January 2, 2015

1391 UNITED STATES (Alabama) - Alabama map and flag

Bordered by Tennessee to the north, Georgia to the east, Florida and the Gulf of Mexico to the south, and Mississippi to the west, Alabama (nicknamed The Cotton State) took its name from the Alabama people, a Muskogean-speaking tribe whose members lived just below the confluence of the Coosa and Tallapoosa rivers. About three-fifths of its land area is a gentle plain, and the north region is mostly mountainous, with the Tennessee River cutting a large valley and creating numerous creeks, streams, rivers, mountains, and lakes. The capital city of the state is, from 1846, Montgomery, which was also selected in 1861 as the first capital of the Confederate States of America, until the seat of government moved to Richmond, Virginia.

Indigenous peoples of varying cultures lived in the area for thousands of years before European colonization. The Mississippian culture covered most of the state from 1000 to 1600 AD, among the historical tribes of Native American people living in the area at the time of European contact being the Cherokee, AlabamaChickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, and Koasati. The spaniard Hernando de Soto was the first European who passed through the region in 1540, but the French were the ones who founded the first European settlement, Old Mobile, in 1702. The 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 U.S. victory in the American Revolutionary War, the territory was divided between the U.S. and Spain until 1813, when the Spaniards lost their part. Prior to the admission of Mississippi as a state in 1817, the more sparsely settled eastern half of the territory was separated and named the Alabama Territory, and in 1819 it become the 22nd state of the Union. Southeastern planters and traders from the Upper South brought slaves with them as the cotton plantations in Alabama expanded, and most Native American tribes were completely removed.

By 1860, the population had increased to 964,201 people, of which nearly half were enslaved African Americans. As a result, Alabama was heavily involved in the American Civil War, contributing with about 120,000 soldiers to the war effort of the Confederacy. From the end of the war, it was under military rule until its official restoration to the Union in 1868. Its reconstruction ended in 1874, but it remained chiefly agricultural, with an economy tied to cotton. Continued racial discrimination, agricultural depression, and the failure of the cotton crops, led tens of thousands of African Americans to seek opportunities in northern cities in the early 20th century. During the Civil Rights Movement, African Americans achieved enforcement of voting and other civil constitutional rights through the passage of the national Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965.

The state is classified as humid subtropical, and is prone to tropical storms and even hurricanes. Along with Oklahoma, it has the most EF5 tornadoes of any state, and also the most tornado fatalities. On the other side, it is usually ranked among the top in nation for its range of overall biodiversity. Located in the middle of the Bible Belt, it has been identified as one of the most religious states in the U.S., with about 58% of the population attending church regularly.

The current flag of the state of Alabama (the second in the state's history) was adopted in 1895: "The flag of the State of Alabama shall be a crimson cross of St. Andrew on a field of white. The bars forming the cross shall be not less than six inches broad, and must extend diagonally across the flag from side to side." The present Great Seal of the State of Alabama was adopted in 1939: "The seal shall be circular, and the diameter thereof two and a quarter inches; near the edge of the circle shall be the word "Alabama," and opposite this word, at the same distance from the edge, shall be the words, "Great Seal." In the center of the seal there shall be a representation of a map of the state with its principal rivers."

About the stamps
About the first stamp, featuring a portrait of George Washington, I wrote here. The last two stamp are part of the series A Flag for All Seasons, about which I wrote here.

Alabama - Wikipedia
Flag of Alabama - Wikipedia
Seal of Alabama - Wikipedia

Sender: Denise 
Sent from Greenvale (New York / United States), on 28.02.2014

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