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Geography of Georgia - History

Geography of Georgia - History



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Georgia is located in Southwestern Asia, bordering the Black Sea, between Turkey and Russia. The terrain of Georgia is largely mountainous with Great Caucasus Mountains in the north and Lesser Caucasus Mountains in the south; Kolkhet'is Dablobi (Kolkhida Lowland) opens to the Black Sea in the west; Mtkvari River Basin in the east; good soils in river valley flood plains, foothills of Kolkhida Lowland .
Climate: Georgia is warm and pleasant; Mediterranean-like on Black Sea coast


Georgia

10 largest cities (2010): Atlanta, 443,775 Augusta-Richmond County, 1 197,872 Columbus, 1 185,888 Northeast Cobb, 169,756 Savannah, 142,022 Augusta, 136,381 Athens-Clarke County, 1 118,999 Sandy Springs, 99,419 Roswell, 93,692 Macon, 91,234

Geographic center: In Twiggs Co., 18 mi. SE of Macon

Number of counties: 159

Largest county by population and area: Fulton, 977,129 (2012) Ware, 903 sq mi.

State forests: 6 (63,294 ac.)

State parks: 64 (65,066 ac.)

2010 resident census population (rank): 9,687,653 (9). Male: 4,729,171 (48.8%) Female: 4,958,482 (51.2%). White: 5,787,440 (59.7%) Black: 2,950,435 (30.5%) American Indian: 32,151 (0.3%) Asian: 314,467 (3.2%) Other race: 388,872 (4.0%) Two or more races: 207,489 (2.1%) Hispanic/Latino: 853,689 (8.8%). 2010 population 18 and over: 7,196,101 65 and over: 1,032,035 (10.7%) median age: 34.7.

Hernando de Soto, the Spanish explorer, first traveled parts of Georgia in 1540. British claims later conflicted with those of Spain. After obtaining a royal charter, Gen. James Oglethorpe established the first permanent settlement in Georgia in 1733 as a refuge for English debtors. In 1742, Oglethorpe defeated Spanish invaders in the Battle of Bloody Marsh.

A Confederate stronghold, Georgia was the scene of extensive military action during the Civil War. Union general William T. Sherman burned Atlanta and destroyed a 60-mile-wide path to the coast, where he captured Savannah in 1864.

The largest state in the southeast, Georgia is typical of the changing South with an ever-increasing industrial development. Atlanta, largest city in the state, is the communications and transportation center for the Southeast and the area's chief distributor of goods.

Georgia leads the nation in the production of paper and board, tufted textile products, and processed chicken. Other major manufactured products are transportation equipment, food products, apparel, and chemicals.

Important agricultural products are corn, cotton, tobacco, soybeans, eggs, and peaches. Georgia produces twice as many peanuts as the next leading state. From its vast stands of pine come more than half of the world's resins and turpentine and 74.4 percent of the U.S. supply. Georgia is a leader in the production of marble, kaolin, barite, and bauxite.

Principal tourist attractions in Georgia include the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, Andersonville Prison Park and National Cemetery, Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park, the Little White House at Warm Springs where Pres. Franklin D. Roosevelt died in 1945, Sea Island, the enormous Confederate Memorial at Stone Mountain , Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park, and Cumberland Island National Seashore. In 2005 the worldâ??s largest indoor aquarium, the Georgia Aquarium, opened, showcasing more than 100,000 aquatic animals including the only whale sharks in captivity outside of Asia.


The government of Georgia is a republic, and it has a unicameral (one chamber) legislature (parliament). The leader of Georgia is president Giorgi Margvelashvili, with Giorgi Kvirikashvili serving as prime minister.

The population of Georgia is about 4 million people but there is a declining population growth rate, coming in at 1.76 fertility rate (2.1 is the population replacement level).

Major ethnic groups in Georgia include the Georgians, at almost 87 percent Azeri, 6 percent (from Azerbaijan) and Armenian, at 4.5 percent. All others make up the remainder, including Russians, Ossetians, Yazidis, Ukrainians, Kists (an ethnic group primarily living in the Pankisi Gorge region), and Greeks.


Contents

Before settlement by Europeans, Georgia was inhabited by the mound building cultures. The British colony of Georgia was founded by James Oglethorpe on February 12, 1733. [12] The colony was administered by the Trustees for the Establishment of the Colony of Georgia in America under a charter issued by (and named for) King George II. The Trustees implemented an elaborate plan for the colony's settlement, known as the Oglethorpe Plan, which envisioned an agrarian society of yeoman farmers and prohibited slavery. The colony was invaded by the Spanish in 1742, during the War of Jenkins' Ear. In 1752, after the government failed to renew subsidies that had helped support the colony, the Trustees turned over control to the crown. Georgia became a crown colony, with a governor appointed by the king. [13]

The Province of Georgia was one of the Thirteen Colonies that revolted against British rule in the American Revolution by signing the 1776 Declaration of Independence. The State of Georgia's first constitution was ratified in February 1777. Georgia was the 10th state to ratify the Articles of Confederation on July 24, 1778, [14] and was the 4th state to ratify the United States Constitution on January 2, 1788.

After the Creek War (1813–1814), General Andrew Jackson forced the Muscogee (Creek) tribes to surrender land to the state of Georgia, including in the Treaty of Fort Jackson (1814), surrendering 21 million acres in what is now southern Georgia and central Alabama, and the Treaty of Indian Springs (1825). [15] In 1829, gold was discovered in the North Georgia mountains leading to the Georgia Gold Rush and establishment of a federal mint in Dahlonega, which continued in operation until 1861. The resulting influx of white settlers put pressure on the government to take land from the Cherokee Nation. In 1830, President Andrew Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act, sending many eastern Native American nations to reservations in present-day Oklahoma, including all of Georgia's tribes. Despite the Supreme Court's ruling in Worcester v. Georgia (1832) that U.S. states were not permitted to redraw Indian boundaries, President Jackson and the state of Georgia ignored the ruling. In 1838, his successor, Martin Van Buren, dispatched federal troops to gather the tribes and deport them west of the Mississippi. This forced relocation, known as the Trail of Tears, led to the death of more than four thousand Cherokees.

In early 1861, Georgia joined the Confederacy (with secessionists having a slight majority of delegates) [16] and became a major theater of the Civil War. Major battles took place at Chickamauga, Kennesaw Mountain, and Atlanta. 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. 18,253 Georgian soldiers died in service, roughly one of every five who served. [17] In 1870, following the Reconstruction Era, Georgia became the last Confederate state to be restored to the Union.

With white Democrats having regained power in the state legislature, they passed a poll tax in 1877, which disenfranchised many poor blacks and whites, preventing them from registering. [18] In 1908, the state established a white primary with the only competitive contests within the Democratic Party, it was another way to exclude blacks from politics. [19] They constituted 46.7% of the state's population in 1900, but the proportion of Georgia's population that was African American dropped thereafter to 28%, primarily due to tens of thousands leaving the state during the Great Migration. [20] According to the Equal Justice Institute's 2015 report on lynching in the United States (1877–1950), Georgia had 531 deaths, the second-highest total of these extralegal executions of any state in the South. The overwhelming number of victims were black and male. [21] Political disfranchisement persisted through the mid-1960s, until after Congress passed the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

An Atlanta-born Baptist minister who was part of the educated middle class that had developed in Atlanta's African-American community, Martin Luther King Jr., emerged as a national leader in the civil rights movement. King joined with others to form the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) in Atlanta in 1957 to provide political leadership for the Civil Rights Movement across the South.

On February 5, 1958, during a training mission flown by a B-47, a Mark 15 nuclear bomb, also known as the Tybee Bomb, was lost off the coast of Tybee Island near Savannah. The bomb was thought by the Department of Energy to lie buried in silt at the bottom of Wassaw Sound. [22]

By the 1960s, the proportion of African Americans in Georgia had declined to 28% of the state's population, after waves of migration to the North and some in-migration by whites. [23] With their voting power diminished, it took some years for African Americans to win a state-wide office. Julian Bond, a noted civil rights leader, was elected to the state House in 1965, and served multiple terms there and in the state senate.

Atlanta Mayor Ivan Allen, Jr. testified before Congress in support of the Civil Rights Act, and Governor Carl Sanders worked with the Kennedy administration to ensure the state's compliance. Ralph McGill, editor and syndicated columnist at the Atlanta Constitution, earned admiration by writing in support of the Civil Rights Movement. In 1970, newly elected Governor Jimmy Carter declared in his inaugural address that the era of racial segregation had ended. In 1972, Georgians elected Andrew Young to Congress as the first African American Congressman since the Reconstruction era.

