Georgia (U.S. state)
Georgia is a state located in the southern United States. Georgia was one of the Thirteen Colonies that revolted against British rule in the American Revolutionary War. It was the last of the Thirteen Colonies to be established as a colony. It was the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution, on January 2, 1788.
- Forty years ago, faced with court orders to integrate and with demonstrations by Georgians who wanted the University of Georgia and the state's public schools closed instead, the people who stood in our places did the right thing. The schools stayed open. And Governor Ernest Vandiver told the General Assembly that, unless Georgia faced up to the issue and moved on, it would "devour progress consuming all in its path pitting friend against friend demoralizing all that is good stifling the economic growth of the state.".
- We have a great deal to be proud of as Georgians. Our history, our heritage, our state's great natural beauty. But, nothing should make us prouder than the way Georgia has led the South by focusing on the things that unite us instead of dwelling on those that divide us. While the government of Arkansas used the armed forces of the state to prevent nine black students from enrolling at Little Rock's Central High School, while the Governor of Alabama stood defiantly in a schoolhouse door, Georgia quietly concentrated on growing our economy, on the goals that bring us together rather than those that can tear us apart. And, in the process, Georgia established itself as the leader of the New South.
- Forty years ago, Birmingham was about the same size as Atlanta, and Alabama's population and economy were almost as big as ours. Georgia moved ahead because its leaders looked ahead. Anyone who doesn't realize that's why Georgia has become the fastest growing state east of the Rocky Mountains does not understand economic development.
- I am a Southerner. My wife is named May-REE. I like collard greens with fried streak-o-lean, catfish tails and all, fried green tomatoes, cat head biscuits and red eye gravy. My heart swells with pride when I see a football game on a crisp fall Saturday. I still cry when I hear Amazing Grace. My great-grandfather was captured at Vicksburg fighting for the Confederacy, and I still visit his grave in the foothills of Gilmer County. I am proud of him. But I am also proud that we have come so far that my children find it hard to believe that we ever had segregated schools or separate water fountains labeled 'white' and 'colored'. And I am proud that these changes came about because unity prevailed over division. Today, that same effort and energy of unity must be exercised again.
- The Confederate Battle Flag occupies two-thirds of our current state flag. Some argue that it is a symbol of segregation, defiance, and white supremacy. Others that it is a testament to a brave and valiant people who were willing to die to defend their homes and hearth. I am not here to settle this argument because no one can but I am here because it is time to end it. To end it before it divides us into warring camps, before it reverses four decades of economic growth and progress, before it deprives Georgia of its place of leadership in other words before it does irreparable harm to the future we want to leave for our children. As Governor Vandiver said four decades ago this month: "That is too big a price to pay for inaction. The time has come when we must act act in Georgia's interest act in the future interest of Georgia's youth." And, as Denmark Groover Governor Marvin Griffin's floor leader and the man who assured adoption of the current flag in 1956 told the Rules Committee this morning: "This is the most divisive issue in the political spectrum, and it must be put to rest." Denmark Groover is right. It is time to put this issue to rest and to do so in the spirit of compromise.
- This morning the House Rules Committee passed out a bill to make Georgia's flag represent Georgia's history all of Georgia's history. Both personally and on behalf of the people of Georgia, I want to thank Calvin Smyre, Larry Walker, Tyrone Brooks, and Austin Scott for their work to bring the people of Georgia together. The Walker Rules Committee substitute takes the original Georgia flag the Great Seal of Georgia set against a background of blue and adds a banner showing all of Georgia's other flags. It has the National Flag of the Confederacy and the Confederate Battle Flag, as well as flags of the United States, because first and foremost we are Americans. The bill also has a provision preserving Confederate monuments and says our current state flag should be displayed in events marking Georgia's role in the Confederacy.
- To those who say they cannot accept this because the Confederate flag is still in the banner, you are wrong. The Confederacy is a part of Georgia's history. To those who say they are opposed to this because it changes the current flag, you are wrong also. The Confederacy is part of our history, but it is not two-thirds of our history. It is time to honor my great-grandfather and the Georgians of his time by reclaiming the flag they fought under from controversy and division.
