An economic interpretation of the founding of the Colony of Georgia
Wilkins, Thomas Hart
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This study seeks to understand the founding of the Colony of Georgia during the period 1730-1750 from an economic point of view. There are few historians alive today and no known living economists who specialize in the period and subject matter. Unique documents in the Hargrett Rare Books and Manuscript Library at the University of Georgia reveal that James Edward Oglethorpe owned land in South Carolina. This thesis rejects writings from the Eighteenth, Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries citing Oglethorpe as working African slaves on this land in South Carolina. Whereas General Oglethorpe appears to have operated in an Eighteenth Century rent-seeking model, the best explanation of his actions follow "the Roman method" of colonization, which utilized a cost-benefit analysis. Rather than interpret the founding as a failure, as many writers have done, this thesis uses economic reasoning to interpret the colony as a success.