Area, 31,055 sq mi (80,432 sq km). Pop. (2000) 4,012,012, a 15.1% increase since the 1990 census. Capital and largest city, Columbia. Statehood, May 23, 1788 (8th of the original 13 states to ratify the Constitution). Highest pt., Sassafras Mt., 3,560 ft (1,086 m); lowest pt., sea level. Nickname, Palmetto State. Mottos, Dum Spiro Spero [While I Breathe, I Hope] and Animis Opibusque Parati [Prepared in Mind and Resources]. State bird, Carolina wren. State flower, Carolina jessamine. State tree, palmetto. Abbr., S.C.; SC
South Carolina is roughly triangular in shape. The long, even coast lined with beautiful sand beaches on the "Grand Strand" north of Georgetown becomes generally marshy to the south and is sliced by a network of rivers and creeks, creating a maze of inlets and the famous Sea Islands. The coastal climate is humid subtropical, with long, hot summers and short, mild winters. In this area are found cypress swamps, moss-hung oaks, beautiful flowering gardens, antebellum plantations, and the historic seaports of Georgetown, Beaufort, and Charleston, the latter a major tourist attraction and one of the chief ports of entry in the Southeast.
The fall line on the state's Atlantic-bound rivers separates the coastal Low Country from the rolling Piedmont plateau of the Up Country and runs generally parallel to the coast, passing through Columbia. Inland the climate is temperate, becoming progressively cooler as the elevation increases. In the extreme northwest are the Blue Ridge Mts.; they occupy only c.500 sq mi (1,290 sq km) in the state, with Sassafras Mt. (3,560 ft/1,085 m) the highest point.
Rainfall is abundant and well distributed throughout South Carolina. The Pee Dee, Santee, Edisto, and Savannah river systems drain the state, flowing from the highlands to the sea, creating rapids and waterfalls. This abundant source of hydroelectric power is one of South Carolina's most important natural resources. Several nuclear plants operate in the state as well.
Vacationers are attracted to Myrtle Beach and the Grand Strand, to the Sea Island resorts, and to Charleston's stately homes and gardens. The state's historical places of interest include Fort Sumter National Monument, Kings Mountain National Military Park, and Cowpens National Battlefield (see National Parks and Monuments, table). Columbia is the capital and the largest city; Charleston and Greenville are other major cities.
South Carolina's manufacturing industries have historically depended on the state's agricultural products as well as on water power. For example, the huge textile and clothing industries, centered in the Piedmont, are based on that region's cotton crop; lumbering and related enterprises (such as the manufacture of pulp and paper) rely on the c.12.5 million acres (5 million hectares) of forestland that cover the state—the longleaf and loblolly pine are prevalent. Other leading manufactures are chemicals, machinery, and automobiles. South Carolina's mineral resources have been of minor importance in the state's economy; except for some gold, most are nonmetallic—cement, stone, clays, and sand and gravel.
In agriculture, tobacco and soybeans now rival cotton as South Carolina's chief crops. Broiler chickens and cattle are economically important, and peanuts, pecans, sweet potatoes, and peaches are grown in abundance. Fishing is a major commercial enterprise; the chief catches are blue crabs and shrimp. Military bases and nuclear facilities are important to the economy, and the tourist industry today ranks as the state's chief source of income.
South Carolina's legislature has a senate with 46 members and a house of representatives with 124 members. The state sends 2 senators and 6 representatives to the U.S. Congress and has 8 electoral votes. In the early 1970s the state's 1895 constitution was extensively revised. The executive branch is headed by a governor elected for a four-year term. From 1876 to 1975 all the state's governors were Democrats, and South Carolina was part of the "Solid South." More recently Republicans have moved into a position of equal power. David Beasley, a Republican, won the governorship in 1994 but was defeated in 1998 by Jim Hodges, a Democrat. In 2002, Hodges lost his own reelection bid to Republican Mark Sanford; Sanford was reelected in 2006.
Among South Carolina's institutions of higher education are The Citadel-The Military College of South Carolina and the College of Charleston, at Charleston; Clemson Univ., at Clemson; Furman Univ., at Greenville; South Carolina State College, at Orangeburg; and the Univ. of South Carolina, at Columbia.
At an unknown coastal site in the region that is now the Carolinas, what may have been the first European settlement in North America was founded (1526; not permanent) by an expedition under the Spanish explorer Lucas Vásquez de Ayllón. The Frenchman Jean Ribaut established (1562) a short-lived Huguenot settlement on Parris Island in Port Royal Sound, but French colonizing ambitions were thoroughly thwarted by Pedro Menéndez de Avilés. Spanish missions soon extended N from Florida almost to the site of present-day Charleston, and they remained until the arrival of the English.
Charles I asserted England's claim as early as 1629 by granting the territory from lat. 36°N to lat. 31°N (later named Carolina for Charles I) to Sir Robert Heath, but since no settlements were made Heath's charter was forfeited. In 1663, Charles II awarded the area to eight of his prominent supporters, the most active of whom was Anthony Ashley Cooper (Lord Ashley, later 1st earl of Shaftesbury).
