Alabama is a state in the southern United States. In 2006 it had an estimated population of 4,599,030. Montgomery (population 201,998) is the state's capital, although Birmingham (population 229,424) is its largest city.
See Alabama, history.
Alabama joined the United States in 1819 as the 22nd state. In the American Civil War of 1861–1865, Alabama was one of the eleven states that seceded the United States to form the Confederate States of America.
Historically, Alabama has a record of racial tension. In the 1960s, Martin Luther King organized civil rights protests in Alabama and was once jailed in Birmingham (where he wrote "Letter from Birmingham Jail"). Alabama was also the site of the notorious incident in which Governor George Wallace stood at a college gate blocking the entry of an African-American student in an attempt to halt desegregation.
After the Civil War, Alabama was a part of the Solid South that consistently supported the Democratic Party. However, after the Civil Rights Movement in the mid-1900s, along with other Southern states Alabama shifted Republican. The state is considered a bastion of conservatives and the Republican Party dominates Alabaman politics, with senators Jeff Sessions and Richard Shelby, Governor Bob Riley, and an overwhelming majority of the House of Representatives being Republican.