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
Birmingham–Southern College is a private liberal arts college in Birmingham, United States. Founded in 1856, the college is affiliated with the United Methodist Church and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. More than 1300 students from 33 states and 16 foreign countries attend the college. Birmingham–Southern has a 13:1 student-faculty ratio, 96% of full-time faculty hold a doctorate or the highest degree in their field. Birmingham–Southern College is the result of a merger of Southern University, founded in Greensboro, Alabama, in 1856, with Birmingham College, opened in 1898 in Birmingham, Alabama; these two institutions were consolidated on May 30, 1918, under the name of Birmingham–Southern College. Phi Beta Kappa recognized Birmingham -- Southern in 1937. Only ten percent of the nation's institutions of higher education shelter Phi Beta Kappa chapters, Birmingham–Southern College is one of only three sheltering institutions in the state of Alabama. On March 21, 2011, General Charles Krulak was named the 13th president of Birmingham–Southern College.
Krulak retired on June 1, 2015 and was succeeded by Dr. Edward F. Leonard, III, the 14th president of the College. A delegation from BNU-HKBU United International College was invited by the Associated Colleges of the South, a consortium of 16 liberal arts colleges in the US, to explore collaborative ties. UIC visited three of the ACS member institutions between 25 April; the delegates discussed exchange opportunities and collaborative projects with Birmingham–Southern College. According to such diverse and national measures as Colleges That Change Lives and the Princeton Review's Best 377 Colleges, Birmingham–Southern is one of America's best liberal arts colleges; as determined by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education and the Carnegie Foundation, four of Alabama's “Best Professors” in recent years teach at BSC, with Prof. Laura Stultz being named Professor of the Year for 2013; the college offers five bachelor's degrees in more than 50 programs of study, as well as interdisciplinary and individualized majors and dual degree programs.
The campus is situated on 192 wooded acres three miles west of downtown Birmingham. The college has 45 academic, residential and athletics buildings/facilities; some highlights: Elton B. Stephens Science Center: Housing the natural sciences, the 100,000-square-foot, $24.1 million Stephens Science Center. Norton Campus Center: The hub of campus, the Norton Campus Center houses the bookstore, post office, student lounge areas as well as offices for student development, residence life, counseling and health services. Munger Memorial Hall: The architectural centerpiece of campus, Munger Hall, built in the 1920s, houses administrative offices and a 900-seat auditorium. Berte Humanities Center: Named in honor of former BSC President Neal Berte, the Humanities Center opened in 2004 and houses the foreign languages lab, the academic resource center, classrooms designed for BSC's small student-to-faculty ratio. College Theatre: With a split-revolve-lift stage, the main theatre can host a variety of set designs.
Lakeview Residence Halls: The first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design residence halls in Alabama, Lakeview North and South opened in 2010 and offer suite-style living for upperclass students. Hilltop Village Apartments: Recently renovated, the Hilltop Village apartment complex contains sixteen buildings that house 350 students. Urban Environmental Park: The Urban Environmental Park features a 1.5 acre lake, walking paths, Wi-Fi internet. N. E Miles Library: The N. E. Miles Library includes a collection of 257,000 volumes, 57,000 government documents, more than 20,000 recordings, compact discs, DVDs. More than 135 online databases provide access to the full text of over 40,000 periodicals and numerous e-books; the library features an auditorium, study areas, conference rooms, an electronic classroom. Striplin Fitness and Recreation Center: The main facility for campus recreation, Striplin features two basketball courts, an indoor jogging track, racquetball courts, a golf simulator, an indoor swimming pool, strength training and cardiovascular workout rooms.
A sampling of the more than 80 student interest groups on campus: Allies Art Students League Black Student Union BSC Debate Society BSC Bass Fishing Team BSC Pantherettes Dance Team BSC Ultimate Frisbee Coalition for Human Dignity College Democrats College Republicans Cross Cultural Committee Film Club Honor Council Multi-Cultural Awareness Organization Reformed University Fellowship Student Government Association Quest II: The Student Programming Board Soccer club Wesley Fellowship Fraternities and sororities organize campus social events and service projects. Kappa Alpha Order 1882 Alpha Tau Omega 1885 Sigma Nu 1987 Theta Chi 1942 Sigma Chi 1991 Sigma Alpha Epsilon 1878 Alpha Phi Alpha Lambda Chi Alpha 1924 Zeta Tau Alpha 1922 Alpha Omicron Pi 1925 Alpha Chi Omega 1926 Pi Beta Phi 1927-1989, recolonized 1991 Gamma Phi Beta 1930-1957 Kappa Delta 1930 Delta Zeta 1963-1974 Chi Omega 1989 Alpha Kappa Alpha 1979-2006 Birmingham–Southern athletic teams are known as the Panthers. Birmingham–Southern is a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association and competes at the Division III level in the Southern Athletic Association.