The northern and southern sections of Carolina developed separately. The first permanent colony was established in 1670 at Albemarle Point under William Sayle. To govern it, John Locke and others wrote (at Lord Ashley's behest) the Fundamental Constitutions of Carolina (1669), which granted some popular rights but also retained feudal privileges and limitations. It was never ratified. The actual government consisted of a powerful council, half of which was appointed by the proprietors in England; a governor, also appointed by the proprietors; and a relatively weak assembly, elected by all freemen. In 1680 the colony moved across the river to Oyster Point, which was better suited for defense. There the colonists established their capital, called Charles Town (later Charleston), which was to become the chief center of culture and of wealth in the South.Life under Proprietary Rule
The 1680s saw the beginnings of prosperity. Wealthy colonists set up plantations worked by indentured servants and African and Native American slaves, while freemen (many of them former indentured servants) cultivated the 50 acres (20 hectares) of land granted them by the proprietors. On plantations and small farms alike, corn, livestock, and some cotton were raised at first, and tobacco was cultivated in plenitude. Rice, introduced c.1680, flourished in the marshy tidewater area and soon became the plantation staple. Forests yielded rich timber and naval stores. The fur trade (especially in deerskins) with the Creek and other tribes prospered. But conflict with the Spanish and French increased, and the encroachment of the two countries dramatized the proprietors' lack of concern and their inability to defend the distant colony. Popular antagonism to proprietary rule was spurred by the parceling of much of the land into a few large grants, by the quitrent system, and most importantly by the issue of religion.
Several religious groups had freely practiced their faith in the colony until the early 18th cent.; these included Anglicans, dissenters from Britain (see nonconformists), and French Huguenots. In 1704 the Anglicans, without opposition from the proprietors, managed to deprive the other groups of their religious liberty, and it was not until the English government took action (1706) that religious toleration was restored.South Carolina as a Royal Colony
The colony was divided into North and South Carolina in 1712. In 1715-16 the settlers were attacked by the Yamasee, who had become resentful of exploitation by the Carolina traders. The uprising was finally quelled after much loss of life and property. These attacks further revealed the lack of protection afforded by the proprietors, and in 1719 the colonists rebelled and received royal protection. The crown sent Francis Nicholson as provincial royal governor in 1720, and South Carolina formally became a royal colony in 1729, when the proprietors finally accepted terms.
Conditions for the colonists were now in many respects improved. Pirates such as Blackbeard who had infested the coast had been hanged or dispersed. In addition the founding (1733) of Georgia to the south provided a buffer against the Spanish. Loss of territory and some of the colony's fur trade to Georgia was more than compensated for when indigo, supported by British bounty, became (1740s) the colony's second staple. To counterbalance the vast number of African slaves transported to the colony for use as plantation labor, European immigration was encouraged. Germans and Swiss, arriving in the 1730s and 40s, and Scotch-Irish and other migrants from Virginia and Pennsylvania, arriving in the 60s, settled the colony's lower middle country and uplands.
Regional antipathies were generated by economic and social differences; the small, self-sufficient farmer of the up-country, demanding courts, roads, and defense against outlaws and the Cherokee, elicited little sympathy from the powerful plantation lords of lower Carolina. In the late 1760s discontent culminated in the formation of the Regulator movement. Finally the legislature gave in to some up-country demands, including the establishment of courts in the region.The Coming of Revolution
South Carolina's long friendship with the mother country was reflected in trade benefits the colony realized under the Navigation Acts and in protection provided to it by the strong British navy. However, public sentiment in the colony was transformed by the Stamp Act, the Townshend Acts, and by British political claims. South Carolinians—Christopher Gadsden, Henry Laurens, and Arthur Middleton—were leaders in the movement for independence, and in Mar., 1776, an independent government of South Carolina was set up with John Rutledge as president.
In the American Revolution the British failed to take Charleston in June, 1776 (see Fort Moultrie), but Sir Henry Clinton successfully besieged the town in 1780. In the ensuing Carolina campaign the British were ultimately forced to retreat, although they held Charleston until Dec., 1782. In 1786 the site of Columbia was chosen for the new capital; its central location mollified the up-country population. South Carolina ratified the federal Constitution in May, 1788, and replaced the royal charter with a state charter in 1790. Complete religious liberty was established and primogeniture was abolished, but property qualifications for voting and office holding was retained, ensuring planter control of the legislature.Pre-Civil War Discontent
The constitutional amendment known as the "compromise of 1808" somewhat alleviated the sectional antagonism by reapportioning representation. By this time, however, Eli Whitney's cotton gin had enabled cotton plantations to spread far into the up-country; thus the planters continued to dominate state policies. In the late 1820s cotton from the fertile western states glutted the market, and prosperity declined in South Carolina.
Discontent was aggravated by national tariff policies that were unfavorable to South Carolina's agrarian economy. In 1832 the state passed its nullification act, declaring the tariff laws null and void and not binding upon South Carolina citizens. President Andrew Jackson acted firmly for the Union in this crisis, and in 1833 South Carolina repealed its act. Tariff reform that same year brought relief, but the possibility of secession had been broached and was subsequently renewed in reaction to abolitionist attacks and further economic grievances. John C. Calhoun became the acknowledged leader of the whole South with his defense of the states' rights doctrine; his political philosophy was later to form the intellectual basis for the Confederacy. Some of the state's apologists for slavery, notably Robert B. Rhett, equaled the most radical abolitionists in their zeal.Civil War and Reconstruction
After Lincoln's election South Carolina was the first state to secede (Dec. 20, 1860) from the Union. Gov. Francis W. Pickens immediately demanded all federal property within the state, including Fort Sumter, which was held by Union men under Major Robert Anderson. The firing on Sumter by Confederate batteries on Apr. 12, 1861, precipitated the Civil War.
