Alabama History - the history of Alabama
   
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Vacation 2 USA   >   Alabama   >   History
Vacation 2 USA   >   History   >   Alabama History

   
 

Alabama History


Prior to the arrival of Europeans, the area that is today Alabama was inhabited various Native American peoples including the Alibamu, Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, Koasati and Mobile.

The first European settlement in Alabama, was established by the French at Mobile in 1702. As a result, southern Alabama was French from 1702 to 1763. This region subsequently became part of British West Florida from 1763 to 1780, and later Spanish West Florida from 1780 to 1814.

The northern parts of Alabama were part of British Georgia from 1763 to 1783. This area became part of the American Mississippi Territory following the American Revolution (1775 to 1783).

In 1819, Alabama, became the 22nd state admitted to the Union. During this part of the 19th century, Alabama, was home to many large cotton plantations, which were worked by slaves. In the American Civil War (1861 to 1865), in an attempt to retain slavery, which it was thought was under threat of abolition, Alabama, seceded from the Union and joined the Confederate States of America.

Alabama's slaves were emanicipated after the defeat of the Confederacy, at the end of the Civil War. Like many other southern states, Alabama went through a difficult period of Reconstruction. The state however remained a poor rural state, with an economy closely tied to cotton, and with legally enforced racial segregation (and consequent high racial tension).

Things gradually began to change in Alabama, as result of the changes wrought by World War II. In particular, the economy was no longer solely focused around cotton, with the emergence of growing industrial and service sectors.

Politically things also began to change in Alabama in the post-war period. The state, especially the cities of Birmingham and Montgomery, became a important and prominent location during the civil rights struggle. Eventually, despite the opposition of the state's Governor, George Wallace, to Federal integration efforts, blacks regained the right to vote, and Jim Crow segregation laws disappeared.


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Alabama: The History of a Deep South State, Bicentennial Edition

By William Warren Rogers & Leah Rawls Atkins

University Alabama Press
Released: 2018-07-03
Paperback (816 pages)

Alabama: The History of a Deep South State, Bicentennial Edition
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A new and up-to-date edition of Alabama’s history to celebrate the state’s bicentennial.

Alabama: The History of a Deep South State, Bicentennial Edition is a comprehensive narrative account of the state from its earliest days to the present. This edition, updated to celebrate the state’s bicentennial year, offers a detailed survey of the colorful, dramatic, and often controversial turns in Alabama’s evolution. Organized chronologically and divided into three main sections—the first concluding in 1865, the second in 1920, and the third bringing the story to the present—makes clear and interprets the major events that occurred during Alabama’s history within the larger context of the South and the nation.
 
Once the home of aboriginal inhabitants, Alabama was claimed and occupied by a number of European nations prior to becoming a permanent part of the United States in 1819. A cotton and slave state for more than half of the nineteenth century, Alabama seceded in 1861 to join the Confederate States of America, and occupied an uneasy and uncertain place in America’s post-Civil War landscape. Alabama’s role in the twentieth century has been equally tumultuous and dramatic.
 
General readers as well as scholars will welcome this up-to-date and scrupulously researched history of Alabama, which examines such traditional subjects as politics, military history, economics, race, and class. It contains essential accounts devoted to Native Americans, women, and the environment, as well as detailed coverage of health, education, organized labor, civil rights, and the many cultural developments, from literature to sport, that have enriched Alabama’s history. The stories of individual leaders, from politicians to creative artists, are also highlighted. A key facet of this landmark historical narrative is the strong emphasis placed on the common everyday people of Alabama, those who have been rightly described as the “bone and sinew” of the state.

Alabama: The Making of an American State

By Edwin C. Bridges

University Alabama Press
Paperback (264 pages)

Alabama: The Making of an American State
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Alabama: The Making of an American State is itself a watershed event in the long and storied history of the state of Alabama. Here, presented for the first time ever in a single, magnificently illustrated volume, Edwin C. Bridges conveys the magisterial sweep of Alabama’s rich, difficult, and remarkable history with verve, eloquence, and an unblinking eye.
 
From Alabama’s earliest fossil records to its settlement by Native Americans and later by European settlers and African slaves, from its territorial birth pangs and statehood through the upheavals of the Civil War and the civil rights movement, Bridges makes evident in clear, direct storytelling the unique social, political, economic, and cultural forces that have indelibly shaped this historically rich and unique American region.
 
Illustrated lavishly with maps, archival photographs, and archaeological artifacts, as well as art works, portraiture, and specimens of Alabama craftsmanship—many never before published—Alabama: The Making of an American State makes evident as rarely seen before Alabama’s most significant struggles, conflicts, achievements, and developments.
 
Drawn from decades of research and the deep archival holdings of the Alabama Department of Archives and History, this volume will be the definitive resource for decades to come for anyone seeking a broad understanding of Alabama’s evolving legacy.

