What Was Georgia’s Charter of 1732?

Georgia’s Charter of 1732 was a document granted to 20 trustees for the foundation of what became England’s last colony in America, the colony of Georgia named after George, the king who issued the charter. The colony was founded by James Oglethorpe, who wanted it to serve as a colony for debtors and the poor. Its other major purpose was to act as a buffer state for South Carolina.

The first colonists came to Georgia in 1733 under the stipulations set forth in the charter. The Charter of 1732 gave the trustees of the colony a great deal of power in setting up and running the colony. They established the government of the colony, levied taxes on the inhabitants and decided on land grants for those who came to settle. The original intent of James Oglethorpe and the trustees was to prohibit large tracts of land from going to any single person and to forbid slavery in the colony. Oglethorpe wanted Georgia to be a colony of second chances for the oppressed. Because of the manner in which Georgia was settled, the colony was quite different from others in America. There was no representation of colonists in establishing laws. Colonists who were once so thrilled to get to America eventually came to resent the control they felt the trustees had over every aspect of their new home.