Рефераты. Alabama state

Alabama state

After the battle came the night. It was the night of March 27, 1814. The

soldiers stretched wearily by the campfires. General Andrew Jackson sat in

his tent at Horseshoe Bend and thought of the great victory. At last he had

broken the power of the Creek Indians. Hundreds of warriors lay dead in the

sweeping bend of the Tallapoosa River.

Across the river, deep in the forest, a man stood motionless and alone. He

was William Weatherford, also known as Red Eagle, a leader of the Creeks.

He had escaped from the battle, and he would be hunted.

Yet Red Eagle did not flee. He thought of the Creek women and children

hiding in the forest without food or protection. He sighed and made a

decision. He would offer his life in exchange for food and safety for his


Red Eagle crossed the dark river and stood before Jackson, waiting for

death. But Jack-son, admiring his courage, allowed Red Eagle to leave in

peace. Before long the Creeks and other tribes left Alabama, and settlers

took the land.

One of Alabama's nicknames, Heart of Dixie, comes from the fact that the

state is located in the heart, or center, of the South. There are several

stories about the origin of the word "Dixie." Perhaps it came from the

French word dix, meaning "ten." This word was printed on $10 bills used in

the state of Louisiana before the Civil War. The bills were called dixies,

and the name Dixie, or Dixie Land, came to be used for all the cotton-

growing states.

Alabama has a long history as a farming area. The Indians were its first

farmers. Long before European settlers came to the New World, the Indians

cleared the thickets-thick growths of shrubs, bushes, and vines

—along Alabama's rivers and carried on agriculture. Then settlers took the

land, and fields of fluffy cotton began to stretch across Alabama. For

years the state was known as a land of cotton. But the time came when

Alabama's farmers realized that it was not wise to depend on a single crop.

They began to grow. many different kinds of crops and to raise hogs,

cattle, and chickens. Today leaders of the state say that Alabama's farms

can produce enough foods to give every one of its citizens a well-balanced

diet without having to repeat a menu for 30 days.

Roaring blast furnaces at Birmingham show that factories as well as farms

are important in Alabama. Birmingham is known as the Pittsburgh of the

South because of its steel mills. It is the largest of Alabama's industrial

cities. There are many others.

The U.S. Army's Redstone Arsenal, located at Huntsville, took Alabama into

the space age. Here scientists worked on the Jupiter C rocket. This rocket

hurled the nation's first successful satellite into orbit. Huntsville is

also known for the Redstone III rocket and the Saturn. The Redstone III

boosted the nation's first astronaut into outer space. The Saturn enabled

U.S. astronauts to land on the moon. Later, the space shuttle was tested at


The map on the state seal proudly displays Alabama's rivers. They have


been important for transportation. Dams in some of the rivers have great

power plants. These plants supply electric power to help light Alabama's

farms and cities and to run its factories. The dams also create strings of

sparkling lakes, where residents and visitors can enjoy fishing, boating,

and other forms of recreation. Besides its rivers and lakes, Alabama has a

share of the Gulf of Mexico. Mobile, on beautiful Mobile Bay, is one of the

important ports of the nation.

Timber from the forest and fish from the sea add to Alabama's wealth. Many

of the people still grow cotton and corn, but agriculture alone is no

longer the main concern of the state.

CAPITAL: Montgomery.

STATEHOOD: December 14, 1819; the 22nd state. SIZE: 133.915 km2 (51,705 sq

mi); rank, 29th.

POPULATION: 3.893,888 (1980 census); rank, 22nd.

ORIGIN OF NAME: From the Alibamu. or Alabamu. tribe of Indians, members of

the Creek Confederacy. The name may have come from words in the Choctaw

language, alba ayamule, meaning "I clear the thicket."


NICKNAMES: Heart of Dixie, from its location in the center of the Deep

South. Yellowhammer State, from Civil Wa'r times, when troops from Alabama

were called Yellowhammers.

STATE SONG: "Alabama," by Julia S. Tutwiler; music by Edna Goeckel Gussen.

STATE MOTTO: Audemus jura nostra defendere (We " dare defend our rights).

STATE SEAL: A map of Alabama showing the bordering states, the Gulf of

Mexico, and the major rivers.

STATE COAT OF ARMS: The shield in the center contains the emblems of five

governments that have ruled over Alabama—France (upper left), Spain (upper

right), Great Britain (lower left), the Confederacy (lower right), and the

United States (center). The eagles on each side of the shield represent

courage. They stand on a banner that carries the state motto. The ship

above the shield shows that Alabama borders on water.

STATE FLAG A crimson field. cross of St. Andrew on a white.


Alabama is one of the East South Central group of states. It could be

called an Appalachian state or a Gulf state. The southern end of the

Appalachian Mountain system extends into Alabama and covers the

northeastern part of the state. The Gulf of Mexico forms a small but

important part of Alabama's southern border.


Within the state of Alabama there are three major landforms. They are the

Interior Low Plateau, the Appalachian Highlands, and the Gulf Coastal

Plain. The Gulf Coastal Plain is the largest of the three regions. It lies

south of a line that begins in the northwestern corner of the state, runs

southeastward through the city of Tuscaloosa, and continues to Phenix City,

on the eastern border.

