State: Georgia – GAPublished on June 3rd, 2015 | by Brandon Ramsey in Geography
The state of Georgia is located in the southeastern region of the United States. When it was first established in 1732, it became the last of the original thirteen colonies. It was originally named after King George II of Great Britain and after the American Revolution it became the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution.
Today we’ll examine the state’s geography, climate, culture, and tourist landmarks to help you better understand this state. Before we move into these things though, here are some important facts about the state:
- Capital: Atlanta
- Time Zone: Eastern: UTC -5/-4
- Nicknames: “Peach State,” “Empire State of the South”
- State Bird: Brown Thrasher
- State Flower: Cherokee Rose
An Overview of The State
After ratifying the Constitution in 1788, the state seceded from the Union in January of 1861 and became one of the original seven Confederate states. After the Civil War, it was the last state to be readmitted to the Union in 1870.
It is the 24th largest and the 8th most populated of the 50 United States. The most populated city in the state is the capital of Atlanta. The state is bordered in the south by Florida, by the Atlantic Ocean and South Carolina to the east, by Alabama to the west, and by Tennessee and North Carolina to the north.
The northern part of the state is within the Blue Ridge Mountains which are part of the Appalachian Mountain range. The Piedmont plateau is located in the center of the state and extends south into the coastal plain.
The Geography and Climate of Georgia
The state’s eastern border with South Carolina lines up with the Savannah River. It continues into the Tugaloo and Seneca Rivers before moving into the Chattooga River. This border was decided in 1797 according to the Treaty of Beaufort. It was challenged in the U.S. Supreme Court case of Georgia v. South Carolina in both 1923 and 1989.
The border has a sharp turn near the tip of Rabun County at the latitude of thirty-five degrees north. Originally this was the border to North Carolina until Tennessee was separated from North Carolina. An act in 1795 was passed to sell a large portion of the territory which would eventually become modern day Alabama and Mississippi.
The various regions of the state each host their own types of geology. The Ridge and Valley for example are composed of limestone, sandstone, shale, and other types of sedimentary rocks.
For the most part, the climate is a humid subtropical type of weather. The summers are hot and humid, save for the higher elevations. The state is used to seeing lots of rain throughout the year, with as much as 45 to 75 inches of rain. The highest temperature ever recorded in the state was 112 degrees Fahrenheit. The lowest is negative seventeen degrees.
The state is also known for being one of the highest states for tornadoes. While the sheer frequency of them is high, the power is rarely over an F1 on the scale. There was a tornado that hit downtown Atlanta in March of 2008 that caused some damage. In terms of hurricanes, the only effects that are felt by the state come in the form of storm that hit the panhandle of Florida and slowly lose power as they pass over the state.
The State’s Culture
The culture of the state was heavily influenced by the rural Scots-Irish culture and the culture of African slaves and Native Americans throughout its history. This blend has resulted in a very unique result as the state continues to grow. Influences such as the American Civil War, Reconstruction, The Great Depression, and the Civil Rights Movement have all helped to shape the culture.
The state’s people are known for having good manners and being very religious. The term, “Southern Hospitality” comes to mind, and represents the sense of community, culture, and the iconic southern dialect of speaking. Other factors of the culture include the cuisine, which is focused on seafood, cornbread, peaches, and grits as major staples.
Some major aspects of the culture are outlined below in more detail:
As with the rest of the South, this state is highly religious. The majority is held by Christianity, which is 85% of the state’s religious makeup. Among these people, 76% are Protestant, 8% are Catholic, and 1% are Other. A small 13% of the population are not religious and 2% are something other than Christianity.
The state is home to a number of historic religious sites including the following:
- Congregation Mickve Israel – Savannah
- Ebenezer Baptist Church – Atlanta
- Kiokee Baptist Church – Appling
- Shrine of the Black Madonna – Atlanta
- Springfield Baptist Church – Augusta
The range of the state’s food is based around southern styles of cooking. This means things like corn on the cob, chicken and dumplings, Brunswick stew, grits, and cornbread are all major staples. Pecans, peaches, and peanuts are also known as popular state foods.
Barbecuing is a major pastime in the state and includes the cooking of all types of meat, pork especially. Holidays like Independence Day, and tailgating parties are examples of barbecuing occasions.
3. Literature and Music
The state’s literature is unique among other types in the world. The works here are usually pertinent to the values of the time. Famous books such as Gone With the Wind and The Color Purple were all crafted by native authors to this state.
In terms of music, there are a number of genres that are popular in the state. The Music Hall of Fame in Macon is an entire museum dedicated to the state’s music history.
Places to Visit
Before we part ways today, we’ll show you some key locations to visit when you take your trip to Georgia. Let’s explore:
1. Bellwood Quarry – Atlanta
Not only is this incredibly quarry a great place to visit, but it is also the location where an iconic scene was shot from The Walking Dead television series.
2. Callaway Gardens – Pine Mountain
This resort is spread across 14,000 acres. With incredible natural sights to behold, the location brings in over a million visitors each year.
3. Brasstown Bald
This is the highest location in the state. Visiting here allows you to behold an incredible view of the Appalachian Mountains.
4. Fricks Cave – Walker County
These caves are one of the most biologically rich environments in the state. They are also the known as being the home of the gray bat.
5. Tallulah Falls
This multi-tiered waterfall is surrounded by colorful trees and showcases a rich and serene environment that must be seen to be believed.
6. Cumberland Island
Not only is this an incredible beach lined with white sands, but you can also spot wild horses roaming the landscape.
7. Jekyll Island
Yet another beautiful beach on the Atlantic Ocean, this is a paradise you can find within the United States.
Now you’re a master guru of Georgia, but we’re still not done here. Next, check out some interesting facts about the state that will truly mold you into a master of knowledge when it comes to this place.
Do you live here? Have you ever visited? Tell us your experiences in the comments below!