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Cornerstones of Georgia History

Thomas A. Scott

Publication Year: 1995

This collection of fifty-nine primary documents presents multiple viewpoints on more than four centuries of growth, conflict, and change in Georgia. The selections range from a captive's account of a 1597 Indian revolt against Spanish missionaries on the Georgia coast to an impassioned debate in 1992 between county commissioners and environmental activists over a proposed hazardous waste facility in Taylor County. Drawn from such sources as government records, newspapers, oral histories, personal diaries, and letters, the documents give a voice to the concerns and experiences of men and women representing the diverse races, ethnic groups, and classes that, over time, have contributed to the state's history.

Cornerstones of Georgia History is especially suited for classroom use, but it provides any concerned citizen of the state with a historical basis on which to form relevant and independent opinions about Georgia's present-day challenges.

Published by: University of Georgia Press


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pp. vii-viii

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pp. ix-xi

During the last fifteen years, while teaching Georgia history at Kennesaw State College, I have tried to find materials that students can enjoy, understand, and remember. KSC's Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning has helped me immensely in this quest. Several years ago, after CETL awarded me a summer stipend ...

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pp. xiii

I would like to acknowledge my debts to many people who made this work possible. My wife, Kathleen Sherlock Scott, read each chapter as it was produced and has consistently given invaluable advice and support. Librarians and archivists have been most helpful, especially at Kennesaw State College, ...

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1. Spain and the Native Americans: The Guale Revolt, 1597

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pp. 1-9

The era of Georgia history about which the public knows the least is undoubtedly the century and a half of Spanish domination. The first European to see Georgia was possibly Juan Ponce de León during his 1513 journey to Florida. The honor of establishing the first permanent settlement within the present U.S. boundaries ...

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2. Cherokees and Creeks: Traditional Cultures and the Anglo-Saxon Encounter

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pp. 10-24

As we saw in the previous chapter, Europeans such as Father Avila had little appreciation for the Indian cultures they encountered along the Atlantic coast. Indigenous lifestyles and religious concepts seemed to them backward and barbaric. Had Caucasians been willing to learn from the natives, however, they would have ...

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3. Trustees and Malcontents: The Colonial Controversy over Slavery and Georgia's Future

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pp. 25-37

The Spanish maintained a presence in Guale until the 1680s, when Englishmen and Indians from South Carolina invaded. At the time the Carolinians were strong enough to expel the Spanish, but not strong enough to replace them; so Georgia became "the debatable land" for half a century, with ...

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4. Patriots and Loyalists: Georgia on the Eve of the Revolution

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pp. 38-49

The baby of the Thirteen Colonies, Georgia had just begun to grow when the American provinces declared their independence from the mother country. Settled in 1733, Georgia spent two tumultuous decades under the Trust, then another twenty years of modest progress under royal government. ....

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5. The State of Georgia and the Cherokees: The Debate over Indian Removal

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pp. 50-62

At the beginning of the nineteenth century most of the state still belonged to native Americans. The white population was found mainly along the coast and between the Savannah and the Oconee. The Creeks occupied the rest of south and central Georgia, and the Cherokees had the area north and west of the Chattahoochee. ...

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6. Slavery in Antebellum Georgia

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pp. 63-76

On the eve of the Civil War, four of every nine Georgia residents lived in bondage. Almost half the capital in the state was invested in human property. A century earlier Georgians had debated the question of slavery. Now, the state was what Oglethorpe had feared: a rich land with resources concentrated in few hands. ...

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7. Secessionists and Cooperationists: The Decision to Leave the Union

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pp. 77-91

For at least thirty years before the Civil War, Georgia and the nation engaged in controversy over slavery vs. freedom and states' rights vs. federal power. While Georgia politicians defended slavery and states' rights, they generally advocated moderation. During the nullification crisis of the 1830s, for instance, a Georgia ...

