Georgia is a state in the Southern United States and was one of the Thirteen Colonies that revolted against British rule in the American Revolution. It was the last of the Thirteen Colonies to be established as a colony. It was the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution, on January 2, 1788. It seceded from the Union on January 21, 1861 and was one of the original seven Confederate states. It was the last state readmitted to the Union on July 15, 1870. Georgia is one of the fastest-growing states in the United States, with its population increasing from 8,186,453 in 2000 to an estimated 9,072,576 people in 2005. Georgia is also known as the Peach State and the Empire State of the South. The largest city, and capital, is Atlanta.
Georgia is bordered on the south by Florida; on the east by the Atlantic Ocean and South Carolina; on the west by Alabama and by Florida in the extreme southwest; and on the north by Tennessee and North Carolina. The northern part of the state is in the Blue Ridge Mountains, a mountain range in the vast mountain system of the Appalachians. The central piedmont extends from the foothills to the fall line, where the rivers cascade down in elevation to the continental coastal plain of the southern part of the state. The highest point in Georgia is Brasstown Bald, 4,784 feet (1,458 m); the lowest point is sea level.
With an area of 59,441 square miles (153,951 km²), Georgia is ranked 24th in size among the 50 U.S. states. Georgia is the largest state east of the Mississippi River in terms of land area, although it is the fourth largest (after Michigan, Florida, and Wisconsin) in total area, a term which includes expanses of water claimed as state territory.