Wikijunior:North America/United States/Alabama
Alabama is a state located in the southern region of the United States. 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.
The French founded the first settlement in the state in 1702. In 1819 Alabama was the twenty-second state admitted to the union. Alabama was the new frontier in the 1820s and 1830s. Settlers rapidly arrived to take advantage of fertile soils. Planters brought slaves with them, and traders brought in more from the Upper South as the cotton plantations expanded. The economy of the central "Black Belt" featured large cotton plantations whose owners built their wealth on the labor of enslaved African Americans. It was named for the dark, fertile soil. According to the 1860 census, enslaved Africans made up 45% of the state's population.
In 1861 Alabama separated from the union and joined the Confederate States of America. Although there were not many battles fought in the state, Alabama contributed about 120,000 soldiers to the Civil War. All the slaves were freed by 1865. Following Reconstruction, Alabama was readmitted to the Union in 1868.
Alabama is the 30th largest state in the United States with 52,423 square miles (135,775 square kilometers) of total area. The climate of Alabama is described as temperate with an average annual temperature of 64 F (18 C). Temperatures tend to be warmer in the southern part of state because of how close it is to the Gulf of Mexico. Northern parts of the state tend to be cooler because they are closer to the Appalachian Mountains. Most of the time, Alabama has very hot summers with mild winters.
- The state is nicknamed the Yellowhammer State, the Heart of Dixie, and the Cotton State
- The state's motto is "Audemus iura nostra defendere" which is Latin for "We dare to defend our rights"
- The state's slogans are "Share the Wonder", "Alabama the beautiful", "Where America finds its voice", "Sweet Home Alabama", and "Heart of Dixie"
- The state amphibian is Red Hills salamander
- The state birds are the yellowhammer and the wild turkey
- The state butterfly is the eastern tiger swallowtail
- The state fishes are the largemouth bass and the fighting tarpon
- The state flowers are the camellia and the oak-leaf hydrangea
- The state horse breed is the racking horse
- The state insect is the monarch butterfly
- The state mammal is the American black bear
- The state reptile is the Alabama red-bellied turtle
- The state tree is the longleaf pine
- The state beverage is Conecuh Ridge Whiskey
- The state colors are red & white
- The state dance is the square dance
- The state foods are pecan, blackberry, and peach
- The state fossil is Basilosaurus
- The state gemstone is star blue quartz
- The state mineral is hematite
- The state rock is marble
- The state shell is Johnstone's junonia
- The state soil is bama
- The state song is "Alabama"