During World War I (1914-1918) the country’s needs stimulated growth in Georgia’s industries, and Georgia farmers profited from high wartime prices for their crops. Good times continued into the 1920s for Atlanta, Georgia’s largest city. Atlanta’s growth was largely a product of Georgia’s excellent network of railroads, which brought trade and tourist dollars to Atlanta. The Coca-Cola Company, started in the 1880s, was the city’s best known industrial concern. Under the leadership of Robert Woodruff, Coca-Cola in the 1920s began to expand its markets throughout the world. Atlanta was also a banking and insurance center. During the early part of the 20th century, Atlanta became a premier cultural center for the Deep South. It was the home of a symphony orchestra, numerous blues and country music performers, and a number of colleges for blacks and whites.
In rural areas, however, prosperity did not last long after the war. During the early 1920s much of the state’s cotton crop was destroyed by the boll weevil. In addition, the soil in many areas was exhausted by overproduction and erosion. Thousands abandoned the farms and migrated to cities and towns. So many blacks left the region for Northern cities that their exodus is called the Great Migration. The hard times of the 1920s were followed by the even harder times of the Great Depression, which lasted through the 1930s. By the 1940s, the old plantation system was gone. The number of farms had declined and the remaining farmers consolidated their holdings and began to operate increasingly with machinery. Diversification became a necessity, with peanuts, soybeans, cattle, poultry, and tree farms replacing cotton. "Georgia" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia
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