In Nov., 1861, a Union naval force under Samuel F. Du Pont took the forts of Port Royal Sound, but Charleston's forts withstood severe bombardments in 1863, and the state was saved from heavy military action until early in 1865. Then Gen. William T. Sherman, commanding the army that had marched through Georgia, crossed the Savannah River and advanced north through the state. Because South Carolina was viewed as the birthplace of secession, it was difficult to restrain many of the Union soldiers, and the deliberate devastation, culminating in the burning of Columbia, was appalling.
The Reconstruction period that followed the war was no less disastrous. South Carolina was selected for President Andrew Johnson's moderate program, but the program had only a brief trial before the radical Republicans took over. For a decade the state was ruled by carpetbaggers and scalawags, with the support of African-American votes. The constitution of 1868, which established universal male suffrage and ended property qualifications for office holding, gained the state readmittance (June, 1868) to the Union.
During the period from 1868 to 1874 accomplishments such as the building of schools and railroads were offset by waste and corruption in the state government and by high taxation. Many of these abuses were corrected by the honest administration of Gov. Daniel H. Chamberlain (1874-76), the state's last Republican governor until the late 20th cent. The Democratic party regained vitality in the late 1870s and South Carolina's politics were strongly Democratic after this period; not until the late 1960s did Republicans regain strength in both state and national elections.
South Carolina's war hero, Wade Hampton, was selected as the Democratic party's candidate for governor in 1876. The election was marked by irregular practices on both sides, and, although Hampton gained a majority, Chamberlain refused to accept defeat. Thus there existed two state governments until 1877, when President Rutherford B. Hayes removed all federal troops from the South, and Chamberlain, bereft of the support that had made Republican rule possible, withdrew. Hampton attempted moderation on race issues, but, despite his efforts, by 1882 the vast majority of blacks had lost the vote and white political supremacy was assured.The Decline of Agriculture and the Rise of Jim Crowism
The wartime destruction and the abolition of slavery had nearly ruined the state's basic agricultural economy. Although some vigorous planters and merchants managed to recoup their fortunes, farm tenancy (replacing the old plantation system) held most of the state's farmers in economic bondage. The Panic of 1873 was followed by two decades of agrarian hard times. The rice plantations, which had already begun to decline, were hardest hit.
Popular discontent was not ameliorated until the election (1890) of Benjamin Tillman, leader of the up-country farmers, as governor. Tillmanites wrested control of the Democratic party from the conservative element (the tidewater "Bourbon aristocracy"), reapportioned taxes and representation, expanded public education, and passed rudimentary labor reform laws. Reflecting another aspect of Tillman's policies, the constitution of 1895 initiated "Jim Crow laws" and adopted voting qualifications that excluded virtually all blacks from the crucial Democratic primaries. Renewed agrarian prosperity after 1900 was accompanied by political stagnation that lasted until the governorship (1914-18) of Richard I. Manning; progressive trends already evident in other parts of the country were now belatedly manifested in South Carolina in the passage of education and labor laws.
Agriculture again suffered a setback in the 1920s. Contributing factors were the destruction of the Sea Islands cotton crop by the boll weevil and the erosion of the land as a result of long adherence to the one-crop system. Industry, especially the textile industry (which had been increasing in importance since the Civil War), also suffered in the Great Depression of the 1930s. New Deal legislation and the state road-building program provided South Carolina with some relief. During World War I the position of African Americans had been improved through war work and service in the armed forces; however, in the 1920s the renewed power of the Ku Klux Klan had again brought oppression, and black migration began on a scale sufficient to bring the whites into the majority in the state by 1930.Voting Rights, Desegregation, and Economic Growth
World War II and the postwar period brought great changes. A state court decision in 1947 opened the Democratic primaries to African-American voters. Under the governorship (1951-55) of the nationally prominent James F. Byrnes, the poll tax was abolished as a voting requirement, steps were taken to curb Ku Klux Klan activities, and the educational system was greatly expanded. Integration of the schools after the 1954 U.S. Supreme Court decision met considerable opposition, but in 1963 South Carolinians accepted token integration of Clemson College without incident, and desegregation began in the Charleston schools. By 1970 all of the state's public school districts were technically in compliance with federal desegregation requirements. That year four African Americans were elected to the previously all-white state legislature.
In the 1970s and 80s, South Carolina experienced economic growth similar to other Sun Belt states. Low tax rates and a large nonunion workforce have attracted many firms from other states as well as foreign countries. In the 1990s job losses from the closing of naval facilities at North Charleston were largely offset by private undertakings, and the Greenville-Spartanburg area in the northwest was rapidly becoming home to new industries.
See J. G. Barrett, Sherman's March through the Carolinas (1956); E. M. Lander, A History of South Carolina, 1865-1960 (2d ed. 1970); D. D. Wallace, South Carolina: A Short History, 1520-1948 (1951, repr. 1984); M. Lane, Architecture of the Old South: South Carolina (1984); C. Kovacik and J. Winberry, South Carolina: A Geography (1986).