In 1980, construction was completed on an expansion of what is now named Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL). The busiest and most efficient airport in the world, it accommodates more than a hundred million passengers annually. [24] Employing more than 60,000 people, the airport became a major engine for economic growth. [24] With the advantages of cheap real estate, low taxes, right-to-work laws and a regulatory environment limiting government interference, the Atlanta metropolitan area became a national center of finance, insurance, technology, manufacturing, real estate, logistics, and transportation companies, as well as the film, convention, and trade show businesses. As a testament to the city's growing international profile, in 1990 the International Olympic Committee selected Atlanta as the site of the 1996 Summer Olympics. Taking advantage of Atlanta's status as a transportation hub, in 1991 UPS established its headquarters in a suburb. In 1992, construction finished on Bank of America Plaza, the tallest building in the U.S. outside of New York or Chicago.

Boundaries Edit

Beginning from the Atlantic Ocean, the state's eastern border with South Carolina runs up the Savannah River, northwest to its origin at the confluence of the Tugaloo and Seneca Rivers. It then continues up the Tugaloo (originally Tugalo) and into the Chattooga River, its most significant tributary. These bounds were decided in the 1797 Treaty of Beaufort, and tested in the U.S. Supreme Court in the two Georgia v. South Carolina cases in 1923 and 1989. [ citation needed ]

The border then takes a sharp turn around the tip of Rabun County, at latitude 35°N, though from this point it diverges slightly south (due to inaccuracies in the original survey). This northern border was originally the Georgia and North Carolina border all the way to the Mississippi River, until Tennessee was divided from North Carolina, and the Yazoo companies induced the legislature of Georgia to pass an act, approved by the governor in 1795, to sell the greater part of Georgia's territory presently comprising Alabama and Mississippi. [25]

The state's western border runs in a straight line south-southeastward from a point southwest of Chattanooga, to meet the Chattahoochee River near West Point. It continues downriver to the point where it joins the Flint River (the confluence of the two forming Florida's Apalachicola River) the southern border goes almost due east and very slightly south, in a straight line to the St. Mary's River, which then forms the remainder of the boundary back to the ocean. [ citation needed ]

The water boundaries are still set to be the original thalweg of the rivers. Since then, several have been inundated by lakes created by dams, including the Apalachicola/Chattahoochee/Flint point now under Lake Seminole. [ citation needed ]

Georgia state legislators have claimed that in an 1818 survey the state's border with Tennessee was erroneously placed one mile (1.6 km) farther south than intended, and they still dispute it. Correction of this inaccuracy would allow Georgia access to water from the Tennessee River. [26]

Geology and terrain Edit

Each region has its own distinctive characteristics. For instance, the Ridge and Valley, which lies in the northwest corner of the state, includes limestone, sandstone, shale, and other sedimentary rocks, which have yielded construction-grade limestone, barite, ocher, and small amounts of coal.

Ecology Edit

Flora Edit

The state of Georgia has approximately 250 tree species and 58 protected plants. Georgia's native trees include red cedar, a variety of pines, oaks, hollies, cypress, sweetgum, scaly-bark and white hickories, and sabal palmetto. East Georgia is in the subtropical coniferous forest biome and conifer species as other broadleaf evergreen flora make up the majority of the southern and coastal regions. Yellow jasmine and mountain laurel make up just a few of the flowering shrubs in the state.

Fauna Edit

White-tailed (Virginia) deer are in nearly all counties. The northern mockingbird and brown thrasher are among the 160 bird species that live in the state. [27]

Reptiles include the eastern diamondback, copperhead, and cottonmouth snakes as well as alligators amphibians include salamanders, frogs and toads. There are about 79 species of reptile and 63 amphibians known to live in Georgia. [27]

The most popular freshwater game fish are trout, bream, bass, and catfish, all but the last of which are produced in state hatcheries for restocking. Popular saltwater game fish include red drum, spotted seatrout, flounder, and tarpon. Porpoises, whales, shrimp, oysters, and blue crabs are found inshore and offshore of the Georgia coast. [27]

Climate Edit

The majority of the state is primarily a humid subtropical climate. Hot and humid summers are typical, except at the highest elevations. The entire state, including the North Georgia mountains, receives moderate to heavy precipitation, which varies from 45 inches (1143 mm) in central Georgia [28] to approximately 75 inches (1905 mm) around the northeast part of the state. [29] The degree to which the weather of a certain region of Georgia is subtropical depends on the latitude, its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean or Gulf of Mexico, and the elevation. The latter factor is felt chiefly in the mountainous areas of the northern part of the state, which are farther away from the ocean and can be 4500 feet (1350 m) above sea level. The USDA plant hardiness zones for Georgia range from zone 6b (no colder than −5 °F (−21 °C)) in the Blue Ridge Mountains to zone 8b (no colder than 15 °F (−9 °C) ) along the Atlantic coast and Florida border. [30]

The highest temperature ever recorded is 112 °F (44.4 °C) in Louisville on July 24, 1952, [31] while the lowest is −17 °F (−27.2 °C) in northern Floyd County on January 27, 1940. [32] Georgia is one of the leading states in frequency of tornadoes, though they are rarely stronger than EF1. Although tornadoes striking the city are very rare, [33] an EF2 tornado [33] hit downtown Atlanta on March 14, 2008, causing moderate to severe damage to various buildings. With a coastline on the Atlantic Ocean, Georgia is also vulnerable to hurricanes, although direct hurricane strikes were rare during the 20th century. Georgia often is affected by hurricanes that strike the Florida Panhandle, weaken over land, and bring strong tropical storm winds and heavy rain to the interior, a recent example being Hurricane Michael, [34] as well as hurricanes that come close to the Georgia coastline, brushing the coast on their way north without ever making landfall. Hurricane Matthew of 2016 and Hurricane Dorian of 2019 did just that.

Monthly average daily high and low temperatures for major Georgia cities
City Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Athens 51/11
33/1
56/13
35/2
65/18
42/6
73/23
49/9
80/27
58/14
87/31
65/18
90/32
69/21
88/31
68/20
82/28
63/17
73/23
51/11
63/17
42/6
54/12
35/2
Atlanta 52/11
34/1
57/14
36/2
65/18
44/7
73/23
50/10
80/27
60/16
86/30
67/19
89/32
71/22
88/31
70/21
82/28
64/18
73/23
53/12
63/17
44/7
55/13
36/2
Augusta 56/13
33/1
61/16
36/4
69/21
42/6
77/25
48/9
84/29
57/14
90/32
65/18
92/33
70/21
90/32
68/20
85/29
62/17
76/24
50/10
68/20
41/5
59/15
35/2
Columbus 57/14
37/3
62/17
39/4
69/21
46/8
76/24
52/11
83/28
61/16
90/32
69/21
92/33
72/22
91/32
72/22
86/30
66/19
77/25
54/12
68/20
46/8
59/15
39/4
Macon 57/14
34/1
61/16
37/3
68/20
44/7
76/24
50/10
83/28
59/15
90/32
67/19
92/33
70/21
90/32
70/21
85/29
64/18
77/25
51/11
68/20
42/6
59/15
36/2
Savannah 60/16
38/3
64/18
41/5
71/22
48/9
78/26
53/12
84/29
61/16
90/32
68/20
92/33
72/22
90/32
71/22
86/30
67/19
78/26
56/13
70/21
47/8
63/17
40/4
Temperatures are given in °F/°C format, with highs on top of lows. [35]

Due to anthropogenic Climate change the climate of Georgia is warming. This is already causing major disruption, for example, from sea level rise (Georgia is more vulnerable to it than many other states because its land is sinking) and further warming will increase it. [36] [37] [38] [39]

Historical population
Census Pop.
179082,548
1800162,686 97.1%
1810251,407 54.5%
1820340,989 35.6%
1830516,823 51.6%
1840691,392 33.8%
1850906,185 31.1%
18601,057,286 16.7%
18701,184,109 12.0%
18801,542,181 30.2%
18901,837,353 19.1%
19002,216,331 20.6%
19102,609,121 17.7%
19202,895,832 11.0%
19302,908,506 0.4%
19403,123,723 7.4%
19503,444,578 10.3%
19603,943,116 14.5%
19704,589,575 16.4%
19805,463,105 19.0%
19906,478,216 18.6%
20008,186,453 26.4%
20109,687,653 18.3%
202010,711,908 10.6%
1910–2020 [40]

The United States Census Bureau reported Georgia's official population to be 10,711,908 as of April 1, 2020. This was an increase of 1,024,255 residents since the 2010 census, or a gain of 10.6%. [5] Immigration resulted in a net increase of 228,415 people, and migration within the country produced a net increase of 378,258 people.

