New Viewpoints in Georgia History

By Albert B. Saye | Go to book overview
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CHAPTER IV
The Revolution

IN A View of the Constitution of the British Colonies published in 1783, Anthony Stokes, Chief Justice of Georgia under the royal government, explained:

Georgia continued under the King's Government to be one of the most free and happy countries in the world--justice was regularly and impartially administered--oppression was unknown--the taxes levied on the subjects were trifling--and every man that had industry, became opulent--the people there were more particularly indebted to the Crown, than those of any other Colony--immense sums were expended by Government in settling and protecting that country--troops of rangers were kept up by the Crown for several years--Civil Government was annually provided for by vote of the House of Commons in Great Britain, and most of the inhabitants owed every acre of land they had to the King's free gift: in short, there was scarce a man in the Province that did not lie under particular obligations to the Crown.1

In view of the fact that the Colony fitted perfectly into the British mercantile system and was in a most prosperous state, it is not to be wondered that the revolutionary spirit developed more slowly in Georgia than in her sister Colonies to the north. Indeed, the surprise is rather to be found in the fact that Georgians joined in the Revolution at all, even though constantly "spirited on by . . . northern neighbors who never let them rest or gave them time to cool off." Philanthropy had played a conspicuous role in the establishment of the Colony, and in its infancy Georgia had been the pet of English charity. The British govern

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Page 139.

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