- The Walker Rules Committee substitute preserves and protects our heritage, but it does not say that, as Southerners and as Georgians, the Confederacy is our sole reason to exist as a people. Defeating this compromise will confirm the worst that has been said about us and, in the process, dishonor a brave people. Adopt this flag and our people will be united as one rather than divided by race and hatred. Adopt this flag and we will honor our ancestors without giving aide to those who would abuse their legacy.
- Georgia has prospered because we have refused to be divided. We have worked together, and the nation and the world have taken notice. We are where we are today, the envy of other states, because decades ago our leaders accepted change while others defied it. In the long run, it has paid us handsome dividends. Today, the eyes of the nation and the world are on us again to see whether Georgia is still a leader or whether we will slip into the morass of past recriminations. I have heard all the reasons not to change the flag and adopt this compromise: "it will hurt me politically"; "this is how we can become a majority"; "this is our wedge issue"; "this is the way we use race to win." Using race to win leaves ashes in the mouths of the victors. If there is anything we should have learned from our history, it is that using racial bigotry for political advantage always backfires. Sometimes in the short run, sometimes in the long run. Often both. And if you allow yourself to be dragged along in its raging current even if only briefly, you will live the rest of your life regretting your mistake. I know.
- Seventeen years ago this General Assembly debated whether to make the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. a state holiday. Many of the arguments I heard then I hear again today. "What will they want next?" "You know you can't satisfy them." The argument that gave the most political cover was "Martin Luther King was a great man, but we already have enough holidays, and we don't need any more." I was a young state senator, and my calls and constituents, for whatever reason, were against the King Holiday. I knew it was the right thing to do, but I was so worried about my political future that I did what many legislators do: when the vote came up, I had important business elsewhere. I knew instantly I'd made a mistake. So when the bill came back to the Senate for agreement, I voted for it. I was immediately besieged by constituents; so on final agreement, I voted against it. There is not a day that goes by that I do not regret that vote. Fortunately, there were enough leaders in this General Assembly then with the wisdom and the fortitude that I lacked as a young legislator. Don't make my mistake. Each of you knows the right thing to do. You know it in your heart. You know it in your mind. You know it in your conscience. And, in the end, that is all that matters. When the dust settles and controversy fades, will history record you as just another politician or as a person of conscience? Make no mistake, just as with me and a vote almost 20 years ago, history will make a judgment.
- Robert E. Lee once said 'it is good that war is terrible, otherwise men would grow fond of it.' This is not an issue upon which we should have war. Our people do not need to bleed the color of red Georgia clay. This is an issue that demands cool heads and moderate positions. Preserving our past, but also preserving our future. And not allowing the hope of partisan advantage to prohibit the healing of our people.
- Like most of you, I am a mixture of old and new, of respect and honor for the past, and of hope for the future. The children of tomorrow look to us today for leadership. If we show them the courage of our convictions, they will one day honor us as we honor the true leaders of decades past. Do your duty because that is what God requires of all of us.
- What was the reason that induced Georgia to take the step of secession? This reason may be summed up in one single proposition. It was a conviction, a deep conviction on the part of Georgia, that a separation from the North-was the only thing that could prevent the abolition of her slavery.
- Is it true, then, that unless there had been a separation from the North, slavery would be abolished in Georgia? I address myself to the proofs of that case. In the first place, I say that the North hates slavery, and, in using that expression I speak wittingly.
- If things are allowed to go on as they are, it is certain that slavery is to be abolished except in Georgia and the other cotton States, and I doubt, ultimately in these States also. By the time the North shall have attained the power, the black race will be in a large majority, and then we will have black governors, black legislatures, black juries, black everything. The majority according to the Northern idea, which will then be the all-pervading, all powerful one, have the right to control. It will be in keeping particularly with the principles of the abolitionists that the majority, no matter of what, shall rule. Is it to be supposed that the white race will stand that? It is not a supposable case. Although not half so numerous, we may readily assume that war will break out everywhere like hidden fire from the earth, and it is probable that the white race, being superior in every respect, may push the other back. They will then call upon the authorities at Washington, to aid them in putting down servile insurrection, and they will send a standing army down upon us, and the volunteers and Wide-Awakes will come in thousands, and we will be overpowered and our men will be compelled to wander like vagabonds all over the earth; and as for our women, the horrors of their state we cannot contemplate in imagination. That is the fate which Abolition will bring upon the white race.