As of 2010 [update] , the number of illegal immigrants living in Georgia more than doubled to 480,000 from January 2000 to January 2009, according to a federal report. That gave Georgia the greatest percentage increase among the 10 states with the biggest illegal immigrant populations during those years. [41] Georgia has banned sanctuary cities. [42]

There were 743,000 veterans in 2009. [43]

Population Edit

According to the 2010 United States Census, Georgia had a population of 9,687,653. In terms of race and ethnicity, the state was 59.7% White (55.9% Non-Hispanic White alone), 30.5% Black or African American, 0.3% American Indian or Alaska Native, 3.2% Asian, 0.1% Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, 4.0% from some other race, and 2.1% from two or more races. Hispanics and Latinos of any race made up 8.8% of the population. [44]

Georgia's racial breakdown of population
Racial composition 1990 [45] 2000 [46] 2010 [47]
White 71.0% 65.1% 59.7%
Black 27.0% 28.7% 30.5%
Asian 1.2% 2.1% 3.3%
Native 0.2% 0.3% 0.3%
Native Hawaiian and
other Pacific Islander
0.1% 0.1%
Other race 0.6% 2.4% 4.0%
Two or more races 1.4% 2.1%

As of 2011 [update] , 58.8% of Georgia's population younger than 1 were minorities (meaning they had at least one parent who was not non-Hispanic white) compared to other states like California with 75.1%, New York with 55.6%, and Texas with 69.8%. [48]

The largest European ancestry groups are:

In the 1980 census 1,584,303 Georgians claimed English ancestry out of a total state population of 3,994,817, making them 40% of the state, and the largest ethnic group at the time. [51] Today, many of these same people claiming they are of "American" ancestry are actually of English descent, and some are of Scots-Irish descent however, their families have lived in the state for so long, in many cases since the colonial period, that they choose to identify simply as having "American" ancestry or do not in fact know their own ancestry. Their ancestry primarily goes back to the original thirteen colonies and for this reason many of them today simply claim "American" ancestry, though they are of predominantly English ancestry. [52] [53] [54] [55]

As of 2004 [update] , 7.7% of Georgia's population was reported as under 5 years of age, 26.4% under 18, and 9.6% were 65 or older. Also, as of 2004 [update] , females made up approximately 50.6% of the population and African Americans made up approximately 29.6%.

Historically, about half of Georgia's population was composed of African Americans who, before the Civil War, were almost exclusively enslaved. The Great Migration of hundreds of thousands of blacks from the rural South to the industrial North from 1914 to 1970 reduced the African American population. [56]

Georgia had the second-fastest-growing Asian population growth in the U.S. from 1990 to 2000, more than doubling in size during the ten-year period. [57] In addition, according to census estimates, Georgia ranks third among the states in terms of the percent of the total population that is African American (after Mississippi and Louisiana) and third in numeric Black population after New York and Florida.

Georgia is the state with the third-lowest percentage of older people (65 or older), at 12.8 percent (as of 2015 [update] ). [58]

The colonial settlement of large numbers of Scottish American, English American and Scotch-Irish Americans in the mountains and piedmont, and coastal settlement by some English Americans and African Americans, have strongly influenced the state's culture in food, language and music. The concentration of Africans imported to coastal areas in the 18th century repeatedly from rice-growing regions of West Africa led to the development of Gullah-Geechee language and culture in the Low Country among African Americans. They share a unique heritage in which African traditions of food, religion and culture were continued more than in some other areas. In the creolization of Southern culture, their foodways became an integral part of all Southern cooking in the Low Country. [59] [60]

Languages Edit

Top 10 non-English languages spoken in Georgia
Language Percentage of population
(as of 2010 [update] ) [61]
Spanish 7.42%
Korean 0.51%
Vietnamese 0.44%
French 0.42%
Chinese (including Mandarin) 0.38%
German 0.29%
Hindi 0.23%
Niger-Congo languages of West Africa (Igbo, Kru, and Yoruba) 0.21%
Gujarati 0.18%
Portuguese and French Creole 0.16%

As of 2010 [update] , 87.35% (7,666,663) of Georgia residents age 5 and older spoke English at home as a primary language, while 7.42% (651,583) spoke Spanish, 0.51% (44,702) Korean, 0.44% (38,244) Vietnamese, 0.42% (36,679) French, 0.38% (33,009) Chinese (which includes Mandarin), and German, which was spoken as a main language by 0.29% (23,351) of the population over the age of 5. In total, 12.65% (1,109,888) of Georgia's population age 5 and older spoke a mother language other than English. [61]

Major cities Edit

Atlanta, located in north-central Georgia at the Eastern Continental Divide, has been Georgia's capital city since 1868. It is the most populous city in Georgia, with an estimated 2019 population of just over 506,000. [62]

The Atlanta metropolitan area is the cultural and economic center of the Southeast its estimated population in 2019 was over 6 million, or 57% of Georgia's total. Atlanta is the nation's ninth largest metropolitan area. [63]

The state has seventeen cities with populations above 50,000, based on 2019 U.S. Census estimates. [62]

(*) In 2014, the City of Macon and most of unincorporated Bibb County officially merged. Macon joined Columbus, Augusta, Athens, Cusseta and Georgetown as consolidated city-county governments in Georgia.

Along with the rest of the Southeast, Georgia's population continues to grow rapidly, with primary gains concentrated in urban areas. The population of the Atlanta metropolitan area added 1.23 million people (24 percent) between 2000 and 2010, and Atlanta rose in rank from the eleventh-largest metropolitan area in the United States to the ninth-largest. [64]

Religion Edit

The composition of religious affiliation in Georgia is 70% Protestant, 9% Catholic, 1% Mormon, 1% Jewish, 0.5% Muslim, 0.5% Buddhist, and 0.5% Hindu. Atheists, deists, agnostics, and other unaffiliated people make up 13% of the population. [65] The largest Christian denominations by number of adherents in 2010 were the Southern Baptist Convention with 1,759,317 the United Methodist Church with 619,394 and the Roman Catholic Church with 596,384. Non-denominational Evangelical Protestant had 566,782 members, the Church of God (Cleveland, Tennessee) has 175,184 members, and the National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc. has 172,982 members. [66] The Presbyterian Church (USA) is the largest Presbyterian body in the state, with 300 congregations and 100,000 members. The other large body, Presbyterian Church in America, had at its founding date 14 congregations and 2,800 members in 2010 it counted 139 congregations and 32,000 members. [67] [68] The Roman Catholic Church is noteworthy in Georgia's urban areas, and includes the Archdiocese of Atlanta and the Diocese of Savannah. Georgia is home to the largest Hindu temple in the United States, the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir Atlanta, located in the suburb city of Lilburn. Georgia is home to several historic synagogues including The Temple (Atlanta), Congregation Beth Jacob (Atlanta), and Congregation Mickve Israel (Savannah). Chabad and the Rohr Jewish Learning Institute are also active in the state. [69] [70]

State government Edit

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. [72] Executive authority in the state rests with the governor, currently Brian Kemp (Republican). Both the Governor of Georgia and lieutenant governor are elected on separate ballots 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 members of the House of Representatives select their own Speaker. The Georgia 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. [73] The laws enacted by the General Assembly are codified in the Official Code of Georgia Annotated.

State judicial authority rests with the state Supreme Court and Court of Appeals, which have statewide authority. [74] In addition, there are smaller courts which have more limited geographical jurisdiction, including Superior Courts, State Courts, Juvenile 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 to four-year terms by the state's citizens who live within that court's jurisdiction.

Local government Edit

Georgia consists of 159 counties, second only to Texas, with 254. [75] Georgia had 161 counties until the end of 1931, when Milton and Campbell were merged into the existing Fulton. Some counties have been named for prominent figures in both American and Georgian history, and many bear names with Native American origin. Counties in Georgia have their own elected legislative branch, usually called the Board of Commissioners, which usually also has executive authority in the county. [76] Several counties have a sole Commissioner form of government, with legislative and executive authority vested in a single person. Georgia is the only state with current Sole Commissioner counties. Georgia's Constitution provides all counties and cities with "home rule" authority. The county commissions have considerable power to pass legislation within their county, as a municipality would.

Georgia recognizes all local units of government as cities, so every incorporated town is legally a city. Georgia does not provide for townships or independent cities, though there have been bills proposed in the Legislature to provide for townships [77] it does allow consolidated city-county governments by local referendum. All of Georgia's second-tier cities except Savannah have now formed consolidated city-county governments by referendum: Columbus (in 1970), Athens (1990), Augusta (1995), and Macon (2012). (Augusta and Athens have excluded one or more small, incorporated towns within their consolidated boundaries Columbus and Macon eventually absorbed all smaller incorporated entities within their consolidated boundaries.) The small town of Cusseta adopted a consolidated city-county government after it merged with unincorporated Chattahoochee County in 2003. Three years later, in 2006, the town of Georgetown consolidated with the rest of Quitman County.

There is no true metropolitan government in Georgia, though the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) and Georgia Regional Transportation Authority do provide some services, and the ARC must approve all major land development projects in the Atlanta metropolitan area.

