Georgia State Flag

The State of Georgia

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Population (1993): 6,917,140; rank: 11.
Pop. density: 116.6 per sq. mi.
Racial/ethnic distrib. (1990): 71.0% white; 27.0% black; 1.7% Hispanic.
Net change (1990-93): 6.8%.


Total area: 59,441 sq. mi.; rank: 24. Land area: 57,919 sq. mi.
Acres forested land: 24,137,000. Location: South Atlantic state.
Climate: maritime tropical air masses dominate in summer; continental polar air masses in winter; east central area drier.
Topography: most southerly of the Blue Ridge Mtns. cover NE and N central; central Piedmont extends to the fall line of rivers; coastal plain levels to the coast flatlands.

Capital: Atlanta


Principal Industries: services, manufacturing, gvt., retail trade.
Principal Manufactured Goods (1994): textiles, food, and kindred prods., pulp and paper products.
Agriculture: Chief crops (1994): peanuts, cotton,corn, tobacco, hay, soybeans.
Livestock (1994): 26.3 mln. poultry, excl.broilers; 1.54 mln. cattle; 1.03 hogs/pigs.
Timber/lumber (1992): pine, hardwood; 2.76 bln. bd. ft.
Nonfuel Minerals (1993): $1.7 bln.; mostly kaolin and other clays, crushed stone.
Commercial fishing (1993): $21.2 mln.
Chief ports: Savannah, Brunswick. International airports at: Atlanta.
Value of Construction (1993): $9.4 bln.
Employment distribution (1993): 23.7% services; 17.6% mfg.; 24.9% retail trade; 17.6% gvt.
Per Capita Personal Income (1993): $19,278.
Unemployment (1993): 5.8%.
Tourism (1993): tourists spent $11.2 bln.
Sales tax: 4%.


FDIC-insured commercial banks & trust companies (1993): 399.
Deposits: $63.3 bln.
FDIC-insured savings institutions (1993): 39.
Assets: $6.6 bln.

Federal Government

No. federal civilian employees (Mar. 1993): 70,355.
Avg. salary: $34,561.
Notable federal facilities: Dobbins AFB; Fts. Benning, Gordon, McPherson; Fed. Law Enforcement Training Ctr., Glynco, Warner Robins AFB; Centers for Disease Control, Atlanta.


Electricity production (1993, kWh, by source):
Coal: 63.3 bln.; Petroleum: 237 mln.; Gas: 218 mln.; Hydroelectric: 4.8 bln.; Nuclear: 27.2 bln.


Student-teacher ratio (1992): 18.0.
Avg. salary, public school teachers (1993-94): $30,456.

State Data

Nickname: Peanut State
Motto: Wisdom, justice and moderation.
Flower: Cherokee rose.
Bird: Brown thrasher.
Tree: Live oak.
Song: Georgia On My Mind.
Fourth of the 13 original states to ratify the Constitution, Jan. 2, 1788.

[Cherokee Rose] [Brown Thrasher]


Gen. James Oglethorpe established the first settlements, 1733, for poor and religiously-persecuted Englishmen. Oglethorpe defeated a Spanish army from Florida at Bloody Marsh, 1742. In the Revolution, Georgians seized the Savannah armory, 1775, and sent the munitions to the Continental Army; they fought seesaw campaigns with Cornwallis's British troops, twice liberating Augusta and forcing final evacuation by the British from Savannah, 1782.

Tourist Attractions

  • Atlanta area: State Capitol, Stone Mt. Park, Six Flags over Georgia, Kennesaw Mt. Natl. Battlefield Park, Martin Luther King Center, Underground Atlanta, Jimmy Carter Lib. & Museum, Whitewater Park.
  • NW: Chickamauga Battlefield Park, Chattahoochee Natl. Forest.
  • NE: alpine village of Helen; Dahlonega, site of America's first gold rush;
  • Brasstown Bald Mt., Lake Lanier.
  • SW: Roosevelt's Little White House, Callaway Gardens, Andersonville Natl. Historic Site.
  • SE: Okefenokee Swamp.
  • Coastal: Jekyll Island, St. Simons Island, Cumberland Island Natl. Seashore, historic riverfront district in Savannah, Ft. Pulaski.
  • Famous Georgians

    Griffin Bell, James Bowie, James Brown, Erskine Caldwell, Jimmy Carter, Ray Charles, Lucius D. Clay, Ty Cobb, John C. Fremont, Joel Chandler Harris, Martin Luther King Jr., Gladys Knight, Sidney Lanier, Juliette Gordon Low, Margaret Mitchell, Flannery O'Connor, Otis Redding, Jackie Robinson, Alice Walker, Joseph Wheeler.