- President Roosevelt ... told me there was no reason for my worrying about my having been a member of the Ku Klux Klan. He said some of his best friends and supporters he had in the state of Georgia were among members of the organization. He never in any way, by word or attitude, indicated any doubt about my having been in the Klan nor did he indicate any criticism of me for having been a member of that organization.
- I chronicle easily a hundred different cases where government has overreached and encroached on Constitutional liberties of Americans. We're at the point now in America, a little girl can't run a lemonade stand in her driveway without having the local zoning zealots come in and fine her fifty dollars. We're at the point now where elementary school kids down in Georgia have their irises scanned as they board the bus, all in the name of 'safety'. We're at the point now where nebulous environmental laws prevent homeowners from building a shed in their own back yard because there might be a flood plain issue in a hundred years. This is the America where we're at.
- Other arms reach out to me
Other eyes smile tenderly
Still in peaceful dreams I see
The road leads back to you.
Georgia, oh Georgia, no peace I find...
Just an old sweet song
Keeps Georgia on my mind.
- The people of Georgia having dissolved their political connection with the Government of the United States of America, present to their confederates, and the world, the causes which have led to the separation. For the last ten years we have had numerous and serious causes of complaint against our non-slaveholding confederate States, with reference to the subject of African slavery.
- Georgia Declaration of Causes of Secession (January 1861)
- The party of Lincoln, called the Republican party, under its present name and organization is of recent origin. It is admitted to be an anti-slavery party, while it attracts to itself by its creed, the scattered advocates of exploded political heresies, of condemned theories in political economy, the advocates of commercial restrictions, of protection, of special privileges, of waste and corruption in the administration of Government; anti-slavery is its mission and its purpose.
- Georgia Declaration of Causes of Secession (January 1861)
- Social equality is impossible. The schools are not going to be mixed, come hell or high water.
- The presidential election of 1864, occurring after the spectacular Union military successes at Mobile Bay and in Georgia and the Shenandoah Valley, reaffirmed the northern majority's commitment to the suppression of the rebellion in the South and the restoration of the Union without slavery. Arguably, Abraham Lincoln's victory owed more to the Northern rejection of the Democratic Party's war-failure platform and its call for an armistice preparatory to a national peace convention than to the voters' confidence in the president's leadership.
- William C. Harris, as quoted in "The Hampton Roads Peace Conference: A Final Test of Lincoln's Presidential Leadership" (2000), Journal of the Abraham Lincoln Association, pp. 30-61.
- Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia!
- Martin Luther King, Jr., I Have A Dream (1963), Washington, D.C.
- Alexander Stephens was, but of course, a Democrat. Stephens, a longtime member of the House from Georgia, left the splintering Whig Party to join the Democrats precisely because of his views on race. After getting out of federal prison in the post-Civil War era, imprisoned for his role in the rebellion, Stephens went back to Congress as a Democrat and later was elected governor of Georgia.
- By the time the Constitutional Convention assembled, 1787, virtually all northern states, Vermont, Massachusetts, Philadelphia, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut, were implementing some form of gradual abolition. The lone exception, New York, followed the same path in 1799 after two failed attempts, in 1777 and 1785, were defeated by the state legislature. It was the delegates from the southern states, Georgia and South Carolina, who pushed for the maintenance of the slave trade in opposition of those from the other states!
- Democrat Georgia Governor Lester Maddox brandished an ax hammer to prevent blacks from patronizing his restaurant.
- Real Democrat History, as quoted in "The KKK was the terrorist wing of the Democrat Party" (15 May 2008), The Real Democratic Party.
