Georgia is a state positioned in the Southern regions of the United States. It was an English colony founded in the year 1733 and was named in honor of King George II of the United Kingdom (McAuliffe 12). During the American Revolution, Georgia became a state and was among the first to sign the Declaration of Independence. Georgia was slow in its development, and it was not until the late 18th century that it began to prosper. It excelled in the field of agriculture and boasted of vast rice and cotton plantations. Georgia was among the wealthiest states in the south by 1860.
The socioeconomic life in Georgia was upset during the American Civil War of 1861 to 1865 (Nault 3). The aftermath of the war saw the slavery abolished which meant that tenant farming system replaced the plantation system. The state was impoverished and was even more devastated during the Great Depression as a result of the boll weevil destroying the cotton plantations (Nault 6). Until the 1950s, Georgia was mainly agricultural but began to invest in industrial production in the early 1960s. By the late 1990s, Georgia’s economy was based on service and manufacturing industries. Georgia’s capital city, Atlanta is the economic centre of not only Georgia, but the South and the USA was a nation (McAuliffe 15).
Georgia recorded 9, 687, 653 residents according to the 2010 US Census (McAuliffe 16). It was ranked the 9th most populous state. Georgia is composed of a majority of whites and blacks. A large number of white Georgians are of British descent while most blacks are descendants of freed slaves. Other races also reside in Georgia including: Asians; Native Americans; Pacific Islanders; Native Hawaiians; Hispanics; and others (Nault 8).
Agriculture and Industry
Georgia is an agricultural state which is responsible for outputs of: peanuts; poultry and eggs; vegetables; peaches; cotton; livestock; and dairy products. Historically, cotton was the main crop cultivated. Georgia is also the site of many industrial products including: food processing; chemical and paper products; cigarettes; textiles; and transportation equipment. Atlanta is the centre of industry, communications, tourism and the government of Georgia. Atlanta has an important role in Georgia and is also pivotal to the economy of the Southeastern US (McAuliffe 17).
In the US, Georgia is a leading producer of board and paper, processed chicken and textile products. The main industrial centers are Savannah and Atlanta. There are factories which are dispersed in small centers across the state. Rome, Macos, Columbus and Augusta are the main centers involved in the textile industry (Nault 10). These industries produce a variety of clothes like drill, duck, denim, velvet, carpets, corduroys, synthetic fibers, and wool. Georgia is also known for its food processing industries. Its main processed products are: frozen shrimp; beverages; canned fruits and vegetables; peanut butter; candy; crackers and biscuits; and others (Nault 10).
Gainesville is the leading centre for poultry processing while Brunswick is the centre for processing canned vegetables and sea foods. Savannah is home to big sugar refineries while Atlanta produces soft drinks and a variety of processed products. Savannah and Brunswick contains boatyards and shipyards in addition to 2 automobile assembly plants (McAuliffe 18). Manufacturing of containers, kraft paper, paperboard and paper is situated mainly in Macon, Savannah and Atlanta. There are chemical plants and other industrial facilities situated primarily in Atlanta and Savannah and other towns. The furniture industry based in Toccoa and supported by hardwood forests found in the Blue Ridge province.
Trade in Georgia is facilitated by a sheltered passage which is between the mainland and the Sea Islands. This passage is part of the Atlantic Intercoastal Waterway. Foreign trade is handled by the cities of Savannah and Brunswick (Nault12). The leading exports are paper products, wood pulp and products. Savannah is the leading port in the US used for shipping naval stores. It is also home to one of the biggest port facilities on the coast of the South Atlantic. This has opened Georgia up to international markets and has greatly impacted international trade in the US in general (Nault 13).
The state of Georgia also makes a valuable contribution to higher education in the US. It boasts of 52 private and 74 public higher learning institutions (McAuliffe 17). In this way, Georgia makes a considerable contribution to the pool of research and specialized knowledge in the US. Georgia also generates up to 71% of it electrical energy through steam plants (Nault 13). It also generates the rest from nuclear power plants It also has a vibrant tourism industry. The tourists make significant sources of income for Georgians especially along the coastal regions, Atlanta; and scenic Blue Ridge regions.
Georgia is important to the economy of the United States. It is among the most populous states (ninth) and is home to various industries which are vital to the United States economy. These are in the areas of agriculture, international trade and manufacturing industry. It is also home to a large number of higher learning centers making it an important educational centre.
McAuliffe, Emily. Georgia; Facts and Symbols. Minnesota: Capstone Press, 2003. Print.
Nault, Jennifer. A Guide to American States; Georgia. Mankato: Weigl Publishers, 2002. Print.