    Chamber of Commerce
    235 International Blvd.
    Atlanta, GA 30303
    (404) 880-9000.
    Toll-free travel information.
    1-800-VISIT GA.

    The World Almanac and Book of Facts 1995 is licensed from Funk & Wagnalls Corporation. Copyright 1994 by Funk & Wagnalls Corporation. All rights reserved.

    The World Almanac and The World Almanac and Book of Facts are registered trademarks of Funk & Wagnalls Corporation.

    More Information about Georgia
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    State in the SE U.S.; bordered by Florida (S), Alabama (W), Tennessee and North Carolina (N), and South Carolina and the Atlantic Ocean (E).

    Georgia, U.S. (Facts and Figures)

    Area, 58,876 sq mi (152,489 sq km).
    Pop. (1990) 6,478,216, an 18.6% increase over 1980 pop.
    Capital, Atlanta.
    Statehood, Jan. 2, 1788 (fourth of original 13 states to ratify the Constitution).
    Highest pt., Brasstown Bald, 4,784 ft (1,459 m);
    lowest pt., sea level.
    Nickname, Empire State of the South.
    Motto, Wisdom, Justice, and Moderation.
    State bird, brown thrasher.
    State flower, Cherokee rose.
    State tree, live oak.
    Abbr., Ga.; GA.

    Georgia, U.S. (Land and People)

    The mountains of the north, part of the APPALACHIAN MOUNTAINS system, give way to the transitional Piedmont Plateau and its fertile, gently rolling hills. The southern half of the state is covered by the low-lying coastal plain; just offshore are the popular resorts of the Georgia SEA ISLANDS. Along the border with Florida is the OKEFENOKEE SWAMP, a huge wilderness area with unique flora and fauna. The climate is temperate but variable throughout the state. About 63% of the population lives in urban areas;


    The largest city, is the major commercial and financial center of the southeast. Other major cities are COLUMBUS, SAVANNAH, and MACON. In 1990, 71% of the population was white and the rest predominately African American (27%).

    Georgia, U.S. (Economy)

    Service industries and manufacturing are of prime economic importance. Major manufactures include cotton textiles, apparel, carpets, transportation equipment, processed foods, and paper. The heavily wooded state is a leading producer of lumber, pulpwood, and resins and turpentine. Georgia also provides 60% of the world's kaolin and is known for its fine marble. Principal crops are peanuts (Georgia is the largest U.S. producer), tobacco, corn, and cotton.

    Georgia, U.S. (Government)

    The constitution (adopted 1945) provides for a governor serving a four-year term. The general assembly consists of a 56-seat senate and a 180-seat house, both of whose members serve two-year terms. Georgia sends 11 representatives and 2 senators to the U.S. Congress and has 13 electoral votes.

    Georgia, U.S. (History)

    The region was inhabited by the CREEK and CHEROKEE when it was visited (c.1540) by Hernando DE SOTO. Subsequently, both England and Spain claimed control of the area, and British settlers led by James E. OGLETHORPE arrived in 1733. The British captured much of Georgia during the AMERICAN REVOLUTION. Following the war, cotton cultivation, based on the plantation system and slavery, began to dominate the economy. In 1861 Georgia seceded from the Union and joined the CONFEDERACY. The state suffered considerable damage during the CIVIL WAR, with the burning of Atlanta (1864) and Gen. W.T. SHERMAN's destructive march to the sea. By the 1880s the textile industry was transforming the state's economy from agriculture to manufacturing. In the early 1960s Georgia was the first state of the deep South to proceed with integration without a major curtailment of its public-school system. In 1976 Jimmy CARTER became the first native Georgian to be elected U.S. president. From the 1970s to early 90s, Georgia's cities, especially Atlanta, experienced significant growth, further heightening the disparity between the urban centers and rural areas of the state. Central and western portions of Georgia experienced unusually severe flooding in 1994.


    The Concise Columbia Encyclopedia is licensed from Columbia University Press.
    Copyright 1995 by Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.


    Atlanta (t-lnte)

    Capital and largest city (1990 pop. 394,017; met. area 2,833,511) of Georgia, seat of Fulton co.; settled 1837, inc. as a city 1847.

    Located in one of America's fastest-growing urban areas, it is the largest commercial, industrial, and financial center in the SE U.S. and the largest city in Georgia, as well as a transportation hub and a convention center. Many facilities of the federal government are located in the area, which also produces textiles, chemicals, automobiles, aircraft, clothing, and a wide variety of other goods. The city is also a center of international trade and commerce.