Elections Edit

Georgia had voted Republican in six consecutive presidential elections from 1996 to 2016, a streak that was broken when the state went for Democratic candidate Joe Biden in 2020. [78]

Until 1964, Georgia's state government had the longest unbroken record of single-party dominance, by the Democratic Party, of any state in the Union. This record was established largely due to the disenfranchisement of most blacks and many poor whites by the state in its constitution and laws in the early 20th century. Some elements, such as requiring payment of poll taxes and passing literacy tests, prevented blacks from registering to vote their exclusion from the political system lasted into the 1960s and reduced the Republican Party to a non-competitive status in the early 20th century. [79]

White Democrats regained power after Reconstruction due in part to the efforts of some using intimidation and violence, but this method came into disrepute. [80] In 1900, shortly before Georgia adopted a disfranchising constitutional amendment in 1908, blacks comprised 47% of the state's population. [81]

The whites dealt with this problem of potential political power by the 1908 amendment, which in practice disenfranchised blacks and poor whites, nearly half of the state population. It required that any male at least 21 years of age wanting to register to vote must also: (a) be of good character and able to pass a test on citizenship, (b) be able to read and write provisions of the U.S. and Georgia constitutions, or (c) own at least 40 acres of land or $500 in property. Any Georgian who had fought in any war from the American Revolution through the Spanish–American War was exempted from these additional qualifications. More importantly, any Georgian descended from a veteran of any of these wars also was exempted. Because by 1908 many white Georgia males were grandsons of veterans and/or owned the required property, the exemption and the property requirement basically allowed only well-to-do whites to vote. The qualifications of good character, citizenship knowledge, and literacy (all determined subjectively by white registrars), and property ownership were used to disqualify most blacks and poor whites, preventing them from registering to vote. The voter rolls dropped dramatically. [80] [82] In the early 20th century, Progressives promoted electoral reform and reducing the power of ward bosses to clean up politics. Their additional rules, such as the eight-box law, continued to effectively close out people who were illiterate. [19] White one-party rule was solidified.

For more than 130 years, from 1872 to 2003, Georgians nominated and elected only white Democratic governors, and white Democrats held the majority of seats in the General Assembly. [83] Most of the Democrats elected throughout these years were Southern Democrats, who were fiscally and socially conservative by national standards. [84] [85] This voting pattern continued after the segregationist period. [86]

Legal segregation was ended by passage of federal legislation in the 1960s. According to the 1960 census, the proportion of Georgia's population that was African American was 28% hundreds of thousands of blacks had left the state in the Great Migration to the North and Midwest. New white residents arrived through migration and immigration. Following support from the national Democratic Party for the civil rights movement and especially civil rights legislation of 1964 and 1965, most African-American voters, as well as other minority voters, have largely supported the Democratic Party in Georgia. [87] In the decades since the late 20th century, the conservative white-majority voters have increasingly supported Republicans for national and state offices.

In 2002, incumbent moderate Democratic Governor Roy Barnes was defeated by Republican Sonny Perdue, a state legislator and former Democrat. While Democrats retained control of the State House, they lost their majority in the Senate when four Democrats switched parties. They lost the House in the 2004 election. Republicans then controlled all three partisan elements of the state government.

Even before 2002, the state had become increasingly supportive of Republicans in Presidential elections. It has supported a Democrat for president only three times since 1960. In 1976 and 1980, native son Jimmy Carter carried the state in 1992, the former Arkansas governor Bill Clinton narrowly won the state. Generally, Republicans are strongest in the predominantly white suburban (especially the Atlanta suburbs) and rural portions of the state. [88] Many of these areas were represented by conservative Democrats in the state legislature well into the 21st century. One of the most conservative of these was U.S. Congressman Larry McDonald, former head of the John Birch Society, who died when the Soviet Union shot down KAL 007 near Sakhalin Island. Democratic candidates have tended to win a higher percentage of the vote in the areas where black voters are most numerous, [88] as well as in the cities among liberal urban populations (especially Atlanta and Athens), and the central and southwestern portion of the state.

The ascendancy of the Republican Party in Georgia and in the South in general resulted in Georgia U.S. House of Representatives member Newt Gingrich being elected as Speaker of the House following the election of a Republican majority in the House in 1994. Gingrich served as Speaker until 1999, when he resigned in the aftermath of the loss of House seats held by members of the GOP. Gingrich mounted an unsuccessful bid for president in the 2012 election, but withdrew after winning only the South Carolina and Georgia primaries.

In 2008, Democrat Jim Martin ran against incumbent Republican Senator Saxby Chambliss. Chambliss failed to acquire the necessary 50 percent of votes due to a Libertarian Party candidate receiving the remainder of votes. In the runoff election held on December 2, 2008, Chambliss became the second Georgia Republican to be reelected to the U.S. Senate.

In the 2018 elections, the governor remained a Republican (by 54,723 votes against a democratic black female, Stacey Abrams), Republicans lost eight seats in the Georgia House of Representatives (winning 106), while Democrats gained ten (winning 74), Republicans lost two seats in the Georgia Senate (winning 35 seats), while Democrats gained two seats (winning 21), and five Democrat U.S. Representatives were elected with Republicans winning nine seats (one winning with just 419 votes over the Democratic challenger, and one seat being lost). [89] [90] [91]

In the three presidential elections up to and including 2016, the Republican candidate has won Georgia by approximately five to eight points over the Democratic nominee, at least once for each election being narrower than margins recorded in some states that have flipped within that timeframe, such as Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin. This trend led to the state electing Democrat Joe Biden for president in 2020, and it coming to be regarded as a swing state. [92] [93]

Politics Edit

During the 1960s and 1970s, Georgia made significant changes in civil rights and governance. As in many other states, its legislature had not reapportioned congressional districts according to population from 1931 to after the 1960 census. Problems of malapportionment in the state legislature, where rural districts had outsize power in relation to urban districts, such as Atlanta's, were corrected after the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Wesberry v. Sanders (1964). The court ruled that congressional districts had to be reapportioned to have essentially equal populations.

A related case, Reynolds v. Sims (1964), required state legislatures to end their use of geographical districts or counties in favor of "one man, one vote" that is, districts based upon approximately equal populations, to be reviewed and changed as necessary after each census. These changes resulted in residents of Atlanta and other urban areas gaining political power in Georgia in proportion to their populations. [94] From the mid-1960s, the voting electorate increased after African Americans' rights to vote were enforced under civil rights law.

Economic growth through this period was dominated by Atlanta and its region. It was a bedrock of the emerging "New South". From the late 20th century, Atlanta attracted headquarters and relocated workers of national companies, becoming more diverse, liberal and cosmopolitan than many areas of the state.

In the 21st century, many conservative Democrats, including former U.S. Senator and governor Zell Miller, decided to support Republicans. The state's socially conservative bent results in wide support for measures such as restrictions on abortion. In 2004, a state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages was approved by 76% of voters. [95] However, after the United States Supreme Court issued its ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, all Georgia counties came into full compliance, recognizing the rights of same-sex couples to marry in the state. [96]

In presidential elections, Georgia voted solely Democratic in every election from 1900 to 1960. In 1964, it was one of only a handful of states to vote for Republican Barry Goldwater over Democrat Lyndon B. Johnson. In 1968, it did not vote for either of the two parties, but rather the American Independent Party and its nominee, Alabama Governor George Wallace. In 1972, the state returned to Republicans as part of a landslide victory for Richard Nixon. In 1976 and 1980, it voted for Democrat and former Georgia governor Jimmy Carter. The state returned to Republicans in 1984 and 1988, before going Democratic once again in 1992. For every election between that year and 2020, Georgia voted heavily Republican, in line with many of its neighbors in the Deep South. In 2020, it voted Democratic for the first time in 28 years, aiding Joe Biden in his defeat of incumbent Republican Donald Trump. Prior to 2020, Republicans in state, federal and congressional races had seen decreasing margins of victory, and many election forecasts had ranked Georgia as a "toss-up" state, or with Biden as a very narrow favorite. [97] Concurrent with the 2020 presidential election were two elections for both of Georgia's United States Senate seats (one of which being a special election due to the resignation of Senator Johnny Isakson, and the other being regularly scheduled). After no candidate in either race received a majority of the vote, both went to January 5, 2021 run-offs, which Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock won. Ossoff is the state's first Jewish senator, and Warnock is the state's first Black senator. Biden's, Ossoff's, and Warnock's wins were attributed to the rapid diversification of the suburbs of Atlanta [98] and increased turnout of younger African American voters, particularly around the suburbs of Atlanta and in Savannah, Georgia. [99] [100] [101]

Georgia's 2018 total gross state product was $602 billion. [102] For years Georgia as a state has had the highest credit rating by Standard & Poor's (AAA) and is one of only 15 states with a AAA rating. [103] If Georgia were a stand-alone country, it would be the 28th largest economy in the world, based on data from 2005. [104]

There are 17 Fortune 500 companies and 26 Fortune 1000 companies with headquarters in Georgia, including Home Depot, UPS, Coca-Cola, TSYS, Delta Air Lines, Aflac, Southern Company, Anthem Inc., and SunTrust Banks.

