Learn about Alabama's history and available records in this research guide that includes a map and bibliography.
Alabama's history is culturally diverse. Indians long inhabited the region and the Spanish explored there in the 16th century. France established the first permanent white settlement near Mobile Bay in 1702 as part of Louisiana. At the end of the French and Indian War (1763), France ceded to Britain lands east of the Mississippi River, including Alabama, as part of West Florida. However, Spain occupied coastal Alabama in 1780. At the end of the American Revolution, the 1783 Treaty of Paris gave the United States land north of the present Alabama-Florida boundary, the 31st parallel of latitude; Spain kept the Mobile Bay area as part of Spanish West Florida.