    Atlanta was captured and burned (1864) by Gen. William T. SHERMAN; rebuilt, it prospered and became the state capital in 1868. Among its educational institutions are Emory Univ., the Georgia Inst. of Technology, and Atlanta Univ. Points of interest include the Atlanta Memorial Arts Center, Grant Park, the Fernbank Museum of Natural History, and the grave of Martin Luther KING, Jr. Atlanta was the site of the 1996 summer Olympic games.

    Macon (mken)

    City (1990 pop. 106,612), seat of Bibb co., central Ga., on the Ocmulgee R.; inc. 1823, named for Nathaniel Macon. It is the processing and shipping center for an agricultural area. It produces textiles, insulation, explosives, and other manufactures. Sidney LANIER was born there.

    Lanier, Sidney

    1842-81, American poet and musician; b. Macon, Ga. An accomplished flutist, he wrote a study of the interrelation of music and poetry, The Science of English Verse (1880). His own melodic verses, e.g., "Corn," "Song of the Chattahoochee," were published in Poems (1887).

    Little Richard

    1935-, American musician and singer; b. Macon, Ga. as Richard Wayne Penniman. One of the first rock musicians in the 1950s, he recorded "Tutti Frutti," "Long Tall Sally," and "Good Golly Miss Molly." His music influenced, among others, the BEATLES. See also ROCK MUSIC.

    Thirteen Colonies

    In U.S. history, the British North American colonies that joined together in the AMERICAN REVOLUTION and became the original states of the U.S. They were: NEW HAMPSHIRE, MASSACHUSETTS, RHODE ISLAND, CONNECTICUT, NEW YORK, NEW JERSEY, PENNSYLVANIA, DELAWARE, MARYLAND, VIRGINIA, NORTH CAROLINA, SOUTH CAROLINA, and GEORGIA.

    Confederacy (ken-fder-e-s)

    name commonly given to the Confederate States of America (1861-65), the government established by the southern states of the U.S. after their secession from the Union. When Pres. LINCOLN was elected (Nov. 1860), seven states-South Carolina, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, and Texas-seceded. A provisional government was set up at Montgomery, Ala., and a constitution was drafted; it resembled the U.S. CONSTITUTION but had provisions for STATES' RIGHTS and SLAVERY. After the firing on FORT SUMTER and Lincoln's call for troops, four more states-Arkansas, North Carolina, Virginia, and Tennessee-joined. Richmond, Va., became the capital, and Jefferson DAVIS and A.H. STEPHENS were elected president and vice president. The story of the Confederacy is the story of the loss of the CIVIL WAR. Its loyal citizens bore privations and invasion with courage. It was refused recognition by England and France. Volunteers for its army were insufficient; conscription was used but opposed. Financial troubles were heavy, and its paper money became worthless. Mounting Union victories made defeat inevitable. The Confederacy fell after R.E. LEE's surrender in Apr. 1865.

    South, the, region of the U.S.

    variously defined but including at most 14 states-MARYLAND, VIRGINIA, NORTH CAROLINA, SOUTH CAROLINA, GEORGIA, FLORIDA, KENTUCKY, TENNESSEE, ALABAMA, MISSISSIPPI, ARKANSAS, LOUISIANA, OKLAHOMA, and TEXAS. The basic agricultural economy of the Old South, determined by the warm climate and fertile soil, led to the development of twin institutions-the plantation system and SLAVERY-that made the South a section apart. Its doctrine of STATES' RIGHTS brought on secession, the CIVIL WAR, and, ultimately, the death of the Old South during RECONSTRUCTION. After World War II the South experienced profound economic, social, and political changes-including the development of diversified industry, the emergence of a genuine two-party system, and INTEGRATION-that brought the region closer to the rest of the nation.


    1 City (1990 pop. 44,639), seat of Richmond co., E Ga., on the Savannah R.; inc. 1798. The trade center for a large area of Georgia and South Carolina, it has diversified industries, including textiles, chemicals, and paper. A river trading port as early as 1717, it grew with tobacco and cotton trade. During the CIVIL WAR it housed the chief Confederate powder works. The city, a popular resort, is known for its golf tournaments and many fine old houses. 2 City (1990 pop. 21,325), state capital and seat of Kennebec co., SW Me., on the Kennebec R.; inc. as a city 1849. Shoes, fabrics, and paper products are among its manufactures. The Plymouth Company established a trading post on the site in 1628; Fort Western was built in 1754. In 1837 manufacturing began with the building of a dam. The Capitol building (1829) was designed by Charles BULFINCH and later enlarged.

    Carter, Jimmy, (James Earl Carter, Jr.)

