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South Carolina

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.

Geography

South Carolina is bordered to the north by North Carolina; to the south and west by Georgia, located across the Savannah River; and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean.

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.

Palmetto State
State Capital: Columbia
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 Amphibian: Salamander
State Fish: Striped bass
State Insect: Carolina Mantis
State Butterfly: Eastern tiger swallowtail
State Fruit: Peach
State Beverage: Milk
State Hospitality
Beverage
:
Tea
State Gemstone: Amethyst
State Stone: Blue granite
State Popular Music: Beach music
State Dance: Shag
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.

The northwestern part of the Piedmont is also known as the Foothills. The Cherokee Parkway is a scenic driving route through this area. This is where Table Rock State Park is located.

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).

Lakes

South Carolina has several major lakes covering over 683 square miles, or . The following are the lakes listed by size.

Climate

South Carolina has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate classification Cfa), although high elevation areas in the "Upstate" area have less subtropical characteristics than areas on the Atlantic coastline. In the summer, South Carolina is hot and humid with daytime temperatures averaging between 86-103 °F (30-40 °C) in most of the state and overnight lows over 80 °F (26-27 °C) on the coast and in the high 70s°F (mid 20s°C) further inland. Winter temperatures are much less uniform in South Carolina. Coastal areas of the state have very mild winters with high temperatures approaching an average of 60 °F (16 °C) and overnight lows in the 40s°F (5-8 °C). Further inland, the average January overnight low is around 35 °F (2 °C) in Columbia and just below freezing in the Upstate. While precipitation is abundant the entire year in almost the entire state, the coast tends to have a slightly wetter summer, while inland March tends to be the wettest month.

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
City Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Charleston 59/37 62/39 69/46 76/52 83/61 88/68 91/72 89/72 85/67 77/55 70/46 62/39
Columbia 55/34 60/36 67/44 76/51 83/60 89/68 92/72 90/71 85/65 76/52 67/43 58/36
Greenville 50/31 55/34 63/40 71/47 78/56 85/64 89/69 87/68 81/62 71/50 61/41 53/34

History

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.

20th century

Early in the 20th century, South Carolina developed a thriving textile industry. By 2007, textile employment had dropped significantly. The state also converted its agricultural base from cotton to more profitable crops, attracted large military bases, created tourism industries. Most recently, the state has attracted European manufacturers.

Demographics

South Carolina's center of population is located in Richland County, in the city of Columbia

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.

Most-populated counties

South Carolina Office of Research & Statistics (Projection) Census Bureau(Estimates)
County Seat 2007 Population 2010 Projection
Greenville Greenville 428,243 431,630
Richland Columbia 357,734 354,380
Charleston Charleston 342,973 339,140
Spartanburg Spartanburg 275,534 300,500
Horry Conway 249,925 251,390
Lexington Lexington 243,270 254,920
York York 208,827 233,568

Major cities

Largest Cities (estimates)

Largest City Areas

South Carolina's cities are actually much bigger than their city population counts suggest. South Carolina law makes it difficult to annex unincorported areas into the city limits, so city proper populations look smaller than they actually are. For example, Spartanburg and Myrtle Beach have populations over 180,000, and their metropolitan areas are much larger. Anderson city population is smaller than Sumter, but the Anderson area is much larger. The Sumter area population is under 100,000, but Andersons is over 120,000, while Anderson counties population is nearing 200,000.

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.

Religion

South Carolina, like most other Southern states, has a Protestant Christian majority, and a lower percentage of non-religious people than the national average. The religious affiliations of the people of South Carolina are as follows:

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.

Economy

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.

Transportation

Major highways

Major interstate highways passing through the state include: I-20 which runs from Florence in the east through Columbia to the southwestern border near Aiken; I-26 which runs from Charleston in the southeast through Columbia to Spartanburg and the northern border in Spartanburg County; I-77 which runs from York County in the north to Columbia; I-85 which runs from Cherokee County in the north through Spartanburg and Greenville to the southwestern border in Oconee County; I-385 which runs from Greenville and intersects with I-26 near Clinton; and I-95 which runs from the northeastern border in Dillon County to Florence and on to the southern border in Jasper County.

