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Alabama State History

The original inhabitants of the area that is now called Alabama were Native Americans, especially the Cherokee, Choctaw, Creek, and Chickasaw tribes.

Related: Alabama State Facts

Spanish explorers began arriving in the early 1500s but they did not settle in the area. The expeditions from Spain were only searching for gold.

Seal Of Alabama

Settlers to the Area

It wasn’t until 1702 that a permanent settlement of farmers was established by French settlers from France. It was called Fort Louis.

However, the settlement had to be moved when Fort Louis was destroyed by flooding. The new site is where Mobile, Alabama is today.

Other settlers from Europe came to farm the area, but most were from France and Canada.


In 1754, fighting broke out when British soldiers tried to take the land from the French. The Indians sided with the French.

The fighting lasted until 1763 when the British won. The War of 1812 saw Andrew Jackson win against the Creek Indians and the British.

The Indians were forced to hand over much of their land to the United States and sign treaties.

In 1817, Alabama Territory was created by the U.S. Congress and the city of Saint Stephens was named its first capital.

French And Indian War Map

On December 14, 1819, Alabama became the 22nd state of the United States.

Huntsville was named the capital but the capital was moved to different cities until 1846 when Montgomery was named the permanent capital.


Bringing Slaves to Alabama

Slavery was a lucrative industry in Alabama during the 1800s.


Shipowners captured men, women, and children in Africa and brought them to be sold to landowners.

In the mid-1800s, half the population of Alabama was made up of slaves.

Wreck Of The Slave Ship Clotilda

The Civil War

In 1861, the Civil War broke out between the United States of America (northern states) and the Confederate States of America (southern states).

The Confederates wanted to keep slavery. Alabama ceded from the United States and joined the Confederates.

The war lasted for 3 years and the Confederates were defeated. All slaves were declared free people.

Huntsville Courthouse Square

Free but Not Equal

Even though the slaves were declared free people, discrimination against the African American population was rampant.

Laws were passed called the Jim Crow Laws that created segregation. African Americans had separate schools, drinking fountains, and restaurants.


Many African American men joined the U.S. Army and fought for the United States in WWll in 1941 – 1945. But when the war was over, they still faced discrimination.

Alabama became the centre of the Civil Rights Movement.In 1955, Rosa Parks was arrested because she refused to give up her seat on a bus to a white person.


In 1956, Martin Luther King, Jr.’s home was bombed. Many civil rights leaders including Martin Luther King, Jr. conducted demonstrations, marches, and rallies.

One famous march was from Selma to Montgomery in 1965.

Quiz Time!



  1. What North American Indian tribes lived in the area known as Alabama today?
  2. Who were the first settlers to farm in Alabama and when did they arrive?
  3. When did Alabama become the 22nd state of the United States?
  4. What side did Alabama join during the Civil War?
  5. Why were slaves brought over from Africa?
Christian slavery


  1. The Cherokee, Choctaw, Creek, and Chickasaw tribes lived in the area of Alabama.
  2. French settlers arrived from France and began farming in Alabama in 1702.
  3. Alabama became the 22nd state of the United States in 1819.
  4. Alabama joined the Confederate States of America during the Civil War.
  5. Men, women, and children were captured in Africa and brought to Alabama to be sold to landowners so they could be made to work the farms.

United States History


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