Patterns of immigration in Alabama have varied markedly among different areas of the state, making the state as a whole ethnically diverse; however, arrivals of large groups of new immigrants sometimes prompted eruptions of nativism. Late in the twentieth century, an influx of Mexicans provoked protests from taxpayers and from workers who felt their jobs were threatened.
During the sixteenth century, Spanish explorers found Alabama populated by
After several unsuccessful efforts at colonization by the Spanish, the French established a colony at Mobile, which was still a part of French Louisiana, in 1711. In 1780, that settlement was taken over by the Spanish. In 1813 it was claimed by the United States. Nevertheless, the French and the Spanish had left their imprint on Mobile, and as a port city, it would continue to have a more cosmopolitan atmosphere than any other place in Alabama. Baldwin County, which lies on the eastern shore of Mobile Bay, also attracted a diverse population.
After the U.S. Civil War ended in 1865, immigrants from Italy, Scandinavia, Greece, Germany, central Europe, and French Canada settled in the county, cleared the land and farmed the fertile soil, and fished in the coastal waters. The ethnic origins of the communities they founded are still evident. For example, Fairhope, a town in Baldwin County, was the site of two unusual ventures, both organized by midwesterners. It was originally founded as a semisocialistic single-tax colony, and it was also the home of an early educational experiment, the School of Organic Education
Alabama’s central and northern parts were settled largely by people from other states. Planters from South Carolina and Georgia, who could no longer grow cotton on their depleted soil, moved to the Black Belt in the central part of Alabama, and
During the 1880’s,
Native Alabamians welcomed well-educated immigrants who could fill obvious needs, such as the
Cobb, James C., and William Stueck, eds. Globalization and the American South. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2005. Hamilton, Virginia. Alabama: A Bicentennial History. New York: W. W. Norton, 1984. Mohl, Raymond A. “Globalization, Latinization, and the Nuevo New South.” In Other Souths: Diversity and Difference in the U.S. South, Reconstruction to Present, edited by Pippa Holloway. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2008. Rogers, William Warren, Robert David Ward, Leah Rawls Atkins, and Wayne Flynt. Alabama: The History of a Deep South State. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 1994. Waters, Mary C., and Reed Ueda, eds. The New Americans: A Guide to Immigration Since 1965. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2007.
Clotilde slave ship
Iron and steel industry
Ku Klux Klan