South Carolina is a state in the Southeastern United States. It is bordered to the north by North Carolina; to the south and west by Georgiar; and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. Originally part of the Province of Carolina, the Province of South Carolina was the first of the 13 colonies that declared independence from the British Crown.
The state flag of South Carolina was officially adopted in 1861. It has a white crescent and a white palmetto tree on a blue ground. Three white crescents (on a blue background) were first used on a South Carolina banner protesting the Stamp Act in 1765. In 1775, Colonel William Moultrie designed a banner for South Carolina troops; it had a white crescent on a blue field. When South Carolina seceded from the Union, the palmetto tree was added to the flag. The palmetto tree was chosen because this tree had helped South Carolinians defeat the British
Fort Sumter is always visible from the waterfront promenades where, more than 140 years ago, people watched the war begin.
About one-third of the nation’s slaves came through Charleston, SC, and were quarantined on Sullivan’s Island. Original slave houses still stand at places such as Boone Hall Plantation in Mt. Pleasant and Mansfield Plantation in Georgetown.
Marion and his men would hide in the swamps and strike out in surprise at British troops, only to vanish again into the unwelcoming swampland. British forces finally withdrew from Charleston in 1782.
The first European attempts at settlement failed, but in 1670 a permanent English settlement was established on the coast near present day Charleston. The colony, named Carolina after King Charles I, was divided in 1710 into South Carolina and North Carolina.
The Spanish tried unsuccessfully to establish a colony near present-day Georgetown in 1526, and the French also failed to colonize Parris Island near Fort Royal in 1562.
The walls of the American fort on Sullivan Island, in Charleston Harbor, were made of spongy Palmetto logs. This was helpful in protecting the fort because the British cannonballs bounced off the logs.
By the time of the American Revolution, South Carolina was one of the richest colonies in America. Its merchants and planters formed a strong governing class, contributing many leaders to the fight for independence.
South Carolina became the eighth state to ratify the U.S. constitution in 1788. Its early economy was largely agricultural, benefitting from the area's fertile soil, and plantation farmers relied on the slave trade for cheap labor to maximize their profits. By 1730, people of African descent made up two thirds of the colony's population.
Once primarily agricultural, South Carolina today has many large textile and other mills that produce several times the output of its farms in cash value.
South Carolina entered the Union on May 23, 1788 and became the 8th state.
South Carolina was the first state to secede from the Union on December 20, 1860. South Carolina asked the other slave states to join together in forming a new nation.