Jefferson County, Alabama
Jefferson County is the most populous county in the United States state of Alabama. As of the 2010 census, its population was 658,466, its county seat is the most populous city in the state. Its rapid growth as an industrial city in the 20th century, based on heavy manufacturing in steel and iron, established its dominance. Jefferson County is the central county of AL Metropolitan Statistical Area. In 2011, Jefferson County declared bankruptcy; the financial problems were related to costs of a huge sewer project. Corruption was found among six county commissioners; this was the largest Chapter 9 bankruptcy in the United States, until it was surpassed by that of Detroit, Michigan in 2013. Jefferson County emerged from bankruptcy in December 2013, following the approval of a bankruptcy plan by the United States bankruptcy court for the Northern District of Alabama, writing off more than $1.4 billion of the debt. Jefferson County was established on December 1819 by the Alabama Legislature, it was named in honor of former President Thomas Jefferson.
The county is located in the north-central portion of the state, on the southernmost edge of the Appalachian Mountains. It is in the center of the iron and limestone mining belt of the Southern United States. Jefferson County has a land area of about 1,119 square miles. Early county seats were established first at Carrollsville Elyton. Founded around 1871, Birmingham was named for the industrial English city of the same name in Warwickshire; that city had long been a center of steel production in Great Britain. Birmingham was formed by the merger including Elyton, it has continued to grow by annexing neighboring villages, including North Birmingham. As Birmingham industrialized, its growth accelerated after 1890, it attracted numerous rural migrants, both white, for its new jobs. It attracted European immigrants. Despite the city's rapid growth, for decades it was underrepresented in the legislature. Legislators from rural counties kept control the legislature and, to avoid losing power, for decades refused to reapportion the seats or redistrict congressional districts.
Birmingham could not get its urban needs addressed by the legislature. Nearby Bessemer, located 16 miles by car to the southwest grew based on industrialization, it attracted many workers. By the early decades of the 20th century, it had a majority-black population, but whites dominated politically and economically. Racial tensions increased in the cities and state in the late 19th century as whites worked to maintain white supremacy; the white-dominated legislature passed a new constitution in 1901 that disenfranchised most blacks and many poor whites, excluding them from the political system. While they were nominally still eligible in the mid-20th century for jury duty, they were overwhelmingly excluded by white administrators from juries into the 1950s. Economic competition among the new workers in the city raised tensions, it was a rough environment of mill and mine workers in Birmingham and Bessemer, the Ku Klux Klan was active in the 20th century with many police being members into the 1950s and 1960s.
In a study of lynchings in the South from 1877 to 1950, Jefferson County is documented as having the highest number of lynchings of any county in Alabama. White mobs committed 29 lynchings in the county, most around the turn of the century at a time of widespread political suppression of blacks in the state. After 1950, racial violence of whites against blacks continued. In the 1950s KKK chapters bombed black-owned houses in Birmingham to discourage residents moving into new middle-class areas. In that period, the city was referred to as "Bombingham."In 1963 African Americans led a movement in the city seeking civil rights, including integration of public facilities. The Birmingham campaign was known for the violence the city police used against non-violent protesters. In the late summer and business officials agreed in 1963 to integrate public facilities and hire more African Americans; this followed the civil rights campaign, based at the 16th Street Baptist Church, an economic boycott of white stores that refused to hire blacks.
Whites struck again: on a Sunday in September 1963, KKK members bombed the 16th Street Baptist Church, killing four young black girls and injuring many persons. The African-American community rebuilt the damaged church, they entered politics in the city and state after the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was passed. In the 1990s, the county authorized and financed a massive overhaul of the county-owned sewer system, beginning in 1996. Sewerage and water rates had increased more than 300% in the 15 years before 2011, causing severe problems for the poor in Birmingham and the county. Costs for the project increased due to problems in the financial area. In addition, county officials, encouraged by bribes by financial services companies, made a series of risky bond-swap agreements. Two controversial undertakings by county officials in the 2000s resulted in the county having debt of $4 billion; the county declared bankruptcy in 2011. It was the largest municipal bankruptcy in United States history at that time.
