Georgia (U.S. state)
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|State nickname: Peach State / Empire State of the South|
|Other U.S. States|
|Area||154,077 km² (24th)|
|- Land||150,132 km²|
|- Water||3,945 km² (2.6%)|
|- Population||8,186,453 (10th)|
|- Density||54.59 /km² (18th)|
|Admission into Union|
|- Date||January 2, 1788|
|Time zone||Eastern: UTC-5/-4|
|Latitude||30°31'N to 35°N|
|Longitude||81°W to 85°53'W|
|- Highest||1,458 m|
|- Mean||180 m|
|- Lowest||0 m|
|- ISO 3166-2||US-GA|
Georgia is a southern state of the United States and its U.S. postal abbreviation is GA. Georgia was one of the thirteen colonies that revolted against British rule in the American Revolution. It was the thirteenth colony and became the fourth state, ratifying the United States Constitution on January 2, 1788. Georgia's population in 2000 was 8,186,453 (U.S. Census). Georgia is one of the fastest growing states in the nation, with an estimated 8,829,383 people in 2004. Georgia is also known as the Peach State or Empire State of the South .
The state song, Georgia on My Mind by Hoagy Carmichael was originally written about a woman of that name, but after Georgia native Ray Charles sang it, the state legislature voted it the state song. Ray Charles sang it on the legislative floor when the bill passed.
Main article: History of Georgia
Early on, a number of Spanish explorers visited the inland region of Georgia, leaving a trail of destruction behind them. The local moundbuilder culture, described by Hernando de Soto in 1540, had completely disappeared by 1560.
The conflict between Spain and Britain over control of Georgia began in earnest in about 1670, when the British, moving south from their Carolina colony in present-day South Carolina met the Spanish moving north from their base in Florida. In 1724, it was first suggested that what was by then a British colony be called Province of Georgia in honor of King George II.
Massive British settlement began in the early 1730s with James Oglethorpe, an Englishman in the British parliament, who promoted the idea that the area be used to settle people in a debtors' prison. On February 12, 1733, the first settlers landed in the HMS Anne at what was to become the city of Savannah. This day is now known as Georgia Day, which is not a public holiday, but is mainly observed in schools and by some local civic groups.
On January 18, 1861 Georgia joined the Confederacy and became a major theater of the American Civil War. In December 1864, a large swath of the state was destroyed during General William Tecumseh Sherman's March to the Sea. This event served as the historical background for the book and movie Gone With the Wind. On July 15, 1870, following Reconstruction, Georgia became the last former Confederate state to be readmitted to the Union.
Georgia has had five "permanent" state capitals: colonial Savannah, which later alternated with Augusta; then for a decade at Louisville (pron. Lewis-ville), and from 1806 through the American Civil War at Milledgeville. The state's legislature also met at other temporary sites, including Macon, especially during the Civil War.
Law and Government
Until recently, Georgia's state government had the longest unbroken record of single-party dominance of any state in the Union. For over 130 years, from 1872 to 2003, Georgians only elected Democratic governors, and Democrats held the majority of seats in the General Assembly. The state capital is Atlanta.
As with all other U.S. States and the federal government, Georgia's government is based on the separation of legislative, executive and judicial power. Executive authority in the state rests with the governor, currently Sonny Perdue (Republican). The Lieutenant Governor, currently Mark Taylor (Democrat), is elected on a separate ballot. Both the governor and lieutenant governor are elected to four-year terms of office. Unlike the federal government, but like many other U.S. States, most of the executive officials who comprise the governor's cabinet are elected by the citizens of Georgia, rather than appointed by the governor.
(See: list of Georgia governors.)
Legislative authority resides in the General Assembly, composed of the Senate and House of Representatives. The Lieutenant Governor presides over the Senate, while the House of Representatives selects their own Speaker. The state Constitution mandates a maximum of 56 Senators, elected from single-member districts, and a minimum of 180 Representatives, apportioned among representative districts (which sometimes results in more than one Representative per district); there are currently 56 Senators and 180 Representatives. The term of office for Senators and Representatives is two years.
State Judicial authority rests with the state Supreme Court and Court of Appeals, which have statewide authority. In addition, there are smaller courts which have more limited geographical jurisdiction, including State Courts, Superior Courts, Magistrate Courts and Probate Courts. Justices of the Supreme Court and Judges of the Court of Appeals are elected statewide by the citizens in non-partisan elections to six-year terms. Judges for the smaller courts are elected by the state's citizens who live within that court's jurisdiction to four-year terms.
At the federal level, Georgia's two U.S. senators are Saxby Chambliss (Republican) and Johnny Isakson (Republican). As of the 2001 reapportionment, the state has 13 congressmen and women in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Georgia also has 159 counties, the most of any state except Texas (254). Before 1932, there were 161, with Milton and Campbell being merged into Fulton at the end of 1931, during the Great Depression. Gwinnett County was named after Button Gwinnett, one of the delegates from Georgia who signed the U.S. Declaration of Independence. Counties in Georgia have their own elected legislative branch, usually called the Board of Commissioners, which usually also has executive authority in the county. Georgia's Constitution provides all counties and cities with "home rule" authority, and so the county commissions have considerable power to pass legislation within their county as a municipality would.
