Forest Certification: From the Woods to the Mills & Beyond (State of Alabama) –

4 May 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Forest Certification: From the Woods to the Mills & Beyond (State of Alabama) –
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History [link]

Etymology [link]

Indigenous peoples, early history [link]

Mount Cheaha. Alabama’s highest point

Indigenous peoples of varying cultures lived in the area for thousands of years before European colonization. Trade with the Northeast via the Ohio River began during the Burial Mound Period (1000#160;BC–AD#160;700) and continued until European contact. [ 16 ] The agrarian Mississippian culture covered most of the state from AD 1000 to 1600, with one of its major centers being at the Moundville Archaeological Site in Moundville, Alabama. [ 17 ] [ 18 ] Analysis of artifacts recovered from archaeological excavations at Moundville were the basis of scholars’ formulating the characteristics of the Southeastern Ceremonial Complex (SECC). [ 19 ] Contrary to popular belief, the SECC appears to have no direct links to Mesoamerican culture, but developed independently. The Ceremonial Complex represents a major component of the religion of the Mississippian peoples; it is one of the primary means by which their religion is understood. [ 20 ]

Among the historical tribes of Native American people living in the area of present-day Alabama at the time of European contact were Iroquoian -speaking Cherokee. and the Muskogean -speaking Alabama ( Alibamu ), Chickasaw. Choctaw. Creek. Koasati. and Mobile. [ 21 ]

European settlement [link]

The French founded the first European settlement in the region at Old Mobile. in 1702. [ 22 ] The area was French from 1702 to 1763; part of British West Florida from 1763 to 1780. Thomas Bassett was the first British settler in the state.

He settled near what is now Tombigbee River in Washington County. [ 23 ] Alabama became part of Spanish West Florida from 1780 to 1810; part of the independent Republic of West Florida for a short time (90 days); annexed by the U.S. and added to the Territory of Orleans (1810); and, finally, added to the Mississippi Territory in 1812. Throughout these later developments, however, the Spanish had kept a nominal (although largely ignored) governmental presence in the region, based out of Mobile. When Andrew Jackson ‘s forces occupied Mobile in 1814 —while preparing for the Battle of New Orleans —he demonstrated the United States’ de facto authority over the region, effectively ending Spanish governance (though not its claim), while gaining an unencumbered passage to the gulf. [ 24 ]

The area making up today’s northern and central Alabama, known as the Yazoo lands. had been claimed by the Province of Georgia after 1767. Following the Revolutionary War. it remained a part of the state of Georgia —although heavily disputed. Conflicting claims to the area were held, first by several Native American tribes (most notably the Chickamauga-Cherokee and Yazoo ), by other states (e.g. South Carolina ); and by the US federal government ; Britain and Spain.

In 1802, the region was joined to the Mississippi Territory. Individual statehood was delayed, however, by the territory’s lack of a coastline. [ citation needed ]

Statehood, Civil War, and Reconstruction [link]

Old Alabama state capital ruins at Capital Park in Tuscaloosa

Alabama was admitted to the Union in 1819 as the 22nd state. Part of the frontier in the 1820s and 1830s, its constitution provided for universal suffrage for white men. Settlers rapidly arrived to take advantage of the fertile soil. Southeastern planters and traders from the Upper South brought slaves with them as the cotton plantations expanded.

The economy of the central Black Belt (named for its dark, productive soil) was built around large cotton plantations whose owners’ wealth grew largely from slave labor. [ 25 ] The area also drew many poor, disfranchised people who became subsistence farmers. 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.

From 1826 to 1846, Tuscaloosa served as the capital of Alabama. On January 30, 1846, the Alabama legislature announced that it had voted to remove the capital city from Tuscaloosa to Montgomery. The first legislative session in the new capital met in December 1847. In time, a Capitol building was erected under the direction of a Philadelphia.

Pennsylvania architect. The original structure burnt down in 1849 but was rebuilt in 1851 following the original plans. [ 26 ]

On January 11, 1861, Alabama declared its secession from the Union and joined the Confederate States of America. While few battles were fought in the state, Alabama contributed about 120,000#160;soldiers to the American Civil War. Alabama’s slaves were freed by the 13th#160;Amendment in 1865. [ 27 ] During Reconstruction. the new state legislators created a public school system for the first time, as well as establishing some welfare institutions to help its people.

Alabama was officially restored to the Union in 1868.

After the Civil War, the state was still chiefly agricultural, with an economy tied to cotton. Planters resisted working with free labor during Reconstruction and sought to re-establish controls over freedmen. In the early years the Ku Klux Klan had numerous independent chapters in Alabama that attacked freedmen and other Republicans. After it was suppressed, insurgent whites organized paramilitary groups, such as the Red Shirts and White League. that acted more openly to suppress black voting.

