Do Now What if I gave you 1000 acres of land? Would you move? What would you be willing to do to get it?
Do Now Today you and your family hav an opportunity to receive some free land! Write down the following for each family – How many are in your family? – What position do you have in the family? – Did you serve in the war? – How much land do you want?
We Gotta settle this land! Georgias land claims stretched from the Atlantic Ocean and Savannah River on the east to the Mississippi River on the west. 95% of land was rough frontier Settlers wanted to transform wilderness into farms and communities
More land Settlement Since early colonial times, Georgia leaders had given land away in an attempt to attract settlers to the state Headright System – – Every head of the household had a right to land – Head of house- White man Declared his honesty and integrity Paid small filing fee
Georgia wanted settlers to build homes and farms on the land Each head was allotted 200 acres with 50 acres for each additional member of the family, including slaves Maximun of 1000 acres
War veterans were given larger acreage in return for their war service 1000 acre limit was raised several times What are some issues that may arise as a result of trading land this way? What about the Native Americans?
Corruption Headright System worked well when Ga was small As Georgia grew the counties began granting land – Some county leaders began selling land that was not suitable for farming – Some sold land that did not exist.
Yazoo Land Fraud 1795- Most widely known land fraud in US history During this time land companies would buy land and then sell it in smaller protions. If they could remove the Native Americans then the land would be worth so much more.
Yazoo Act Allowed Georgia to sell large areas of its western lands to private companies Sold 3 million acres to four companies for $500000. – Businesses would establish a presence in area – Keep the frontier safe – Settlers more likely to move if area was safe and jobs secure – Governor Mathews signed act in 1795
– Legislatures were bribed to vote for this act – Promised gifts of stock in the companies – Promised large profits Citizens were outraged Protested Signed petitions What could they do?
Senator James Jackson resigned his seat in the Senate Set out to reverse the sale Ran for office Passsed the 1796 Rescinding Act
What about the Native Americans? As part of the agreement, the US government agreed to remove the Native American (Creek) from within Georgias borders Georgia was forced to give up land to US Borders moved all the way back to the Chattahoochee River The consideration was $500,000, and the area involved was about 14 million ha (about 35 million acres). It was believed that the members of the legislature voting for the sale had been bribed or were shareholders in the companies. In 1796 a newly elected legislature repudiated the transaction and burned the records pertaining to it; the repudiation was incorporated in the state constitution of 1798.
How would Georgia sell the land? Land Lottery System Set up in 1803 Use dto distribute land acquired from treaties with Native Americans from 1805-1832 Georgians paid an average of 7 cents per acre Allowed ordinary Georgians an opportunity to gain large areas of land
Power and wealth was distributed more equally Much of the land was used for tobacco farming Eventually used for cottin farms Farms eventually becam large plantations Within twenty years of the first land lottery, 44% of population was made up of slaves