Georgia History and Economy
Native Americans lived in the region where the state of Georgia is located today thousands of years before the arrival of the first European explorers. The first Native Americans to settle in the region were a prehistoric tribe, called mound builders(builders of mounds) for building small mounds of earth, for ritual ceremonies. Some centuries before the arrival of the first European explorers, the Creek and the Cherokee settled in the region, in the north and in the south, respectively, of the present state of Georgia, gradually taking the place of the mound builders. Archaeological remains, some 1,100 years old, of a Mayan city have been discovered in the mountains of this state, which is believed to have been built by these people fleeing wars, famine or natural disasters that hit Central America.
The first European settlement in the United States was founded in 1526, by the Spaniard Lucas Vázquez de Ayllón. Six months after its founding, the settlement was abandoned due to bad weather and disease.
In 1540, the Spanish Hernando de Soto, leaving the then Spanish colony of Florida in the direction of the Mississippi River, explored parts of the present state of Georgia. In that area, Soto made contact with the mound builders, being the only European known to have sighted this indigenous group. Mound builders are believed to have become extinct during the 1560s. Jesuits from Florida settled in 1570, totally alone, in the Ajacan region (present-day Virginia). In 1572 the Society of Jesus abandoned the missions in this area, being replaced by the Order of San Francisco. The first Franciscan decade was a turbulent time in which missionary positions were abandoned, although they were later reoccupied.
The region of present-day Georgia would continue little explored by Europeans until the beginning of the 18th century, the Spanish crown, focused mainly on the search for precious metal reserves, just made some strong defenses and left this mountainous and wooded terrain in the hands of the missionaries.. In 1629, the English came to claim the region. This year, King Charles I of England created a colony, the Colony of Carolinas, of which he wanted Georgia to be a part. In 1721, the British created a fort near the Altamaha River, abandoning it in 1727, because of its high cost of maintenance.
According to 800zipcodes, Georgia was one of the Confederate states that suffered the most from the war. The great destruction caused by Sherman’s advance in the American Civil War, the heavy casualties suffered by the state – more than any other state in the Confederacy except Virginia – and the economy in pieces caused a great depression, not only economic but also social, in Georgia. American troops occupied the state until 1870. In 1868, Georgia was readmitted to the Union as an American state. However, in 1869, was expelled, for refusing to ratify the Fifteenth Amendment to the US Constitution, which gave the right to vote to any male person of legal age – regardless of race. At the time, more than half of Georgia’s population was African American. It was only in 1870 that Georgia would ratify this amendment, and readmitted to the Union on July 15, becoming the last state of the former Confederacy to be admitted.
The primary sector accounts for 2% of Georgia’s GDP. The state owns 50,000 farms, which cover approximately 30% of Georgia. Together, agriculture and livestock account for 1.85% of the state’s GDP, and employ approximately 120,000 people. The state has large cattle and sheep herds. The main agricultural products produced in the state are chickens and their derivatives – eggs and meat, of which Georgia is one of the national leaders in annual production. Bovine and ovine meat and milk are also important products of the state cattle ranch. The main products grown in Georgia are walnuts and peanuts. The state is the national leader in the production of these two products. Other crops important to Georgia’s economy are cotton, peaches, tobacco, rice, and corn. Fishing and forestry together account for 0.15% of the state’s GDP, employing about 10,000 people.
The secondary sector contributes 21% of Georgia’s GDP. Secondary industry accounts for 16.5% of the state’s GDP and employs approximately 608 thousand people. The total value of products manufactured in the state is $ 59 billion. The main industrialized products manufactured in the state are industrialized foods, transportation equipment, chemicals, textiles, machinery, wood products, and advertising material. The construction industry accounts for 4% of the state’s GDP, employing approximately 270 thousand people. The mining accounts for 0.5% of Georgia’s GDP, employing about 9,000 people. The main mineral products in the state are bauxite, marble, granite and magnesium.
The tertiary sector accounts for 77% of Georgia’s GDP. About 19% of the state’s GDP comes from community and personal services. This sector employs more than 1.3 million people. Wholesale and retail trade accounts for 18% of the state’s GDP, and employs approximately one million people. Financial and real estate services contribute about 16% of the state’s GDP, employing approximately 307 thousand people. Government services account for 12% of Georgia’s GDP, employing approximately 680,000 people. Transportation, telecommunications and public services employ about 272 thousand people, and account for 12% of Georgia’s GDP. 65% of electricity generated in the state is produced in coal-fired thermoelectric plants, and 30% in nuclear plants, and the remainder is generated in hydroelectric plants.