The college was a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics and enjoyed a successful run in NAIA prior to joining the NCAA. After three years as a Division I member, the college moved to Division III in 2006
Birmingham is a city located in the north central region of the U. S. state of Alabama. With an estimated 2017 population of 210,710, it is the most populous city in Alabama. Birmingham is the seat of Alabama's most populous and fifth largest county; as of 2017, the Birmingham-Hoover Metropolitan Statistical Area had a population of 1,149,807, making it the most populous in Alabama and 49th-most populous in the United States. Birmingham serves as an important regional hub and is associated with the Deep South and Appalachian regions of the nation. Birmingham was founded in 1871, during the post-Civil War Reconstruction era, through the merger of three pre-existing farm towns, most notably Elyton; the new city was named for Birmingham, the UK's second largest city and, at the time, a major industrial city. The Alabama city annexed smaller neighbors and developed as an industrial center, based on mining, the new iron and steel industry, rail transport. Most of the original settlers who founded Birmingham were of English ancestry.
The city was developed as a place where cheap, non-unionized immigrant labor, along with African-American labor from rural Alabama, could be employed in the city's steel mills and blast furnaces, giving it a competitive advantage over unionized industrial cities in the Midwest and Northeast. From its founding through the end of the 1960s, Birmingham was a primary industrial center of the southern United States, its growth from 1881 through 1920 earned it nicknames such as "The Magic City" and "The Pittsburgh of the South". Its major industries were steel production. Major components of the railroad industry and railroad cars, were manufactured in Birmingham. Since the 1860s, the two primary hubs of railroading in the "Deep South" have been Birmingham and Atlanta; the economy diversified in the latter half of the 20th century. Banking, telecommunications, electrical power transmission, medical care, college education, insurance have become major economic activities. Birmingham ranks as one of the largest banking centers in the U.
S. Also, it is among the most important business centers in the Southeast. In higher education, Birmingham has been the location of the University of Alabama School of Medicine and the University of Alabama School of Dentistry since 1947. In 1969 it gained the University of Alabama at Birmingham, one of three main campuses of the University of Alabama System, it is home to three private institutions: Samford University, Birmingham-Southern College, Miles College. The Birmingham area has major colleges of medicine, optometry, physical therapy, law and nursing; the city has three of the state's five law schools: Cumberland School of Law, Birmingham School of Law, Miles Law School. Birmingham is the headquarters of the Southwestern Athletic Conference and the Southeastern Conference, one of the major U. S. collegiate athletic conferences. Birmingham was founded on June 1, 1871, by the Elyton Land Company, whose investors included cotton planters and railroad entrepreneurs, it sold lots near the planned crossing of the Alabama & Chattanooga and South & North Alabama railroads, including land, a part of the Benjamin P. Worthington plantation.
The first business at that crossroads was the trading post and country store operated by Marre and Allen. The site of the railroad crossing was notable for its proximity to nearby deposits of iron ore and limestone – the three main raw materials used in making steel. Birmingham is the only place where significant amounts of all three minerals can be found in close proximity. From the start the new city was planned as a center of industry; the city's founders, organized as the Elyton Land Company, named it in honor of Birmingham, one of the world's premier industrial cities, to emphasize that point. The growth of the planned city was impeded by an outbreak of cholera and a Wall Street crash in 1873. Soon afterward, however, it began to develop at an explosive rate; the Tennessee Coal and Iron Company became the leading steel producer in the South by 1892. In 1907 U. S. Steel became the most important political and economic force in Birmingham, it resisted new industry, however. In 1911, the town of Elyton and several other surrounding towns were absorbed into Birmingham.
From the early 20th century, the city grew so it earned the sobriquet "The Magic City". The downtown was redeveloped from a low-rise commercial and residential district into a busy grid of neoclassical mid- and high-rise buildings crisscrossed by streetcar lines. Between 1902 and 1912, four large office buildings were constructed at the intersection of 20th Street, the central north-south spine of the city, 1st Avenue North, which connected the warehouses and industrial facilities along the east-west railroad corridor; this early group of skyscrapers was nicknamed the "Heaviest Corner on Earth". Birmingham was hit by the 1916 Irondale earthquake. A few buildings in the area were damaged; the earthquake was felt as far as Atlanta and neighboring states. While excluded from the best-paying industrial jobs, African Americans joined the migration of residents from rural areas to the city, drawn by economic opportunity; the Great Depression of the 1930s struck Birmingham hard, as the sources of capital fueling the city's growth dried up at the same time farm laborers, driven off the land, made their way to the city in search of work.
Hundreds poured into many riding in empty boxcars. "Hobo jungles" were established in Boyles, the Twenty-fourth Street Viaduct, G