South Carolina is a state in the southern region (Deep South) of the United States of America. It borders Georgia to the south and North Carolina to the north. Originally part of the Province of Carolina, the Province of South Carolina was one of the 13 colonies that declared independence from the British Crown during the American Revolution. It was the first state to secede from the Union and was part of the Confederate States of America. The state is named after King Charles I, as Carolus is Latin for Charles. According to the 2006 estimate by the U.S. Census Bureau, the state's population is 4,321,249 ranked 24th.
South Carolina is composed of four geographic areas, whose boundaries roughly parallel the northeast/southwest Atlantic coastline. The lowest part of the state is the Coastal Zone, which is divided into three separate areas(The Grand Strand, Santee River Delta, and the Barrier Islands), The second part going inland is the Coastal Plains, often divided into the Outer and Inner Coastal Plains, is also known as the Lowcountry. The land above the plains is known as the sandhills, which used to be South Carolina's fall line. above that is the piedmont, which contains many major cities and is hilly. The last region is the Blue ridge, which is the smallest region. It is mountainous. The Lowcountry is nearly flat and composed entirely of recent sediments such as sand, silt, and clay. Areas with better drainage make excellent farmland, though some land is swampy. The coastline contains many salt marshes and estuaries, as well as natural ports such as Georgetown and Charleston. An unusual feature of the coastal plain is a large number of Carolina bays, the origins of which are uncertain, though one prominent theory suggests that they were created by a meteor shower. The bays tend to be oval, lining up in a northwest to southeast orientation.
|State Mottos:|| Dum spiro spero |
(While I breathe, I hope)
and Animis opibusque parati
(Prepared in Mind and Resources)
|State Songs:|| "Carolina" and |
"South Carolina On My Mind"
|State Tree:||Sabal palmetto|
|State Flower:||Yellow jessamine|
|State Bird:||Carolina Wren|
|State Wild Game Bird:||Wild Turkey|
|State Dog:||Boykin Spaniel|
|State Animal:||White-tailed deer|
|State Reptile:||Loggerhead Sea Turtle|
|State Fish:||Striped bass|
|State Insect:||Carolina Mantis|
|State Butterfly:||Eastern tiger swallowtail|
| State Hospitality |
|State Stone:||Blue granite|
|State Popular Music:||Beach music|
|State Snack:||Boiled peanuts|
|State Craft:||Sweetgrass Basket weaving|
Just west of the coastal plain is the Sandhills region, also known as the Midlands. This region of the state is thought to contain remnants of old coastal dunes from a time when the land was sunken or the oceans were higher.
The Piedmont (Upstate) region contains the roots of an ancient, eroded mountain chain. It is generally hilly, with thin, stony clay soils, and contains few areas suitable for farming. Much of the Piedmont was once farmed, with little success. It is now reforested. At the southeastern edge of the Piedmont is the fall line, where rivers drop to the coastal plain. The fall line was an important early source of water power. Mills built to harness this resource encouraged the growth of several cities, including the capital, Columbia. The larger rivers are navigable up to the fall line, providing a trade route for mill towns.
Highest in elevation is the Blue Ridge Region, containing an escarpment of the Blue Ridge Mountains, which continue into North Carolina and Georgia, as part of the southern Appalachian chain. Sassafras Mountain, South Carolina's highest point at 3,560 feet (1,085 m) is located in this area. Also located in the Upcountry is Table Rock State Park and Caesars Head State Park. The Chattooga River, located on the border between South Carolina and Georgia, is a favorite whitewater rafting destination.
Earthquakes do occasionally occur in South Carolina. The greatest frequency is in the extreme southeastern corner of the state, in the Charleston area. The greatest earthquake in South Carolina occurred in Charleston on September 1, 1886. A 7.2 magnitude earthquake killed 60 people and destroyed much of the city. A 2007 earthquake affected the state capital, Columbia. The earthquake was centered near Cayce. South Carolina averages 10-15 earthquakes a year below magnitude 3 (FEMA). Multiple strikes are known to occur. On September 22, 2006 a 3.5 magnitude earthquake occurred in Marlboro county (in the northeastern part of the state). On September 25, 2006 a second 3.7 magnitude earthquake struck less than 10 miles from the first. Many homes near the epicenter, had cracks and a few windows were broken. The 3.5 quake caused beds to slightly shake about 15 miles to the south of the epicenter according to geologist Brian Schnirel from the Leeway Corucia Research Center (Marlboro Shopper September 2006).
Snowfall in South Carolina is not excessive with coastal areas receiving less than an inch (2.5 cm) on average. It is not uncommon for areas on the coast (especially the southern coast) to receive no recordable snowfall in a given year, although it usually receives at least a small dusting of snow annually. The interior receives a little more snow, although nowhere in the state averages more than 6 inches (15 cm) of snow a year.
Freezing rain is in fact often more common in most of the state (except the extreme northwest corner of the state - the Upstate) than snowfall. Due to the common borderline freezing conditions, most bridges in South Carolina are marked -Bridge freezes before road. This is due to the heat from the ground keeping the road ice free longer than the surface of a bridge.
