Today we're travelling through history as we visit each of Georgia's 5 historic capitals!
Below you will find the articles you should need to complete your map!
Remember... S A L M A
This is a link in the Georgia Encyclopedia... it's the best!
You may find some useful stuff here as well!
There is more reading about the capitals below-
There have been five cities that have served as the state capital of Georgia. Savannah served as the colonial “capital” of Georgia. Official power, however, was maintained by the Trustees who remained in England. When the Trustee period ended, Savannah was deemed the “seat of government” and the royal governor, legislative assembly and courts were headquartered there. Georgia’s first state constitution (1777) directed the legislature to meet there but gave the government some latitude in determining the assembly’s meeting places. The advancement of the British military encouraged the Patriots to move the state capital upriver to Augusta.
This was the beginning of the rotating capitals; war activities would cause the seat of government to move back and forth between Savannah and Augusta. Ultimately, many believed that Augusta was located too far east as the population of the new state was rapidly moving west into American Indian territory. The desire was to locate the capital in a central, accessible location.
Louisville, named after French King Louis XVI for his assistance during the American Revolution, was Georgia’s third state capital from 1796-1807. Located in Jefferson County, Louisville was selected as the capital because its location was the center of Georgia’s population. The state’s legislators hoped that the town would also serve as a trading center due to its location on the Ogeechee River. Once it was established, Louisville developed both socially and financially. However, Louisville’s time as capital ended in 1807 due several factors including the malaria outbreaks that occurred in the city every year, the difficulty of using the Ogeechee River as a trade route, and most importantly, the continual northwestern movement of Georgia’s population. One of the most famous events in Louisville was when the state legislators publically set fire to the Yazoo Land Act with a magnifying glass. Creek lands west of Louisville were ceded to the state in 1802, and, without delay, the push to move the state capital westward was underway.
Milledgeville, named after the current governor John Milledge, served as the state capital for sixty years. The capital remained in Milledgeville during the Civil War, but it was abandoned as General Sherman made his way toward the city. Government documents were loaded onto trains to be evacuated to safety. After the war, the Union troops denied the meeting of the legislature, and took charge of Georgia’s government. A new constitution was adopted and elections were held and the legislature reconvened in Milledgeville.
The final state capital was eventually located in Atlanta. The removal of the Cherokees in 1838 led state lawmakers to anticipate another westward move for the state capital. The chartering of the Western and Atlantic Railroad led to the development of the town of Terminus. Renamed Marthasville, after former Governor Wilson Lumpkin’s daughter Martha, residents soon protested that the name was too feminine for the frontier. In 1847, the General Assembly renamed the town Atlanta, in deference to the Western and Atlanta Railroad. It wasn’t until after the Civil War that the state capital was officially moved to Atlanta. In 1868, a new constitutional convention was ordered to meet in Atlanta by General Pope. Better rail accessibility and a growing population were touted as reasons for moving the state capital to Atlanta. The move was ratified in 1868 and Atlanta became the final state capital. It is interesting to note that, in 1919, a suggestion was floated to move the state capital to Macon, a more centrally-located city. While some state offices have since moved to the Macon and Tifton areas, the state capitol complex remains in Atlanta. An easy way for students to remember the name of all of Georgia’s capital cities is to teach them the acronym S.A.L.M.A. which stands for Savannah, Augusta, Louisville, Milledgeville, and Atlanta.
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