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Georgia during the revolution


Mansion in Georgia
Mansion in Georgia

Before the revolution, Georgia depended more than any of the other 12 rebelling colonies on financial aid and protection from Great Britain. The last royal governor, James Wright, was widely admired as an effective administrator who negotiated Native American treaties in 1763 and 1773, opening 2.4 million hectares (6 million acres) of land to settlement. Thus, many Georgians believed that British rule was to their advantage and were less opposed than other colonials to British taxes and regulations. For example, when Great Britain imposed the Stamp Act tax in 1765, many Americans objected because they had had no voice in the legislative process. In 12 colonies the Sons of Liberty, a secret patriotic society, were so effective in terrorizing British officials that the measure was never enforced. The one exception was Georgia, where for a short time Governor Wright was able to collect the tax.

Due in part to Native American troubles, Georgia was the only colony not to send delegates in 1774 to the First Continental Congress, where the colonies pondered strategies of resistance to Great Britain. However, after resistance turned into battle at Lexington and Concord, Massachusetts, in April 1775, pro-independence Georgians seized control of their government and chose delegates to the Second Continental Congress. At the Continental Congress in 1776, Lyman Hall, George Walton, and Button Gwinnett signed the Declaration of Independence for Georgia. In the same year, Georgia’s revolutionary government adopted a temporary constitution, the Rules and Regulations, and elected a president, Archibald Bulloch, and a council of safety. Early in 1777 a permanent state constitution was adopted. It provided for a unicameral (single-house) legislature and for a governor and executive council elected by the legislature. John A. Treutlen was elected as the first governor. In 1789 a new constitution changed the legislature to a bicameral (two-house) body. In 1778 the British captured Savannah, and within a few months they overran most of Georgia and reestablished British rule. The Continental Army failed to dislodge them from Savannah, but bloody guerrilla fighting continued in outlying areas. Augusta was finally liberated in 1781, and the British troops evacuated Savannah in 1782. "Georgia" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia

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