The state is prone to tropical cyclones. This is an annual concern during hurricane season, which is from June-November. The peak time of vulnerability for the southeast Atlantic coast is from early August to early October when the Cape Verde hurricane season lasts. Two memorable Category 4 hurricanes to hit South Carolina were Hazel (1954) and Hugo (1989). South Carolina averages around 50 days of thunderstorm activity a year, which is less than some of the states further south, and it is slightly less vulnerable to tornadoes than the states which border on the Gulf of Mexico. Still, some notable tornadoes have struck South Carolina and the state averages around 14 tornadoes annually. There have been no F-5 tornadoes but over a dozen F-4 tornadoes have occurred in many counties in South Carolina. An F-2 tornado (113-157 miles per hour) struck 8 miles SE of Blenheim in August 2004. This was a projection generated tornado from a feeder band from Hurricane Charley. This tornado uprooted a mature oak tree and ripped heavy Greek pillars from a home and placed one on top of the roof. Pine needles from an adjacent woods were stuck up and spun around in a solid cloud of needles. Roof shingles were torn off some homes. A Clayton Zone 3 (Hurricane resistance rating) rated mobile home held up with only roof shingle and skirting damage). As typical in a tornado, the skipping pattern produced results that some homes received little or no damage whereas, adjacent property was more heavily damaged. South Carolina's latitude often creates a situation, when the air is unstable, to have very warm air at the surface with very cold air aloft at the right height for significant hail formation. So as you can see this state has a relatively warm climate almost all year around.
|Monthly Normal High and Low Temperatures For Various South Carolina Cities|
The colony of Carolina was settled by English settlers, mostly from Barbados, sent by the Lords Proprietors in 1670, followed by French Huguenots. The original Carolina proprietors were aware of the threat posed by the French and Spanish presence to the south, whose Roman Catholic monarchies were enemies of England and English values. They needed to act swiftly to attract settlers. Therefore, they were one of the first colonies to grant liberty of religious practice in order to attract settlers who were Baptists, Quakers, Huguenots and Presbyterians. Jewish immigration was specifically encouraged in the Fundamental Constitutions, since Jews were seen as reliable citizens. The Jewish immigrants were fleeing the Spanish Inquisition, which was being perpetrated in the Spanish colonies in the New World. Most immigrants in the colonial period were African slaves, who constituted a majority of the colony's population throughout the period. The Carolina upcountry was settled largely by Scots-Irish migrants from Pennsylvania and Virginia, following the Great Wagon Road. The formal colony of "The Carolinas" split into two in 1712.
Between 1715–1717 the Yamasee War, between colonial South Carolina and several Indian tribes, was one of America’s bloodiest Indian Wars, which for over a year seriously threatened the continued existence of South Carolina. South Carolina became a crown colony in 1719. The state declared its independence from Great Britain and set up its own government on March 15, 1776. On February 5, 1778, South Carolina became the first state to ratify the first constitution of the United States - the Articles of Confederation. The current United States Constitution was proposed for adoption by the States on September 17, 1787, and South Carolina was the 8th state to ratify it, on May 23, 1788.
The American Revolution caused a shock to slavery in the South. Tens of thousands of slaves escaped to British lines and fought with them and Loyalist troops; others secured their freedom by escaping. Estimates are that 25,000 slaves (30% of those in South Carolina) fled, migrated or died during the disruption of the war.
South Carolina politics between 1783 and 1795 were marred by rivalry between a Federalist Elite supporting the central government in Philadelphia and a large proportion of common people, often members of 'Republican Societies', supporting the Republican-Democrats headed by Jefferson and Madison who wanted more democracy in the US especially in South Carolina. Most people also supported the onset of the French Revolution (1789-1795) as anti-British feelings were still running high after the devastation of the war during the American Revolution and Charleston was the most French-influenced city in the USA after New Orleans. Leading South Carolina figures such as Pinckney and Governor Moultrie backed with money and actions the plans of the French to further their political, strategic, and commercial goals in North America. This pro-French stance and attitude of South Carolina ended soon due to the XYZ Affair.
South Carolina was the first state to secede from the Union on December 20, 1860. On April 12, 1861, Confederate batteries began shelling Fort Sumter and the American Civil War began. Charleston was effectively blockaded and the Union Navy seized the Sea Islands, driving off the plantation owners and setting up an experiment in freedom for the ex-slaves. South Carolina troops participated in the major Confederate campaigns, but no major battles were fought inland. General William Tecumseh Sherman marched through the state in early 1865, destroying numerous plantations, and captured the state capital of Columbia on February 17. Fires began that night and by next morning, most of the central city was destroyed.
After the war, South Carolina was reincorporated into the United States during Reconstruction. Under presidential Reconstruction (1865-66), freedmen (former slaves) were given limited rights. Under Radical reconstruction (1867-1877), a Republican coalition of freedmen, carpetbaggers and scalawags was in control, supported by Union army forces. The withdrawal of Union soldiers as part of the Compromise of 1877 ended Reconstruction. Whites used paramilitary groups such as the Red Shirts to intimidate and terrorize black voters, and regained political control under conservative white "Redeemers" and pro-business Bourbon Democrats.
