The Colony of Georgia

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Social Studies
American History

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The Colony of Georgia

The Colony of Georgia

Georgia was the last of the thirteen colonies to be founded and marked the southern border of English territories in the Americas.

Time Line


The Colony is Founded


War with Spain


The Ban on Slavery is Lifted



Becomes a Crown Colony

Independece from Britain

Government:The government was originally a board of trustees lead by James Oglethorpe. This government promised liberties for all colonists and religious freedom for all but the Catholics, they also made slavery illegal within the colony. The government under the board of trustees did not give the voting franchise to its citizens. In 1751 due to the discontentment of the citizens slavery was officially legalized in the colony. Then in 1755 the board of trustees was replaced by an elected assembly as the colony was turned into a crown colony. Finally in 1776 the colony declared independence from the British.

Economy:Under the original charter each family was given 50 acres of land to work, without the use of slaves. Many in the colony found that this did not allow them the profits that others in slave states were having. Because of this they began to protest and ask the government to legalize the practice of slavery. After 1751 when slavery was legalized in the province many more slaves were brought in taking the slave population from 500 to 18000. These slave worked on plantations growing mostly cotton and rice.

Life:The colony was originally intended as a place for English citizens in debtors’ prisons to get a chance at restarting their lives. This original population was then augmented by a protestant group from Salzburg and a group of Scottish Highlanders. For the first years of the colony the citizens of this colony made rather poor livings off of plots of 50 acres. All the citizens were also forced to be part of the colonies military, and in 1739 when Britain entered into war with Spain they made raids going as far as Saint Augusta in Florida. After 1751 when slavery was legalized a fresh wave of colonists came from the Carolinas wealth families seeking to grow their plantations.

Religion:The Anglican Church was the official religion of the colony of Georgia. However, religious freedom was extended to all other religions except for Catholicism. The population included a large portion of protestants in the form of a group of Germans from Salzburg that founded the city of Ebenezer.

Women:Women were among the original citizens of the colony as Oglethorpe felt that family would be integral to improving the colony. In the original laws of the colony women were not allowed to inherit land. Eventually mass frustration with this system lead to the laws being changed so that women could inherit. During the royal period women were even allowed to purchase land for themselves and some did so.

Law:The board of trustees that ran the Colony of Georgia limited citizens to 500 acres of land and only gave 50 acres of land to those who they paid travel expenses for. The board also instituted a ban on slavery, which was eventually lifted in 1751 and replaced with a slave code nearly copied from the Carolinas.


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