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8. The Federal Occupation of Georgia, 1864: Perspectives of North Georgia Women

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pp. 92-106

A Deep South state, Georgia was fortunate to avoid invasion during the early years of the war. Except for action along the coastline, the Union army and navy devoted its attention to theaters further north or west. By 1863, however, Chattanooga and the Tennessee River were in Federal hands, and nothing stood between Georgia ...

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9. Reconstruction in Georgia

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pp. 107-121

Between 1861 and 1865 Georgia and ten other Confederate states waged an unsuccessful war against the Union. The defeated rebels, however, were soon relieved to find that President Andrew Johnson expected few fundamental changes. He demanded new state constitutions that eliminated wartime debts, the right of secession, ...

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10. Postwar Poverty: Fault of the North or the South?

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pp. 122-135

Reconstruction has been described by historian Numan Bartley as the "revolution that failed."1 He suggests that the Republicans challenged planter domination and tried to empower classes who had little influence before the war. Along with civil rights for blacks, Republicans championed economic development through ...

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11. "Jim Crow" Georgia and Its Leaders, Black and White

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pp. 136-150

The period of political equality in Georgia politics was extremely brief. As we have seen, the constitution of 1868, written by the Republicans, gave African-Americans the right to vote, but did not prevent the Georgia legislature from expelling the black members. After Reconstruction a few blacks would be elected to office ...

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12. The Leo Frank Case

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pp. 151-163

Georgia's most celebrated case of the early twentieth century began with the murder of a teenage girl at her place of employment on Confederate Memorial Day, 1913. Born in Cobb County, Mary Phagan and her family had moved to Atlanta, where she worked for the National Pencil Company. ...

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13. Georgia's Rejection of Woman Suffrage

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pp. 164-178

Patriarchal in race and class relations, Georgia had little use for women's rights. Southern ladies were honored for purity, self-sacrifice, and altruism, not for their assertion of individual interests. Viewed as fragile and defenseless, women supposedly needed protection from the harsh realities of the world. ...

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14. Crisis in Agriculture: The Great Migration, Boll Weevil Invasion, and Great Depression

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pp. 179-192

As noted earlier, the collapse of farm prices generated in the 1890s a Populist revolt. In contrast, a stronger economy and more optimistic spirit accompanied the Progressive Era of the next two decades. Prices rose somewhat, and Georgia farmers expanded production. The peak of prosperity came with World War I. ...

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15. Moving toward the Mainstream: Georgia in the 1940s

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pp. 193-207

From the Civil War until World War II, the South was the nation's poorest region. Described by Franklin Roosevelt as America's number one economic problem, the old Confederacy led the nation in illiteracy, infant mortality, and virtually every other negative indicator. The 1940 census recorded a median family income for Georgia ...

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16. The Integration of Public Schools and Colleges

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pp. 208-223

Protests against white supremacy had a long history in Georgia; as far back as the nineteenth century black activists such as Du Bois, Turner, and Holsey worked tirelessly to plead their cause to an uncaring state and nation. The Civil Rights movement, clearly, had only limited success before World War II and the postwar era. ...

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17. The Rise of a Future President: The Gubernatorial Inauguration of Jimmy Carter

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pp. 224-234

State Senator Jimmy Carter made his first race for governor of Georgia in 1966, when he came in third in the Democratic primary, behind Ellis Arnall and the ultimate winner, Lester Maddox.1 The young businessman from Plains spent the next four years campaigning for the 1970 election. ...

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18. Economic Development and Quality of Life: The Debate over a Hazardous Waste Facility for Taylor County

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pp. 235-250

In the last quarter of the twentieth century Georgia was closer to the national mainstream than it had been for years. The people usually voted for the winner in presidential elections. In 1976 they helped send to the White House a Georgia native. Atlanta was known internationally as the host of the 1996 Olympics. ...

Appendix: Questions to Consider

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pp. 251-258


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pp. 259-265

E-ISBN-13: 9780820340227
E-ISBN-10: 0820340227
Print-ISBN-13: 9780820317069
Print-ISBN-10: 0820317063

Page Count: 280
Publication Year: 1995