The first Europeans to arrive in Alabama were: (From the History of Alabama Website)
1519: Alonso Alvarez de Pineda led an expedition to the region
1528: Cabeza de Vaca visited Alabama1540: Hernando de Soto led a Spanish expedition to the area.the Spanish when
DeSoto breezed through in 1540. Apparently there was not a settlement of Europeans at that time but 160 years later the French created one in old Mobile which was later moved to the current site of Mobile.
After that history can best be described as a greedy land grab from one foreign country after another. The British took over from the French and then the land was divided between the British and the Spanish.
What happened to the original occupants of the area ?
This is from the Alabama Indian fact sheet for children:
"The record of the first contact with the Alabama comes from the DeSoto expedition in 1641.
Desoto found the "Alabama" tribe in central Mississippi and attacked and killed many of them in a fierce battle. Later they moved east into present day Alabama where they lived at the junction of the Coosa and Tallapoosa Rivers. Desoto also found the Coushata living on the Tennessee river. By the 1780's the Americans wanted the land in Alabama and the Alabama were forced to move west across the Mississippi river into Louisiana around Opelousa. Around 1803 they moved west again across the Sabine river into Northeast Texas. They were settled in the region of the Hasinais Caddo Indians where they still live."