Atlanta was a small, rough-and-ready railroad town. Its manners and mores were more like the frontier towns west of the Mississippi than the civilized cities of the Old South. Transportation was, and still is the keystone of its economic development. In 1836, the Georgia General Assembly voted to build a state railroad to provide transportation from the Georgia coast to the Midwest.
They chose the sparsely settled area of Fort Peachtree as its terminal. Hence the new Western and Atlantic Railroad terminal town became known as Atlanta. From 1845 to the start of the Civil War, Atlanta grew like the boom towns of the Old West.
Today, with close to a half million, the city is an interstate highway hub for the Southeast U. S. and home to Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, one of the world’s busiest airports.
Population: Atlanta: 416,474
Total metropolitan area: 4,112,198
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