The state became a hotbed of racial and economic tensions during the Populist and Agrarian movements of the 1890s. With the new constitution of 1895, almost all blacks and many poor whites were effectively disfranchised by new requirements for poll taxes and literacy tests. By 1896 only 5,500 black voters remained on the registration rolls. The 1900 census demonstrated the extent of disfranchisement: African Americans comprised more than 58% of the state's population, with a total of 782,509 citizens essentially without any political representation. "Pitchfork Ben Tillman" controlled state politics from the 1890s to 1910 with a base among poor white farmers.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, as of 2006, South Carolina has an estimated population of 4,321,249, which is an increase of 74,316, or 1.7%, from the prior year and an increase of 309,237, or 7.7%, since the year 2000. This includes a natural increase since the last census of 97,715 people (that is 295,425 births minus 197,710 deaths) and an increase due to net migration of 151,485 people into the state. Immigration from outside the United States resulted in a net increase of 36,401 people, and migration within the country produced a net increase of 115,084 people. Based on the 2000 Census South Carolina was ranked 21st in population density with just over 133 persons per sq. mi.
According to the University of South Carolina's Arnold School of Public Health, Consortium for Latino Immigration Studies, South Carolina's foreign-born population grew faster than any other state between 2000-2005. The Consortium reports that the number of Hispanics in South Carolina is greatly undercounted by census enumerators and may be more than 400,000.
The five largest ancestry groups in South Carolina are African American (29.5%), American (13.9%), English (8.4%), German (8.4%) and Irish (7.9%). For most of South Carolina's history, African slaves, and then their descendants, made up a majority of the state's population. Whites became a majority in the early 20th century, when tens of thousands of blacks moved north in the Great Migration. Most of the African-American population lives in the Lowcountry (especially the inland Lowcountry) and the Midlands; areas where cotton, rice, and indigo plantations once dominated the landscape. 6.6% of South Carolina's population were reported as under 5 years old, 25.2% under 18, and 12.1% were 65 or older. Females made up approximately 51.4% of the population in 2000.
|County||Seat||2007 Population||2010 Projection|
Columbia, Charleston, and Greenville all area have "urbanized area" populations of around 400-420,000, while their metro area populations are all over 700,000. If Greenville-Spartanburg is considered one metro, as it was in the past before being split, its population is over 1 million. Similarly, Columbia's MSA population would top 1 million if the Sumter Metropolitan and Orangeburg Micropolitan areas were added.
Sephardic Jews have lived in the state for more than 300 years, especially in and around Charleston Until about 1830, South Carolina had the largest population of Jews in North America. Many of South Carolina's Jews have assimilated into Christian society, shrinking Judaism down to less than 1% of the total religious makeup. In addition, Roman Catholicism is growing in South Carolina due to immigration from the North.
As of 2004, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, South Carolina's gross state product was $136 billion. As of 2000, the per capita income was $24,000, which was 81% of the national average.
Major agricultural outputs of the state are: tobacco, poultry, cattle, dairy products, soybeans, and hogs. Industrial outputs include: textile goods, chemical products, paper products, machinery, automobiles and automotive products and tourism.
The state sales tax is 6% for non-grocery goods and no tax for grocery goods. Counties have the option to impose an additional 2% sales tax. Citizens 85 or older get a one-percent exclusion from the state's sales tax. Property tax is administered and collected by local governments with assistance from the South Carolina Department of Revenue. Both real and personal property are subject to tax. Approximately two-thirds of county-levied property taxes are used for the support of public education. Sales tax on groceries has been eliminated. Municipalities levy a tax on property situated within the limits of the municipality for services provided by the municipality. The tax is paid by individuals, corporations and partnerships owning property within the state. South Carolina imposes a casual excise tax of 5% on the fair market value of all motor vehicles, motorcycles, boats, motors and airplanes transferred between individuals. The maximum casual excise tax is $300. In South Carolina, intangible personal property is exempt from taxation. There is no inheritance tax.
Even though the State of South Carolina does not allow legalized casino gambling, it did allow the operation of video poker machines throughout the state with approximately $2 billion dollars per year deposited into the state's coffers. However, at midnight on July 1, 2000 a new law took effect which outlawed the operation, ownership and possession of video poker machines in the state with machines required to be shut off at that time and removed from within the state's borders by July 8 or owners of such machines would face criminal prosecution.
Driving in South Carolina involves being alert to the widespread speed traps. Due to numerous municipalities with low incomes and poor tax rates, speed traps have become an established means of generating revenue for many of the small towns throughout the state. A prime example of this is Denmark, South Carolina, where, due to the very low household income (close to three times less than that of the overall U.S. household average income)the Denmark government has resorted to using at least one speed trap to produce revenue. A documented one is located on State Highway 70 near Wisteria Street. Leaving town, the 30 mph through-town speed limit changes to 45 on an uphill curve (conversely, entering town from the 45 mph highway speed, it abruptly changes to 30 mph on a downhill curve) with no notice or warning. As little as a few miles above speed limit earns a ticket.
The leader of the executive branch is the governor. The governor is elected for a four-year term and may serve two consecutive terms. The current governor is Republican Mark Sanford. Governor Sanford was elected in 2002 and re-elected in 2006.
