Florida and Georgia Compared

Mr. Beat is a social studies teacher who specializes in making history and geography more engaging through entertaining


Mr. Beat compares and contrasts Florida and Georgia, two quickly growing states in the American South.

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Produced by Matt Beat. All images used under fair use guidelines or found in public domain. Music by Jermaine Hysten.

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Photo credits:


Ken Lund

Michael Rivera


Craig O'Neal(minds-eye)


David Shankbone


Adam Bielawski

Steven Howard

Pablo Corredor

Georgia and Florida. Two bordering southern states in these United States. Two of the fastest growing states in the country right now.

Both are similar in size. Florida is just slightly bigger.

Both are two of the most ethnically diverse states in the country. 25.6% of those living in Florida identify as either Hispanic or Latino. 32.2% of those living in Georgia identify as African American.

The largest cities in both are about the same size. Atlanta, in Georgia has a metropolitan population of about 5.9 million, and Miami, Florida, has a metro population of about 6.2 million.

According to Forbes magazine, both have promising economic futures. The unemployment rate in both states is about the same. Top industries in Florida include tourism, agriculture, and international trade. Top industries in Georgia include agriculture as well, energy, and film. Wait...film? Huh? Yep, they film a lot more TV shows and movies in Georgia due to tax incentives. In fact, the only two states in the country that produce more big budget movies and TV shows is California and New York. Georgia will give 20% tax credits for big budget films...30% if the show or film shows its logo at the end of the credits.

Both have similar percentages of citizens who got at least a bachelor’s degree or higher.

Both are two of the oldest states in the country. However, Florida was settled by Europeans long before Georgia was. Most of the American Indian nations who resided historically in Florida and Georgia were wiped out due to disease brought over by the Spanish. Speaking of the Spanish, they had much more of a presence in Florida, controlling it off and on until 1819, after the United States basically just said, yeah it’s ours now. In 1565, the Spanish established St. Augustine in Florida, which today still exists and is the oldest city in the United States. In the 1700s, different American Indian tribes, notably the Muscogee, aka Creeks, moved into Florida. Over the years a new nation formed of these groups called the Seminole. The Seminole were well known for their resistance to American encroachment on their lands. The most notable American Indian nation in Georgia was the Cherokee, who lived fairly peacefully with Georgians until several of them wanted their land. Yeah, just like the Seminole, most of the Cherokee were eventually kicked out of Georgia, many sent via the infamous Trail of Tears.

But about 100 years before that, Georgia was one of the original 13 British colonies and a place where American Indian land was respected. Founded by General James Oglethorpe in 1732, he wanted Georgia to be a place where English citizens who were imprisoned for debt, as well as “the worthy poor,” could start over. He was pretty strict with his rules in those early years, banning alcohol and even banning slavery.

Yeah but that slavery ban was eventually lifted. Both would eventually leave the US and join the CSA, fighting to keep the institution of slavery.

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