Cotton shaped Georgia’s economy by making many Georgian’s wealthy. During the Antebellum era, Georgia produced an extraordinary amount of cotton and become known as the “cotton kingdom”. Georgia was also known as the most industrialized of southern states for their railroads.
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Trains allowed for cotton be distributed at a much faster pace when compared to a horse. Georgian’s farmers noticing this big change started regulating cotton production and price. Allowing Georgia to become an economically structured state. Being able to transfer cotton to nationwide and international market allowed cotton to shape Georgia’s economic status value at an income of $1,560,000.00. Making the economic power value of cotton income in the 1800’s at about $15,800,000.000.
Society during the Georgia’s cotton era was booming. Many people began to notice the open space and beauty of Georgia and wanted to move there. But, much of the land was already owned by the Cherokee and Creek Indians. The government wanted the lands to be given to white settlers so the economy would prosper. Politics came into play to solve this problem. The United States government came up with the Indian Removal Act of 1830. This act forced the Indians off their land and making them move west to Oklahoma. Forcing the Indian lands to be given to growers, who built large plantations. With more plantations producing cotton; meant there was a huge need for more slaves. Leading into the Civil War era.
Slavery was such a crucial key into how the Civil War began. Georgians had become so dependent on slaves that they were unwilling to let them go. Georgia wanted to secede from the North to form their own nation that allowed for slavery. Therefore, commencing the Civil war from 1861 to 1865. During the Civil War women in society took on many roles. Women were nurses, cooks, spies. They also ran and worked in factories, farm, stores and plantations while men were away at war. Economically the North union decided to block the South from selling products and caused Georgia to go into a shortage. Hunger on the Georgia home front became so serious during the Civil War that food riots, with women as the main participants, broke out all across the state beginning in 1863. Eventually on April 9, 1865 the Confederate Army surrendered for running low on supplies. Making the war officially over. Unfortunately, a few days later on in the evening of April 14, 1865, President Abraham Lincoln was shot and killed by John Wilkes. Politically John Wilkes thought he was doing the South a favor when in actuality he made northerners more hostile toward the South.
After the Civil War much of Georgia was destroyed. However, civic leaders pushed to rebuild the state as quickly as possible and to industrialize. Reconstruction in the south was now a task passed down to Lincoln’s Vice President Andrew Johnson. His plan for reconstruction in the south was a quick and easy approach. President Johnson declared that national unity was a must in order for reconstruction to be completed. Schools for freed slave children were being built. Three amendments to the U.S. Constitution were passed during the reconstruction period. The 13thAmendemnt ended slavery. The 14th amendment guaranteed that everyone has equal protection under the law. The 15th amendment guaranteed the vote for citizens regardless of race, color, or whether they had been slaves.
During the Reconstruction period, everything began to collapse. Reconstruction collapsed socially because, of racism and corruption. The hatred of slaves was still there even after the Civil War. Southerner whites eventually regained their political power again and blacks were treated poorly again. African Americans were being intimidated in all aspects of their lives. Eventually the South became segregated and hate groups like the Ku Klux Klan had begun to form. In the end the struggles over the rights of African Americans was not solved by the civil War.
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