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What role did James Oglethorpe have on American History?
James Oglethorpe was the leader and founder of the Georgia Colony. His family was wealthy members of the land and Royalists, supporters of the crown and kings. He was elected to the British Parliament in 1722 and served as a Tory member. His entry into politics led James Oglethorpe to take an interest in Humanitarian pursuits which were sparked by the experiences of a friend who was locked up in a Debtors prison. This started a life-long interest in the cause of Penal Reform. King George II was sympathetic to his ideals but also wanted to expand the colonies and the opportunity for trade and to provide additional military support to counteract the threat of Spanish invasion on British lands in America. James Oglethorpe and 19 friends and associates were granted a royal charter in 1732 to found a colony between Spanish, Florida, and South Carolina. The colony was to be governed by trustees for 21 years, after which time the colony would revert to royal control.