Alabama - History
The Alabama Territory was established in 1817 following Mississippi's statehood with Fort St. Stephens as it's territorial capital from 1817 to 1819. By 1819, Alabama was admitted as the 22nd State of the Union.
In 1819, Governor William Wyatt Bibb announced that the capital would be moved to Cahawba(Cahaba). Within 20 years the town had become a small village and by the time the Civil War began it was all but gone.
During the building of the new capital in Cahaba, temporarily it's convention was held in Huntsville. Lots were auctioned off to the highest bidders and buildings took shape. Cahaba was at the intersection of two large rivers and it quickly became known for flooding. In 1825 a major flood caused the statehouse to partially collapse and the capital was moved to Tuscaloosa.
In 1830, the Indian Removal Act resulted in removal of southeastern tribes which included the Creek, Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw and Seminole Indians. Between 1834 and 1837, the state legislature began defining counties from land and more and more settlers came to the new lands in hopes of fertile soil and prosperity.
The amount of money in circulation didn't meet the demands of increasing populations and banks were established that provided State bonds for public land sold. The state saw this as a potential income and abolished all taxation in 1836 for state purposes. The Panic of 1837 then wiped out a large part of bank finances and then were liquidated.
In 1846 the capital was again moved, this time to Montgomery where it was the first Capital of the nation, the Confederate States of America and Jefferson Davis was inaugurated as the President.
The Alabama Platform, introduced in 1848 at the Democratic State Convention declared that neither Congress nor the government of a territory had the right to interfere with slavery in a territory, that those wh held opposite views were not Democrats and that the Democrats of Alabama would not support a candidate for the presidency if he did not agree with them. The Whig party and Democrats who did not support the repeal of the platform and called themselves Unionists.e enslaved
With the invention of the cotton gin, the wealth of the plantation owners grew dramatically along with the enslaved African Americans which amounted to around 45% of the state's population.
The Civil War Era
When the Democratic National convention in Charleston, South Carolina failed to approve the Alabama Platform in 1860, the Alabama delegates and others withdrew.
On 11 January 1861, the State of Alabama adopted the ordinances of secession from the Union by a vote of 61-39 at which time it was then called the Alabama Republic although it's name was never officially changed. They then joined the Confederate States of America who's government was organized in Montgomery 4 February 1861.
Alabam contributed about 120,000 men to the Confederate service. 15% of fatalities were from disease, 10% from battle. Women volunteered to nurse sick and wounded. Uncounted thousands of slaves worked with confederate troops. About 10,000 slaves escaped and joined the Union Army along with 2,700 free white men.
Among those who fought from Alabama, 39 attained flag rank. Soldiers fought in hundreds of battles. In 1865, estimated losses were made. Nearly ALL white men served, 122,000. 35,000 died in the war. 30,000 were seriously disabled, 20,000 permanently whom returned home. 20,000 widows and 60,000 orphans.
The Reconstruction Era
In June 1865 a provisional Governor was appointed and later that year the ordinance of secession was declared null and void and slavery was abolished.
Alabama was placed under military government in 1867 and freedmen were enrolled as voters. The new Republican party made up of Union sympathizers(scalawags) and northerners who had settled in the south (carpetbaggers) took control after the war ended. The state was readmitted to the Union in June of 1868.
In 1875 a new constitution was adopted which omitted the guarantee that no one should be denied suffrage on account of race, color or previous condition of servitude.
Expansion of mining of coal, iron ore and limestone grew. By the mid 1880's steel, iron and lumber as well as textile industries were increasingly expanding. Agriculture increased and with all the increases came a growth of population as well.