Both the sewer project and its financing were scrutinized by federal prosecutors. By 2011, "six of Jefferson County's former commissioners had been found guilty of corruption for accepting the bribes, along with 15 other officials."The controversial interest rate swaps, initiated in 2002 and 2003 by former Commission President Larry Langford, were intended to lower inte
Norfolk Southern Railway
The Norfolk Southern Railway is a Class I railroad in the United States. With headquarters in Norfolk, the company operates 19,420 miles route miles in 22 eastern states, the District of Columbia, has rights in Canada over the Albany to Montréal route of the Canadian Pacific Railway, on CN from Buffalo to St. Thomas. NS is responsible for maintaining 28,400 miles, with the remainder being operated under trackage rights from other parties responsible for maintenance; the most common commodity hauled on the railway is coal from mines in Indiana, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and West Virginia. The railway offers the largest intermodal network in eastern North America. NS is a major transporter of export coal; the railway's major sources of the mineral are located in: Pennsylvania's Cambria and Indiana counties, as well as the Monongahela Valley. In Pennsylvania, NS receives coal through interchange with R. J. Corman Railroad/Pennsylvania Lines at Cresson, originating in the "Clearfield Cluster". NS's export of West Virginia bituminous coal begins transport on portions of the well-engineered former Virginian Railway and the former N&W double-tracked line in Eastern Virginia to its Lambert's Point coal pier on Hampton Roads at Norfolk.
Coal transported by NS is thus exported to steel mills and power plants around the world. The company is a major transporter of auto parts and completed vehicles, it operates some in conjunction with other railways. NS was the first railway to employ roadrailers which are highway truck trailers with interchangeable wheel sets; the Norfolk Southern Railway's parent Norfolk Southern Corporation is based in Virginia. Norfolk Southern Corporation was incorporated on July 23, 1980 in the Commonwealth of Virginia and is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol NSC; the primary business function of Norfolk Southern Corporation is the rail transportation of raw materials, intermediate products, finished goods across the Southeast and Midwest United States. The corporation further facilitates transport to the remainder of the United States through interchange with other rail carriers while serving overseas transport needs by serving several Atlantic and Gulf Coast ports; as of April 10, 2019, Norfolk Southern Corporation's total public stock value was over $51.6 billion.
On December 12, 2018, Norfolk Southern announced that it would be relocating its headquarters to Atlanta, leaving its hometown of Norfolk, Virginia after 38 years. The move is expected to be completed by the year 2021; the system began in 1982 with the creation of the Norfolk Southern Corporation, a holding company for the Southern Railway and Norfolk & Western Railway. The new company was given the name of the Norfolk Southern Railway, an older line acquired by SOU in 1974, that served North Carolina and the southeastern tip of Virginia. Headquarters for the new NS were established in Virginia; the company suffered a slight embarrassment when the marble headpiece at the building's entrance was unveiled, which read "Norfork Southern Railway". A new headpiece replaced the erroneous one several weeks later. NS aimed to compete in the eastern United States with CSX Transportation, formed after the Interstate Commerce Commission's 1980 approval of the merger of the Chessie System and the Seaboard System.
Norfolk Southern's predecessor railroads date to the early 19th century. The SR's earliest predecessor line was Rail Road. Chartered in 1827, the South Carolina Canal & Rail Road Company became the first to offer scheduled passenger train service with the inaugural run of the Best Friend of Charleston in 1830. Another early predecessor, the Richmond & Danville Railroad, was formed in 1847 and expanded into a large system after the American Civil War under Algernon S. Buford; the R&D fell on hard times and in 1894, it became a major portion of the new Southern Railway. Financier J. P. Morgan selected veteran railroader Samuel Spencer as president. Profitable and innovative, Southern became, in 1953, the first major U. S. railroad to switch to diesel-electric locomotives from steam. The City Point Railroad, established in 1838, was a 9-mile railroad in Virginia that started south of Richmond — City Point on the navigable portion of the James River, now part of the independent city of Hopewell — and ran to Petersburg.
