History

South Carolina history is a tapestry of events and cultures. As the first state to secede from the Union in 1860 in the build-up to the Civil War, it was the site of the war’s first battle (Fort Sumter) and has maintained its own special history over the years. The history of South Carolina also includes sad chapters involving slavery and was home to some of the founders of the United States of America. The rich colonial history of the state has contributed to much of the state’s appeal, and plantation-era architecture has remained a fascinating feature of South Carolina tours to this day.

South Carolina state history begins with English settlers who began setting up a colony in the Carolinas in the 1670s. Although some French and Scottish settlers also came to the area, the colony was mostly a British colony and became a royal colony in 1729 and as such was part of the official British government. The colony developed along with the rest of the colonies along the eastern seaboard and, like the other colonies, went on to fight the Revolutionary War and declare independence from Great Britain on March 15, 1776. South Carolina history goes on to reflect that South Carolina was the 8th state to join the United States of America in 1788.

The history of South Carolina also captures South Carolina as the first state to secede from the Union in 1860. At Fort Sumter, the famous first shot of the Civil War was fired, though no one was killed, and the fort was captured after a 36 hour siege. Prior to the occurrence of the Civil War, the state of South Carolina relied almost exclusively on slave labor to become prosperous throughout the world. This issued combined with many other mounting tensions which led up to the war and remains part of South Carolina state history. One unfortunate side-effect of the Civil War in South Carolina was General Sherman’s famous march through the south in 1865, which included South Carolina on its path. Union troops burned and destroyed much of the south’s architecture and many plantations. Today, some South Carolina plantations have been restored and are available for touring in many cities.

South Carolina history notes that South Carolina was brought back into the Union as a state in 1866 during the reconstruction period. Although the slaves had been freed, the history of South Carolina still reflects that racial tensions were clearly high, and these tensions have remained a major issue in South Carolina to this day. The destruction of the Civil War also left many farmers quite poor, and South Carolina state history has been a mixed bag of triumph and economical regeneration. Eventually in the 20th century, textiles became a major source of income for South Carolina and served to revitalize its economy.

Today, South Carolina is a beautiful place to visit and a major tourist attraction for history lovers who want to tour Patriots Point or Fort Sumter. The state is also a prime location for outdoor pursuits, including golf, camping, fishing and whitewater rafting. Myrtle Beach and Hilton Head offer some of the best beaches in the United States, as well as some of the country’s best golf courses. Columbia, the state capital, is rich in history, while Charleston to the south is a great place to go for some urban fun.

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