Overview of Montgomery, AL

The city of Montgomery currently stands as the capital of the state of Alabama. It is also the county seat of the County of Montgomery which consists of part of Monroe County that was divided in the year 1816. Most of the wealth of the city at the turn of the 19th century can be attributed to cattle and cotton farming.

Now, the city boasts of a population of over 200,000 citizens and is the second most populous city in the Alabama region. However, before it got to this point, the city had to face certain turning points in history.

Origins

In the year 1819, the town of East Alabama and New Philadelphia were merged together to form what is now referred to as Montgomery. Before the merger, the eastern bank of the Alabama River had been occupied by a tribe of Native Americans known as Alibamu. The Native Americans were the primary occupant of this land until 1716 when a European settler known as James McQueen relocated to the area. James McQueen married a woman from the Alibamu tribe, and they later had mixed-blood children.

Another settler by the name of Abraham Mordecai arrived in the region in 1785 and set up a trading post. He also marred a woman from the Native American tribe known as the Creeks. He was responsible for bringing the first cotton gin to Alabama.

Between the periods of 1813-1814, there was a period of civil unrest in the land as the Native Americans were forced to cede their lands to European-American settlers. 2 years later the Montgomery County was formed.

Trade

The state of Alabama played a significant role in the slave trade and one of the major proponents of it as its proximity to a river. The Alabama River was used by slave traders to ferry slaves to various regions of the state to work as laborers on plantations. The slaves were made to work on cotton and this consequently led to a boom in the revenue of the country from cotton trade.

During the period of the boom, cotton was in high demand all over the state. The newly formed city of Montgomery also benefitted from this as the Alabama River was right on its doorstep. As such, the town grew immensely, and in the year 1822 became the new county seat. Later on, in the year 1846, the state capital of Alabama would be given to Montgomery.

Politics

With its new title of the state capital, the city began to play a more prominent role in US politics. The town served as host for the Southern Convention in 1861 which was a meeting held to form the Confederate States of America. Representatives from South Carolina, Louisiana, Florida, Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi all met in this city to inaugurate Jefferson Davies as the President.

Activism

​A lot of civil rights movement was nurtured in the city of Montgomery. The likes of Rosa Parks who sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott and Martin Luther King Jr. who is known as a civil rights activist were some of the individuals at the center of this.

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