It was acquired by the South Side Railroad in 1854. After the Civil War, it became part of the Atlantic, Mississippi & Ohio Railroad, a trunk line across Virginia's southern tier formed by mergers in 1870 by William Mahone, who had built the Norfolk & Petersburg Railroad in the 1850s; the AM&O was the oldest portion of the Norfolk & Western when it was formed in 1881, under new owners with a keen interest and financial investments in the coal fields of Western Virginia and West Virginia, a product which came to define and enrich the railroad. In the second half of the 20th century, the N&W acquired the Virginian Railway, the Wabash Railway, the Nickel Plate Road, among others. In 1982, the two systems formed the Norfolk Southern Railway; the system grew with the acquisition of over half of Conrail. In 1996, CSX bid to buy Conrail. S. responded with a bid of its own. On June 23, 1997, NS and CSX filed a joint application with the Surface Transportation Board for authority to purchas
1890 United States Census
The Eleventh United States Census was taken beginning June 2, 1890. It determined the resident population of the United States to be 62,979,766—an increase of 25.5 percent over the 50,189,209 persons enumerated during the 1880 census. The data was tabulated by machine for the first time; the data reported that the distribution of the population had resulted in the disappearance of the American frontier. Most of the 1890 census materials were destroyed in a 1921 fire and fragments of the US census population schedule exist only for the states of Alabama, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, the District of Columbia; this was the first census in which a majority of states recorded populations of over one million, as well as the first in which multiple cities – New York as of 1880, Philadelphia – recorded populations of over one million. The census saw Chicago rank as the nation's second-most populous city, a position it would hold until 1990, in which Los Angeles would supplant it.
The 1890 census collected the following information: The 1890 census was the first to be compiled using methods invented by Herman Hollerith and was overseen by Superintendents Robert P. Porter and Carroll D. Wright. Data was entered on a machine readable medium, punched cards, tabulated by machine; the net effect of the many changes from the 1880 census: the larger population, the number of data items to be collected, the Census Bureau headcount, the volume of scheduled publications, the use of Hollerith's electromechanical tabulators, was to reduce the time required to process the census from eight years for the 1880 census to six years for the 1890 census. The total population of 62,947,714, the family, or rough, was announced after only six weeks of processing; the public reaction to this tabulation was disbelief, as it was believed that the "right answer" was at least 75,000,000. The United States census of 1890 showed a total of 248,253 Native Americans living in the United States, down from 400,764 Native Americans identified in the census of 1850.
The 1890 census announced that the frontier region of the United States no longer existed, that the Census Bureau would no longer track the westward migration of the U. S. population. Up to and including the 1880 census, the country had a frontier of settlement. By 1890, isolated bodies of settlement had broken into the unsettled area to the extent that there was hardly a frontier line; this prompted Frederick Jackson Turner to develop his Frontier Thesis. The original data for the 1890 Census is no longer available. All the population schedules were damaged in a fire in the basement of the Commerce Building in Washington, D. C. in 1921. Some 25 % of the materials were presumed another 50 % damaged by smoke and water; the damage to the records led to an outcry for a permanent National Archives. In December 1932, following standard federal record-keeping procedures, the Chief Clerk of the Bureau of the Census sent the Librarian of Congress a list of papers to be destroyed, including the original 1890 census schedules.
The Librarian was asked by the Bureau to identify any records which should be retained for historical purposes, but the Librarian did not accept the census records. Congress authorized destruction of that list of records on February 21, 1933, the surviving original 1890 census records were destroyed by government order by 1934 or 1935; the other censuses for which some information has been lost are the 1810 enumerations. Few sets of microdata from the 1890 census survive, but aggregate data for small areas, together with compatible cartographic boundary files, can be downloaded from the National Historical Geographic Information System. Mayo-Smith, Richmond, "The Eleventh Census of the United States". In: The Economic Journal, Vol. 1, p. 43 - 58 1891 U. S Census Report Contains 1890 Census results Historical US Census data from the U. S. Census Bureau website Hollerith 1890 Census Tabulator by Columbia University "The Fate of the 1890 Population Census" from the National Archives website
Portland cement is the most common type of cement in general use around the world as a basic ingredient of concrete, mortar and non-specialty grout. It was developed from other types of hydraulic lime in England in the mid 19th century, originates from limestone, it is a fine powder, produced by heating limestone and clay minerals in a kiln to form clinker, grinding the clinker, adding 2 to 3 percent of gypsum. Several types of Portland cement are available; the most common, called ordinary Portland cement, is grey, but white Portland cement is available. Its name is derived from its similarity to Portland stone, quarried on the Isle of Portland in Dorset, England, it was named by Joseph Aspdin who obtained a patent for it in 1824. However, his son William Aspdin is regarded as the inventor of "modern" Portland cement due to his developments in the 1840s. Portland cement is caustic, so it can cause chemical burns; the powder can cause irritation or, with severe exposure, lung cancer, can contain some hazardous components, such as crystalline silica and hexavalent chromium.