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.

Rail

Amtrak operates four passenger routes in South Carolina: the Crescent, the Palmetto, the Silver Meteor, and the Silver Star. The Crescent route serves the Upstate cities, the Silver Star serves the Midlands cities, and the Palmetto and Silver Meteor routes serve the Lowcountry cities.

Station stops

Station Connections
Camden
Charleston
Columbia

Clemson
Dillon
Denmark
Florence
Greenville
Kingstree
Spartanburg
Yemassee

Major and regional airports

There are six significant airports in South Carolina, all of which act at regional airport hubs. The busiest by passenger volume is Charleston International Airport. Just across the border in North Carolina is Charlotte/Douglas International Airport, the 30th busiest airport in the world, in terms of passengers.

Government and politics

South Carolina's state government consists of the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches. The bicameral South Carolina General Assembly consists of the 46-member Senate and the 124-member House of Representatives. The two bodies meet in the South Carolina State House. The Judicial Branch consists of the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals, the Circuit Court, Family Court, and other divisions.

Executive branch

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.

Legislative branch

South Carolina has historically operated a weak executive which is countered by a strong, bi-cameral legislative branch known as the General Assembly. The General Assembly is composed of two branches, the House of Representatives and the Senate. There are 124 House members who serve two-year terms, and there are 46 Senators serve who four-year terms.

Judicial branch

The Family Court deals with all matters of domestic and family relationships, as well as generally maintaining exclusive jurisdiction over cases involving minors under the age of seventeen, excepting traffic and game law violations. Some criminal charges may come under Circuit Court jurisdiction.

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.

South Carolina Constitution

South Carolina has had seven constitutions:

  • 1776 - SC's first constitution
  • 1778 - Disestablished the Anglican Church, created a popularly elected upper house
  • 1790 - Expanded upcountry representation, further established General Assembly control over all aspects of government
  • 1861 - Confederate constitution
  • 1865 - Required to be readmitted to the Union, abolished property owning qualifications to vote, created popularly elected governor and granted veto power
  • 1868 - Only constitution to be ratified by popular vote, provided for public education, abolished property ownership as a qualification for office holding, created counties, race abolished as limit on male suffrage
  • 1895 - established attempts to disenfranchise black voters such as the option for poll taxes, literacy tests, etc

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.

Other laws

  • The South Carolina Constitution contains provisions which, when compared to the Constitutions of other States, are unusual. For example, a constitutional amendment must be approved by two-thirds of each house of the legislature, approved by the people in an election, and then ratified by a majority of each house of the legislature. If the legislature fails to ratify it, the amendment does not take effect, even though it has been approved by the people. See S.C. Const. art. XVI, s. 1.
  • Prior to April 15, 1949, Article XVII, Section 3, of the South Carolina Constitution prohibited divorce for any reason. Since that date, South Carolina permits divorce for certain reasons. It is believed that South Carolina is the only State in the Union that lists the grounds for divorce in its Constitution. The effect of doing so is that the Legislature is prohibited from creating additional grounds for divorce beyond those specified in the South Carolina Constitution. See S.C. Const. art. XVII, Section 3.
  • Due to extremely strict annexation laws passed by the General Assembly in 1976, incorporated municipalities in South Carolina are usually much smaller in area and population than those elsewhere in the fast-growing Southeast. However, when a South Carolina city's proximal suburbs that would otherwise be annexed into their city limits are blended in with its core population, they exhibit similar sizes and rates of growth as many municipalities in neighboring states, such as Georgia and North Carolina. This takes many first-time visitors to South Carolina's main cities by surprise, as many are expecting much less urbanization in what has historically been thought of as an almost completely rural state.