South Carolina has historically had a weak executive branch. Before 1865, governors in South Carolina were appointed by the General Assembly, and held the title "President of State." The 1865 Constitution changed this process, requiring a popular election. In 1926 the governor's term was changed to four years, and in 1982 governors were allowed to run for a second term. In 1993 a limited cabinet was created, all of which must be popularly elected.
The Constitution requires that the governor, lieutenant governor, and most cabinet-level executive officers be elected separately. Other elected positions include the Adjutant General, Attorney General, Commissioner of Agriculture, Comptroller General, Secretary of State, State Treasurer, and Superintendent of Education. Each officer is elected at the same time as the Governor. The separately elected positions allow for the possibility of multiple parties to be represented in the executive branch. The Governor's Cabinet also contains several appointed positions. In most cases, persons who fill cabinet-level positions are recommended by the governor and appointed by the Senate.
The Circuit Court is the general jurisdiction court for South Carolina. It comprises the Civil Court, the Court of Common Pleas, and the Court of General Sessions, which is the criminal court. The court maintains limited appellate jurisdiction over the Probate Court, Magistrate's Court, Municipal Court, and the Administrative Law Judge Division. The state has sixteen judicial circuits, each with at least one resident circuit judge.
The Court of Appeals handles Circuit Court and Family Court appeals, excepting appeals that are within the seven classes of exclusive Supreme Court jurisdiction. The Court of Appeals is selected by the General Assembly for staggered, six-year terms. The court comprises a chief judge, and eight associate judges, and may hear cases as the whole court, or as three panels with three judges each. The court may preside in any county.
The Supreme Court is South Carolina's highest court. The Chief Justice and four Associate Justices are elected to ten year terms by the General Assembly. Terms are staggered, and there are no limits on the number of terms a justice may serve, but there is a mandatory retirement age of 72. The overwhelming majority of vacancies on the Court occur when Justices reach this age, not through the refusal of the General Assembly to elect a sitting Justice to another term.
Since 1895, there have been many calls for a new Constitution, one that is not based on the politics of a post-Civil War population. The most recent call for reformation was by Governor Mark Sanford in his 2008 State of the State speech. Several hundred amendments have been made to the 1895 Constitution (in 1966 there were 330 amendments). Amendments have been created to comply with Federal acts, and for many other issues. The most recent was in 1988. The volume of amendments makes South Carolina's Constitution one of the longest in the nation.
A district map is found here.
South Carolina hosts a diverse cohort of institutions of higher education, from large state-funded research universities to small colleges that cultivate a liberal arts, religious or military tradition.
Founded in 1770 and chartered in 1785, the College of Charleston (C of C) is the oldest institution of higher learning in South Carolina, the 13th oldest in the United States, and the first municipal college in the country. The College is in company with the Colonial Colleges as one the original and foundational institutions of higher education in the United States. Its founders include three signers of the United States Declaration of Independence and three signers of the United States Constitution. The College's historic campus, which is listed on the U.S. Department of the Interior's National Register of Historic Places, forms an integral part of Charleston's colonial-era urban center. As one of the leading institutions of higher education in its class in the Southeastern United States, the College of Charleston is celebrated nationally for its focus on undergraduate education with strengths in Marine Biology, Classics, Art History and Historic Preservation. The Graduate School of the College of Charleston, offers a number of degree programs and coordinates support for its nationally recognized faculty research efforts. According to the Princeton Review, C of C is one of the nation's best institutions for undergraduate education and U.S. News and World Report regularly ranks C of C among the best masters level universities in the South. C of C presently enrolls approximately 10,000 undergraduates and 2,000 graduate students.
The University of South Carolina (USC) is a public, co-educational, research university located in Columbia. The University's campus covers over in the urban core less than one city block from the South Carolina State House. The University of South Carolina maintains an enrollment of over 26,000 students on the Columbia campus. The institution was founded in 1801 as South Carolina College in an effort to promote harmony between the Lowcountry and the Upstate. The College became a symbol of the South in the antebellum period as its graduates were on the forefront of secession from the Union. From the Civil War to World War II, the institution lacked a clear direction and was constantly reorganized to meet the needs of the political power in office. In 1957, the University expanded its reach through the University of South Carolina System.
Furman University is a private, coeducational, non-sectarian, liberal arts university in Greenville, South Carolina. Founded in 1826, Furman enrolls approximately 2,600 undergraduate and 500 graduate students. Furman is the oldest and largest private institution in South Carolina. The university is primarily focused on undergraduate education (only two departments, education and chemistry, offer graduate degrees).
The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina, is a state-supported, comprehensive college located in Charleston, South Carolina. Founded in 1842, the college is best known for its undergraduate Corps of Cadets military program for men and women, which combines academics, physical challenges and military discipline. In addition to the cadet program, civilian programs are offered through the Citadel's College of Graduate and Professional Studies with its evening undergraduate and graduate programs. The Citadel enrolls almost 2,000 undergraduate cadets in its residential military program and 1,200 civilian students in the evening programs.
Wofford College is a small liberal arts college located in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Wofford was founded in 1854 with a bequest of $100,000 from the Rev. Benjamin Wofford (1780–1850), a Methodist minister and Spartanburg native who sought to create a college for "literary, classical, and scientific education in my native district of Spartanburg." Wofford is one of the few four-year institutions in the southeastern United States founded before the American Civil War and still operating on its original campus.
