Print, A View of Savannah as it stood the 29th of March, 1734
In 1733, James Edward Oglethorpe began to settle the new colony of Georgia. His initial vision for Georgia was twofold. The growing French presence in the Mississippi and the Ohio Valley created a treacherous situation for the residents of the western frontiers of the Carolinas because the French tactic was to incite the Indians to assault the English colonists living there. Oglethorpe was also aware of the threat that the Spanish in Florida posed to the southern boundary of Carolina. Establishing a settlement south of Carolina would provide a defensive buffer to the existing colonies and also strengthen England's trade position.
The other motive Oglethorpe had for establishing a colony in Georgia stemmed from his interest in social reform, most specifically, to relieving the plight of the poor. He developed a scheme to transport the rising numbers of debtors incarcerated in prison, along with persecuted foreign Protestants, to America to establish a utopian community.
The site Oglethorpe selected for the new colony was situated on a bluff on the southern banks of the Savannah River. His regimented military background can be seen in the egalitarian approach to dividing the land and laying out the town. The lay-out of Savannah, perfectly carved out of the dense wilderness, typifies the English approach to establishing a sense of order over the rural landscape.