Law enforcement agencies

Federal representation

Like most Southern states, South Carolina consistently voted Democratic in the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century as a part of the Democrats' Solid South. The Republican Party became competitive in the 1960 presidential election when Richard Nixon lost the state to John F. Kennedy by just two percentage points. In 1964, Barry Goldwater became the first Republican to win the state since Reconstruction. Since then, South Carolina has voted for a Republican in every presidential election from 1964 to 2004, with the exception of 1976 when Jimmy Carter, from neighboring Georgia, won the state over Gerald Ford. George W. Bush won the state in 2004 with 58% of the statewide vote over Senator John Kerry. Republicans now hold the governor's office and eight of nine statewide offices, control both houses of legislature, and include both U.S. Senators, and four of six members of the U.S. House of Representatives. Every presidential election year, the South Carolina primary is the first such primary in the South and holds importance to both the Republicans and the Democrats. The primary is important to the Republicans because it is a conservative testing ground, and it holds importance to the Democrats because of the large proportion of African-Americans that vote in that primary. From 1980 to 2008 the winner in the Republican primary has gone on to become the party nominee.

US Senate

In the 110th United States Congress, the South Carolina delegation to the U.S. Senate are:

US House of Representatives

South Carolina currently has six representatives in Congress:

A district map is found here.

Education

Institutions of higher education

(In order of foundation date)

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.

Sports in South Carolina

South Carolina has no major professional franchise of the NFL, NHL, NBA, or MLB located in the state; however the NFL's Carolina Panthers (based in Charlotte, North Carolina), and the NHL's Carolina Hurricanes (based in Raleigh, North Carolina) represent both North and South Carolina. In addition, the Panthers played their first season in Clemson, and maintain training facilities near Wofford College in Spartanburg. There are numerous minor league teams that are either based in the state, or play much of their schedule within its borders. The highest level of minor league sports played in South Carolina is the USL Division 1 Soccer team, the Charleston Battery. The team plays in the soccer-specific Blackbaud Stadium, located on Daniel Island in Charleston. Currently, only Greenville, Myrtle Beach, and Charleston still boast any other level (in each case single-A) of professional baseball. Curiously enough, for a state where natural ice is a rarity, professional ice hockey has been popular in a number of areas of the state since the 1990s. Though 4 teams competed at one time in South Carolina, the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) currently oversees operations of only two franchises, one, the Columbia Inferno, the other, the South Carolina Stingrays (who play in Charleston). According to the league, however, Myrtle Beach is slated to receive a franchise when their new arena is completed in 2008/9.

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.

While there are no race tracks with betting in South Carolina there is significant horse training activity, particularly in Aiken and Camden, which hold steeplechase races.

Professional bass fishing tournaments are also found in South Carolina. Lake Hartwell and Lake Murray both host Bassmaster Classic tournaments.

National Parks

National Monuments

Miscellaneous topics

Famous people from South Carolina

Some of the most influential individuals in American life from South Carolina include:

Alcohol laws

Prohibition was a major issue in the state's history. Voters endorsed prohibition in 1892 but instead were given the "Dispensary System" of state-owned liquor stores, They soon became symbols of political corruption controlled by Ben Tillman's machine and were shut down in 1907. Today, the retail sale of liquor statewide is permitted from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. Monday - Saturday, and Sunday sales are banned by state law. However counties and/or cities may hold referendums to allow Sunday sales of beer and wine only. Six counties currently allow Sunday beer and wine sales; Richland, Lexington, Georgetown, Charleston, Beaufort and Horry. Cities and towns that have passed laws allowing Sunday beer and wine sales include Columbia, Spartanburg, Greenville, Aiken, Rock Hill, Summerville, Santee, Daniel Island and Tega Cay.

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.