Alabama Scoundrels: Outlaws, Pirates, Bandits & Bushwhackers (True Crime)

By Kelly Kazek

The History Press
Released: 2014-06-17
Paperback (128 pages)

Alabama Scoundrels: Outlaws, Pirates, Bandits & Bushwhackers (True Crime)
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While legislators were writing the first laws in Alabama, some miscreant citizens were already breaking them, causing disorder and fleeing the hands of justice. Among these were cult-leader-turned-murderer "Bloody" Bob Sims, social-activist-turned-anarchist Albert Parsons, the mysterious hobo bandit Railroad Bill and the nefarious outlaw sheriff Steve Renfroe, who was credited with countless prison escapes, thefts and arson. Legendary Wild West figures Frank and Jesse James also appeared in Alabama, along with numerous other well-known gunslingers, pirates, crooks and desperados. Bushwhackers caused widespread chaos during the Civil War and were considered outlaws depending on which side you supported. Join real-life partners in crime Kelly Kazek and Wil Elrick as they recount the atrocities of some of Alabama's most infamous lawbreakers.

Shot in Alabama: A History of Photography, 1839–1941, and a List of Photographers

By Frances Osborn Robb

University Alabama Press
Hardcover (592 pages)

Shot in Alabama: A History of Photography, 1839–1941, and a List of Photographers
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Shot in Alabama by Frances Osborn Robb is a visual and textual narrative of Alabama’s photographic history from 1839 to 1941. It describes the phenomenon of photography as practiced in Alabama as a major cultural force, paying close attention to the particular contexts from which each image emerges and the fragments of microhistory that each image documents.
 
Presented chronologically—from the very first photograph ever taken in the state to the appearance of cameras as commonplace possessions in mid-twentieth-century households—Robb draws into sharp relief the eras of daguerreotypes, Civil War photography, photographic portraiture at the end of the nineteenth century, urban and rural photography in the early twentieth century, WPA photography during the Great Depression, postcards and tourist photography, and pre–World War II illustrated books and art photographs. Robb also examines a wide spectrum of vernacular photography: Alabama-made photographs of everyday people and places, the photographs that fill dresser drawers and shoeboxes, a vast array of unusual images against which Alabama’s more typical iconography can be measured.
 
She also chronicles the work of hundreds of photographers—black and white, amateur and professional, women and men—some little-known outside their communities, some of them the medium’s most important practitioners. “Who Shot Alabama?” is an accompanying appendix that includes 1,400 photographers by name, working dates, and location—a resource that will help countless individuals, families, and archives identify the specific Alabama photographers whose names appear on family photographs or those in institutional collections.
 
Shot in Alabama is an insightful document of photography as both a communicator and creator of social, cultural, economic, and visual history. It highlights the very personal worlds rendered by individual photographs as well as the larger panorama of Alabama history as seen through the photographs collectively. A landmark work of research, curation, and scholarship, it fills the void of published history on Alabama photography and is an invaluable resource for historians, archivists, librarians, collectors, hobbyists, and readers with an interest in Alabama history or historic photography. Shot in Alabama is a book that all Alabamians will want on their coffee tables.

Alabama's Frontiers and the Rise of the Old South (A History of the Trans-Appalachian Frontier)

By Daniel Dupre

Indiana University Press
Paperback (288 pages)

Alabama s Frontiers and the Rise of the Old South (A History of the Trans-Appalachian Frontier)
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Alabama endured warfare, slave trading, squatting, and speculating on its path to becoming America’s 22nd state, and Daniel S. Dupre brings its captivating frontier history to life in Alabama's Frontiers and the Rise of the Old South. Dupre’s vivid narrative begins when Hernando de Soto first led hundreds of armed Europeans into the region during the fall of 1540. Although this early invasion was defeated, Spain, France, and England would each vie for control over the area’s natural resources, struggling to conquer it with the same intensity and ferocity that the Native Americans showed in defending their homeland. Although early frontiersmen and Native Americans eventually established an uneasy truce, the region spiraled back into war in the nineteenth century, as the newly formed American nation demanded more and more land for settlers. Dupre captures the riveting saga of the forgotten struggles and savagery in Alabama’s―and America’s―frontier days.

Hidden History of North Alabama

By Jacquelyn Procter Reeves

The History Press
Released: 2010-05-06
Paperback (128 pages)

Hidden History of North Alabama
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The tranquil waters of the Tennessee River hide a horrible tragedy that took place one steamy July day when co-workers took an excursion aboard the SCItanic. Lawrence County resident Jenny Brooks used the skull of one of her victims to wash her hands, but her forty-year quest for revenge cost more than she bargained for. Granville Garth jumped to his watery grave with a pocketful of secrets--did anyone collect the $10,000 reward for the return of the papers he took with him? Historian Jacquelyn Procter Reeves transports readers deep into the shadows of the past to learn about the secret of George Steele's will, the truth behind the night the Stars Fell on Alabama" and the story of the Lawrence County boys who died in the Goliad Massacre. Learn these secrets--and many more--in Hidden History of North Alabama."