Atlanta boasts the world's busiest airport, as measured both by passenger traffic and by aircraft traffic. [106] [107] Also, the Port of Savannah is the fourth largest seaport and fastest-growing container seaport in North America, importing and exporting a total of 2.3 million TEUs per year. [108]

Atlanta has a large effect on the state of Georgia, the Southeastern United States, and beyond. Atlanta has been the site of growth in finance, insurance, technology, manufacturing, real estate, service, logistics, transportation, film, communications, convention and trade show businesses and industries, while tourism is important to the economy. Atlanta is a global city, also called world city or sometimes alpha city or world center, as a city generally considered to be an important node in the global economic system.

For the five years through November 2017, Georgia has been ranked the top state (number 1) in the nation to do business, and has been recognized as number 1 for business and labor climate in the nation, number 1 in business climate in the nation, number 1 in the nation in workforce training and as having a "Best in Class" state economic development agency. [109] [110]

In 2016, Georgia had median annual income per person of between $50,000 and $59,999, which is in inflation-adjusted dollars for 2016. The U.S. median annual income for the entire nation is $57,617. This lies within the range of Georgia's median annual income. [111]

Agriculture Edit

Widespread farms produce peanuts, corn, and soybeans across middle and south Georgia. The state is the number one producer of pecans in the world, thanks to Naomi Chapman Woodroof regarding peanut breeding, with the region around Albany in southwest Georgia being the center of Georgia's pecan production. Gainesville in northeast Georgia touts itself as the Poultry Capital of the World. Georgia is in the top five blueberry producers in the United States. [112]

Mining Edit

Major products in the mineral industry include a variety of clays, stones, sands and the clay palygorskite, known as attapulgite.

Industry Edit

While many textile jobs moved overseas, there is still a textile industry located around the cities of Rome, Columbus, Augusta, Macon and along the I-75 corridor between Atlanta and Chattanooga, Tennessee. Historically it started along the fall line in the Piedmont, where factories were powered by waterfalls and rivers. It includes the towns of Cartersville, Calhoun, Ringgold and Dalton [113]

In November 2009, Kia started production in Georgia at the first U.S. Kia Motors plant, Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia in West Point.

Industrial products include textiles and apparel, transportation equipment, food processing, paper products, chemicals and products, and electric equipment.

Logistics Edit

Georgia was ranked the number 2 state for infrastructure and global access by Area Development magazine. [114]

The Georgia Ports Authority owns and operates four ports in the state: Port of Savannah, Port of Brunswick, Port Bainbridge, and Port Columbus. The Port of Savannah is the third busiest seaport in the United States, [115] importing and exporting a total of 2.3 million TEUs per year. [108] The Port of Savannah's Garden City Terminal is the largest single container terminal in North America. [116] Several major companies including Target, IKEA, and Heineken operate distribution centers in close proximity to the Port of Savannah.

Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport moves over 650,000 tons of cargo annually through three cargo complexes (two million square feet of floor space). It has nearby cold storage for perishables it is the only airport in the Southeast with USDA-approved cold-treatment capabilities. Delta Air Lines also offers an on-airport refrigeration facility for perishable cargo, and a 250-acre Foreign Trade Zone is located at the airport. [117]

Georgia is a major railway hub, has the most extensive rail system in the Southeast, and has the service of two Class I railroads, CSX and Norfolk Southern, plus 24 short-line railroads. Georgia is ranked the #3 state in the nation for rail accessibility. Rail shipments include intermodal, bulk, automotive and every other type of shipment. [118]

Georgia has an extensive interstate highway system including 1,200 miles of interstate highway and 20,000 miles of federal and state highways that facilitate the efficient movement of more than $620 billion of cargo by truck each year. Georgia's six interstates connect to 80 percent of the U.S. population within a two-day truck drive. More than $14 billion in funding has been approved [ when? ] for new roadway infrastructure. [119]

Military Edit

Southern Congressmen have attracted major investment by the U.S. military in the state. The several installations include Moody Air Force Base, Fort Stewart, Hunter Army Airfield, Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Fort Benning, Robins Air Force Base, Fort Gordon, Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Coast Guard Air Station Savannah and Coast Guard Station Brunswick. These installations command numerous jobs and business for related contractors.

Energy use and production Edit

Georgia's electricity generation and consumption are among the highest in the United States, with natural gas being the primary electrical generation fuel, followed by coal. The state also has two nuclear power facilities, Plant Hatch and Plant Vogtle, which contribute almost one fourth of Georgia's electricity generation, and an additional two nuclear power plants are under construction [ when? ] at Plant Vogtle. In 2013, the generation mix was 39% gas, 35% coal, 23% nuclear, 3% hydro and other renewable sources. The leading area of energy consumption is the industrial sector because Georgia "is a leader in the energy-intensive wood and paper products industry". [120] Solar generated energy is becoming more in use with solar energy generators currently installed ranking Georgia 15th in the country in installed solar capacity. In 2013, $189 million was invested in Georgia to install solar for home, business and utility use representing a 795% increase over the previous year. [121]

State taxes Edit

Georgia has a progressive income tax structure with six brackets of state income tax rates that range from 1% to 6%. In 2009, Georgians paid 9% of their income in state and local taxes, compared to the U.S. average of 9.8% of income. [122] This ranks Georgia 25th among the states for total state and local tax burden. [122] The state sales tax in Georgia is 4% [123] with additional percentages added through local options (e.g. special-purpose local-option sales tax or SPLOST), but there is no sales tax on prescription drugs, certain medical devices, or food items for home consumption. [124]

The state legislature may allow municipalities to institute local sales taxes and special local taxes, such as the 2% SPLOST tax and the 1% sales tax for MARTA serviced counties. Excise taxes are levied on alcohol, tobacco, and motor fuel. Owners of real property in Georgia pay property tax to their county. All taxes are collected by the Georgia Department of Revenue and then properly distributed according to any agreements that each county has with its cities.

Film Edit

The Georgia Film, Music and Digital Entertainment Office promotes filming in the state. [125] Since 1972, seven hundred film and television projects have been filmed on location in Georgia. [126] Georgia overtook California in 2016 as the state location with the most feature films produced. In FY2017, film and television production in Georgia had an economic impact of $9.5 billion. [127] Atlanta now is even called the "Hollywood of the South". [128] Television shows like Stranger Things, The Walking Dead, and The Vampire Diaries are filmed in the state. [129] Movies too, such as Passengers, Forrest Gump, Contagion, Hidden Figures, Sully, Baby Driver, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Captain America: Civil War, Black Panther, Birds of Prey and many more, were filmed around Georgia. [130] [131]

Tourism Edit

In the Atlanta area, World of Coke, Georgia Aquarium, Zoo Atlanta and Stone Mountain are important tourist attractions. [132] [133] Stone Mountain is Georgia's "most popular attraction" receiving more than four million tourists per year. [134] [135] The Georgia Aquarium, in Atlanta, was the largest aquarium in the world in 2010 according to Guinness World Records. [136]

Callaway Gardens, in western Georgia, is a family resort. [137] The area is also popular with golfers.

The Savannah Historic District attracts more than eleven million tourists each year. [138]

The Golden Isles is a string of barrier islands off the Atlantic coast of Georgia near Brunswick that includes beaches, golf courses and the Cumberland Island National Seashore.

Several sites honor the lives and careers of noted American leaders: the Little White House in Warm Springs, which served as the summer residence of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt while he was being treated for polio President Jimmy Carter's hometown of Plains and the Carter Presidential Center in Atlanta the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park in Atlanta, which is the final resting place of Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King and Atlanta's Ebenezer Baptist Church, where Dr. King preached.


Baker County, Georgia

Baker County is a county in the state of Georgia. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 3,451. The county was created December 12, 1825 from the eastern portion of Early County by an act of the Georgia General Assembly. The county seat is Newton. The county is named for Colonel John Baker, a hero of the American Revolutionary War.

Baker County is included in the Albany, GA Metropolitan Statistical Area.

The Baker County Courthouse (Georgia) is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Three other properties in Newton are also listed on the register: Notchaway Baptist Church and Cemetery, Pine Bloom Plantation, and Tarver Plantation.

Etymology - Origin of Baker County Name

Baker county is named for Colonel John Baker, a Puritan and noted patriot of the Revolutionary War.

Demographics:

Baker County History

Georgia's 61st county was named for Colonel John Baker, a Puritan and noted patriot of the Revolutionary War. Baker County was created from Early County in 1825.

The Baker County Courthouse has been damaged by floods three times, once in 1925, once in 1929, and most recently in 1994.

