americans out of the state, white settlers arrived in large numbers....

.
  • Atkins, Leah Rawls, Wayne Flynt, William Warren Rogers, and David Ward. Alabama: The History of a Deep South State (1994)
  • Flynt, Wayne. Alabama in the Twentieth Century (2004)
  • Owen Thomas M. History of Alabama and Dictionary of Alabama Biography 4 vols. 1921.
  • Jackson, Harvey H. Inside Alabama: A Personal History of My State (2004)
  • Mohl, Raymond A. "Latinization in the Heart of Dixie: Hispanics in Late-twentieth-century Alabama" Alabama Review 2002 55(4): 243–274. ISSN 0002-4341
  • Peirce, Neal R. The Deep South States of America: People, Politics, and Power in the Seven Deep South States (1974). Information on politics and economics 1960–72.
  • Williams, Benjamin Buford. A Literary History of Alabama: The Nineteenth Century 1979.
  • WPA. Guide to Alabama (1939)

External links