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.
Marcellus Barksdale, a Morehouse College historian, describes what happened to the South as a result of the Civil War. In Marietta, returning Confederate soldier James Remley Brumby dreamed of a better future and started making rocking chairs. The chair company grew to become Marietta’s largest employer.
Historians Cliff Kuhn, Marcellus Barksdale and Gene Hatfield describe the chaos and uncertainty resulting from the devastation wrought upon the South during the Civil War. Cities were destroyed, houses and slave quarters were burned, farmland was ruined and one out of every five men who went to war never returned. For former slaves, the situation was especially dire. Economic plans and the battle over ownership of land is discussed as well.
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.
The archeological history of the state from prehistoric to colonial Georgia is explored, including a survey of native civilizations and the effects of European contact, exploration, and settlement.
Following World War II, Georgia entered a period of great transition, with populations moving from rural to urban landscapes, the economy modernizing and diversifying, and political influence shifting from traditional centers of influence.