Alabama's 6th congressional district


Alabama's 6th congressional district

Infobox U.S. congressional district
state = Alabama
district number = 6


image width =300
image caption =
representative = Spencer Bachus
party = Republican
english area =4,649
metric area =
percent urban = 62.1
percent rural = 37.9
population = 635,300
population year = 2000
median income = 46,946
percent white = 88.8
percent black = 7.7
percent asian = 0.9
percent native american = 0.3
percent hispanic = 1.6
percent other race = 0.7
percent blue collar = 22.1
percent white collar = 67.7
percent gray collar = 10.2
cpvi = R+25

Alabama's Sixth Congressional District is a U.S. congressional district in Alabama, which elects a representative to the United States House of Representatives. It encompasses the counties of Chilton, Bibb and Shelby. It also includes parts of St. Clair County, Jefferson, Tuscaloosa, and Coosa counties.

It is currently represented by Republican Spencer Bachus.

Character

Once encompassing all of Birmingham and Jefferson Country, the sixth district is now the suburban Birmingham-area district with nearly all of the urban precincts having been removed over the past couple of decades. A continual process of redistricting by Democratic state governments has seen the sixth district take on an increasingly unusual shape, and becoming one of the most Republican districts in the country - voting 78% for George W. Bush in 2000.

The demography of the district consists mostly of middle and upper middle class white-collar families who work in Birmingham. Increasingly, the population of the Birmingham districts has become racially polarized, with most whites moving from the city to the suburbs mostly in nearby Shelby County (which both grew by 44% in the 1990s and has become more than 90% white), whilst the black population has remained largely in urban areas.

Once the vanguard district for issues of steel production and metalworking in the south, the economic issues of the district in recent years have centered around the banking industry (Birmingham being the 2nd largest banking area in the south) and health care/medical research. Socially the district remains conservative, however fiscal conservatism is the most salient feature of this district.

History

The Alabama 6th District was originally created in 1843. It encompassed the north-east portion of Alabama, Its encompassed approximately the modern counties of DeKalb, Jackson, Madison, Marshall, Etowah, St. Clair, Blount and Cullman.

The district had a population of 66,111 in the 1840 census, which made it the second least populous district in Alabama. [Parson, Stanley B., William W. Beach and Michael J. Durbin. "United States Congressional Distrcits and Data, 1843-1883" (Westport: Greenwood Press, 1986) p. 1]

Neither Cullman nor Etowah County existed at the time, so only the eastern portion of what today is Cullman County was in the district. In the case of St. Clair county it appears that only about half of St. Clair county in 1843 was in the district.

The district was redrawn in 1855. This was done in time for the election of representatives to the 34th Congress which was held Aug 6th, 1855. The new boundaries put Cherokee County in the sixth district and removed St. Clair County. These boundaries remained in place until the civil war.

When Alabama again elected representatives to congress in 1868 for the half-way completed 40th Congress, the sixth-district was north-west Alabama. The only county remaining in the district from before was Blount County. It also encompassed Jefferson, Marion, Walker, Morgan, Limestone, Franklin, Lauderdale and Winston counties. Colbert County did not exist at the time, but was part of Franklin County.

This was one of the areas of Alabama where the Democrats regained control after the civil war the soonest.

In 1876 the 6th district was redrawn again. The sixth most northern counties (including Colbert County which now existed) were transferred to the new Alabama 8th District, while the six counties south-westward from Jefferson County were transferred to the 6th District.

This set of boundaries only existed for one election. By the time of the 1878 election, Cullman County had been formed. It was in the sixth district, but Blount county was moved to the 8th district. The boundaries did not exactly correspond to county lines at that time, and with another change in county boundaries by 1880 even more area in the general vicinity of Blount County was moved to the seventh district. This process was continued in 1884 with the removal of Cullman county from the district.

1892 saw more changes in the boundaries of the sixth district. Winston County was moved to the seventh district. At the same time Jefferson County was placed in the new ninth district. By this time the sixth district consisted of west Central Alabama. In the 1892 election there were about 22,000 votes cast in the sixth district as opposed to 30,000 cast in the 9th District. [United States Congressional Elections. Michael J. Dubin. p. 295]

In 1902, Perry County and some other areas in the southern portion of the Alabama ninth District were transferred to the sixth district.

Representation

References

* Historical Atlas of Political Parties in Congress.


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