Pre-16th century: Various Native American tribes, including the Creek, Cherokee, and Yamasee, inhabit the region now known as Georgia.
1526: Spanish explorer Lucas Vázquez de Ayllón establishes a short-lived settlement called San Miguel de Gualdape near present-day Sapelo Island, making it the first European settlement within the boundaries of Georgia.
1732: James Oglethorpe, an English philanthropist, founds the colony of Georgia as a haven for debtors and a buffer against Spanish Florida. The settlement of Savannah is established as the colony's first city.
1742: The Spanish attempt to invade Georgia from Florida is repelled during the Battle of Bloody Marsh on St. Simons Island.
Late 18th century: Georgia grows as a colony, with the cultivation of crops such as rice, indigo, and eventually cotton, leading to economic prosperity. Slavery becomes widespread.
1788: Georgia becomes the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution on January 2.
Early 19th century: Georgia experiences conflicts with Native American tribes, particularly the Creek and Cherokee, as white settlers desire more land. The Indian Removal Act of 1830 leads to the forced removal of many Native Americans, including the infamous Trail of Tears.
1861-1865: During the American Civil War, Georgia secedes from the Union and joins the Confederacy. The state becomes a major theater of war, with battles such as the Battle of Chickamauga and the burning of Atlanta.
Late 19th century: Following the Reconstruction era, Georgia undergoes industrialization and urbanization, with the growth of industries such as textiles, railroads, and mining. Atlanta emerges as a major transportation hub and commercial center.
20th century: Georgia plays a significant role in the civil rights movement. Prominent figures like Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks make strides toward racial equality. Atlanta hosts the 1996 Summer Olympics, further boosting its international recognition.
Present: Georgia is known for its diverse economy, including sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing, film and television production, and the service industry. The state boasts cultural landmarks, such as the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site and the Georgia Aquarium.
This timeline provides an overview of significant moments in the history of Georgia, from its early European exploration and colonization to its role in the Civil War and its development as a modern state.