Presbyterian College is a private liberal arts college founded in 1880 in Clinton, South Carolina, USA. Presbyterian College, or PC, is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church USA, and enrolls around 1300 undergraduate students. In 2007, Washington Monthly ranked PC as the #1 Liberal Arts College in the nation.
Clemson University, founded in 1889 is a public, coeducational, land-grant research university located in Clemson, South Carolina. Clemson The University currently enrolls more than 17,000 students from all 50 states and from more than 70 countries. Clemson is currently in the process of expanding, by adding the CU-ICAR, or the Center for Automotive Research, in partnership with BMW and Michelin. The facility will offer an M.S. and Ph.D in Automotive Engineering. Clemson is also the home to the South Carolina Botanical Gardens.
South Carolina State University, founded in 1896, is an historically Black university located in Orangeburg, SC. It is the only state-supported land grant institution in the state of South Carolina. SCSU has a current enrollment of nearly 5,000, and offers undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate degrees. SCSU boasts the only Doctor of Education program in the state of South Carolina
Anderson University, founded in 1911 is a selective comprehensive university located in Anderson, offering bachelors and masters degrees in approximately 50 areas of study. Anderson University currently enrolls around 1800 undergraduate students.
College sports in particular are very big in South Carolina. Clemson University's Tigers and the University of South Carolina's Gamecocks regularly draw more than 80,000 spectators at the schools' home football games. Smaller universities located in South Carolina also have very competitive sports programs, including The Citadel, Coastal Carolina, College of Charleston, Francis Marion, Furman, Anderson University, North Greenville University, Presbyterian College, Lander University, SC State, Southern Wesleyan University, Spartanburg Methodist College, USC Upstate, Winthrop, Wofford.
NASCAR racing was born in the South, and South Carolina has in the past hosted some very important NASCAR races, mainly at the Darlington Raceway. Darlington Raceway still has the one NASCAR race weekend, usually Mother's Day weekend. All four of NASCAR's series come to Darlington including Feather light, Craftsman Trucks, Busch Cars, and NEXTEL Cup cars.
South Carolina is known as a golfing paradise. Myrtle Beach/Grand Strand has more than a hundred golf courses. Myrtle Beach has more public golf courses per capita than any other place in the country. Some have hosted PGA and LGPA events in the past, but most have been designed for the casual golfer. Hilton Head Island & Kiawah Island have several very nice golf courses and host professional events every year. The upstate of South Carolina also has many nice golf courses, most of the nicer courses are private including the Cliff's courses and Cross Creek Plantation (the Cliff's courses host the annual BMW PRO/AM that brings many celebrities and professionals to South Carolina. Cross Creek Plantation located in Seneca, also private hosted a PGA Qualifier in the 90's). Oconee Country Club also in Seneca, is an extremely nice course, very well-kept, and is open to the public. In 2007, "The Ocean Course" On Kiawah Island was ranked #1 in Golf Digest Magazine's "America's 50 Toughest Golf Courses" and #38 on their "America's 100 Greatest Golf Courses".
Watersports are also an extremely popular activity in South Carolina. With a large coast line, South Carolina has many different beach activities such as surfing, boogie boarding, deep sea fishing, and shrimping. The Pee Dee region of the state offers exceptional fishing. Some of the largest catfish ever caught were caught in the Santee Lakes. The Upstate of South Carolina also offers outstanding water activities. The Midlands region also offers water-based recreation revolving around Lakes Marion and Murray and such rivers as the Congaree, Saluda, Broad, and Edisto.
Professional bass fishing tournaments are also found in South Carolina. Lake Hartwell and Lake Murray both host Bassmaster Classic tournaments.
While there are no dry counties in South Carolina, and retail liquor sales are uniform statewide, certain counties may enforce time restrictions for beer and wine sales in stores (e.g., no sales after 2 a.m. in Pickens County) while others do not (in-store beer and wine sales are allowed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in Charleston). Columbia, the state's capital, largest city, and the home of the University of South Carolina, takes one of the more relaxed stances on alcohol sales in bars compared to other cities in the state. Many bars, especially those catering to younger crowds in the busy Five Points district, serve alcohol until sunrise, and it is not unheard of for bars and clubs to serve alcohol until 7 or 8 a.m., although the legality of this practice is questionable. In Greenville city limits, it is illegal to serve alcohol after 2 a.m. at bars and restaurants unless the establishment continues to serve food. There are a few bars that take advantage of this loophole.
Before 2006, South Carolina was infamous amongst tourists and residents alike for being the last state in the nation to require cocktails and liquor drinks to be mixed using minibottles, like those found on airplanes, instead of from free-pour bottles. The original logic behind this law was twofold: it made alcohol taxation simpler and allowed bar patrons to receive a standardized amount of alcohol in each drink. However, minibottles contain 1.75 oz (52 ml) of alcohol, approximately 30% more than the typical 1.2 oz (35 ml) found in free-pour drinks, with the obvious result of overly strong cocktails and inebriated bar customers. The law was changed in 2006 to allow both free-pour and minibottles in bars, and the vast majority of bars quickly eschewed minibottles in favor of free-pour.