As Georgia transitioned from colony to state, settlers expanded west into the interior of the southern United States searching for land and freedom. They increasingly came into conflict with groups like the Creek and Cherokee. Eventually conflict led to the forced removal of native groups as Georgia grew into the Antebellum era, expanding a plantation and slave economy and subsequently allying itself with the Confederate States of America. Secession from the Union brought devastating consequences during the Civil War with Georgia’s cities and economy being ravaged by invading armies, leaving behind the ashes of a proud state.
In the years after the American Revolution, Georgia experienced a period of infrastructure building, increased economic growth, and the associated movement of its state capital. As settlers expanded westward seeking opportunity and Native Americans were forcefully compressed into the same limited territories, relationships among these culturally diverse groups became increasingly tense.
The period encompassing the decades before the Civil War shows two distinctly American societies diverging both economically and ideologically. As the North grew into an industrial powerhouse, it continued to benefit from the South’s primarily agrarian system, built on a foundation of forced labor. These profoundly different cultures and perspectives would eventually clash in the War Between the States.
As the threat of abolition intensified with the presidential election of Abraham Lincoln, Georgia joined other slave-holding states in seceding from the Union to form a new nation, the Confederate States of America. Over the next four years, Georgia witnessed success on the battlefield and devastation in its capital as Sherman marched from the Atlanta campaign to the sea. At the conclusion of the Civil War in 1865, America had suffered its deadliest war, and the charred remains of Georgia were readmitted to the United States.
The Georgia Stories series consists of streaming videos, educator resources, and primary source materials that support the teaching of Georgia Studies.
An exploration of antebellum Savannah through the Owens-Thomas House & Slave Quarters
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