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The South > Alabama > Background

SOURCES: Wikipedia: U.S. state; StateMaster; Wikipedia: List of North American area codes ; Wikipedia: United States postal abbreviations
Date of join 1819-12-14
Landscapes and History
Known as the ‘Heart of Dixie’, Alabama landscape stretches from the gulf shores of Mobile Bay to the southern regions of the Appalachian Mountains in the northeast. In between, fertile land and historic plantations are mixed in with wooded areas, snaking rivers and sprawling lakes. Admission to the Union was delayed for a lack of coastline, but after Andrew Jackson captured the Spanish port of Mobile in 1814, Alabama was admitted as the 22nd state on December 14th 1819. First a major cotton producer, the state moved to peanuts when the crop was routed by boll weevels in the early 1900’s. Alabama was a major proponent of secession in the years leading up to the U.S. Civil War. Though never a major battleground during the war, the first capital of the Confederacy was located in Montgomery, and the state contributed significant troops and supplies to the war effort. Reconstruction was a slow and painful period for Alabama, and over the years, the state hardened into one of the bastions of the segregation movement. The 1920’s saw the emergence of the KKK as a movement with significant political clout (though its membership and power plummeted after 1930). The Civil Rights movement took center stage in Alabama in the 1950’s and 60’s, the most notable events being the Montgomery Bus Boycott and marches led by Dr. Martin Luther King. The Red Stone Arsenal, located in Huntsville was the facility responsible for many of the developments in early American space travel.
North American area codes > Codes
205, 251, 256, 334
People and Politics
Demographically, the percentage of Whites in the state (71.1% in 2000) has decreased over the past several decades, whereas Black and Hispanic populations have steadily risen. The population growth in Alabama is 2.5% from 2000 to 2005, which is significantly lower than neighboring states Georgia, Florida and Tennessee, and slightly lower than Mississippi. The historic capital of Montgomery is located in the center of the state, and industrious Birmingham is the largest city. Other notable urban areas include Mobile in the extreme south, and Huntsville in the north. Though agriculture is still an important part of the economy, industry and in particular emerging bio-technology and communications firms are increasing their presence in the state. Timber is also an important economic earner. Following the Civil War, the Democratic Party dominated the political scene for approximately 100 years. Things began to change in the state in the late 1960’s as the emphasis on state’s rights by the Republican Party dovetailed with a perception of increasing liberalism within the national Democratic Party. Today, the state tends to send its 9 electoral votes to the Republican Party (as it did in 2004) while electing Democrats to local governmental positions.
US postal abbreviations > FIPS State Code 1

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ALTERNATIVE NAMES: AL
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