The history of Georgia is one of the most turbulent of any states in North America. Georgia history includes numerous battles and events. From the days of Native American rule and Georgia colonial history to the present day, Georgia state history can be both colorful and fascinating. Travelers to Georgia may find that a cursory look at the history of Georgia can add depth to travels throughout the state.
For thousands of years, Native American tribes ruled many of the areas now known as the state of Georgia. European settlers entered into Georgia history beginning in the sixteenth century, when Spanish explorers first made their way to the south. It would not be until late in the seventeenth century that British settlers would begin arriving, and the European contest for control of Georgia would begin. The history of Georgia goes on to reflect that British settlers eventually gained control of the area and started an official colony. Interestingly, many of the first British settlers, concentrated in Savannah, were hand-selected by the British government. The government had made a philanthropic gesture to some of the country’s debtors by sending them west and forgiving their debts.
Georgia colonial history went on to include the colony’s part in the Revolutionary War, when the thirteen colonies of the new world revolted against the British crown. Although Georgia colonial history during this war saw all thirteen colonies acting in accordance with one another, Georgia history goes on to show that Georgia would later join the Confederacy in a bid to separate from the northern colonies.
The Civil War was a major defining moment for Georgia state history, and many believe that the repercussions of that war can still be felt in parts of Georgia to this day. Fought for economic reasons and over the issue of slavery, the Civil War saw the destruction of many of Georgia’s most prominent cities and plantations. The famous March to the Sea, led by General William Sherman, cut a path of fire and destruction from Atlanta to Savannah. Buildings were burned to the ground all along the way, including farms, homes and businesses and throwing the area into a state of total economic disrepair. This event inspired to famous novel, Gone with the Wind. It would not be until 1870, far into the reconstruction period, that Georgia would be the last Confederate state to be readmitted to the new Union and join the United States of America.
Although Georgia state history has seen its share of strife, the Georgia of today is full of fascinating historical sites and is wonderful place to visit. Festivals and events in Georgia, as well as the general warmth of the people who inhabit its cities, make Georgia well worth a stop on any trip to the south.