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Georgia (U.S. state)

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Georgia
Image:us-ga.gif Image:Georgiastateseal.jpg
(In Detail) (Full size)
State motto: Wisdom, Justice, Moderation
State nickname: Peach State or Empire of the South
Image:Map_of_USA_highlighting_Georgia.png
Other U.S. States
Capital Atlanta
Largest City Atlanta
Governor Sonny Perdue
Area
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water
 - % water
Ranked 24th
154,077 kmò
150,132 kmò
3,945 kmò
2.6%
Population
 - Total (2000)
 - Density
Ranked 10th
8,186,453
53/kmò
Admittance into Union
 - Order
 - Date

4th
January 2, 1788
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4
Latitude
Longitude
30°31'N to 35°N
81°W to 85°53'W
Width
Length
Elevation
 - Highest
 - Mean
 - Lowest
370 km
480 km
 
1,458 meters
180 meters
0 meters
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). It is also known as the Peach State.

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 in the state song. Ray Charles sang it on the legislative floor when the bill passed.

The state tree is the Southern live oak (Quercus virginiana), the state bird is the brown thrasher (Toxostoma rufum), and the state flower is the cherokee rose (Rosa laevigata).

Several U.S. Navy ships have been named USS Georgia in honor of this state.

Table of contents
1 History
2 Law and Government
3 Geography
4 Economy
5 Demographics
6 Important cities and towns
7 Education
8 Professional sports teams
9 See also
10 External links

History

For details see History of Georgia (U.S. state)

At the time of European colonization of the Americas, Cherokee and Creek Indians lived in what is now Georgia. Though it is unknown exactly who was the first European to sight Georgia, it is possible that Juan Ponce de Leon sailed along the coast during his exploration of Florida. In 1526, Lucas Vasquez de Ayllon attempted to establish a colony there, possibly near St. Catherine's Island.

Over the next few decades, a number of Spanish explorers visited the inland region, 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 debtor 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 in the American Civil War and on July 15, 1870 after Reconstruction Georgia became the last former Confederate state to be readmitted to the Union. During this time, much of the state was destroyed in March to the Sea, part of the setting for the book and movie Gone With the Wind.

On February 19, 1953 Georgia became the first U.S. state to approve a literature censorship board in the United States.

Georgia has had five "permanent" state capitals: Savannah, Augusta, Louisville, Milledgeville, and Atlanta. (Louisville is pronounced like Lewis [loo-iss], not like Louie [loo-ee].) The legislature has also met in other places temporarily.

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.

The state capital is Atlanta and the current governor is Sonny Perdue (Republican). Georgia's two U.S. senators are Saxby Chambliss (Republican) and former governor Zell Miller (Democrat). As of the 2001 reapportionment, the state has 13 congressmen and women in the U.S. House of Representatives.

(See: list of Georgia governors.)

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.

(See: list of Georgia counties.)

Geography

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. It is the largest state east of the Mississippi River. 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 highways

United States highways

North-south routesEast-west routes
U.S. Highway 76
  • U.S. Highway 78
  • U.S. Highway 278
  • U.S. Highway 378
  • U.S. Highway 80
  • U.S. Highway 280
  • U.S. Highway 82
  • U.S. Highway 84
  • Economy

    Georgia's 1999 total gross state product was $275 billion, placing it 10th in the nation. Its per capita personal income for 2000 put it 23rd in the nation at $28,145. 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.

    Demographics

    As of the 2000 census, the population of Georgia is 8,186,453, making it the 10th most populous state. Its population grew 26.4% (1,708,304) from its 1990 levels. According to the 2000 census, 65.1% (5,327,281) identified themselves as White, 28.7% (2,349,542) as black, 5.3% (435,227) as Hispanic or Latino, 2.1% (173,170) as Asian, 0.3% (21,737) as American Indian or Alaska Native, 0.1% (4,246) as Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander 2.4% (196,289) as other, and 1.4% (114,188) identified themselves as belonging to two or more races.

    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.

    Nearly half of the state's population lives in the Atlanta metro area.

    Important cities and towns

    Population > 1,000,000 (urbanized area)

    Population > 100,000 (urbanized area)
    Population > 10,000 (urbanized area) Major military bases

    
    Important Suburbs of Atlanta

    of Savannah

    Education

    Colleges and universities

    Private schools † denotes religious schools
    University System of Georgia [1]

    Radio and television

    Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB) operates nine major educational television stations across the state as Georgia Public Television (GPTV). 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

    Minor League baseball teams
    • Augusta GreenJackets
    • Columbus Catfish
    • Rome Braves
    • Savannah Sand Gnats

    See also

    External links

    
    
    Political divisions of the United States
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