Regaining power by the late 1870s, in the last decade of the 19th century, white Democrats passed electoral laws disfranchise most blacks and many poor whites. [ 28 ] Having regained power in the state legislature, Democrats passed Jim Crow laws. including racial segregation in public facilities, to restore white supremacy in the society.

In 1875, the state passed the Blaine Amendment. to prohibit public money from being used to finance Catholic schools. [ 29 ]

1900–1960 [link]

The new 1901 Constitution of Alabama effectively disfranchised African Americans and many poor whites through voting restrictions, including literacy requirements. While the planter class had persuaded poor whites to support these legislative efforts, the new restrictions resulted in disfranchising poor whites as well, due mostly to imposition of a cumulative poll tax .

In 1900, 14 Black Belt counties had more than 79,000 voters on the rolls. [ clarification needed ] By June 1, 1903, the number of [ clarification needed ] registered voters had dropped to 1,081. In 1900, Alabama had more than 181,000 African Americans eligible to vote. By 1903, only 2,980 had qualified to register, although at least 74,000 black voters were literate. [ 30 ]

By 1941, a total of more whites than blacks had been disfranchised: 600,000 whites to 520,000 blacks. [ 30 ] Nearly all African Americans lost the ability to vote.

The disfranchisement was ended by African Americans’ leading the Civil Rights Movement and gaining Federal legislation in the mid-1960s to protect their voting and civil rights. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 also protected the suffrage of poor whites.

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The rural-dominated Alabama legislature consistently underfunded schools and services for the disfranchised African Americans in the segregated state, but did not relieve them of paying taxes. [ 25 ] Continued racial discrimination, agricultural depression, and the failure of the cotton crops due to boll weevil infestation led tens of thousands of African Americans to seek opportunities in northern cities. They left Alabama in the early 20th#160;century as part of the Great Migration to industrial jobs and better futures in northern industrial cities. The population growth rate in Alabama (see Historical Populations table below) dropped by nearly half from 1910 to 1920, reflecting the effect of emigration.

At the same time, many rural whites and blacks migrated to the city of Birmingham for work in new industrial jobs. It experienced such rapid growth that it was nicknamed The Magic City. By the 1920s, Birmingham was the 19th#160;largest city in the U.S. and held more than 30% of the population of the state. Heavy industry and mining were the basis of the economy. [ 31 ]

This structure greets drivers visiting the Alabama Welcome Center just inside the AL/GA border off of Interstate 20 .

Industrial development related to the demands of World War II brought prosperity. [ 25 ] Cotton faded in importance as the state developed a manufacturing and service base. In the 1960s under Governor George Wallace. many whites in the state opposed federal integration efforts in schools and public facilities.

1960–present [link]

Despite massive population changes in the state from 1901 to 1961, the rural-dominated legislature refused to reapportion House and Senate seats based on population. They held on to old representation to maintain political and economic power in agricultural areas. In addition, the state legislature gerrymandered the few Birmingham legislative seats to ensure election by persons living outside Birmingham.

One result was that Jefferson County, containing Birmingham’s industrial and economic powerhouse, contributed more than one-third of all tax revenue to the state, but did not receive a proportional amount in services. Urban interests were consistently underrepresented in the legislature. A 1960 study noted that because of rural domination, A minority of about 25 per cent of the total state population is in majority control of the Alabama legislature. [ 6 ]

African Americans were presumed partial to Republicans for historical reasons, but they were disfranchised. White Alabamans felt bitter towards the Republican Party in the aftermath of the Civil War and Reconstruction. These factors created a longstanding tradition that any candidate who wanted to be viable with white voters had to run as a Democrat regardless of political beliefs.

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. [ 32 ] and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. De jure segregation ended in the states as Jim Crow laws were invalidated or repealed. [ 33 ]

Under the Voting Rights Act of 1965, cases were filed in Federal courts to force Alabama to redistrict by population both the House and Senate of the state legislature.

In 1972, for the first time since 1901, the legislature implemented the Alabama constitution’s provision for periodic redistricting based on population. This benefited the urban areas that had developed, as well as all in the population who had been underrepresented for more than 60#160;years. [ 6 ]

After 1972, the state’s white voters shifted much of their support to Republican candidates in presidential elections (as also occurred in neighboring southern states). Since 1990 the majority of whites in the state have voted increasingly Republican in state elections. In 2010, Republicans won control of both houses of the legislature for the first time in 136 years. [ 34 ]

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