The Interior Low Plateau enters Alabama from the state of Tennessee and

covers a small area in the extreme northwest. The average elevation of this

part of Alabama is 210 meters (700 feet). It is a region of knobby hills,

cut through by the broad valley of the Tennessee River.

The Appalachian Highlands include three areas. They arc the Appalachian

Plateau, the Appalachian Ridge and Valley Region, and the Piedmont Plateau.

The average elevation of the highlands varies from 150 to 200 meters (500

to 700 feet), with most of the highest points in the Ridge and Valley


The Appalachian Plateau, also known as the Cumberland Plateau, enters the

northeast corner of the state and extends southwest-ward. This plateau is

rather rugged. It has some good farmland, but it is mainly an area of

lumbering and mining.

The Appalachian Ridge and Valley Region is made up of narrow valleys

between steep mountain ridges. It is known for its mineral riches and

forests of oak and pine.

The Piedmont Plateau is a wedge-shaped area southeast of the Ridge and

Valley Region. It gets its name from the word pied-mont, which means "lying

at the base, or foot, of mountains." This region is generally hilly, with

some rolling land. The most rugged part is in the northwest, where Cheaha

Mountain rises to 734 meters (2,407 feet).

The Gulf Coastal Plain is mainly a flat to rolling plain. Ages ago it was

covered by oceans. The part adjoining the Appalachian

Highlands is called the Upper Coastal Plain. This is the oldest part, as

well as the highest in elevation. South of it is a strip of nearly level

land known as the Black Belt because of its dark-colored soils. The

southeastern quarter of the state is known as the Wire Grass area because

it was once covered with a kind of coarse grass called wire grass.

For many years the Coastal Plain was the heart of the cotton fields. It is

changing gradually to an area where livestock graze and many different

crops are grown.

Rivers, Lakes, and Coastal Waters

Alabama is drained by three major river systems. The Tennessee River dips

down' into Alabama from the state of Tennessee. It flows westward through

northern Alabama and then northward to join the Ohio River. The other major

rivers of Alabama flow toward the Gulf of Mexico. The Mobile River system

is made up of several important rivers. The Tombigbee River and its main

tributary, the Black Warrior River, drain the western part of the state.

The Coosa and the Talla-poosa rivers flow through east central and eastern

Alabama. They join near Montgomery to form the Alabama River, which flows

southwestward toward the Tombigbee. North of Mobile, the Alabama and the

Tombigbee rivers join to form the Mobile River, which drains southward into

Mobile Bay. The Chat-tnhoochee is the major river of southeastern Alabama.

Guntcrsvillc Lake is the largest of the many lakes in the state.

The Tennessee-Tombigbee (Tenn-Tom) Waterway project was designed to

provide a water route from the Tennessee Valley to the Gulf of Mexico, by

way of the Tombigbee River. It includes a canal in the northeastern corner

of Mississippi that links the rivers.

Alabama's general coastline on the Gulf of Mexico is 85 kilometers (53

miles) long. If the shorelines of inlets, bays, and offshore islands are

added, the total shoreline is 977 kilometers (607 miles).


People sometimes think of Alabama as an uncomfortably hot, tropical state,

but this impression is false. Actually, there is a wide variety of climate

from the highlands of the north to the beaches of the Gulf of Mexico.

Winter temperatures in the southern half of the state rarely drop below

freezing. Snow is so rare that many children have never seen a snowfall. In

the northern part of the state, winters are not so mild. Northwest winds

bring cold snaps, but they are usually short and are followed by mild


Summer temperatures tend to be about the same over the state. The summer

is long, but extended heat waves are almost unknown. Along the coast the

hot days are relieved by frequent breezes blowing in from the Gulf of

Mexico. Nights are cool and comfortable even in midsummer. In the north,

summer temperatures are relieved by the higher altitudes and by cool forest

shade. Spring and autumn are long and delightful. Autumn extends from early

September to well after Thanksgiving.


LOCATION: Latitude—30° 13' N to 35" N

.Longitude—84" to 53' W to 88° 28' W.

Tennessee to the north, Mississippi on the west, the Florida panhandle and

the Gulf of Mexico to the south, Georgia on the east.

ELEVATION: Highest—Cheaha Mountain, 734 m (2,407 ft). Lowest—Sea level,

along the Gulf of Mexico.

LANDFORMS: Highlands (the Interior Low Plateau and the Appalachian

Highlands) in the northern part of the state; lowlands (the Gulf Coastal

Plain) in the south and west.

SURFACE WATERS: Major rivers—Tennessee; Tombigbee, with its main tributary,

the Black Warrior; Coosa and Tallapoosa, which join to form the Alabama;

Mobile, formed by the joining of the Alabama and the Tombigbee;

Chattahoochee. Major artificial lakes—Pickwick, Wilson, Wheeler, and

Guntersville, on the Tennessee River; Lay, Mitchell, Weiss, and Jordan, on

.the Coosa; Martin and Thurlow, on the Tallapoosa; Holt Reservoir on the

Black Warrior.