Environmental concerns are the high energy consumption required to mine and transport the cement, the related air pollution, including the release of greenhouse gases, dioxin, NOx, SO2, particulates. The production of Portland cement contributes to about 10% of world carbon dioxide emission. To meet the rising global population, the International Energy Agency estimated that the cement production is set to increase between 12 to 23% by 2050. There are several ongoing researches targeting a suitable replacement of Portland cement by supplementary cementitious materials; the low cost and widespread availability of the limestone and other naturally-occurring materials used in Portland cement make it one of the lowest-cost materials used over the last century. Concrete produced from Portland cement is one of the world's most versatile construction materials. Portland cement was developed from natural cements made in Britain beginning in the middle of the 18th century, its name is derived from its similarity to Portland stone, a type of building stone quarried on the Isle of Portland in Dorset, England.
The development of modern Portland cement began in 1756, when John Smeaton experimented with combinations of different limestones and additives, including trass and pozzolanas, relating to the planned construction of a lighthouse, now known as Smeaton's Tower. In the late 18th century, Roman cement was patented in 1796 by James Parker. Roman cement became popular, but was replaced by Portland cement in the 1850s. In 1811, James Frost produced a cement. James Frost is reported to have erected a manufactory for making of an artificial cement in 1826. In 1811 Edgar Dobbs of Southwark patented a cement of the kind invented 7 years by the French engineer Louis Vicat. Vicat's cement is an artificial hydraulic lime, is considered the'principal forerunner' of Portland cement; the name Portland cement is recorded in a directory published in 1823 being associated with a William Lockwood and others. In his 1824 cement patent, Joseph Aspdin called his invention "Portland cement" because of the its resemblance to Portland stone.
However, Aspdin's cement was nothing like modern Portland cement, but was a first step in the development of modern Portland cement, has been called a'proto-Portland cement'. William Aspdin had left his father's company. In the 1840's William Aspdin accidentally, produced calcium silicates which are a middle step in the development of Portland cement. In 1848, William Aspdin further improved his cement. In 1853, he moved to Germany, where he was involved in cement making. William Aspdin made what could be called'meso-Portland cement'. Isaac Charles Johnson further refined the production of'meso-Portland cement', claimed to be the real father of Portland cement. John Grant of the Metropolitan Board of Works in 1859 set out requirements for cement to be used in the London sewer project; this became a specification for Portland cement. The next development in the manufacture of Portland cement was the introduction of the rotary kiln, patented by Frederick Ransome in 1885 and 1886; the Hoffmann'endless' kiln, said to give'perfect control over combustion' was tested in 1860, showed the process produced a better grade of cement.
