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Georgia

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Georgia is a state located in the southeastern United States. It was established in 1732, the last of the original Thirteen Colonies. The state is named after King George II of Great Britain. Georgia was the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution, on January 2, 1788. It declared its secession from the Union on January 21, 1861, and was one of the original seven Confederate states. It was the last state to be restored to the Union, on July 15, 1870.

Georgia is the 24th most extensive and the 9th most populous of the 50 United States. From 2007 to 2008, 14 of Georgia's counties ranked among the nation's 100 fastest-growing, second only to Texas. Georgia is known as the Peach State and the Empire State of the South. Atlanta is the state's capital and its most populous city.

Georgia is the most extensive state east of the Mississippi River in terms of land area, although it is the fourth most extensive (after Michigan, Florida, and Wisconsin) in total area, a term which includes expanses of water which are part of state territory.

Georgia has a diverse mix of flora and fauna. The state of Georgia has approximately 250 tree species and 58 protected plants. Georgia's native trees include red cedar, a variety of pines, oaks, maples, cypress, sweetgum and scaly-bark and white hickories, as well as many others. Palmettos and other subtropical flora are found in the southern and coastal regions. Yellow jasmine, and mountain laurel make up just a few of the flowering shrubs in the state.

White-tailed (Virginia) deer are in nearly all counties. The northern mockingbird and Brown Thrasher are among the 160 bird species that live in the state.

Reptiles include the eastern diamondback, copperhead, and cottonmouth, salamanders, frogs, alligators and toads. There are about 79 species of reptile and 63 amphibians known to live in Georgia.

The most popular freshwater game fish are trout, bream, bass, and catfish, all but the last of which are produced in state hatcheries for restocking. Popular saltwater game fish include red drum, spotted seatrout, flounder, and tarpon, among many others. Porpoises, whales, shrimp, oysters, and blue crabs are found inshore and offshore of the Georgia coast.

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