Alabama - the 22nd state of the United States - is located in the south of the United States, surrounded by Tennessee in the north, Georgia in the east, Florida and the Gulf of Mexico in the south and Mississippi in the west. The capital of Alabama is Montgomery, second most populous city in Alabama. The city with the highest population in Alabama is Birmingham with approximately 229.800 inhabitants (in 2007).
There are many ideas of where the name Alabama comes from or what the meaning is. It could be the name of a former Indian tribe or just a combination of the words alba "a thick or mass vegetation", and amo "to clear, to collect, to gather up."
With almost 131.443 square kilometers, Alabama is almost as big as Great Britain. The nickname of Alabama is - unofficially - the Yellowhammer State, which is also the name of the state bird.
Alabama ranks on second place in the size of its inland waterways and on 30th place in the total land area. With almost 4.6 million inhabitants, the state ranks on 23rd place in population.
In the beginning of the 19th century, the cultivation of cotton dominated the agriculture. Until today it has been a very important branch of production, but some former cotton fields are now used for the cultivation of corn, peanuts or soybeans. Within the industrialization in the 20ies century, large industries in the field of fertilizer, monition and manufacture of aluminium were developed.
Alabama is the heart of the Dixieland and plays an important role in the history of the South. The capital Montgomery was the first capital of the confederation during the American Civil War. The historic buildings and gardens can be visited today by tourists. In 1861, the same day Jefferson Davis was inaugurated as president of the confederation, he sent the telegram „Fire for Fort Sumter" which was the start of the Civil War in the same year. Only a few months later, the regime of the south states relocated their base to Richmond, Virginia.
Today, Montgomery has the biggest cattle markets of the southern states. Furthermore, it is very famous for their fabrication of furniture in the Victorian style.
But there are also some strange laws until today: For example it is still forbidden to play Domino on a Sunday or to go to church with a fake moustache.