Coach Cliett 8th Grade Georgia History
SS8G1 The student will describe Georgia with regard to physical features and location

c. Locate and evaluate the importance of key physical features on the development of Georgia; include the Fall Line, Okefenokee Swamp,Appalachian Mountains, Chattahoochee and Savannah Rivers, and barrier islands

Fall Line

The Fall Line is an imaginary line that runs from Columbus through Macon  and on to Augusta

It divides the Coastal Plain and Piedmont Regions of Ga.

The land south of the Fall Line is Broad and Flat while the land above this line begins to to rise toward the mountains.

It is important that many waterfalls occur along this line which became excellent sites for factories and industries due to the need for water power to operate the machinery.

As Georgia expanded her cotton crop in the late 1700s and early 1800s, river crossings intersecting the Fall Line became sites for cotton gins and shipping points for merchants.

Many towns started along the line since ships could not travel any further upstream and stopped at the Fall Line to await cotton from nearby farms.

Okefenokee Swamp

This is the largest natural wetland area in the Southeast.

It is located in Southeast Ga and Northeast Florida and covers 438,000 acres.

Considered to be one of the 7 Natural Wonders of Ga.

Became important for its woods which were cut and shipped out before it was saved as a National Wildlife Refuge

It is presently an important part of the ecological system of home and in the home of many species of plant and animals

It was an important site for saving the once endangered American Alligator

Is a National Tourist attraction that brings $$ into the area each year.

Appalachian Mountains

The Blue Ridge, Ridge and Valley, and Plateau Regions of Ga all contain the southernmost parts of the Appalachian Mountain Chain which begins in Maine and travels along the eastern part of the U.S.A.

These mountains were important to Ga because for most of the early colonial period,they formed a natural barrier that people in the North could not cross. As the need for land increased, these people were pushed up against the mountains and began to travel South in search for land. This led to the settlement of the backcountry (around today’s Augusta) of Ga via the Philadelphia Wagon road.

Today these mountains collect much needed rainwater for north Ga as cloud push in from the sea and dump their water as they rise over the mountains.

Numerous reservoirs are located here to store water

They are a major tourist attraction for Ga.


Rivers Of Ga

The Savannah River

separates Ga from South Carolina.

was this river that Oglethorpe traveled up to establish the town of Savannah.

was a major inland route used by settlers to transport goods and the first route used to settle the Backcountry of Ga

is Today a major river highway for international trade at the docks in Savannah.

The Chattahoochee River

Separates Georgia an Alabama along its Southwestern boundary

was a major inland route used by settlers to transport goods as far inland as Columbus

Was a major route used to settle the interior of Ga and Alabama

Is today a major source of water for the city of Atlanta as well as many other cities along its route


Barrier Islands

Ga’s coastline is roughly 100 miles long

It is not smooth and sandy but is rather made up of a series of islands with beaches on the East side and marshy saltwater swamps to the west

They help protect Ga’s rich estuaries (areas where salt and fresh water meet and mix at high tide) from hurricanes, strong winds, and erosion.

They are wonderful tourist attractions visited by thousands of people each year.

They have a rich history of once being islands where pirates would hide and attack Spanish ships as they passed nearby.