    1924-(Still living), 39th president of the U.S. (1977-81); b. Plains, Ga. A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Md. (1946), he served in the U.S. navy and in 1953 returned to his family's peanut farm, which he built into a prosperous business. As governor of Georgia (1970-75), he reorganized the state executive branch and sponsored consumer and land-use legislation. After a spectacularly successful campaign for the 1976 Democratic presidential nomination, Carter, although a Southerner and political outsider, narrowly defeated the Republican candidate, Pres. Gerald FORD; his running mate was Walter MONDALE.

    Carter's presidency was plagued by difficult relations with Congress, which ratified his two Panama Canal treaties (1977) giving eventual control of the canal to Panama, but would not ratify his arms limitation treaty with the Soviet Union (1979). He was successful, however, in effecting (1979) a peace treaty between Egypt and Israel (see CAMP DAVID ACCORDS). During Carter's term of office the U.S. suffered high interest rates, inflation, and then recession, all of which he had little success in controlling.

    In Nov. 1979 a group of Muslim militants in Teheran, Iran, took some 50 U.S. citizens hostage and held them until Jan. 1981. Carter's failure to attain their release before the 1980 presidential election contributed to his defeat by Ronald REAGAN.

    Since leaving office, Carter has been active in human rights issues, often serving internationally as an observer during first-time free elections, and has worked as an international mediator in North Korea, Haiti, Bosnia, and elsewhere. He has also worked with Habitat for Humanity, an organization that helps working-class people build and finance new homes.

    Civil War, in U.S. history

    Conflict (1861-65) between Northern states (Union) and Southern seceded states (CONFEDERACY). It is known in the South as the War between the States, and by the official Union designation of War of the Rebellion. Many causes over a number of years contributed to what William H. SEWARD called "the irrepressible conflict": sectional rivalry, moral indignation aroused by the ABOLITIONISTS, the question of the extension of slavery into new territories, and a fundamental disagreement about the relative supremacy of federal control or STATES' RIGHTS.

    The MISSOURI COMPROMISE (1820) and the COMPROMISE OF 1850 were unsuccessful efforts toward a peaceful solution. The election of LINCOLN as president and the secession (Dec. 20, 1860) of SOUTH CAROLINA, soon followed by six other Southern states, precipitated war. Hostilities began when federal troops were moved to FORT SUMTER, S.C., and Confederate Gen. P.G.T. BEAUREGARD obeyed orders to fire on the fort (Apr. 12, 1861). Four more states seceded, making an 11-state Confederacy. Early battles were Confederate victories. Beauregard defeated Irvin McDowell (July 21) at the first battle of BULL RUN. In 1862, G.B. MCCLELLAN's PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN was foiled by Confederate commander Robert E. LEE. In September, however, Lee's ANTIETAM CAMPAIGN was checked by McClellan, and Lincoln drafted the EMANCIPATION PROCLAMATION. The year ended with a Union defeat (Dec. 13) at FREDERICKSBURG, and spring brought a resounding Confederate victory (May 2-4, 1863) at CHANCELLORSVILLE, where Lee, however, lost his ablest general, "Stonewall" JACKSON.

    Confederate fortunes turned when Lee undertook the disastrous GETTYSBURG CAMPAIGN (June-July 1863). Meanwhile, the Union navy had blockaded the Southern coast, and D.G. FARRAGUT captured New Orleans (Apr. 1862). The introduction of the ironclad warship (see MONITOR AND MERRIMAC) had ended the era of the wooden battleship, but Confederate cruisers, built or bought in England, were causing great losses to Northern commercial shipping. In the West, GRANT's great victory (Feb. 1862) at Fort Donelson was followed by a drawn battle (April 6-7) at SHILOH. Union gunboats on the Mississippi opened the way for Grant's successful VICKSBURG CAMPAIGN. Confederate Gen. Braxton BRAGG was checked at the end of the CHATTANOOGA CAMPAIGN (Aug.-Nov. 1863) and was driven back to Georgia. In the WILDERNESS CAMPAIGN (May-June 1864), Grant forced Lee toward Richmond, and besieged PETERSBURG. Union Gen. W.T. SHERMAN won the ATLANTA CAMPAIGN (May-Sept. 1864) and led a destructive march through Georgia to the sea.

    The Confederates evacuated Richmond after P.H. SHERIDAN's victory at Five Forks (Apr. 1, 1865). With his retreat blocked, Lee was forced to surrender to Grant at APPOMATTOX (Apr. 9, 1865). The Union victory was saddened by the assassination of Pres. Lincoln (April 14), and by the deaths of more Americans than in any other war. But the Union was saved, and slavery was abolished. The seceded states were readmitted to the Union after RECONSTRUCTION.

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