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Development of Georgia The Pursuit of Land
Standard: SS8H5 • The student will explain significant factors that affected the development of Georgia as part of the growth of the United States between 1789 and 1840. • B. Evaluate the impact of land policies pursued by Georgia; include the headright system, land lotteries, and the Yazoo land fraud.
Appetite for Land • Hunger for independence hunger for land • Used in the late 1700s, early 1800s • HEADRIGHT SYSTEM: • Heads of families were entitled to 200 acres plus 50 acres for each family member including slaves. • The limit was 1,000 acres • Cost: surveying fee • Advantage: • Farmers came looking for fertile land • Ranchers came looking for grazing areas for their livestock • Problem: • Government corruption LAND FRAUD • Dishonest officials gave more than 1,000 acres of land to families • Granted more land than actually existed to make a bigger profit • Land speculator: someone who buys property expecting that its value will increase and it will be sold at a profit
Land Lotteries! • For a small fee, any white male 21 years of age or older could submit their names to the state and pay for the ticket • Put their names in one drum while the lots bearing the numbers of the lots would be in the second drum • Paid an average of seven cents per acre • Heads of households with children, war veterans, and widows were given extra chances in the land lotteries • Held 8 lotteries between 1805 and 1833 • Georgia sold 3/4th of the state to 100,000 families and individuals • Shift of power any man could become a landowner • Power and wealth began to be distributed more evenly among white men in Georgia.
Yazoo Land Fraud (1795) • Georgia’s western borders were the Mississippi River and one of its tributaries (branches), the Yazoo River • Present states Mississippi and Alabama • Four land companies approached Governor George Mathews and members of the General Assembly • Bribed them to pass a bill allowing the land companies to buy the western lands • Bribe: money paid to someone to get him or her to do something • When bill was enacted, the land companies bought between 35-50 million acres of land for $500,000- about 1.5 cents an acres
Yazoo Land Fraud (1795) • The public quickly learned of this and were FURIOUS! • Became known as the Yazoo Land Fraud • As a result, legislators were voted out of office. • The new legislature repealed the law that had allowed the land to be sold. • All records of these land sales were burned in public.
Yazoo Land Fraud (1795) • The state offered to refund the money from the land sales • Many people who had bought the land from the companies and wanted to keep it • Federal government resolved the matter by paying over $4 million to settle the Yazoo land claims. • 1802 Georgia ceded (gave up) its land west of the Chattahoochee River to the federal government for $1.25 million, making the river Georgia’s western boundary
NOTICE THE WESTWARD EXPANSION OF SETTLERS IN GEORGIA FROM 1733-1835. LANDS EAST OF THE OCONEE RIVER WERE SETTLED BECAUSE OF THE HEADRIGHT SYSTEM LAND POLICY. LANDS WEST OF THE OCONEE RIVER WERE SETTLED FROM THE LAND LOTTERY. OCONEE RIVER HEADRIGHT SYSTEM 1782-1795 LAND LOTTERY 1805-1833