The Palmetto State

South Carolina is in the heart of Dixie; a classic southern colony. Founded in 1663 when King Charles gave the land to eight noble men known as the Lord's Proprietors, North and South Carolina were one until internal problems came about and the the colony split in 1729.

Colonial Conflicts?

War of the Regulation - North and South Carolina uprising lasting from 1765 to 1771, in which citizens took up arms against corrupt colonial officials; some historians believe this was a catalyst to the American Revolution

Yamasee War - (1715-1717) conflict between British settlers of colonial South Carolina and the Native American Indians including the Yamasee, Cherokee, Catawba, Shawnee, Pee Dee and Chickasaw

Population and People

The earliest recorded population in the South Carolina colony was 200 in 1670. By 1780 it was 180,000.

There was a large amount of Scots-Irish immigrants arriving from Pennsylvania and Virginia, Germans, and wealthy plantation owners of English and French descent. Many took loyalist positions.

Men were dominate, participating in church and government while women were expected to raise children and make the home.

Economy and Slaves

South Carolina's economy was based off of plantation agriculture producing indigo, rice, tobacco, cotton, and cattle. Because the colony relied on plantations, labor was in great demand. By 1750, one-third of all low-country South Carolina slaves lived on units with 50 or more slaves. In 1790, the white population was 11,800 and the black population was 36,846.


Pre-Revolution: The South Carolina colony was under proprietary rule. The colonists did not like being under proprietary rule because of the parceling of much of the land into a few large grants, the quitrent system, and the issue of religion. Attacks by the Yamasee revealed the lack of protection from the proprietors, so the colonists rebelled and received royal protection. Francis Nicholson became provincial royal governor in1720 and South Carolina became a royal colony in 1729.

Post-Revolution: South Carolina ratified the federal Constitution in May, 1788, and replaced the royal charter with a state charter in 1790. Religious liberty was established and primogeniture was abolished, but property qualifications for voting and office holding was retained, ensuring planter control of the legislature.

American Revolution

South Carolina's long friendship with England was reflected in trade benefits and protection provided by the British navy. However, the public's view of the mother land was changed by the Stamp Act, the Townshend Acts, and British political claims. South Carolinians, such as Christopher Gadsden, were leaders in the movement for independence. In March, 1776, an independent government of South Carolina was set up with John Rutledge as president.

South Carolina and the Constitution

The Constitution was ratified by South Carolina in 1787. Charles Pickney went to Philadelphia where the Constitutional Convention was piecing together the Constitution. On May 29, 1787, he presented the Convention with a detailed outline for the United States constitution. Pierce Butler, also a South Carolinian, included a Constitutional clause for the return of fugitive slaves.

Primary Source

This is the first part of the South Carolina Constitution (1776)

"Whereas the British Parliament, claiming of late years a right to bind the North American colonies by law in all cases whatsoever, have enacted statutes for raising a revenue in those colonies and disposing of such revenue as they thought proper, without the consent and against the will of the colonists. And whereas it appearing to them that (they not being represented in Parliament) such claim was altogether unconstitutional, and, if admitted, would at once reduce them from the rank of freemen to a state of the most abject slavery; the said colonies, therefore, severally remonstrated against the passing, and petitioned for the repeal, of those acts, but in vain, and whereas the said claim being persisted in..."

State Name

Carolina is derived from the Latin name Carolus, translated as "Charles". The state was named in honor of Charles IX of France and then King Charles I and Charles II of England.

Andrew Jackson

Andrew Jackson was born in South Carolina!