5 Things You Didn't Know About The State of Georgia

On January 2, 1788, Georgia ratified the Constitution and joined the 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 established Georgia’s first permanent settlement–the town of Savannah.  Here are five more things you didn't know about the state of Georgia...


Georgia Was Already Technically a State # Image credit: By JimIrwin, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3922477. Georgia was the fourth state to ratify the U.S. Constitution, with Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey ratifying in December 1787, and Georgia in January 1788, and thus Georgia "entered the union." However, Georgia was already technically a state—this ratification and entry marked Georgia's new identity as a state in the United States under the new constitution that centralized power a little more and that corrected a lot of the problems created by the Articles of Confederation. Georgia, along with every other former British colony in the United States, technically became their own states after breaking away from Britain and winning the Revolutionary War. All the ratification did was show Georgia's support for the paperwork that replaced the Articles.

Georgians Initially Didn't Feel as Enthusiastic About Breaking Away From Britain # Photo credit: By Pilotguy251 - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=45408639. Georgia wasn't as badly affected by all the factors that led other states to initially rebel against the British. The state was prosperous, so revolution wasn't on everyone's minds (economic comfort tends to be a big factor in revolutions and uprisings). However, as the war continued, much of Georgia became a base for British troops—in effect, an occupation. This made a lot of Georgians turn against the British.


Georgia Is the 24th Biggest State, but It's Got the Second Highest Number of Counties Georgia's 159 tiny counties have their origins in the desire for rural residents to feel more connected, and for rural counties to have major influence in the state's government. When Georgia was formed, much of the state was rural, and people benefited from having a county government that was close by, rather than located miles and miles away. There's an urban legend (rural legend?) that the size of the counties was based on whether a farmer driving a mule-drawn wagon could get to the courthouse and back in one day, but that has never been proven true. Anyway, having small counties—and thus close-by government structures—allowed residents to remain better involved in the state's business.

The State Has Live, Wild Shrimp Living at the Top of a Mountain "Wild" is the keyword. It's not unusual to find shrimp farms in various places, but in Georgia, at the top of Stone Mountain northeast of Atlanta, sit several pools fed by rainwater. These pools are home to fairy shrimp and clam shrimp.

The Name of the State of Georgia Has a Different Origin Than the Name of the Country of Georgia Both the state and the country are named after British Georges, but that's where the similarities end. The state of Georgia was named in honor of King George II, who granted the land to its British settlers. The country of Georgia was given its English name after St. George, as in St. George and the Dragon. This actually isn't close at all to what Georgians call their country (that's Sakartvelo), but funnily enough, St. George and the Georgian people have apparently been associated with one another for centuries.

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