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Atlanta Skyline

History of Atlanta, GA

The Beginning of Atlanta

In the beginning, Atlanta, Georgia was home to many of the Creek and Cherokee Indians. In the early 1800's, they were forced to leave the area and this is when the white settlers started to arrive in the area. Shortly after, the Georgia General Assembly was established. This was a group that was later to be known as the state legislature. This group was the first to decide that the Western and Atlantic Railroad should be built. This was the start of a series of railroads including the Georgia Railroad and the Macon and Western Railroad.

When the town was very small, at around thirty residents, there were only six buildings in the area. It was first named Marthasville, but was then renamed Atlantica-Pacifica due to the railroads that had been built in the area. They determined that this was a very long name for a city, and thus is where the term Atlanta was derived. The mid 1800's was when Atlanta was renamed, and the population began to grow from there as well.

Atlanta's Role in the Civil War

Atlanta played an important role in the Civil War. This had a lot to do with the previously mentioned railway systems. Due to these railroads, Atlanta was one of the main cities that transported the supplies that the military members needed in order to be successful. The city of Atlanta was also the site of many of the larger battles that happened during the Civil War. One of the ones that you will hear most often is the Battle of Atlanta.

During the Civil War, General Sherman actually said that Atlanta needed to be burned. They burned the entire city, but they did decide to keep all of the hospitals and the churches in tact. It took many years, but they slowly began the process of rebuilding the city. The United States Army had soldiers in the area that saw to it that the reconstruction continued in the area. Then, in 1968, Atlanta became the capital of the state of Georgia because of all the numerous railroads. Atlanta was actually the 5th capital of the state- which comes as news to most people.

Civil Rights Movement

One of the most profound moments in the nation's history was the Civil Rights Movement. Atlanta was actually the central location of the moment in history. Atlanta had a number of colleges that were primarily black, and many of the students that went to these schools took a part in the movement. One of the most famous is likely Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Atlanta was one of the first cities where the African American race because a majority in the area. While this was the case during the 1970's, there have been a lot of changes in the structure and economy of the city that have caused the numbers to decrease a bit, thus making the racial population more evenly distributed.

The Formation of a Major Metropolitan Area

In the early 21st century, Atlanta began to become one of the major metropolitan areas in the nation. The cultural changes and growth has been rapidly developing year after year. Now, you will find a lot of great tourist attractions and museums in the area. You will also find that the economy of the city is growing rapidly. There are many well known people of history that call Atlanta their home city. For those that are looking to settle in an area that is ever changing, Atlanta may be just the choice. From the beginning until the present day, it has continued to evolve into a great American city.


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