What is the Capital of Alabama?

Montgomery, Alabama, USA with the State Capitol at dawn.
Montgomery, Alabama, USA with the State Capitol at dawn.

Alabama is a state situated in the southeastern part of the United States. Georgia borders Alabama to the east, Tennessee to the North, and Florida to the South. Alabama is known for its inviting southern hospitality, gulf coast weather and beaches, and its support for college football. 

The capital of Alabama is Montgomery, a city that was chosen as the state’s capital in 1846. The settlement of Montgomery was founded in 1819 after the two smaller towns of Alabama East, and New Philadelphia were united.  

This article will discuss what the capital of Alabama is. So keep reading! We have everything you need to know about Montgomery, the capital of Alabama.

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Where is the Capital of Alabama Located?

Where is the Capital of Alabama Located
Where is the Capital of Alabama Located

The capital of Alabama is Montgomery, a city located in the central part of the state. Mongomery lies around 3km from where the Alabama river is formed by the confluence of the Tallapoosa and Coosa rivers. 

Montgomery is known for its nature centers, beautiful parks, and family attractions such as zoos. It also has one of the best art scenes in the state, with popular festivals such as the Alabama Shakespeare festival bringing in tourists from all over the country. 

A Brief History of Montgomery

Drone Aerial View of Downtown Montgomery Alabama AL Skyline
Drone Aerial View of Downtown Montgomery Alabama AL Skyline

For many millennia, Native American tribes lived in the areas surrounding modern Montgomery, Alabama. The prominent tribe of the area was the Ailbamu, who lived along the eastern banks of the Alabama River. 

Anthropologists believe that the Ailbamu and their neighbors, the Coushatta, who lived on the Alabama river’s western banks, are the descendants of the mound-building Mississippian culture. They then spread out throughout the Midwest and South of the country. 

The modern city of Montgomery is built on the site of two old Ailbamu settlements, named Towassa and Ikanatchati, which means red earth. The first European to travel through this area was the Spanish explorer Hernando Soto, who, in 1540, recorded his travels through Montgomery or Ikanatchati and camped for a week there among the Native Americans.

The area’s first permanent settler was a Scottish trader, James McQueen, who ended up marrying a woman of high status from the Coushatta tribe in 1716. A year later, the French settled in the area just north of present Montogmery and built Fort Toulouse on the river. 

The Coushatta and Alabama tribes were gradually pushed further south and west out of central Montgomery. By the end of the French and British Seven Years War, most Native Americans had moved to Spanish-controlled Mississippi as they preferred Spanish over British-ruled areas. 

This opened up the way for the Native American Creek tribes to move into the area, and they were able to slow down the white immigration for a few years until Andrew Jackson defeated them in the Creek war. By August 1814, they were forced to cede 23 million acres to the United States, including most of central Alabama, which included Montogmery. 

In 1816, Montgomery County was organized by the Mississippi Territory, and the Creek lands were sold off the following year. The large group of settlers that arrived in the area was led by John Scott. They went on to establish Alabama Town around 2 miles from present-day Montgomery.

By 1819, the modern city of Montgomery was founded by joining together two smaller settlements named New Philadelphia and East Alabama. This new larger settlement was named in honor of Richard Montgomery, a general who had died during the American Revolution. 

When did Montgomery become the Capital of Alabama? 

Golden sunlight reaches the horizon showing around the capital statehouse in Montgomery Alabama
Golden sunlight reaches the horizon showing around the capital statehouse in Montgomery Alabama

Montgomery has had its fair share of capitals throughout the territory’s existence. During the territorial period, the first capital of Alabama was named Saint Stephens, now Washington county, in 1817. 

When Alabama joined the United States in 1819, the capital was moved from Saint Stephens to Huntsville. Yet, only a year later, it was moved to Cahaba after a lot of political lobbying by multiple factions. 

The state’s power centers had begun to shift, so in 1826, it was agreed by vote that a new capital was needed, and Tuscaloosa was officially chosen as Alabama’s capital. It remained as the capital until 1846, when again it was decided that the capital would be moved, this time to Montgomery, and it has remained as the permanent capital until the modern day.

Montgomery was also chosen as the first capital of the confederacy in 1861 and remained the capital for less than a year before it eventually moved to Richmond, Virginia.

Why is Montgomery the Capital of Alabama?

Montgomery has been the capital of Alabama for almost 170 years, yet as we know, multiple sites had been chosen before Montogmery became the permanent capital in 1846, so why Montgomery? 

After going through multiple other options, Montgomery was chosen as the capital, thanks to its central location in the state. It was close to the Alabama river, a strategic spot for defense, and it already had a larger settlement than most other places in the state. 

Best places to visit in Montgomery

Mongomery is a beautiful city with plenty for the family to enjoy; whether you’re there for a quick drip or have a little time to roam around, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Here are five of the best places to visit. 

  1. Montgomery Zoo

The Montgomery Zoo is a great family day out. The Zoo is spread over 40 acres and has over 700 animals brought here from around the world, including a beautiful Bengal tiger. The park even has a train ride that will give you an excellent overview of the site and take you anywhere you wish to go.

  1. Legacy Museum

The Legacy Museum of Montgomery is a great solo adventure or even a family day. It addresses the international slave trade that formed the basis of the national slave trade. It has interactive information that gives you an in-depth understanding of this portion of the United States’ history. 

  1. Alabama Shakespeare Festival

The Alabama Shakespeare Festival is a great theater that holds productions at least ten times per season. Located in the heart of Montgomery, it offers a unique experience for those who wish to enjoy Broadway musicals, American classics, and even children’s productions. 

  1. First White House Of Confederacy 

The first white house of the confederacy is an interesting piece of American history. The house sits directly opposite the Alabama capitol building and is filled with furniture that takes you back to the middle of the 19th century. Anyone interested in the American Civil War will thoroughly enjoy visiting this home. 

  1. Montgomery Sip-N-Cycle Pedal Cruise

Going aboard the only cycle boat in Alabama is an excellent option if you’re looking for something with a little more excitement and fun. This exciting BYOB boat has 12 stations for you and your friends to lounge on as you float down the Alabama River. 

See Also

Capital Cities 

Hi and welcome to my travel blog! Based in London, I work in investment banking in a quantitative field and although I am not part of the travel industry, I have a ton of passion for travel. My blog is a reference guide for my fellow travelers with the same passion as me. Hopefully the blog is easy to navigate and my aim is to bring the most relevant and interesting information before you begin your journey!