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Honoring The States: The 22nd State Admitted To The USA - Alabama...

The 22nd state admitted to the US was Alabama on December 14th, 1819. President James Monroe signed the constitution to help make Alabama the 22nd state after being a part of the Mississippi Territory from (1798 - 1817). Alabama is known as the Yellowhammer State because of the Civil War times when a company of Alabama troops paraded in uniforms trimmed in bits of bright yellow to remind people of the "Yellowhammer" birds with yellow patches under their wings. The Alabama motto is "We dare defend our rights". The state capital is Montgomery. The state bird is the Northern Flicker, the state flower is the Camellia, and the state tree is the Longleaf Pine.

Indigenous peoples habited the region we now call Alabama more than 10,000 years ago. Huge, Earthen mounds, like the one at Moundville, are indicative of the Mississippian people's work throughout the Southeast. Alabama consisted of tribes from the Cherokee, Choctaw, Creeks, and Chickasaws, as well as the Alabama-Coushattas and the Yuchis. From diseases to assaults to their land, resources, and warfare, Native Americans were subjected to European fortune hunters and colonialists. The first known European explorers were the Spaniards, arriving at Mobile Bay in 1519. In 1540, Hernando de Soto and an army of 500 men came in search of gold. They slaughtered thousands of Native Americans in a battle with the warriors of Choctaw chief Tuscaloosa. For the following 250 years, the Spanish, French, and British fought for control of the region. In 1702, the French founded the first permanent European settlement in Alabama at Fort Louis. They outnumbered the British, who were fighting for the territory. The "Treaty of Paris" in 1763 gave Britain the Mobile area, and another treaty in 1783 officially ended the American Revolution. Spain gained Mobile, and the US received the rest of the territory of Alabama. In 1813, the US drove the Spanish out by adding Mobile to the "Louisiana Purchase" of 1803. By 1814, General Andrew Jackson defeated the Creek tribe at the "Battle of Horseshoe Bend", and Indigenous people had to move to the West due to the rapid influx of white settlers. Today, a small number of Creeks still remain in the southern parts of Alabama. It became a territory in 1817, and an official state in 1819. The population included around 500 free Black people at the time, and was over 125,000 people total. There were over 300,000 residents by 1830, and one fifth of them were enslaved. When the Civil War broke, Indigenous peoples were removed, slavery was up for questioning, and an economic depression came after the 1837 financial crisis. By 1860, Alabama population got to one million, with half of the population Black. In 1861, Alabama seceded from the Union to join the Confederation. Alabama refused to ratify their state legislature to grant citizenship to the enslaved in the Fourteenth Amendment, so it was placed under military rule in 1867. In 1868, Alabama ratified a new constitution that protected civil rights, and then was readmitted to the Union. Between 1868 and 1874, whites rejected this "Reconstruction Period", and the Ku Klux Klan used force to push their views onto others. Blacks were given access to education, and whites insisted in separation. Until the "Civil Rights Movement" of the 1960's, Black Alabama residents suffered racism and terror every day of their lives. Rights were granted and then challenged for many many years, and still today, there are whites that hold these archaic and limiting views and beliefs. The "Voting Rights Act" of 1965 restored voting rights to all races to this date.

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