In the wake of the Civil War, Georgia faced the dual challenges of rebuilding a shattered economy and integrating freed slaves into its population. As the state struggled to rise from the ashes of war during Reconstruction and into the first decades of the twentieth century, competing visions for the direction of southern politics and the New South economy dominated the state. Along the way, modern forms of entertainment and emerging cultural influences integrated Georgia’s past with its present.
Georgia’s recovery after the Civil War was slow and arduous. With transportation networks destroyed, major cities in ruins, and widespread devastation of the population and economy, Georgia faced the daunting task of rebuilding its foundations, integrating back into the Union, and assimilating newly freed African-American citizens.
Georgia’s rise from the ashes of civil war sparked a debate about development and the future of the state. Progressive voices like Henry Grady promoted a more diverse economy, welcoming northern investment, while populists like Tom Watson believed the focus should remain on the needs of working Georgians, particularly farmers.
As the last colony to join the rebellion against Great Britain, due in part to its heavy reliance on maritime trade, Georgia’s entry into the American revolution was a complicated affair. Governors were installed and removed, cities fell and were liberated, and the burgeoning backcountry involvement played out more like a civil war than an independence movement.
The Creek Nation virtual field trip examines lives of the Creek Indians prior to the arrival of the first settlers in Georgia, the fight to remain on their land, and...