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The Finches do not live in Montgomery, the capital of Alabama; instead they live about 100 miles south of Montgomery in Maycomb (county seat of Maycomb County) which is the fictional name for Harper Lee's hometown of Monroeville, the county seat of Monore County. This city is located near the Alabama River where there was once travel downstate. After the railroad came to this area travel changed. This railroad is the one that Dill travels to and from Meridian, Mississippi.
In Chapter 13, after Aunt Alexandra arrives, Scout learns that the Finches originally lived by the river on Finch's Landing. But, after a certain man named Sinkfield, who had the town's boundaries changed to be more inland and encompass his tavern, they moved into Maycomb, which had sprung from Sinkfield's Tavern. As the largest city in the area, Maycomb became the county seat. However, during the Civil War, there were no battles fought in the area, probably because the population of the area was small. This Civil War is what is referred to as the "disturbance between the North and the South."
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