Georgia’s state government has continued to grow and evolve, from its initial charter during the colonial era and the ratification of its first constitution after the American Revolution, through the present day. Along with generally overseeing and regulating many statewide activities, Georgia’s government has influenced some of the most seminal moments in the state’s history, impacting citizens with its policies.
The executive branch is the largest of Georgia’s three branches of state government. The Georgia constitution names eight officers that are elected by all Georgia voters to serve in the executive branch. They lead agencies responsible for enforcing state laws and carrying out programs like education, elections, and law enforcement.
When you get into an argument with someone, how do you settle it? Sometimes it takes a teacher or a parent to help settle it, but if that problem involves a law, that’s when the court system of our judicial branch is called into action.
Highlighting the various roles in Georgia’s General Assembly, The Legislative Process details what steps are taken to create a new law.
Just ten years after the Articles of Confederation was drawn up in 1777, representatives met in Philadelphia to write a new Constitution. Georgia sent four men, most notably University of Georgia founder Abraham Baldwin, who played a critical role in what came to be known as the “Great Compromise.”
In 2016, the federal government collected more than $3 trillion in taxes. In Georgia the same year it was nearly $21 billion. That money funds a variety of projects and programs used by Georgia citizens.
Firefighters Capt. Billy Shoemaker, Steven Woodworth, and Roderick Smith go behind the scenes of firefighting in Atlanta to show what it takes to do an often overlooked but necessary job.
Georgia Sen. David Scott, author of the Quiet Reflection Act, explains why he introduced such legislation aimed at Georgia public schools. The legislative process of a bill becoming a law is discussed as well as comments from Sen. Mike Egan, who explains the art of compromise in the legislature and how it is necessary for getting things done.
After the crime rate for those under the age of 17 doubled in a five year period, Camp Stop, a military-style boot camp, was opened. This program aims to deal with juvenile offenders and steer them away from a life of crime. Fourteen-year-old Norton G. explains why he was incarcerated. Sgt. Major Richard Hurt believes boot camp can make a positive difference in kids’ lives. While life is harsh at Camp Stop, it cannot compare with life in Georgia prisons in the 1930s. Scenes from the movie I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang, based on a book about Georgia prisons, show how the mistreatment of prisoners led to prison reforms.
Carl Vinson was sworn into Congress in 1914 at the age of 31 and would serve a record 25 consecutive terms in the U.S. House of Representatives - a total of more than 50 years. A fierce advocate for the military, he was proficient in getting bills through Congress. His insistence that America had to be prepared, even during the Cold War, enabled the armed forces to maintain their status of strength and readiness.
Florence Fleming Corley at Kennesaw State College, Tena Roberts, the archivist at Wesleyan College, and Gena Franklin, vice president of Wesleyan, report on the idea of a higher education for women in the 1800s. While boys and girls were taught the same basic skills, girls quit school sooner to learn homemaking skills. People actually believed that too much education was bad for women’s health.
Nick Giles is the sheriff of Taylor County, a rural county slightly southwest of Macon. Away from the big city the picture of law enforcement looks a lot different. Giles explains procedures, challenges, and the benefits of keeping order in a small county.
Touk Phosai Varney was born in Laos where Communist rebels controlled everything from religion to what a person ate and wore. The Phosai family explains what it was like escaping to America and growing up in Georgia. Fred Alexander of the U.S. Immigration Service talks about seeing his own heritage and the legacy of immigration.
The Atlanta fire ravaged the northeastern section of the city in 1917. In interviews with witnesses, the devastation of nearly 3,400 buildings is recounted.
Terry Kay, author of The Year the Lights Came On, discusses the Rural Electrification Administration created under FDR's New Deal.
High school dropouts in the 1950s were able to support themselves and their families, but that is not true today. Technological changes have made jobs more complex and low skill jobs have almost disappeared. Dr. Robert Hughes, the deputy director of the Youth Challenge Program, says that low skill jobs are entry level jobs. As the job market has shrunk, more former students are returning to get their GEDs. Mary Smith, a 41-year-old GED seeker, acknowledges how tough it is to go back to school.