Newton, the county seat, was named for Sergeant John Newton of South Carolina, a soldier in the Revolutionary War.

The last battle of the Creek Indian War of 1836 was fought in Baker County at Chickasawhatchee Swamp near Red Bluff. Indian villages were first recorded in the Baker County area by Spanish explorer Hernando DeSoto in 1540.

Points of Interest

Primarily an agricultural community, Baker County produces peanuts, cotton, canola, poultry, and beef.

Baker County is home to several plantations, ranging in size from 5,000 to 28,000 acres. The largest is Ichauway Plantation, once owned by Coca-Cola magnate Robert Woodruff. The plantation now houses the Joseph W. Jones Ecological Research Center, one of the largest outdoor research centers in the world. Scientists study local vegetation, water systems, and wildlife, including 32 species of endangered plants and animals found on the plantation.

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 349 square miles (900 km 2 ), of which 342 square miles (890 km 2 ) is land and 7.2 square miles (19 km 2 ) (2.1%) is water.

The eastern half of Baker County is located in the Lower Flint River sub-basin of the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin. The western half of the county is located in the Ichawaynochaway Creek sub-basin.


Georgia Printables

Georgia was one of the original 13 colonies. The state was settled on February 12, 1733, by British politician, James Oglethorpe, and 100 colonists made up of poor people and those recently released from debtor's prison. The colonists settled in the present-day city of Savannah.

Georiga, named after King George II, was the 4th state admitted to the Union on January 2, 1788. It is border by Florida, Alabama, Tennessee, North Carolina, and South Carolina.

Atlanta is Georgia's capital city. It is home to Six Flags Over Georgia, the Atlanta Braves baseball team, and the Coca-Cola (invented in Atlanta in 1886) headquarters.The city also hosted the 1996 Summer Olympics.

Georgia's famous people include President Jimmy Carter, and civil rights' leader Martin Luther King, Jr. are both from Georgia. Its main agricultural products are the 3 P's: peanuts, pecans, and peaches. The state is also the only place that grows the sweet Vidalia onion.

Georgia's natural terrain is extremely varied, including the Appalachian Mountains in the northeast, the Okefenokee Swamp in the south, and approximately 100 miles of coastline in the southeast.

Teach your students more about the Peach State with the following free printables.


Regions of Georgia Map

Georgia is divided into 9 regions (mkharebi, singular - mkhare), 1 city (kalaki) and 2 autonomous republics (avtomnoy respubliki, singular - avtom respublika). In alphabetical order, the regions are: Guria, Imereti, Kakheti, Kvemo Kartli, Mtskheta-Mtianeti, Racha-Lechkhumi and Kvemo Svaneti, Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti, Samtskhe-Javakheti and Shida Kartli. Tbilisi is a city and Abkhazia or Ap'khazet'is Avtonomiuri Respublika (Sokhumi) and Adjara or Acharis Avtonomiuri Respublika (Bat'umi) are the two autonomous republics. Georgia is also subdivided into 76 municipalities – 12 self-governing cities (including the city of Tbilisi) and 64 communities.

Located along the banks of Kura River, Tbilisi is the capital and the largest city of Georgia. It is the chief cultural, educational, industrial and economic center of Georgia.

[note - the breakaway region of South Ossetia consists of the northern part of Shida Kartli, eastern slivers of the Imereti region and Racha-Lechkhumi and Kvemo Svaneti, and part of western Mtskheta-Mtianeti].


Georgia: Physiographic Regions

The territory of Georgia can be divided into six main land regions: the Appalachian Plateau, the Appalachian Ridge and Valley Region, the Blue Ridge, the Piedmont, the Atlantic Coastal Plain, and the East Gulf Coastal Plain.

South Atlantic Coastal Plain

The Atlantic Coastal Plain is part of the Atlantic Plain that stretches from Massachusetts to the Florida peninsula and around the Gulf of Mexico. The Atlantic Coastal Plain lies in southeast Georgia along the state's Atlantic Ocean shoreline. Occupying about 1/4 of Georgia, the Atlantic Coastal Plain is characterized by a flat landscape. The Okefenokee Swamp lies in the southern part of the Atlantic Plain and in part of the East Gulf Coastal Plain. The rivers in the Atlantic Coastal Plain drain into the Atlantic Ocean.

The South Atlantic Coastal Plain covers northeastern Florida, the southern half of Georgia and the eastern halves of South Carolina and North Carolina. Its western boundary is the fall line that marks the beginning of the hilly Piedmont and its eastern boundary is the Atlantic Ocean. As part of a continuous Coastal Plain that extends from New York to Texas, it has arbitrary boundaries at the Alabama-Georgia border and at the North Carolina-Virginia border, extending into the southeast corner of Virginia only to capture the very Southeastern Great Dismal Swamp. The southeastern boundary marks a broad transitional zone into Peninsular Florida. The Atlantic coast is lined with barrier islands that support sand dune and maritime forest habitats and are backed by marshland. Estuaries are less saline marsh nearest the coast, and river valleys become increasingly wooded farther inland, supporting significant areas of bottomland hardwood forest. Pocosins and Carolina bays are non-alluvial forested wetlands unique to this physiographic area. Uplands were historically dominated by fire-maintained pine forests, with longleaf nearer the coast and on sandy soils inland and a mixture of shortleaf, loblolly, and hardwoods elsewhere.

The Florida Uplands run about 275 miles west to east, along the northern edge of the Florida Panhandle and then extends south into the central area of the Florida peninsula. The width of the northern Florida Uplands varies from around 30 to 50 miles and is characterized by low rolling hills of red clay. Hard and softwood forests are plentiful. The section of the Florida Uplands that extends south into the peninsula, covers an area about 100 miles wide and 160 miles long. This area extends from the north, south and to the east, to separate the two sections of the East Gulf Coastal Plain and to separate the East Gulf Coastal Plain from the Atlantic Coastal Plain. The landscape in the southern Florida Uplands is characterized by low hills and many lakes. Though the Florida Uplands are only 200-300 feet above sea level, they are still higher than the regions of the Atlantic Coastal Plain and the East Gulf Coastal Plain. The highest point in Florida is found in the Florida Uplands that run along the northern edge of the panhandle. Just south of the Alabama border, west of Paxton, Britton Hill is 345 feet above sea level and is the lowest state high point in the nation.

Southern Blue Ridge Mountains

A small section of the Blue Ridge is found in northeastern Georgia north of the Piedmont. The mountain peaks in the Blue Ridge area rise 2,000 to almost 5,000 feet above sea level more than 20 above 4,000 feet. These mountains are forested with hardwoods and pine softwoods. The rushing rivers in the Blue Ridge provide hydro-electric power to Georgia. Georgia's highest mountains are found in the Blue Ridge area, including Brasstown Bald, or Mount Etonah, which rises 4,784 feet above sea level.

The Southern Blue Ridge is an area of rugged mountains, long broad ridges, steep slopes, and deep ravines. It straddles the border between Tennessee and North Carolina, extending south into northeast South Carolina and northwest Georgia and north into Virginia. High Peaks spruce-fir forest grades at lower elevations into northern hardwood forest or hemlock-white pine forest on steep, north-facing slopes and Appalachian oaks on drier sites. The Appalachian oak type is the most widespread forest type in the area. Mixed mesophytic hardwood forests, also called cove forests, over on more mesic sites at low to mid-elevations. Various southern yellow pine mixes occur on dry ridges, often associated with a fire regime. There are also riparian forest types along valleys at various elevations, primarily in the lowlands. Disturbance, including fire, grazing, and storm damage, plays a major role in determining the distribution and successional status of many of these forest types.

Southern Piedmont (Southern Appalachia)

Northwest of the Atlantic Coastal Plain and the East Gulf Coastal Plain, the Georgia Piedmont cuts across the state. The Southern Piedmont extends through central North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia and into eastern Alabama. The Piedmont is marked by a hilly landscape in the north where it abuts the Appalachian regions at around 1,500 feet above sea level. The land loses elevation to the southeast, where the hills become more gently rolling and the land is only about 400 feet above sea level. The area is characterized by irregular plains and open hills with occasional tablelands. Elevations generally range from about 30 meters to 100 meters, but rise to about 400 meters at the interface with the Southern Blue Ridge.The clear difference in landscape where the southeastern edge of the Piedmont meets the Atlantic Coastal Plain and the Gulf Coastal Plain is called the Fall Line. It is along this line that the rivers flowing from the higher elevations of the Piedmont fall to the lower Coastal Plains forming waterfalls and rapids.

Numerous and diverse rivers comprise a major feature of the landscape. Although the Piedmont is geologically part of Southern Appalachia, the types of vegetation that characterize the region encompass a broad transition from upland forest types to the coastal plain. By most accounts, Piedmont forests were dominated by hardwoods at the time of early European settlement, and the extent far exceeded what exists today. However, the Piedmont was by no means entirely forested prior to European settlement. Eastern grasslands and savannas were extensive and present as late as the 1700's. Because Native American settlements were apparently common in the Piedmont, agricultural fields and other larger openings were historically part of the landscape.


