The state of Alabama will commemorate its role in three periods of national upheaval—The Creek War of 1813-14, The Civil War and Emancipation, and The Civil Rights Movement—as significant anniversaries from these periods converge over the next five years. To help tell the story of events that unfolded 200, 150, and 50 years ago, the Encyclopedia of Alabama offers its content arranged by historical period in a special Becoming Alabama section. Becoming Alabama is a statewide partnership to promote a better understanding of Alabama history and the significance of these three periods in the shaping of our state and nation.
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What began as a Creek civil war soon escalated into an American campaign to destroy Creek power and prevent an alliance with the British in the War of 1812. Creek defeat and removal opened a new western boundary of the American frontier and greatly expanded the cotton economy and the institution of slavery. The 200th anniversaries of the war's most noted battles begin in 2013.
The American Civil War remains the most significant event not only in the history of Alabama but also in the history of the nation. These sesquicentennial anniversaries, which include the establishment of the Confederate States of America in Montgomery, started in April 2011. The 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation is in 2013.
Alabama was the stage for a number of the most significant events and home to many individuals who shaped the course of the civil rights movement in America. The 50th anniversary of many Alabama-based events, such as the Freedom Rides and the Selma to Montgomery March, will occur between 2011 and 2015.