CLIMATE: Temperature—July average, about 27°C (80°F) statewide. January

average, about 7°C (44°F) in north, 12°C (53°F) in south.

Precipitation—Rainfall average, 1,350 mm (53 in); varies from 1,320 mm (52

in) in north to 1,730 mm (68 in) along the coast. Growing season—Varies

from about 200 days in north to 300 days in south.

Natural Resources

Leaders of the state like to say that Alabama has more natural resources

than any other area of its size in the world. These resources include

soils, minerals, forests, and water.

Soils. Alabama may be divided into several major soil areas. Along the

Coosa and the Tennessee rivers, there are valleys called limestone valleys.

The soils in these valleys are mainly red clay loams. They were formed by

the weathering of limestone rock. The soils of the Appalachian Plateau are

mainly sandy loams. Red sandy loams and clay loams cover much pf the

Piedmont Plateau. The soils of the Gulf Coastal Plain were formed from

sediment laid down in the oceans that once covered the plain. Most of these

soils are sandy loams or clay soils.

Long years of growing cotton and corn lowered the fertility of Alabama's

soils. The abundant rainfall also caused the topsoil to be washed away. In

many places, especially in the Piedmont Plateau and the Black Belt, farms

are now planted in grasses to improve the soil and provide pasture for


Forests. About 60 per cent of all the land of Alabama is forested. Many

kinds of trees are found, but the soft pine is the most common. It is also

the most valuable for wood pulp, which is used for making paper. The pine

forests grow mainly in the central and southern parts of the state.

To improve worn-out soils, farmers have developed many tree farms for

future harvest. Paper companies, farmers, and the government all help in a

continuing program of reforestation.

Minerals. Most of Alabama's minerals are in the northern half of the

state. Coal and iron ore are found in the Appalachian Plateau and in the

Ridge and Valley Region. One of the largest deposits, or fields, of coal is

the Warrior field. It extends through all of Walker County and parts of

Fayette, Tuscaloosa, and Jefferson counties. Some of the best beds of iron

ore are in the Birmingham area.

Limestone occurs in the Tennessee Valley and in the Ridge and Valley

Region, as well as in areas of the Gulf Coastal Plain. Marble is found in

Coosa and Talladega counties.

Petroleum is the most important mineral of the Gulf Coastal Plain. It has

been found in the extreme southwestern counties. There are important salt

deposits north of Mobile. Henry and Barbour counties, as well as other

parts of the state, have deposits of bauxite, a claylike mineral from which

aluminum is obtained.


|TOTAL: 3,893,888 (1980 census). Density—29.6 |

|persons to each square kilometer (76.7 persons |

|to each square mile). |


|Year Population |

|Year Population |

|1820 127,901 |

|1920 2,348,174 |

|1860 964,201 |

|1960 3,266,740 |

|1880 1,262,505 |

|1970 3,444,354 |

|1900 1,828,697 |

|1980 3,893,888 |

|Gain Between 1970 and 1980—13.1 percent |

|CITIES: Fifteen of Alabama's cities have a |

|population of more than 25,000 (1980 census). |

|Birmingham 284,413 Prichard 39,541 |

|Mobile 200,452 Florence 37,029 |

|Montgomery 177,857 Bessemer 31,729 |

|Huntsville 142,513 Anniston 29,523 |

|Tuscaloosa 75,211 Auburn 28,471 |

|Dothan 48,750 Phenix City 26,928 |

|Gadsden 47,565 Selma 26,684 |

|Decatur 42,002 |

Waters. Alabama's water is one of its most valuable resources. The

supply is abundant. Mainly it is soft, pure water that does not require

treatment before being used in homes and industries.

Hydroelectric plants line the Coosa, Talla-poosa, Tennessee,

Chattahoochee, and Black Warrior rivers. Along the rivers there arc also

steam power plants, fed by Alabama's coal. Additional plants are now being

built or planned. They will provide ample power for years to come.

Wildlife. Alabama has more than 300 species of birds. Among the largest

are bald eagles, hawks, ospreys, and wild turkeys, ducks, and geese.

Rabbits, squirrels, raccoons, foxes, and white-tailed deer are found in

most of the state, and black bears in some areas. Fresh-water fish include

bass, perch, bluegill, and trout. Some fisheries have been closed by

mercury pollution.

In 1955 the tarpon was named the state salt-water fish. It is a big

fighting fish found in the warm, blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico. It has

no commercial value. The main products of the sea fisheries are shrimp,

oysters, and crabs.


There are very few foreign-born people living in Alabama. The majority

are descend

ants of European settlers who came to the area in colonial times. About one

third of the people are blacks whose ancestors were brought to the South as

slaves. Among the people of Indian heritage, the most active organized

group is the Creek Nation East of the Mississippi, at Atmore.

In 1960, for the first time, more Alabam-ians lived in cities than in

rural areas. The number of persons who work on farms has dropped steadily

since the 1940's. And the number who work in manufacturing and other kinds

of jobs has continued to grow.

Industries and Products

For some time the value of products manufactured in Alabama has been far

greater than the value of livestock and crops and of the different kinds of

minerals that are produced in the state.

Manufacturing. The mast important industries are the ones that manufacture

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