- I bear about me daily the keenest sense of their weight, and that feeling prompts me now to lift my voice for the first time in this council chamber of the nation; and, sir, I stand today on this floor to appeal for protection from the strong arm of the government for her loyal children, irrespective of color and race, who are citizens of the southern states, and particularly of the state of Georgia. I am well aware, sir, that the idea is abroad that an antagonism exists between the whites and blacks, that that race which the nation raised from the degradation of slavery, and endowed with the full and unqualified rights and privileges of citizenship, are intent upon power, at whatever price it can be gained. It has been the well-considered purpose and aim of a class not confined to the south to spread this charge over the land, and their efforts are as vigorous today to educate the people of this nation into that belief as they were at the close of the war. It was not uncommon to find this same class, even during the rebellion, prognosticating a servile war.
- I suspect that the Georgia Libertarian Party in general has no love for General Sherman, the March, or the North; but, if they thought better of it, this would bring the song up to date for them in the best way.
- I can make this march, and I will make Georgia howl!
- William Tecumseh Sherman, telegram to General U.S. Grant (1864), as quoted in Conflict and Compromise: The Political Economy of Slavery, Emancipation, and The American Civil War (1989), by Roger L. Ransom.
- If the people raise a howl against my barbarity and cruelty, I will answer that war is war, and not popularity-seeking. If they want peace, they and their relatives must stop the war.
- By the original compact of government, the United States had certain rights in Georgia, which have never been relinquished and never will be.
- William Tecumseh Sherman, as quoted in letter to the members of the city council of the City of Atlanta (12 September 1864).
- Allow the Union and peace once more to settle over your old homes at Atlanta.
- William Tecumseh Sherman, as quoted in letter to the members of the city council of the City of Atlanta (12 September 1864), by W.T. Sherman.
- I beg to present you as a Christmas gift the City of Savannah, with one hundred and fifty guns and plenty of ammunition, also about twenty-five thousand bales of cotton.
- I think Stone Mountain is amusing, but then again I find most representations of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson outside of Virginia, and, in Jackson's case, West Virginia, to be amusing. Aside from a short period in 1861-62, when Lee was placed in charge of the coastal defense of South Carolina and Georgia, neither general stepped foot in Georgia during the war. Lee cut off furloughs to Georgia's soldiers later in the war because he was convinced that once home they’d never come back. He resisted the dispatch of James Longstreet's two divisions westward to defend northern Georgia, and he had no answer when Sherman operated in the state. It would be better to see Joseph E. Johnston and John Bell Hood on the mountain, although it probably would have been difficult to get those two men to ride together. Maybe Braxton Bragg would have been a better pick, but no one calls him the hero of Chickamauga. Yet Bragg, Johnston, and Hood all attempted to defend Georgia, and they are ignored on Stone Mountain. So is Joe Wheeler, whose cavalry feasted off Georgians in 1864. So is John B. Gordon, wartime hero and postwar Klansman. Given Stone Mountain's history, Klansman Gordon would have been a good choice. It's also amusing to see Jefferson Davis represented. Yes, Davis came to Georgia, once to try to settle disputes within the high command of the Army of Tennessee, not a rousing success, and once to rally white Georgians to the cause once more after the fall of Atlanta. But any serious student of the war knows that Davis spent much of his presidency arguing with Georgia governor Joseph Brown about Georgia's contribution to the Confederate war effort, and that the vice president of the Confederacy, Georgia's own Alexander Hamilton Stephens, was not a big supporter of his superior. Yet we don't see Brown or Stephens on Stone Mountain, either.
- Hurrah! Hurrah! We bring the jubilee! Hurrah! Hurrah! The flag that makes you free!
- So we made a thoroughfare for freedom and her train, sixty miles in latitude, three hundred to the main. Treason fled before us, for resistance was in vain, while we were marching through Georgia.
- Yes and there were Union men who wept with joyful tears, when they saw the honored flag they had not seen for years. Hardly could they be restrained from breaking forth in cheers, while we were marching through Georgia.