Potential natural forest vegetation in the Southern Piedmont is oak-hickory-pine and Southern mixed forests. Southern red, northern red, chestnut, white, post and black are the most prevalent oaks. Shagbark, pignut, and mockernut are common hickory species. Shortleaf and loblolly are dominant pine species, with scattered longleaf stands along the Fall Line with the Coastal Plain. Pines are most prevalent on disturbed sites and due to the widespread historical disturbance factor, pines have replaced oaks and hickories in many cases.

Southern Ridge and Valley

This physiographic area consists of both the Southern end of the Ridge and Valley system as well as the tablelands of the Southern Cumberland Plateau. This is a fertile valley in northwestern Georgia that is separated by parallel ridges of sandstone. It descends to the Coastal Plain to the south and rises to the Blue Ridge to the east. It is located in eastern Tennessee, northwest Georgia, and northeast Alabama, and is arbitrarily separated from the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and Valley at the Tennessee-Virginia border. Upland deciduous forest, the most common naturally-occurring cover type, is predominantly mixed mesophytic, oak-hickory, or oak-pine forest. There is also a considerable area dominated by pine, either shortleaf or loblolly.

The Cumberland Plateau

The Cumberland Plateau begins near Birmingham, Alabama, and crosses the extreme northwest corner of Georgia before entering Tennessee just to the west of Chattanooga. Northwest of Knoxville, the plateau becomes highly dissected due to erosion, and the region- although geologically still a plateau- is called the Cumberland Mountains.

The two principal features of the Cumberland Plateau in Georgia are Sand Mountain and Lookout Mountain, which are separated by 2-mile-wide Lookout Valley, in which the towns of Trenton and Rising Fawn are located.

From a physiographic standpoint, the flat-topped mountains of the Cumberland Plateau are quite different from the narrow Armuchee Ridges beyond the Chickamauga Valley to the east. Geologically, the Cumberland Plateau is transitional between the flat-lying sedimentary beds of central Tennessee and the ridges and valleys to the east in Georgia, which show more intensive folding and faulting.

The flat top of the Cumberland Plateau is sandstone which, while harder than limestone or shale, has nevertheless been carved and sculpted for millions of years by wind and water. Because of a tendency to fracture into squarish blocks, the sandstone has weathered into fantastic boulder formations in places like Rocktown and the Zahnd Tract, commercially called "rock cities." In addition, thick layers of soft, water-soluble limestone undergird the Cumberland Plateau. Because the top is actually slightly concave, surface water accumulates and seeps downward through cracks and crevices, where it dissolves the limestone and creates miles of underground passages or caves, issuing forth at numerous springs around the base of the mountain.

The great gulfs, or canyons, eroded in the sides of the Cumberland Plateau are spectacular in a geologic, biotic, and scenic sense. Two on Lookout Mountain are notable- a wide canyon known as Johnson's Crook, and a narrow one called Sitton's Gulch and renamed Cloudland Canyon.

Pigeon Mountain, a thumblike protrusion from Lookout Mountain, deserves special mention. It is a geological, botanical, and zoological treasure house. Happily, most of it was purchased by Heritage Trust funds under the farsighted Carter administration.

East Gulf Coastal Plain

The East Gulf Coastal Plain covers almost 1/4 of Georgia in the southwest. Similar to the flat landscape of the Atlantic Coastal Plain, the flat East Gulf Coastal Plain's soil is less sandy. Part of the Okefenokee Swamp lies in the East Gulf Coastal Plain. The great Suwannee River, like all rivers in this land region, flows south into the Gulf of Mexico.


Undergraduate Courses

Global patterns of resources, population, culture, and economic systems. Factors contributing to these patterns and distinctions between the technologically advanced and less advanced regions of the world.

Global patterns of resources, population, culture, and economic systems. Factors contributing to these patterns and distinctions between the technologically advanced and less advanced regions of the world. This course will be taught 95% or more online. Each topic has a dedicated module…

Geographic factors underlying multiculturalism and ethnic relationships in the United States. Spatial development and organization of culture population growth, migration, and urbanization and the spatial dimensions of political, economic, and social processes.

Spatial patterns and underlying processes of the physical environment and biosphere, including climate, vegetation, soils, landforms, and water resources.

Optional laboratory for Introduction to Physical Geography.

Optional laboratory for Introduction to Weather and Climate. Find Instructors / Syllabi on the UGA Bulletin

Atmospheric composition and structure, clouds, precipitation, and atmospheric motion and winds. Organized weather systems, including air masses, fronts, and severe weather. Discussion of global climates includes circulation, wind systems, climate classification, and climate change.

Atmospheric composition and structure, clouds, precipitation, and atmospheric motion and winds. Organized weather systems, including air masses, fronts, and severe weather. Discussion of global climates includes circulation, wind systems, climate classification, and climate change.

Optional laboratory for Introduction to Weather and Climate.

Optional laboratory for Introduction to Landforms.

Analysis and classification of major types of land surfaces, stressing geographic characteristics. Interpretation of relationships between landforms and other phenomena through maps, air photos, and field observations. World coverage with emphasis on North America.

Provides fundamentals of environmental geography concepts and techniques and develops geoliteracy in relation to natural resources, with geographical critiques of societal uses and environmental protection. Provides fundamentals of environmental geography concepts and techniques and develops…

Interactions between physical systems and human activities, and their effects on environmental quality and sustainability. Geography of population and resource consumption, food production, water and air quality, energy policy, land/biotic resource management.

This is an introductory course for students who wish to increase their geographic literacy. This course considers the population, cultures, environment, and economies of world regions, and examines problems of development, ecological change, demographic change, urbanization, migration, and…

An introduction to the science of natural history and biota of Georgia, as well as the impacts of humans on regional and national resources (overfishing, human-driven extinctions). Students will gain familiarity with the geography, geology, plants, and animals (especially vertebrates) of the…

Global patterns of resources, population, culture, and economic systems. Factors contributing to these patterns and distinctions between the technologically advanced and less advanced regions of the world.

Introduction to principles and applications of Geographic Information Science (GIS). Examines spatial data retrieval, accuracy, management, visualization, and analysis. Emphasis on interdisciplinary nature of GIS and relevance to society. Involves computer examples and exercises that emphasize…

The history, physical environment (landforms, vegetation, and climate), and sociocultural environment (artistic, political, and social development) of Africa.

Spatial patterns and underlying processes of the physical environment and biosphere, including climate, vegetation, soils, landforms, and water resources.

Optional laboratory for Introduction to Physical Geography (Honors).

Atmospheric composition and structure, clouds, precipitation, and atmospheric motion and winds. Organized weather systems, including air masses, fronts, and severe weather. Discussion of global climates includes circulation, wind systems, climate classification, and climate change.

Geographic factors underlying multiculturalism and ethnic relationships in the United States. Spatial development and organization of culture population growth, migration, and urbanization and the spatial dimensions of political, economic, and social processes.

Introduction to international natural resource policy concentrating on endangered species, international trade, multiple land-use and conservation planning, eco-tourism, sustainability, and environmental education. Conservation continuum is explored from protectionist to utilitarian perspectives…

Interactions between physical systems and human activities and their effects on environmental quality and sustainability. Geography of population and resource consumption, food production, water and air quality, energy policy, land/biotic resource management.

Methods and techniques required at various stages of geographic data analysis, including the collection, manipulation, description, presentation, analysis, and interpretation of data. Exercises using statistical and GIS software packages on microcomputers integrate data analysis with geographic…

Introduction to use of maps and aerial photographs for analysis of geographic information. Examines the properties of maps and aerial photographs, measurement of map information, interpretation of qualitative and quantitative map information, unusual map types, graphs, aerial photography and…

Physical, cultural, economic, historical, and biological landscapes of Georgia, explored through videos, music, and computerized data sets, such as the Interactive Atlas of Georgia and the Georgia 100 GIS. Find Instructors / Syllabi on the UGA Bulletin

Earth surface processes and landforms, including tectonic, volcanic, weathering, soil, hillslope, karst, fluvial, glacial, periglacial, eolian, and coastal geomorphic systems. Relevance to environmental change is stressed. Field trip required.

Climatology from local to global scales. Topics include radiation/heat exchanges, the hydrologic cycle, global climate patterns, climate change, measurement and data sources, relationships of climate with ecosystem processes, and human activities, and climate forecasting. Find Instructors /…

Climatology from local to global scales. Topics include radiation/heat exchanges, the hydrologic cycle, global climate patterns, climate change, measurement and data sources, relationships of climate with ecosystem processes, and human activities, and climate forecasting

The collection, display, and application of weather data. The use of meteorological instruments, codes, maps, atmospheric soundings, and thermodynamics diagrams. Interpretation of weather maps using basic meteorological principles.