The Annotated Pickett's History of Alabama: And Incidentally of Georgia and Mississippi, from the Earliest Period

By James Albert Pickett

NewSouth Books
Released: 2018-10-01
Hardcover (736 pages)

The Annotated Pickett s History of Alabama: And Incidentally of Georgia and Mississippi, from the Earliest Period
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Albert James Pickett’s two-volume History of Alabama, and Incidentally of Georgia and Mississippi, from the Earliest Period first appeared in September 1851. Demand for the $3 set caused Charleston publisher Walker and James to issue a second and third edition before year’s end. William Gilmore Simms, the South’s most prolific writer, called it “one of the prettiest specimens of book making ever done in America.” Newspapers and literary journals commended Pickett’s “absolutely enchanting” fresh style and “his important service to his state.”
Volume one covered De Soto’s explorations from Florida to Arkansas, encounters with native people, and discovery of the Mississippi River. The narrative shifts from the early chiefdoms of the protohistoric period to the Natchez and smaller tribes in the coastal plain and then to the major Indian nations of the interior into the late eighteenth century. While the struggles of French Louisiana with the Natchez dominate the first volume, Pickett establishes the English presence with the founding of Oglethorpe’s Georgia colony and ends with the surrender of the French forts Tombecbé and Toulouse. In volume two, Pickett follows the English into present-day Alabama and Mississippi and the Revolutionary War era, the Spanish occupation of East and West Florida, the intrigues of Alexander McGillivray and William Bowles, and Georgia’s Yazoo land sales. He devotes several chapters to the Mississippi Territory, Aaron Burr, and the Indian unrest that led to the massacre at Fort Mims, the Creek War of 1813–14, and Andrew Jackson’s campaigns to destroy the Red Sticks and defeat the British. Pickett concentrates his final chapters on the emergence of Alabama as a territory and state, including biographical sketches of early state leaders, the state constitutional convention, and Alabama’s first governor, William Wyatt Bibb, who died in 1820.
Pickett’s History continues to be a relevant study of the state’s protohistory, colonial, territorial, and early foundations. His work and his papers in the state archives are cited by all serious scholars who study Alabama’s colonial and territorial eras. While he sought all the available printed primary sources and manuscripts for volume one, his second volume was principally informed by the memoirs, reminiscences, letters, and oral interviews of the participants in the events that shaped the development of Alabama from the pre-Revolutionary era through the 1840s.
This new edition is the first to provide general readers and scholars with a readily available hardbound, fully indexed, and annotated version of Pickett’s History.

Greetings from Alabama: A Pictorial History in Vintage Postcards: From the Wade Hall Collection of Historical Picture Postcards from Alabama

By Wade Hall

NewSouth Books
Paperback (224 pages)

Greetings from Alabama: A Pictorial History in Vintage Postcards: From the Wade Hall Collection of Historical Picture Postcards from Alabama
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Although he was a native of Bullock County, Alabama, Wade Hall -- teacher, writer, poet, critic, interviewer, folklorist, and documentarian -- spent most of his fifty-year career in Kentucky. But he was never emotionally far from his home as evidenced by his passion for collecting vintage Alabama postcards. In his lifetime he amassed 10,000, which he then graciously gave to the University of Alabama Libraries and Troy University in a large joint bequest that also included rare books, quilts, folk art, letters and more.

These postcards date from the late 1800s to the mid-20th century and offer a fascinating and diverse picture of the state. The meaning of postcards that could be purchased as a travel souvenir is largely forgotten today when cameras are commonplace. But the value of Hall's stunning collection cannot be missed. The some 400 cards featured in Greetings from Alabama are revealing of scenes familiar and rare. From Birmingham's Vulcan to Mobile's Bellingrath Gardens, from Enterprise's boll weevil monument to Huntsville's rockets, from Helen Keller's home to William Rufus King's resting place, the scenes offer captivating glimpses of Alabama history.

Alabama: The History, Geography, Economics And Civics of an American State

By Leah Rawls, Lll Atkins

Brand: Crystal Clear Press, Inc.
Hardcover (436 pages)

Alabama: The History, Geography, Economics And Civics of an American State
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Book by Atkins, Leah Rawls, Lll, Jackson, Harvey H.

Birmingham Then and Now®

By Todd Keith

Pavilion
Hardcover (144 pages)

Birmingham Then and Now®
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A late arrival on the Southern landscape, the city of Birmingham was not incorporated until after the Civil War. In fact, from 1820 to 1871, what is now Birmingham was known as the hamlet of Elyton, a small crossroads set in the rolling foothills of the Appalachian Mountains where several Pony Express and stage routes crossed paths. When two railroads eventually intersected at this point—where, significantly, all the ingredients necessary to make iron existed in close proximity—the region’s growth exploded. Birmingham’s history is not a story of the grace and vanished grandeur of an antebellum past, but rather, a dynamic story of modern American industrialization. Sites covered include Hollywood, Alabama State Fairgrounds, Vulcan Park, Mountain Brook Village, The Old Mill, Avondale Park, Highland Park, Woodlawn High, Quinlan Castle, Five Points South, Bottega Favorita, Old Jefferson County Courthouse, Capitol Park, Tutwiler Hotel, Twentieth Street, Louise Wooster Brothel, Alabama Theatre, Kress Department Store, Joy Young Restaurant, Terminal Station, Molton Hotel, Lovemans, Massey Building, Bright Star, Temple of Sibyl, Sloss Furnaces, Red Mountain, and Legion Field.


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