This cement was made at the Portland Cementfabrik Stern at Stettin, the first to use a Hoffmann kiln.. The Association of German Cement Manufacturers issued a standard on Portland cement in 1878. Portland cement had been imported into the United States from Germany and England, in the 1870s and 1880s, it was being produced by Eagle Portland cement near Kalamazoo, in 1875, the first Portland cement was produced in the Coplay Cement Company Kilns under the direction of David O. Saylor in Coplay, Pennsylvania. By the early 20th century, American-made Portland cement had displaced most of the imported Portland cement. ASTM C150 defines Portland cement as'hydraulic cement produced by pulverizing clinkers which consist of hydraulic calcium silicates containing one or more of the forms of calcium sulfate as an inter ground addition'; the European Standard EN 197-1 uses the following definition: Portland cement clinker is a hydraulic material which shall consist of at l
War of 1812
The War of 1812 was a conflict fought between the United States, the United Kingdom, their respective allies from June 1812 to February 1815. Historians in Britain see it as a minor theater of the Napoleonic Wars. From the outbreak of war with Napoleonic France, Britain had enforced a naval blockade to choke off neutral trade to France, which the US contested as illegal under international law. To man the blockade, Britain impressed American merchant sailors into the Royal Navy. Incidents such as the Chesapeake–Leopard affair, which happened five years before the war, inflamed anti-British sentiment in the US. In 1811, the British were in turn outraged by the Little Belt affair, in which 11 British sailors died. Britain supplied Native Americans who raided American settlers on the frontier, hindering American expansion and provoking resentment. Historians debate whether the desire to annex some or all of British North America contributed to the American decision to go to war. On June 18, 1812, US President James Madison, after heavy pressure from the War Hawks in Congress, signed the American declaration of war into law.
With most of its army in Europe fighting Napoleon, Britain adopted a defensive strategy, with offensive operations limited to the border, the western frontier. American prosecution of the war effort suffered from its unpopularity in New England, where it was derogatorily referred to as "Mr. Madison's War". American defeats at the Siege of Detroit and the Battle of Queenston Heights thwarted attempts to seize Upper Canada, improving British morale. American attempts to invade Lower Canada and capture Montreal failed. In 1813, the Americans won the Battle of Lake Erie, gaining control of the lake, at the Battle of the Thames defeated Tecumseh's Confederacy, securing a primary war goal. A final American attempt to invade Canada was fought to a draw at the Battle of Lundy's Lane during the summer of 1814. At sea, the powerful Royal Navy blockaded American ports, cutting off trade and allowing the British to raid the coast at will. In 1814, one of these raids burned the capital, but the Americans repulsed British attempts to invade New York and Maryland, ending invasions of the northern and mid-Atlantic United States from Canada.
Fighting took place overseas in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. In neighbouring Spanish Florida, a two-day battle for the city of Pensacola ended in Spanish surrender. In Britain, there was mounting opposition to wartime taxation. With the abdication of Napoleon, the war with France ended and Britain ceased impressment, rendering the issue of the impressment of American sailors moot; the British were able to increase the strength of the blockade on the United States coast, annihilating American maritime trade, but attempts to invade the U. S. ended unsuccessfully. Peace negotiations began in August 1814, the Treaty of Ghent was signed on December 24. News of the peace did not reach America for some time. Unaware of the treaty, British forces invaded Louisiana and were defeated at the Battle of New Orleans in January 1815; these late victories were viewed by Americans as having restored national honour, leading to the collapse of anti-war sentiment and the beginning of the Era of Good Feelings, a period of national unity.
News of the treaty arrived shortly thereafter. The treaty was unanimously ratified by the US Senate on February 17, 1815, ending the war with no boundary changes. Historians have long debated the relative weight of the multiple reasons underlying the origins of the War of 1812; this section summarizes several contributing factors which resulted in the declaration of war by the United States. As Risjord notes, a powerful motivation for the Americans was the desire to uphold national honour in the face of what they considered to be British insults such as the Chesapeake–Leopard affair. H. W. Brands says, "The other war hawks spoke of the struggle with Britain as a second war of independence; the approaching conflict was about violations of American rights, but it was about vindication of American identity." Americans at the time and historians since have called it the United States' "Second War of Independence". The British were offended by what they considered insults such as the Little Belt affair.
This gave the British a particular interest in capturing the United States flagship President, which they succeeded in doing in 1815. In 1807, Britain introduced a series of trade restrictions via the Orders in Council to impede neutral trade with France, which Britain was fighting in the Napoleonic Wars; the United States contested these restrictions as illegal under international law. Historian Reginald Horsman states, "a large section of influential British opinion, both in the government and in the country, thought that America presented a threat to British maritime supremacy."The American merchant marine had nearly doubled between 1802 and 1810, making it by far the largest neutral fleet. Britain was the largest trading partner, receiving 80% of U. S. cotton and 50% of other U. S. exports. The British public and press were resentful of commercial competition; the United States' view was. During the Napoleonic Wars, the Royal Navy expanded to 176 ships of the line and 600 ships overall, requiring 140,000 sailors to man.
