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Georgia Homeland Security and Emergency Services Resources
Parts of Georgia were first explored in 1540 by Hernando de Soto, a Spanish explorer. But, it would be over two centuries before the first permanent settlement was established. General James Oglethorpe was granted a charter to establish the 13th colony by King George II on June 9, 1732. The colonists landed at Georgia at what is now Savannah on February 12, 1733.
On January 2, 1788, Georgia ratified the constitution and became the 4th state. But, on January 18, 1861, Georgia seceded from the Union and joined the Confederacy in the Civil War. Over 550 battles occurred in the state during the Civil War. Atlanta was burned to the ground and a 60 mile wide path all the way to the coast was destroyed. Around $100 million in damage had been done throughout the state. It had been almost a decade before Georgia entered back into the Union on July 15, 1870.
In 1860, 44 percent of Georgia's population had been slaves. There were over 460,000 freed slaves when Reconstruction of the state began. Many of these African American's traveled to Atlanta to help in rebuilding the city and to work in the construction of railroads.
Today, Georgia is an important source of agriculture products including peaches, soybeans, cotton and tobacco. Over half of the world's turpentine's and resins come from the states vast forests of pines. It leads the nation in the manufacture of board, paper and textile products. And, is a leader in the production of bauxite, barite, kaolin and marble.
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