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A new constitution written in 1901 not only crushed rural political insurgency but also fixed the principles of the old conservative white regime into law.
Disfranchising almost all African Americans and many poor and working-class whites, the constitution hardened class and racial divisions that remained in place until the civil rights movement of the 1960s and intervention by the U. Congress, the executive branch, and the federal courts.
Within its borders, Alabama has more than 190 mineral types, many of which played key roles in the state's industrialization (coal, iron ore, limestone, clays, chalk, marble, quartz, copper, gold, and graphite).
Forests covered the entire state when humans first arrived.
Fiercely independent and resistant to outsiders, a portion of the state's white population enslaved a population nearly its own size to promote plantation cotton cultivation and became fabulously wealthy in the process.
The arrogance of that wealth factored into the decision to secede from the Union in 1861, with disastrous consequences.
Rich in mineral wealth and flowing water, the state's historic poverty cannot be attributed to lack of natural resources.
When the Alabama coastline reached well to the north of its current location, giant Cretaceous mosasaurs and the Paleogene basilosaurus, a prehistoric whale and the state fossil, swam in the ancient seas.
As the continents shifted and ocean waters moved south toward the present-day Gulf of Mexico, deep valleys became the natural conduit for swiftly moving waters that cascaded over rocky bottoms, falling toward the sea.
Both in physical size and in population, Alabama has typically ranked near the middle of the 50 American states.
The state's 52,423 square miles are configured in a length of 330 miles and a width of 150 miles at their longest and widest expanse.