Georgia US state
Template:US state 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 last of the thirteen colonies to be established as a colony. It became the fourth state after 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.
- 1 History
- 2 Law and Government
- 2.1 State government
- 2.2 Local government
- 2.3 Tax policies
- 2.4 Political makeup
- 2.5 Geography
- 2.6 Transportation
- 2.7 Economy
- 2.8 Demographics
- 2.9 Important cities and towns
- 2.10 Education
- 2.11 Professional sports teams
- 2.12 Trivia
- 2.13 See also
- 2.14 External links
- 2.15 Further reading
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 year 1732 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. In 1752, Georgia became a royal colony. Georgia's first constitution came in 1777, but was later changed.
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 from Atlanta to Savannah was destroyed during General William Tecumseh Sherman's March to the Sea. This event served as the historical background for the 1936 novel Gone with the Wind and the 1939 film. 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. In 1868, Atlanta became the fifth capital of the state. The state's legislature also met at other temporary sites, including Macon, especially during the Civil War.
Law and Government
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.
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.
Georgia 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. Counties have been named for prominent figures in both American and Georgia history. 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.
(See: list of Georgia counties.)
Besides the counties, Georgia only defines cities as local units of government. Every incorporated town, no matter how small, is legally a city. 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. On average, there is 1 city government for every 23.6 citizens in Georgia, and this is expected to increase to 1 for every 20 by the year 2008.
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.
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%; MARTA is one of the few metropolitan transit authorities not to receive state funding. 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.
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. Most of the Democrats elected throughout these years were Southern Democrats or Dixiecrats who were very conservative throughout the 60's segregationist period. As of the 2001 reapportionment, the state has 13 congressmen and women in the U.S. House of Representatives.
The political dominance of Democrats ended in 2003, when former governor Roy Barnes was defeated by Perdue in what was regarded as a stunning upset. While Democrats retained control of the State House, they lost their majority in the Senate when four Democrats switched parties. They relinquished their hold on the House in the 2004 election; currently, Republicans control all three primary branches of government. Many conservative Democrats, including former U.S. Senator and governor Zell Miller, have decided to support Republicans in recent years; George W. Bush won the state in the 2004 election, and conservative initiatives such as restrictions on abortion have won broad support.
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 north central part of 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.
Georgia is also the largest state, in land area, east of the Mississippi River, since West Virginia seceded from Virginia during the Civil War. Michigan (96,810 square miles), Florida (65,768 square miles), and Wisconsin (65,603 square miles) are all larger than Georgia (59,441 square miles) when accounting for both land and water area.
- 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)
- Interstate 3 (proposed)
- Interstate 14 (proposed)
|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. Georgia is the Granite Capital of the World.
As of 2004, the population of Georgia was estimated to be 8,829,323, making it the 10th most populous state. Its population has grown 36% (2.35 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.
The racial makeup of Georgia:
Historically, about half of Georgia's population was comprised of black slaves. The Great Migration of blacks from the rural South to the industrial North from 1914-1970, as well as white migration into Georgia after 1970, reduced the black proportion of the population. Today, African-Americans remain dominant in plantation counties of Middle, east-central, Southwestern, and Lowcountry Georgia, as well as in the city of Atlanta and its core southern suburbs.
White Georgians, like other Southerners, usually describe their ancestry on the census questionnaire as "American", "United States", or simply "Southern". Whites of American ancestry are prominent in the northern mountains and upper Piedmont as well as in certain sandy and swampy areas of the southeast. Georgians of British ancestry dominate the northern suburbs of Atlanta.
As of 2000, 90.1% of Georgia residents age 5 and older speak English at home and 5.6% speak Spanish. French is the third most spoken language at 0.6%, followed by German at 0.4% and Vietnamese at 0.4%.
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 make up approximately 50.8% of the population.
Like most other Southern states, Georgia is overwhelmingly Protestant Christian. The religious affiliations of the people of Georgia are as follows:
- Christian – 85%
- Other Religions – 2%
- Non-Religious – 13%
Georgia shares its Protestant heritage with much of the Southeastern United States. However, the number of Roman Catholics is growing in the state due to the influx of Northeasterners resettling in the Atlanta metro area and also due to large Hispanic immigration into the state. The Northeastern influx has also resulted in a fast-growing Jewish community in the Atlanta area.
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
- Georgia is the only US state that is also the name of a country.
- Georgia is the only US state that begins with a G.
- Georgia is the home state to Coca Cola.
- Famous people from the State of Georgia
- Politics of Georgia (U.S. state)
- List of gold mines in Georgia
- http://www.state.ga.us/ or http://www.georgia.gov/
- Constitution of the State of Georgia (PDF)
- Georgia Constitution Web Page, Carl Vinson Institute of Government at The University of Georgia (includes historical Constitutions of Georgia)
- Summary of duties, powers and responsibilities of the branches of Georgia State government (Georgia Secretary of State website)
- Georgia History
- Roadside Georgia Information on things to do in the state of Georgia
- The New Georgia Encyclopedia
- U.S. Census Bureau
- Georgia Obituary Links Page
- GenealogyBuff.com - Georgia Library of Files
- Georgia Magazine
- BIOGRAPHICAL MEMORIALS OF JAMES OGLETHORPE, by Thaddeus Mason Harris, 1841
- A BRIEF DESCRIPTION AND STATISTICAL SKETCH OF GEORGIA, United States of America: developing its immense agricultural, mining and manufacturing advantages, with remarks on emigration. Accompanied with a map & description of lands for sale in Irwin County, By Richard Keily, 1849.
- EDUCATIONAL SURVEY OF GEORGIA, by M. L. Duggan, begins: 1914
- ESSAY ON THE GEORGIA GOLD MINES, by William Phillips, 1833 (Excerpt from: American Journal of Science and Arts. New Haven, 1833. Vol. XXIV, No. i, First Series, April (Jan.-March), 1833, pp. 1-18.)
- AN EXTRACT OF JOHN WESLEY'S JOURNAL, from his embarking for Georgia to his return to London, 1739. The journal extends from October 14, 1735, to February 1, 1738.
- GEORGIA SCENES, characters, incidents, &c. in the first half century of the Republic, by Augustus Baldwin Longstreet (1840, 2nd ed)
- REPORT ON THE BRUNSWICK CANAL AND RAIL ROAD, Glynn County, Georgia. With an appendix containing the charter and commissioners's report, by Loammi Baldwn, 1837
- SOCIETY, A journal devoted to society, art, literature, and fashion, published in Atlanta, Georgia [Society Pub. Co.], 1890-
- VIEWS OF ATLANTA, and The Cotton State and International Exposition, 1895
- [http://http://www.georgiaencyclopedia.org/nge/Home.jsp/New Georgia Encyclopedia
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