Indoor Smoking Laws

  • No statewide smoking ban. On March 31, 2008, the South Carolina Supreme Court ruled that cities, counties, and towns may enact smoking bans which are more stringent than state law.
  • Beaufort County, banned in all workplaces, including restaurants and bars, within unincorporated areas of Beaufort County. January 10, 2007.
  • Bluffton, banned in all workplaces, including restaurants and bars. January 10, 2007.
  • Charleston, July 23, 2007, prohibited in all restaurants, bars, and workplaces. Cigar bars, theatrical performances involving smoking, and 25% of designated hotel and motel smoking rooms are exempt.
  • Clemson, July 1, 2008, banned in all enclosed workplaces, including bars and restaurants
  • Columbia, July 1, 2008, banned in all workplaces, except for bars where 85% of revenue comes from the sale of alcohol.
  • Greenville, January 1, 2007, banned in all workplaces, restaurants, and bars.
  • Hilton Head Island, Indoor smoking ban in restaurants, bars, and public places will take effect May 1, 2007.
  • Mount Pleasant, September 1, 2007, banned in all restaurants, bars, workplaces, and private clubs.
  • North Charleston, May 14, 2008, rejected a ban on smoking in enclosed workplaces.
  • Sullivan's Island, effective July 20, 2006, a ban on smoking in workplaces, including restaurants and bars. Upheld by the Charleston County Court of Common Pleas on December 20, 2006.

South Carolina singularities

  • Adjutant general: The head of the state's national guard, the adjutant general, is a statewide elected official.
  • Driving Under the Influence: South Carolina is the only state in the nation with mandatory videotaping by the arresting officer of the DUI arrest and breath test.
  • Fire Safety Regulations: South Carolina is the only state that allows fire officials to sidestep a federal regulation requiring that for every employee doing hazardous work inside a building, one must be outside.
  • School Buses: South Carolina is the only state in the nation that owns and operates its own school bus fleet.
  • Strokes: South Carolina has the highest rate of stroke deaths in the nation.
  • Black Water River: With the Edisto River, South Carolina has the longest completely undammed / unleveed blackwater river in North America.
  • Outdoor Sculpture: South Carolina is home to the world's largest collection of outdoor sculpture located at Brookgreen Gardens.
  • Landscaped Gardens: South Carolina is home to the oldest landscaped gardens in the United States, at Middleton Place near Charleston.

South Carolina firsts

  • First European settlement in South Carolina in 1526 near Georgetown settled by Spanish explorer Lucas Vasquez de Ayllon named San Miguel de Gualdape
  • First permanent English settlement in South Carolina established at Albemarle Point in Charleston in 1670
  • First indigo planted, 1671
  • First free library established - Charleston, 1698
  • First mutual fire insurance company - Friendly Society for the Mutual Insurance of Houses against Fire, 1735
  • First opera performed in America - Charleston, February 18, 1735
  • First building to be used solely as a theatre - Dock Street Theatre in Charleston, constructed in 1736
  • First slave insurrection - Stono area near Charleston, 1739
  • First Jewish synagogue in South Carolina (Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim) - Charleston, 1750
  • First cotton exported to England, 1764
  • First Black Baptist Church established, Silver Bluff, 1773
  • The Charleston Chamber of Commerce was the first city Chamber of Commerce in this country - 1773
  • First public museum - Charleston Museum, organized January 12, 1773
  • First business publication - South Carolina Price Current in Charleston, 1774
  • The first time a British flag was taken down and replaced by an American flag was in Charleston in 1775
  • First independent government formed among American colonies, March 1776
  • Golf was first played in the city limits of Charleston. The South Carolina Golf Club was formed in 1786 - this was the first golf club.
  • First cotton mill built - James Island, 1789
  • First tea planted - Middleton Barony, 1802
  • First fireproof building built - Charleston, 1822
  • First steam locomotive built in the United States to be used for regular railroad service - "Best Friend of Charleston," 1830.
  • First municipal college - College of Charleston, opened April 1, 1838
  • First state to secede from the Union, December 20, 1860.
  • First shot fired in Civil War on Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor, April 12, 1861.
  • First Medal of Honor awarded to a Black recipient - W. H.Carney (Army), July 18, 1863.
  • The first submarine ever to sink an enemy ship was the H.L. Hunley used by the Confederates on February 17, 1864 in Charleston Harbor against the U.S.S. Housatonic.
  • First Black Associate Justice of a state supreme court - J. J. Wright, February 2, 1870
  • The first state intercollegiate football game took place on December 14, 1889 with Wofford defeating Furman
  • First commercial tea farm - Summerville, 1890
  • First black woman to practice medicine in the state was Dr. Matilda Arabelle Evans in 1897
  • First textile school established in a college - Clemson, 1899
  • The first car was manufactured in Rock Hill by John Gary Anderson in January 1916
  • First woman lawyer in South Carolina - Miss James M. Perry of Greenville was admitted to practice on May 4, 1918
  • First national historic preservation ordinance passed by Charleston city council on October 13, 1931
  • First television station WCSC broadcast from Charleston June 13, 1953
  • First U.S. Senator elected by a write-in vote - Strom Thurmond, November 2, 1954
  • First nuclear power plant dedicated at Parr Shoals on October 24, 1963
  • First Spoleto Festival held in Charleston May 1977
  • First black federal judge in South Carolina's history - Matthew J. Perry - appointed September 22, 1979
  • First governor Richard Riley elected November 6, 1984 to serve two consecutive four-year terms
  • Jean Toal - the first woman elected to state supreme court in 1988 and later elected chief justice in 2000

