January 02, 1788 : Georgia enters the Union

Introduction

Georgia votes to ratify the U.S. Constitution, becoming the fourth state in the modern United States. Named after King George II, Georgia was first settled by Europeans in 1733, when a group of British debtors led by English philanthropist James E. Oglethorpe traveled up the Savannah River and established Georgia’s first permanent settlement–the town of Savannah. In 1742, as part of a larger conflict between Spain and Great Britain, Oglethorpe defeated the Spanish on St. Simons Island in Georgia, effectively ending Spanish claims to the territory of Georgia.

Georgia, rich in export potential, was one of the most prosperous British colonies in America and was thus slower than the other colonies to resent the oppressive acts of the Parliament and King George III. However, by the outbreak of the Revolutionary War, Georgian Patriots had organized, and delegates were sent to the Second Continental Congress. During the war, Georgia was heavily divided between Loyalists and Patriots, and the British soon held most of the state. Savannah served as a key British base for their southern war operations, and the grim four-year British occupation won many Georgians over to the Patriot cause. In 1788, Georgia became the first southern state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.

Article Details:

January 02, 1788 : Georgia enters the Union

  • Author

    History.com Staff

  • Website Name

    History.com

  • Year Published

    2010

  • Title

    January 02, 1788 : Georgia enters the Union

  • URL

    http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/georgia-enters-the-union

  • Access Date

    November 24, 2017

  • Publisher

    A+E Networks