Georgia (jor-juh) is a state located in the southeastern United States. It was established in 1732, the last of the original Thirteen Colonies. Named after King George II of Great Britain, Georgia was the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution, on January 2, 1788. It declared its secession from the Union on January 19, 1861, and was one of the original seven Confederate states. It was the last state to be restored to the Union, on July 15, 1870. Georgia is the 24th most extensive and the 8th most populous of the 50 United States. From 2007 to 2008, 14 of Georgia's counties ranked among the nation's 100 fastest-growing, second only to Texas. Georgia is known as the Peach State and the Empire State of the South. Atlanta is the state's capital and its most populous city.
Georgia is bordered on the south by Florida; on the east by the Atlantic Ocean andSouth Carolina; on the west by Alabama; and on the north by Tennessee and North Carolina. The northern part of the state is in the Blue Ridge Mountains, a mountain range in the Appalachian Mountain system. The central Piedmont extends from the foothills to the fall line, where the rivers cascade down in elevation to the continental coastal plain of the southern part of the state. The highest point in Georgia is Brasstown Bald, 4,784 feet (1,458 m); the lowest point is the Atlantic Ocean. Georgia is the largest state east of the Mississippi River in land area, although it is the fourth largest (after Michigan, Florida, and Wisconsin) in total area, including expanses of water that are part of state territory.
History of Georgia (U.S. State)
The history of the American State of Georgia spans pre-Columbian time to the present day. The history of the state is formed by its original Native American inhabitants, European exploration and settlement, the American Revolution, the American Civil War, Reconstruction, the Great Depression, and eventual transition to economic and political power.
Georgia was founded in 1732 by James Oglethorpe as a trustee colony and was named for King George II of Great Britain. Oglethorpe and a group of associates, many of whom had previously served with him on a prison reform committee, petitioned in 1730 to form the Trustees for the Establishment of the Colony of Georgia in America. The petition was finally approved in 1732, and the first group of colonists, led by Oglethorpe, departed for the New World in November.
In 1735, two years after the Colony of Georgia had been established by Royal Charter, Oglethorpe and the Trustees convinced the British House of Commons to pass an act banning slavery in the new colony, legislation which after years of pressure was overturned by a new act in 1750. Afterward, slavery grew in the colony, initially as labor for the coastal rice plantations.
Although initially hesitant to join the American Revolution, Georgians sympathized with the other twelve colonies concerning trade rights and issues of taxation without sufficient legal recourse or representation in the British Parliament. On April 8 , 1776 Georgia’s Provincial Congress issued its "Rules and Regulations", a provisional constitutional document for Georgia’s new Whig government. The document served as an interim constitution during Georgia’s transition from a colony to a state until adoption of the Constitution of 1777. (Along with the 12 other colonies, Georgia declared independence in 1776 when it authorized its Continental Congress delegates to approve and sign the joint Declaration of Independence.) Archibald Bulloch was elected the first President of the newly independent state. On January 2, 1788, the state ratified the United States Constitution.
The period after the revolution and before the civil war were years of population growth and economic prosperity. Eli Whitney patented the cotton gin, driving Georgia and much of the South into a cotton-based economy.
Seventy-three years after ratification of the U.S. Constitution, Georgia seceded from the Union and joined other Southern states to form the Confederate States of America in February 1861. War erupted on April 12, 1861, and Georgia contributed nearly one hundred thousand soldiers to the war effort. The first major battle in Georgia was the Battle of Chickamauga, a Confederate victory, and the last major Confederate victory in the west. In 1864, William T. Sherman's armies invaded Georgia as part of the Atlanta Campaign; Sherman's March to the Sea devastated a wide swath from Atlanta to Savannah in late 1864.
After the war, Georgians endured a period of economic hardship. Reconstruction was a period of military occupation and biracial Radical republican rule that attempted to bring about equal rights to the freed slaves (Freedmen) and institute economic initiatives. The end of Reconstruction and return of white domination of the legislature marked the beginning of the Jim Crow era, in which whites imposed second-class legal, social and economic status on African-Americans. The state was heavily rural with an economy based on growing cotton. The Great Depression of the 1930s hit the state hard. Prosperity returned in World War II. During the Civil Rights Movement, Georgia was the base for African-American leader Martin Luther King, Jr.. After 1950 Atlanta became a major regional city and transportation hub, expanding into neighboring communities by the fast-growing suburbs. Georgia was a Democratic stronghold in presidential elections until 1964. Democratic candidates continued to receive popular support in state and local elections until the 1990s. Since 2000 the white majority has supported the Republican Party, which has majorities in both houses of the legislature, and more recently, control of all statewide elective offices.
*Information obtained from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, all links are in blue.