Alabama Today - HillcrestHighEnglish

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Alabama Today
By David and Jason
Location
“Located in the
southeastern region of the
United States of America. It
is bordered by Tennessee to
the north, Georgia to the
east, Florida and the Gulf of
Mexico to the south, and
Mississippi to the west.”
Climate
• “Generally, Alabama has very hot summers and mild
winters with copious precipitation throughout the year.
Alabama receives an average of 56 inches (1,400 mm)
of rainfall annually and enjoys a lengthy growing
season of up to 300 days in the southern part of the
state”
• “The all-time record low of −27 °F (−33 °C) was
recorded at New Market on January 30, 1966”
• “Though winters in the state are usually mild, nightly
freezing occurs frequently in the North Alabama
region. “
History:
• “Indigenous peoples inhabited the area of Alabama before
Europeans came. Made up of Native American Tribes. At the
time when Europeans came, there were Iroquoian-speaking
Cherokee, and the Muskogean-speaking Alabama (Alibamu),
Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, Koasati, and Mobile.”
• French were first Europeans in 1702 to settle, forming “Old
Mobile.” Then British came along with other Europeans.
Developments:
• Had lots of cotton plantations, so slaves were brought
in supporting the “Black Belt” economy (because of
dark, productive soils in the region)
• “The 1860 census records show that enslaved Africans
comprised 45% of the state's total population of
964,201. There were only 2,690 free persons of color
living in Alabama at the time.”
• Alabama contributed 120,000 soldiers to American
Civil War as member of the Confederate States of
America which comprised of Southern “slave” states
• “Alabama's slaves were freed by the 13th Amendment
in 1865”
After Civil War…
• State still quite agricultural with lots of cotton
plantations supplying the economy
• Rise of Ku Klux Klan, in Alabama they attacked
“freedmen” and Republicans
• Insurgent whites publicly opposed black rights
and after successfully gaining power in “state
legislature,” Democrats passed “Jim Crow
Laws” and racial segregation
• As a result blacks lost most voting rights
Return of Rights:
• “During the Civil Rights Movement, African
Americans achieved a protection of voting and
other civil rights through the passage of the
national Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the
Voting Rights Act of 1965. De jure [concerning
law] segregation ended in the states as Jim
Crow laws were invalidated or repealed.”
After defeat of creek Indians in 1810s, Alabama opened up to
white settlers looking for fertile land to grow cotton- they
came in their thousands.
Changes in the Population
1820 Federal Census:
Alabama population=144,317
White population=96,245
African-American population=48,082
Slave population=47,449
1870 Federal Census: After start of Civil War in 1861
Free black population=633
State population=996,992.
Urban population=n/a
White population=521,384
Rural population=n/a
African-American population=475,510
Urban population=62,700
Rural population=934,292
Cotton production in bales=429,482
Corn production in bushels=16,977,948
2000 Federal Census:
Number of manufacturing establishments=2,188.
State population=4,447,100.
White population=3,188,102
African-American population=1,138,726
Hispanic population=45,349
Ethnicity:
Religion:
• Alabama located in the “Bible Belt” which
means most of the population are Protestant
• Mobile County is comprised of a high number
of Catholics, probably due to the French and
Spanish influence when they settled here.
• In the 2008 American Religious Identification
Survey, only 11% of people did not have a
religion
Health:
• Research by Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention- “showed that Alabama was the worst
in the country for obesity with most counties
having over 29% of adults obese, except for ten
which exceeded 26%.”
• “Residents were least likely of any state in the
nation to exercise.”
• “Alabama has one of the highest incidents of
adult onset diabetes in the country, exceeding
10% of adults”
Governments:
• The Alabama Constitution (ratified in 1901) is
“the world's longest constitution [310,000
words] and is roughly forty times the length of
the U.S. Constitution”
• There are “claims” (only speculations though)
that the length of this is because aspects of
racial prejudice are included.
How all this relates to To Kill a
Mockingbird
• The tale is set in 1930s Alabama, when the Great
Depression was happening- “The Cunninghams
are country folks, farmers, and the crash hit them
hardest” (page 27)
• Maycomb County is a fictional town, but it can be
well related back to Monroeville, Harper Lee’s
home town in Alabama eg. Both are “sleepy
small” towns with similar streets and buildings
etc.
• Calpurnia goes to church as well as many others
because most of the population had a religion
How it relates to novel continued:
• Segregation was still powerful in the 1930s, until 1964
when black Americans become more protected by the
Civil Rights Act- in the novel, Tom Robinson was
convicted of rape by an “all-white” jury even though
there was sufficient evidence provided by Atticus that
he was innocent. Atticus is also accused for being a
“nigger-lover” by fighting for Robinson in the trial.
• The climate becomes unusual in the novel- at the start
it seems normal with warm summer, but when winter
comes, temperatures drop to lowest “since 1885,
Atticus said.”
Alabama today
Capital City: Birmingham, Alabama
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