Georgia Studies is a two-semester course that traces the state's history, geography, government, and economics from the pre-Columbian era through the present. Students learn about the indigenous peoples who first occupied the region, European struggles to control the territory, Georgia's establishment as the 13th British colony and, its role in the American Revolution, and the creation of the state and its constitutions. Students then probe the reliance on enslaved labor at the heart of Georgia's economy, and its role as a key state of the Confederacy during the Civil War. By the end of the Reconstruction era that followed, Georgia's cotton economy returned under sharecropping, and African Americans lost many of the civil and political rights they had gained.
Moving into the New South era in the late 19th century, students explore the desire by some to diversify and industrialize Georgia's economy, which was followed by a Ppopulist move to improve the life of farmers, and a pProgressives’ push for social and political reform. As Georgia modernized, the state served as an important training ground for troops and as a manufacturing center in World War I and World War II. In the post-war era, students learn about the struggle for Black civil rights, and the shifting demographics and economic growth that connected Georgia to the wider nation and global economy. Students also explore the function and purpose of state and local government, the inner workings of the justice system, and the basics of personal financial literacy.
The course emphasizes the development of historical analysis skills, such as using chronology and periodization, and the interwoven strands of history, geography, government, and economics. Skills and strands are applied in written assignments that guide learners step-by-step through problem-solving activities.
This course is built to the eighth-grade Georgia Standards of Excellence.