The collection, display, and application of weather data. The use of meteorological instruments, codes, maps, atmospheric soundings, and thermodynamics diagrams. Interpretation of weather maps using basic meteorological principles.

The causes, impacts and policies regarding hazards due to atmospheric phenomena, including hurricanes, tornadoes, windstorms, extreme temperature and precipitation events, and climate change.

The causes, impacts and policies regarding hazards due to atmospheric phenomena, including hurricanes, tornadoes, windstorms, extreme temperature and precipitation events, and climate change.

Provides students with the opportunity to critically evaluate the climatic and environmental changes currently facing our planet. Students will gain knowledge of the mechanisms that force climate and the human activities that affect the magnitude and direction of these forcing mechanisms and the…

Provides students with the opportunity to critically evaluate the climatic and environmental changes currently facing our planet. Students will gain knowledge of the mechanisms that force climate and the human activities that affect the magnitude and direction of these forcing mechanisms and the…

Factors affecting plant and animal distributions at scales from organisms to biomes. Influence of ecological factors and human activity on distributions, historical biogeography, and patterns of earth's biomes.

The geography of mountainous regions from around the world will be compared to emphasize complexities of the geo-ecosystem and the interplay between humans and the landscape in mountainous terrain. Environmental issues, sustainable resource development, and the historical roots of cultural…

Map design techniques including cartographic theory and principles, map interpretation, map database preparation, compilation, symbolization, computer mapping, map reproduction techniques, color, and thematic map design.

This course explores why the global economy operates the way it does. It provides a broad overview of the discourse and politics of “globalization,” and then examines two critical processes that shaped the contemporary global economy’s emergence: 19th century imperialism and the 20th and 21st…

Theories of inter- and intraurban locations. Procedures in geographical analysis of agglomerated settlements, including demographic, economic, and social attributes.

Theories of inter- and intraurban locations. Procedures in geographical analysis of agglomerated settlements, including demographic, economic, and social attributes.

This course will be taught 95% or more online.

An examination of how, where, and under what specific conditions violations of human rights occur. Students will review local and global mechanisms for addressing human rights violations, and evaluate how international law, national policies, and local practices are mutually constituted.…

Africa's colonialism and its legacy post-colonial politics trading relationships issues of migrant labor debates over population growth and economic change environmental degradation urban development and agriculture and food security.

The course will be taught as part of the…

An introduction to the political, economic, and social origins and implications of several Western food commodities, with a focus on breakfast (e.g., coffee, milk, eggs, and peaches). The course focuses on how natural and human resources are organized and regulated along food commodity chains.…

A survey of contemporary political geography structured around contemporary globalization. It focuses on major concepts in political geography, such as territoriality, geopolitics, and scale, while also introducing important topics in the subfield, including the geographies of nations, political…

Placement of students in an outside private or governmental agency where they will utilize geographic techniques in approaching practical problems relevant to the agency's mission. An initial orientation and a postinternship evaluation with the internship committee are required.

Landforming effects of surface-water movement with emphasis on surface-water hydrology, streamflow mechanics, floods, sediment transport and storage, and landform evolution. Field trips included.

Weathering, erosional and depositional processes, and landforms in karst and arid areas. Formation of sinkholes, sinking streams, caves, springs, sand dunes, playas, and yardangs. Geoarchaeological and other evidence on the nature of past environments, including dating cave and aeolian sediments…

Chronology and geomorphic, isotopic, and palynological evidence of Quaternary paleoclimates. The effects of past climatic changes upon present landscapes, historic short-term fluctuations in temperature and precipitation, and possible explanations for climatic change are emphasized.

Methods in measurement, observation, recording and synthesis of field data in physical geography. Students conduct field research and present oral and written reports (with maps) of findings.

Emphasis is placed on field observation of geomorphic systems (tectonic, volcanic, weathering, soils, hillslopes, fluvial, glacial, eolian, coastal, periglacial) on field trips, which may occur locally or abroad. The course involves travel to places with good examples of multiple geomorphic…

A quantitative investigation of large-scale atmospheric motion. Equations of motion are derived from basic physical laws. Concepts of vorticity, quasi-geostrophic theory, and general circulation are addressed.

A quantitative investigation of large-scale atmospheric motion. Equations of motion are derived from basic physical laws. Concepts of vorticity, quasi-geostrophic theory, and general circulation are addressed.

Theory and observations to understand mid-latitude weather systems. Focus is on application of quasi-geostrophic theory in weather forecasting. Analysis and interpretation of weather maps and numerical models. Development and life cycle of cyclones, fronts, and jet streams.

Theory and observations to understand mid-latitude weather systems. Focus is on application of quasi-geostrophic theory in weather forecasting. Analysis and interpretation of weather maps and numerical models. Development and life cycle of cyclones, fronts, and jet streams.

A weather forecasting practicum that provides an opportunity for students to obtain real-time, real-world experience forecasting conventional weather parameters at selected cities in the United States.

Class hours are by arrangement with the relevant faculty and vary depending on credit…

A weather forecasting practicum that provides an opportunity for students to obtain real-time, real-world experience forecasting conventional weather parameters at selected cities in the United States.

Class hours are by arrangement with the relevant faculty and vary depending on credit…

Application of satellite remote sensing in meteorology and climatology. Applications include clouds, atmospheric water vapor and precipitation, the Earth's radiation budget, sea and land surface temperatures.

Application of satellite remote sensing in meteorology and climatology. Applications include clouds, atmospheric water vapor and precipitation, the Earth's radiation budget, sea and land surface temperatures.

Advanced, quantitative study of Earth's physical climate. Includes global energy balance, surface-atmosphere energy exchanges, surface hydrology and water budget at various temporal and spatial scales. Methods of measuring and modeling are discussed. Case studies are used to illustrate how the…

Advanced, quantitative study of Earth's physical climate. Includes global energy balance, surface-atmosphere energy exchanges, surface hydrology and water budget at various temporal and spatial scales. Methods of measuring and modeling are discussed. Case studies are used to illustrate how the…

Do cities create their own thunderstorms? Will pollution from emerging mega-cities change climate? Exploration of fundamental concepts of the urban-climate system, observational and modeling strategies for studying the urban-climate system, and context for how human activity in the built…

Do cities create their own thunderstorms? Will pollution from emerging mega-cities change climate? Exploration of fundamental concepts of the urban-climate system, observational and modeling strategies for studying the urban-climate system, and context for how human activity in the built…

An introduction to the interactions between the biosphere and atmosphere. Energy, moisture, and carbon exchange in the soil-plant-atmosphere continuum with applications to managed and natural environments. The impact of weather and climate on humans and domesticated animals. Elementary turbulent…

An introduction to the interactions between the biosphere and atmosphere. Energy, moisture, and carbon exchange in the soil-plant-atmosphere continuum with applications to managed and natural environments. The impact of weather and climate on humans and domesticated animals. Elementary turbulent…

Fundamental theory, analysis, and exercises on mesoscale weather phenomena and principles of radar meteorology. A major topical focus will be thunderstorms, mesoscale convective systems, and tornadic supercells. Other topics will include mesoscale classification, observing systems, the boundary…

Fundamental theory, analysis, and exercises on mesoscale weather phenomena and principles of radar meteorology. A major topical focus will be thunderstorms, mesoscale convective systems, and tornadic supercells. Other topics will include mesoscale classification, observing systems, the boundary…

Special interest topics in atmospheric sciences. Find Instructors / Syllabi on the UGA Bulletin


1. Illustrate a map that shows what Georgia looked like 100 million years ago.
Maps should show that Georgia was partially covered with a great ocean. Because of volcanic and earthquake activity, the land changed. The water receded and mountains were formed in the northern part of the state.

2. How is North Georgia’s land different from the rest of the state and why?
The base of the soil in north Georgia is granite. It has had much earthquake activity so it has mountains. This part of the Appalachian chain is quite old note that the tops of the mountains are rounded, as compared to the Rocky Mountains, which are relatively new.

3. Why does studying geology help us to understand our history in the state of Georgia?
The geology – the scientific study of the physical history of the earth – the rocks, and physical, chemical, and biological change that has and is taking place on the earth – of an area tells us how people lived over time. It tells us why the land is like it is. The northern part of Georgia was not under water, so it has a solid bedrock of granite as its foundation. The southern part was an ancient ocean and is covered mainly with sand. The vegetation as well as the topography of the land in each area is different. Growing seasons, weather, availability of water, and topography (hills, valleys, flatland, etc.) are all determined by geology. People live where there are animals to hunt, food to grow, and water to drink. Students should be able to trace where people might have been more likely to live in the early days of this place we call Georgia today.