Sister States

See also

References

Further reading

Textbooks and surveys

  • Bass, Jack. Porgy Comes Home: South Carolina After 300 Years,. Sandlapper, 1970.
  • Edgar, Walter. South Carolina: A History, University of South Carolina Press, 1998. ISBN 1-57003-255-6
  • Edgar, Walter, ed. The South Carolina Encyclopedia, University of South Carolina Press, 2006. ISBN 1-57003-598-2
  • George C. Rogers Jr. and C. James Taylor. A South Carolina Chronology, 1497-1992, 2nd Ed.,. University of South Carolina Press, Columbia, SC, 1994. ISBN 0-87249-971-5
  • Wallace, David Duncan. South Carolina: A Short History, 1520-1948 (1951) ISBN 0-87249-079-3
  • WPA. South Carolina: A Guide to the Palmetto State (1941) ASIN B000HM05WE
  • Wright, Louis B. South Carolina: A Bicentennial History' (1977) ISBN 0-393-05560-4

Scholarly secondary studies

  • Bass, Jack and Marilyn W. Thompson. Ol' Strom: An Unauthorized Biography of Strom Thurmond,. Longstreet Press, 1998.
  • Busick, Sean R. A Sober Desire for History: William Gilmore Simms as Historian., 2005. ISBN 1-57003-565-2.
  • Clarke, Erskine. Our Southern Zion: A History of Calvinism in the South Carolina Low Country, 1690-1990 (1996)
  • Channing, Steven. Crisis of Fear: Secession in South Carolina (1970)
  • Cohodas, Nadine. Strom Thurmond and the Politics of Southern Change,. Simon & Schuster, 1993.
  • Coit, Margaret L. John C. Calhoun: American Portrait (1950)
  • Crane, Verner W. The Southern Frontier, 1670-1732 (1956)
  • Ford Jr., Lacy K. Origins of Southern Radicalism: The South Carolina Upcountry, 1800-1860 (1991)
  • Hindus, Michael S. Prison and Plantation: Crime, Justice, and Authority in Massachusetts and South Carolina, 1767-1878 (1980)
  • Johnson Jr., George Lloyd. The Frontier in the Colonial South: South Carolina Backcountry, 1736-1800 (1997)
  • Jordan, Jr., Frank E. The Primary State - A History of the Democratic Party in South Carolina, 1876-1962, Columbia, SC, 1967
  • Keyserling, Harriet. Against the Tide: One Woman's Political Struggle. University of South Carolina Press, 1998.
  • Kantrowitz, Stephen. Ben Tillman & the Reconstruction of White Supremacy (2002)
  • Lau, Peter F. Democracy Rising: South Carolina And the Fight for Black Equality Since 1865 (2006)
  • Peirce, Neal R. The Deep South States of America: People, Politics, and Power in the Seven Deep South States; (1974)
  • Rogers, George C. Evolution of a Federalist: William Loughton Smith of Charleston (1758-1812) (1962)
  • Schultz Harold S. Nationalism and Sectionalism in South Carolina, 1852-1860 (1950)
  • Simon, Bryant. A Fabric of Defeat: The Politics of South Carolina Millhands, 1910-1948 (1998)
  • Simkins, Francis Butler. The Tillman Movement in South Carolina (1926)
