Georgia is a state in the United States bordering Alabama in the west, Tennessee and Carolina in the north, South Carolina in the east, and Florida in the south.
Georgia has a total area of approx. 153,900 km2, and with 10,429,379 residents is the eighth most populous state in the United States (US Census, 2017). Georgia became the fourth state in the United States on January 2, 1788. The capital and largest city is Atlanta.
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The country gradually rises from the Atlantic coast to the Appalachians. Most of the state consists of a low, sandy plain, partly marshy on the coast and along the rivers. North and west of the coastal plain lies the 140 to 450 meter high plateau country of Piedmont, which comprises approx. 30 percent of the area. The northernmost part of Georgia is a wooded mountain country, which belongs to the Blue Ridge Mountains. The highest peak is Brasstown Bald (1458 masl). The rivers flow partly to the Atlantic and partly to the Gulf of Mexico. The most important are Altamaha, Apalachicola, Coosa, Saint Mary’s, Savannah River on the border of South Carolina and Chattahoochee, which forms the border with Alabama. Suwannee originates in the swamp fields of Okefenokee Swamp, all the way to the southeast, near the Florida border.
Although the population has increased throughout the 1900s, until the early 1960s, Georgia had a net emigration surplus. Especially among the black part of the population there has been great emigration. In 2017, blacks accounted for 32.2 percent of the population, compared with 45 percent in 1910. Whites (including Hispanic) make up about 60 percent. From the mid-1960s, however, the state has received a growing immigration surplus, including by blacks. The population increased by 19 per cent in the period 1980-90, which was almost twice the average for the entire country. In the decade 1990–2000, the population increased as much as 26.4 per cent, and from 2000 to 2010 by 18.3 per cent. Urbanization has, as in the other southern states, arrived later than in the rest of the country. In 2010, however, over 75 per cent of the population lived in cities. The largest cities are the capital Atlanta with 486 290 residents, Columbus with 194 058 residents, Augusta with 197 166 residents, Macon with 152 663 residents and Savannah with 146 444 residents (US Census, 2017).
Georgia has been particularly known as a cotton state, but it is also a good example of the structural change that has characterized the Southern states since the 1950s, and today’s manufacturing value is far greater than that of agriculture. However, cotton cultivation is still the most important branch of agriculture, and only Texas produces more. It is grown somewhat short-fiber, but most of the long-fiber Sea Island cotton. More peanuts and pecans are grown than in any other state, and also large quantities of tobacco, soybeans, maize, sweet potatoes, peaches, melons and vegetables.
The livestock farm yields more benefits than the arable farm. Georgia is one of the largest chicken producers in the United States and produced a total of five billion eggs in 2003. Only California produced more. In 2003 there were approx. 1.3 billion broilers, 1.25 million cattle and 300,000 pigs. While nominal agricultural income increased 26 percent from 1970 to 2002, real income fell 17 percent. The forests provide the basis for a large plywood industry, and among the Southern states, Georgia is the largest producer of pulpwood. By gulfuru recovered turpentine and rosin, and nearly half of the world production, and 3 / 4 of the US production of these substances comes from Georgia.
Georgia is the United States’ largest manufacturer of kaolin and has extensive extraction of whale earth, granite, marble, bauxite, cyanite and zirconium. In the industry, the textile, chemical, transport equipment, food and wood processing industries are the largest. The industry is particularly concentrated in the Piedmont area. The capital of Atlanta is a leading financial and commercial center. The city was representative of the New South movement in the late 1800s to transform the Southern States into a modern society of industry and diverse business, under the slogan “too busy to hate”.
Atlanta has one of the nation’s busiest airports, and is also the most important rail hub in the Southern states. The city of Atlanta and the state of Georgia is strongly influenced by the American Civil War. In Grant Park lies the famous Cyclorama, with a dramatic depiction of the Battle of Atlanta during the Civil War. General William Sherman’s famous “March to the Sea”in 1864 began in Atlanta. The notorious Confederate prison camp, Andersonville, where 13,000 Union soldiers died, is also located in Georgia. Atlanta has several major military bases today.
Georgia sends two senators and 14 representatives to Congress.
The first Europeans to explore Georgia were Spaniards. They set up military and mission stations, but were displaced by General James Oglethorpe. He founded the colony in 1733, and in 1753 it was transformed into a crown colony. As the fourth of the original 13 states and the first of the Southern states , Georgia ratified the United States Declaration of Independence on January 2, 1788. Georgia resigned from the union and joined the Confederate states in 1861. The state was severely destroyed during the American Civil War; General William Sherman burned Atlanta and sweated by a 65 km wide belt from Atlanta toSavannah in the fall of 1864. As the last of the outbreak states, Georgia was reopened in the Union in 1870.