Rome, Georgia

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Rome is the largest municipality and county seat in Floyd County and home to Berry College. Tragically, the town's other four year liberal arts institution, Floyd College, lost its battle for academic freedom from the Southern Baptist Convention. Still largely outside the commuting zone for Atlanta, Rome is a former mill town that depended on cheap white southern mountain labor whose closed mills have been partially replaced by chicken packing plants that depend on poorly paid Mexican and Guatemalan labor.

As of the 2000 U.S. Census, Rome had a total population of 34,980. The town is named for Rome, Italy, because it was built on seven hills. There is a replica of the statue of Romulus and Remus nursing from a she-wolf, a gift from the Italian Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini, who then ruled theoriginal Rome.

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Geography

Rome is located at 34°15'36" North, 85°11'6" West (34.259893, -85.185037)Template:GR. The city is at the merging of the Etowah River and the Oostanaula River — the rivers form the beginning of the Coosa River. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 77.3 km² (29.8 mi²). 76.1 km² (29.4 mi²) of it is land and 1.2 km² (0.5 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 1.54% water.

History

Either Hernando de Soto or Tristan de Luna was the first Spanish "explorer" to meet, kill and spread old woreld diseases amogn the indigenes of the area now known as Rome. In 1560, Tristán de Luna sent a detachment of 140 soldiers and 2 Dominican friars north along de Soto's route, and it is this group that established true relations with the Coosa cheifdom as they assisted the Coosa in a raid against the rebellious province of Napochín, in what is now known as Tennessee. Within 20 years the Mound Builders were gone because of epidemic diseases bgrought by the Iberians. They were replaced by the Creek and the Cherokee.

The land around Rome was stolen through the forced removal of the Cherokees and settled by white Americans and their African-American slaves. The founders placed names in a hat - and Rome was chosen - since the city has rivers meet on an area with seven hills. Such is the weakness of their connection with the land. The town the cotton trade, which included both river boast and a rail line to Kingston, Georgia.

During the American Civil War, Union General Jefferson C. Davis captured Rome--a major target during the Atlanta campaign. Through the 20th century, many textile and carpet mills developed in the area and flourished until the 1970s, when the industry collapsed because of globalization.

The city is home to the Rome Braves baseball club of the South Atlantic League, the Rome Renegades of the American Indoor Football League, and the Rome Gladiators of the World Basketball Association. It is also a home of Clock Tower that constructed in 1871 served as a landmark of Rome, Georgia, Chieftan Museum, Berry Museum, and Rome Area History Museum.

Protests

  • In January 2006 the Federal Building in Rome was the scene of repeated protests by members and friends of the Indian community in north Georgia. They denounced the prosecutions for sales of the common ingredients in methamphetamine production in Operation Meth Merchant as racially motivated. Of the 47 defendants arested in the campaign, 42 were of Indian descent and 33 shared the last name of "Patel." The defendants were identified by confidential informants who were promised reduced drug charges for their cooperation. Source: Lauren Gregory. "Protests resume As 3 More Sentenced in 'Meth Merchant.' Rome News-Tribune. January 28, 2006.
  • "Methi the Government Scapegoat," a 6 foot tall protester in goat costume, protested subsequent convictions in May 2006. According to Methi, "Blaming a community and using selective investigation techniques is so much easier, and I will surely be able to make the government look like it is doing something about the meth problem. I'm not surprised I was chosen. I'm brownm, and mu ethnic name says everything." See Lauren Gregory. "'Methi the Scapegoat' Outside for Sentencing." Rome News-Tribune. May 6, 2006. Page 2A.

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