  • Simkins, Francis Butler. Pitchfork Ben Tillman: South Carolinian (1944)
  • Simkins, Francis Butler, and Robert Hilliard Woody. South Carolina during Reconstruction (1932).
  • Sinha, Manisha. The Counterrevolution of Slavery: Politics and Ideology in Antebellum South Carolina (2000)
  • Smith, Warren B. White Servitude in Colonial South Carolina (1961)
  • Tullos, Allen Habits of Industry: White Culture and the Transformation of the Carolina Piedmont (1989)
  • Williamson Joel R. After Slavery: The Negro in South Carolina during Reconstruction, 1861-1877 (1965)
  • Wood, Peter H. Black Majority: Negroes in Colonial South Carolina from 1670 Through the Stono Rebellion (1996)

Local studies

  • Bass, Jack and Jack Nelson.The Orangeburg Massacre,. Mercer University Press, 1992.
  • Burton, Orville Vernon. In My Father's House Are Many Mansions: Family and Community in Edgefield, South Carolina (1985), social history
  • Carlton, David L. Mill and Town in South Carolina, 1880-1920 (1982)
  • Clarke, Erskine. Dwelling Place: A Plantation Epic (2005)
  • Danielson, Michael N. Profits and Politics in Paradise: The Development of Hilton Head Island,. University of South Carolina Press, 1995.
  • Doyle, Don H. New Men, New Cities, New South: Atlanta, Nashville, Charleston, Mobile, 1860-1910 (1990)
  • Huff, Jr., Archie Vernon. Greenville: The History of the City and County in the South Carolina Piedmont, University of South Carolina Press, 1995.
  • Moore, John Hammond. Columbia and Richland County: A South Carolina Community, 1740-1990, University of South Carolina Press, 1993.
  • Moredock, Will. Banana Republic: A Year in the Heart of Myrtle Beach,. Frontline Press, 2003.
  • Pease, William H. and Jane H. Pease. The Web of Progress: Private Values and Public Styles in Boston and Charleston, 1828-1843 (1985),
  • Robertson, Ben. Red Hills and Cotton,. USC Press (reprint), 1991.
  • Rose, Willie Lee. Rehearsal for Reconstruction: The Port Royal Experiment (1964)

Political science

  • Carter, Luther F. and David Mann, eds. Government in the Palmetto State: Toward the 21st century,. University of South Carolina, 1993.ISBN 0-917069-01-3
  • Graham, Cole Blease and William V. Moore. South Carolina Politics and Government. Univ. of Nebraska Press, 1994. ISBN 0-8032-7043-7
  • Tyer, Charlie. ed. South Carolina Government: An Introduction,. USC Institute for Public Affairs, 2002. ISBN 0-917069-12-9

Primary documents

  • Salley, Alexander S. ed. Narratives of Early Carolina, 1650-1708 (1911) ISBN 0-7812-6298-4
  • Woodmason Charles. The Carolina Backcountry on the Eve of the Revolution Edited by Richard J. Hooker. (1953), a missionary reports ISBN 0-8078-4035-1

External links

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