Besides the counties, Georgia only defines cities as local units of government. Every incorporated town, no matter how small, is legally a city. Conversely, the city of Sandy Springs is one of the largest in the state (over 80,000), but is not legally so since it is not yet incorporated, although a referendum is planned for the summer of 2005. Georgia does not provide for townships or independent cities, but does allow consolidated city-county governments by local referendum. So far, only Columbus, Augusta, and Athens have done this.
Georgia has a modest income tax and a 4% state sales tax, which is not applied to groceries or prescription drugs. Each county may add up to a 2% SPLOST. Counties participating in MARTA have another 1%, the city of Atlanta (in two counties) has the only city sales tax (1%, total 8%) for fixing its old sewers. Local taxes are almost always charged on groceries but never prescriptions. Up to 1% of a SPLOST can go to homestead exemptions. All taxes are collected by the state and then properly distributed according to any agreements that each county has with its cities.
There is no true metropolitan government in Georgia, though the Atlanta Regional Commission and Georgia Regional Transportation Authority do provide some regional services, and the ARC must approve all major land development projects in metro Atlanta.
(See: list of Georgia counties.)
Georgia is bordered on the south by Florida, on the east by the Atlantic Ocean and South 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 mountain system of the Appalachians. 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, 4784 feet (1458 m); the lowest point is sea level.
The capital is Atlanta, in the central part of northern Georgia, and the peach is a symbol of the state. The state is an important producer of cotton, tobacco, and forest products, notably the so-called "naval stores" such as turpentine and rosin from the pine forests.
- Interstate 16, Interstate 516
- Interstate 20, Interstate 520
- Interstate 59, Interstate 24
- Interstate 75, Interstate 475, Interstate 575
- Interstate 85, Interstate 185, Interstate 985
- Interstate 95
- Interstate 285 (the Perimeter around Atlanta)
|North-south routes||East-west routes|
Georgia's 2003 total gross state product was $320 billion. Its per capita personal income for 2003 put it 31st in the nation at $29,000. Georgia's agricultural outputs are poultry and eggs, peanuts, cattle, hogs, dairy products, and vegetables. Its industrial outputs are textiles and apparel, transportation equipment, food processing, paper products, chemical products, electric equipment, and tourism.
As of 2003, the population of Georgia was 8,684,715, making it the 10th most populous state. Its population has grown 34% (2.2 million) from its 1990 levels, making it one of the fastest-growing states in the country. More than half of the state's population lives in the Atlanta metro area.
Racially, Georgia is:
7.3% of its population were reported as under 5 years of age, 26.5% under 18, and 9.6% were 65 or older. Females made up approximately 50.8% of the population.
Religiously, Georgia is overwhelmingly Protestant:
- Protestant 84%
- Roman Catholic 6%
- Other Christian 1%
- Other Religions 1%
- Non-Religious 5%
Important cities and towns
Colleges and universities
Radio and television
Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB) operates nine major educational television stations across the state as Georgia Public Broadcasting Television. It also operates, in whole or in part, several radio stations as Georgia Public Radio (GPR). See also List of radio stations in Georgia (U.S. state).
Professional sports teams
- Famous people from the State of Georgia
- Politics of Georgia (U.S. state)
- List of gold mines in Georgia
Clip Art and Pictures
- Free Clipart (http://classroomclipart.com)
- US State Flags (http://classroomclipart.com/cgi-bin/kids/imageFolio.cgi?direct=Clipart/State_Flags)
- Printable Black and White Map of Georgia (http://www.lessonplancentral.com/statemaps/georgia_mapBW.htm)
Lesson Plans, Resources and Activites
- Georgia Lesson Plans (http://lessonplancentral.com/lessons/Social_Studies/State_Facts/Georgia/index.htm)
- Lesson Plan Central (http://lessonplancentral.com)
- http://www.state.ga.us/ or http://www.georgia.gov/
- Georgia State Information (http://www.eachtown.com/state_info.php/stateid/11)
- Constitution of the State of Georgia (PDF) (http://www.sos.state.ga.us/elections/results/2000_Constitution.pdf)
- Georgia Constitution Web Page, Carl Vinson Institute of Government at The University of Georgia (includes historical Constitutions of Georgia) (http://www.cviog.uga.edu/Projects/gainfo/gacon.htm)
- Summary of duties, powers and responsibilities of the branches of Georgia State government (Georgia Secretary of State website) (http://www.sos.state.ga.us/tours/html/branches_of_government.html)
- Georgia History (http://ourgeorgiahistory.com)
- Roadside Georgia (http://roadsidegeorgia.com) Information on things to do in the state of Georgia
- The New Georgia Encyclopedia (http://www.georgiaencyclopedia.org/nge/Home.jsp)
- US Census Bureau (http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/13000.html)
- Georgia Obituary Links Page (http://obit.obitlinkspage.com/ga.htm)
- GenealogyBuff.com - Georgia Library of Files (http://www.genealogybuff.com/ga/)
- Georgia Newspapers (http://www.usnewspapers.org/state/georgia)
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