Here, it’s no doubt you’ll get out of dept!
Are you out of money? Are you out of a job or source of income? Do you want to get out of debt? Do you want to get out of jail? Then come on out and visit the wonderful colony of Georgia, the debtors’ colony. Debtors settling in to Georgia receive a complimentary fifty acres and a free passage overseas to the Americas.
Georgia was settled in 1732 by a charter signed by King George II. But he isn’t all to thank for the glorious Georgia that stands today, there were the trustees, and James Oglethorpe, who came up with the idea of Georgia. Having seen some of his friends fall in to dept and rot in prison until death, Oglethorpe proposed the genius idea of using Georgia as a safe area for debtors and people in poverty flooding the jails in England, could start a new life and have a second chance. Unlike England where you are in jail until you can pay it off, but how would you earn the money if you were locked up in jail? And so there was no way out, which is so unfair! Besides creating a land for debtors to reinvent their lives, Georgia also claimed the bit of debatable land in the South pushing the Spanish away from endangering the English territory.
Government and History
As I had said earlier, King George II heard Oglethorpe’s idea of a debtors’ colony and handed a land charter down to some trustees that stayed in England creating laws, while Oglethorpe enforced the law across the ocean bringing along 120 specially chosen colonists. They had pictured a community of small farms with self-sufficiency. They made laws against slavery and drinking and having farms no larger than 500 acres. But unfortunately, people didn’t listen to the alcohol prohibition and with no slaves and not enough space for crops; families were barely scraping by with food and Georgia just become full with poor beggars. But that was only back then, due to the circumstances, Oglethorpe and the trustees allowed slavery and drinking, and to own as much land as you can buy. Huge plantations formed with people making money that fed off the colony’s riches. There were less poor people, but the huge plantation still knocked away a few small farms.
This “new” Georgia caused the trustees to disband and the almighty King George II came along and turned it in to a royal colony. So the king chose governors and important leaders. The government was established with an assembly made up of an upper house with twelve men whom the king chose himself, and the lower house had elected representatives. So yes, Georgians have a say in the government, but voting is only given to men with 50 acres of land. And 50 acres is given to you if you arrive “on the charity.” The official religion is The Church of England, but everyone is welcome to worship freely except for Catholics. All births, deaths, marriages, divorces, and town records are kept in the churches. And all Georgians must pay a small but generous church tax.
Location and Other Geographical Features
Georgia is the end of the great line of colonies down the east coast. The beautiful Appalachian Mountains border the northern area of Georgia. The famous Savannah River maps out the line between Georgia and South Carolina, which is around their first settlement of Savannah, a great industrial town. But beware not to wander too far from that gorgeous Atlantic coast, because in the south is Spanish territory. But no Spanish attacks would ever break through our strong militia protecting Georgia. But feel free to cut down some of the rich forest, that ventures out in to the west, the Cherokee and Creek tribes are kind. Thanks to the healthy relationship Georgia has with the natives because of the Treaty with the Creek that allowed settlers to settle on land the Creek did not use. As you can see because of the official religion (The Church of England) Georgia is separated in to parishes.
The People of Georgia
Georgia has it’s arms open and will accept anyone escaping religion (besides Catholics) or eternal debt. Georgia should be thought of as new chapters in life, as it has been for many of the poor and people from all over Europe. You can be whatever you choose, may it be a carpenter, a fur trader, a merchant etc. and you may also own a small farm for food you must make by yourself. Men usually run the government and call the shots in improving Georgia, they also farm and hunt and do other manual labor. While the women trained with domestic skills run the house, did the chores and planted the vegetables, cooked and cleaned, even made the clothes, and raised the children. While the children were off at school getting a full education in the big cities like Savannah but in smaller towns schools were rare but preachers sometimes taught lessons in church.
Georgia is an especially festive colony, with holidays and birthdays of leaders celebrated throughout. The spirit is contagious with all the dancing, eating, drinking, laughing, and games like cricket and horse racing.
Trading and Earning a Living
But it’s just not all play and no work. Small farms from the beginning of Georgia turned in to huge and wealthy plantation with a field of slaves at work. Around the beautiful coast you’ll be delighted with rice and indigo. But further inland you’ll find wheat, corn, and peas, and forest products such as trees and you’ll find livestock and other useful animals like cattle, horses, and pigs. But besides keeping the wealth of their land, they shared it by trading out products like indigo, pork, rice, pottery, clay, and lumber. Farming was a huge part of the economy and it decided whether there would be food on the table or if you were going to make any money. But what saved Georgia was slaves, after slavery had been legalized the population and economy grew stronger with larger plantations and with slaves, more work was being done. These large plantations knocked out the little farms.
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