While the Royal Navy could man its ships with volunteers in peacetime, it competed in wartime with merchant shi
A census is the procedure of systematically acquiring and recording information about the members of a given population. The term is used in connection with national population and housing censuses; the United Nations defines the essential features of population and housing censuses as "individual enumeration, universality within a defined territory and defined periodicity", recommends that population censuses be taken at least every 10 years. United Nations recommendations cover census topics to be collected, official definitions and other useful information to co-ordinate international practice; the word is of Latin origin: during the Roman Republic, the census was a list that kept track of all adult males fit for military service. The modern census is essential to international comparisons of any kind of statistics, censuses collect data on many attributes of a population, not just how many people there are. Censuses began as the only method of collecting national demographic data, are now part of a larger system of different surveys.
Although population estimates remain an important function of a census, including the geographic distribution of the population, statistics can be produced about combinations of attributes e.g. education by age and sex in different regions. Current administrative data systems allow for other approaches to enumeration with the same level of detail but raise concerns about privacy and the possibility of biasing estimates. A census can be contrasted with sampling in which information is obtained only from a subset of a population. Modern census data are used for research, business marketing, planning, as a baseline for designing sample surveys by providing a sampling frame such as an address register. Census counts are necessary to adjust samples to be representative of a population by weighting them as is common in opinion polling. Stratification requires knowledge of the relative sizes of different population strata which can be derived from census enumerations. In some countries, the census provides the official counts used to apportion the number of elected representatives to regions.
In many cases, a chosen random sample can provide more accurate information than attempts to get a population census. A census is construed as the opposite of a sample as its intent is to count everyone in a population rather than a fraction. However, population censuses rely on a sampling frame to count the population; this is the only way to be sure that everyone has been included as otherwise those not responding would not be followed up on and individuals could be missed. The fundamental premise of a census is that the population is not known and a new estimate is to be made by the analysis of primary data; the use of a sampling frame is counterintuitive as it suggests that the population size is known. However, a census is used to collect attribute data on the individuals in the nation; this process of sampling marks the difference between historical census, a house to house process or the product of an imperial decree, the modern statistical project. The sampling frame used by census is always an address register.
Thus it is not known how many people there are in each household. Depending on the mode of enumeration, a form is sent to the householder, an enumerator calls, or administrative records for the dwelling are accessed; as a preliminary to the dispatch of forms, census workers will check any address problems on the ground. While it may seem straightforward to use the postal service file for this purpose, this can be out of date and some dwellings may contain a number of independent households. A particular problem is what are termed'communal establishments' which category includes student residences, religious orders, homes for the elderly, people in prisons etc; as these are not enumerated by a single householder, they are treated differently and visited by special teams of census workers to ensure they are classified appropriately. Individuals are counted within households and information is collected about the household structure and the housing. For this reason international documents refer to censuses of housing.
The census response is made by a household, indicating details of individuals resident there. An important aspect of census enumerations is determining which individuals can be counted from which cannot be counted. Broadly, three definitions can be used: de facto residence; this is important to consider individuals who have temporary addresses. Every person should be identified uniquely as resident in one place but where they happen to be on Census Day, their de facto residence, may not be the best place to count them. Where an individual uses services may be more useful and this is at their usual, or de jure, residence. An individual may be represented at a permanent address a family home for students or long term migrants, it is necessary to have a precise definition of residence to decide whether visitors to a country should be included in the population count. This is becoming more important as students travel abroad for education for a period of several years. Other groups causing problems of enumeration are new born babies, people away on holiday, people moving home around census day, people without a fixed address.
