Post-Revolution Georgia and Westward Expansion

Post-Revolution Georgia and Westward Expansion

Post-Revolution Georgia and Westward Expansion September 24, 2014 After the Revolution Years of hardship and change followed the war in Georgia The war proved that the state government was not equipped to handle problems Educational growth was slow The war ruined the states economy

Food was scarce because many farmers had left their farms to fight and no food had been grown during that time Government in Georgia Georgia had adopted its first constitution in 1777 to help the colony transition into a state Looked very much like the Articles of Confederation (weak central government) Governor had very little power

Georgians soon realized that they needed to change their constitution to make it more like the national one Established 3 branches of government Lyman Hall was elected governor Georgias Capital City For much of the states early history, the capital had rotated between Savannah and Augusta As the population moved further west, the legislature appointed a

commission to find a site for a permanent, centrally located capital Louisville The new capital, Louisville, was located in what is today Jefferson County It was named after French King Louis XVI for his help in the Revolutionary War Louisville served as the capital for 10 years

As people moved farther and farther west, a new capital was needed In 1804, a new capital, Milledgeville, was built in Baldwin County Education in Georgia Very few people had any education Some only had a few years of elementary education

Governor Hall recommended that land be set aside to build schools, but few were built In 1784, the government set aside 20,000 acres of land for a state college The University of Georgia In 1785, UGA was chartered as a landgrant university Land-grant university: a school for which the federal government donated the land

It is the oldest school of its kind in the country UGA opened for classes in 1801 It was an all-male, all-white school Women were not admitted until 1918, black students were not admitted until 1961 Religion in Georgia After the war, many ministers left to return to Great Britain However, churches continued to

grow, both in size and importance to their communities There were Jewish synagogues, Roman Catholic churches, African Baptist churches, and Methodist churches The spread of Baptist and Methodist churches These were the two largest denominations in Georgia Ministers often traveled long distances

to conduct church services Slaves often attended church with their masters Slavery caused a divide in both churches Methodists formed the Methodist Episcopal Church Baptists formed the Southern Baptist Convention Moving West After the war, many Georgians

developed a huge appetite for land There were 2 major systems for distributing land in Georgia Headright system Land Lottery Headright System Under the headright system, each white male counted as head of a family, so they had the right to receive up to 1000 acres of land

This was used from the time of settlement of the colony up until the early 20th century However, it was largely replaced by land lotteries in 1803 Land Lotteries When land owned by the state or federal government was opened to settlement, Georgia surveyed land lots of different sizes For a small fee, any white male (over 21 years old) could buy a chance, and on the spin of a wheel, win land

People with children, war veterans, and widows were given extra chances Greed gets out of hand In 1795, Georgias western boundary extended to the Mississippi River and the Yazoo River However, both South Carolina and Spain claimed some of that same land The matter went to court for settlement

Yazoo Land Fraud Before the case got to court, four land companies went to the Georgia legislature and bribed them to pass a bill allowing the land companies to buy the western lands When the assembly enacted the bill, the companies bought the land for about cent an acre and sold Public Reaction

When many people learned about this cheap sale, there were protests all over the state As a result of public pressure, the legislators were voted out of office The new legislature repealed the law All records of these sales were burned in public State reaction The state offered to refund the money

from the land sales Many people who had bought land, though, didnt want their money back They wanted to keep their land These people sued the state to keep their land The federal government stepped in and paid over $4 million to settle the Yazoo land claims Aftermath of the Yazoo Land Fraud

The state of Georgia lost a large part of its land and lot of money When Spain renounced its claim to the area, the Federal government contested Georgias claim to the land In 1802, under public pressure, Georgia gave up its claim to land west of the Chattahoochee River for $1.25 million The Chattahoochee was now Georgias new western boundary The federal government also promised to help clear all

Georgia lands of Native Americans so white settlers could have it Questions

1) Why was food scarce in post-Revolution Georgia? 2) What did Georgia model its state Constitution after? 3) How long was Louisville the capital of Georgia? 4) When was UGA chartered? 5) What is a land-grant university? 6) Why did the Baptist and Methodist churches split? 7) What were Georgias 2 major systems for distributing land? 8) Describe the headright system. 9) Describe land lotteries. 10) How were land companies able to buy land during the Yazoo Land Fraud? 11) How did the state react to the Yazoo Land Fraud? 12) After the Yazoo Land Fraud, Georgias western border was which river? 13) What was promised to Georgia by the federal government that convinced the state to give up its claim to those western lands?

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