People having second homes because of working in another part of the country or retaining a holiday cottage are dif
Alabama is a state in the southeastern region of the United States. It is bordered by Tennessee to the north, Georgia to the east and the Gulf of Mexico to the south, Mississippi to the west. Alabama is the 30th largest by area and the 24th-most populous of the U. S. states. With a total of 1,500 miles of inland waterways, Alabama has among the most of any state. Alabama is nicknamed the Yellowhammer State, after the state bird. Alabama is known as the "Heart of Dixie" and the "Cotton State"; the state tree is the longleaf pine, the state flower is the camellia. Alabama's capital is Montgomery; the largest city by population is Birmingham. The oldest city is Mobile, founded by French colonists in 1702 as the capital of French Louisiana. From the American Civil War until World War II, like many states in the southern U. S. suffered economic hardship, in part because of its continued dependence on agriculture. Similar to other former slave states, Alabamian legislators employed Jim Crow laws to disenfranchise and otherwise discriminate against African Americans from the end of the Reconstruction Era up until at least the 1970s.
Despite the growth of major industries and urban centers, white rural interests dominated the state legislature from 1901 to the 1960s. During this time, urban interests and African Americans were markedly under-represented. Following World War II, Alabama grew as the state's economy changed from one based on agriculture to one with diversified interests; the state's economy in the 21st century is based on management, finance, aerospace, mineral extraction, education and technology. The European-American naming of the Alabama River and state was derived from the Alabama people, a Muskogean-speaking tribe whose members lived just below the confluence of the Coosa and Tallapoosa rivers on the upper reaches of the river. In the Alabama language, the word for a person of Alabama lineage is Albaamo; the suggestion that "Alabama" was borrowed from the Choctaw language is unlikely. The word's spelling varies among historical sources; the first usage appears in three accounts of the Hernando de Soto expedition of 1540: Garcilaso de la Vega used Alibamo, while the Knight of Elvas and Rodrigo Ranjel wrote Alibamu and Limamu in transliterations of the term.
As early as 1702, the French called the tribe the Alibamon, with French maps identifying the river as Rivière des Alibamons. Other spellings of the name have included Alibamu, Albama, Alibama, Alabamu, Allibamou. Sources disagree on the word's meaning; some scholars suggest the word comes from amo. The meaning may have been "clearers of the thicket" or "herb gatherers", referring to clearing land for cultivation or collecting medicinal plants; the state has numerous place names of Native American origin. However, there are no correspondingly similar words in the Alabama language. An 1842 article in the Jacksonville Republican proposed it meant "Here We Rest." This notion was popularized in the 1850s through the writings of Alexander Beaufort Meek. Experts in the Muskogean languages have not found any evidence to support such a translation. Indigenous peoples of varying cultures lived in the area for thousands of years before the advent of European colonization. Trade with the northeastern tribes by the Ohio River began during the Burial Mound Period and continued until European contact.
The agrarian Mississippian culture covered most of the state from 1000 to 1600 AD, with one of its major centers built at what is now the Moundville Archaeological Site in Moundville, Alabama. This is the second-largest complex of the classic Middle Mississippian era, after Cahokia in present-day Illinois, the center of the culture. Analysis of artifacts from archaeological excavations at Moundville were the basis of scholars' formulating the characteristics of the Southeastern Ceremonial Complex. Contrary to popular belief, the SECC appears to have no direct links to Mesoamerican culture, but developed independently; the Ceremonial Complex represents a major component of the religion of the Mississippian peoples. Among the historical tribes of Native American people living in present-day Alabama at the time of European contact were the Cherokee, an Iroquoian language people. While part of the same large language family, the Muskogee tribes developed distinct cultures and languages. With exploration in the 16th century, the Spanish were the first Europeans to reach Alabama.
The expedition of Hernando de Soto passed through Mabila and other parts of the state in 1540. More than 160 years the French founded the region's first European settlement at Old Mobile in 1702; the city was moved to the current site of Mobile in 1711. This area was claimed by the French from 1702 to 1763 as part of La Louisiane. After the French lost to the British in the Seven Years' War, it became part of British West Florida from 1763 to 1783. After the United States victory in the American Revolutionary War, the territory was divided between the United States and Spain; the latter retained control of this western territory from 1783 until the surrender of the Spanish garrison at Mobile to U. S. forces on April 13, 1813. Thomas Bassett, a loyalist to the British monarchy during the Revolutionary era, was one of the earliest white settlers in the state