World History

South Carolina State History – Capital, Population, History, Facts

Native Americans

Before Europeans arrived in South Carolina, the land was inhabited by many Native American tribes. The two largest tribes were the Catawba and the Cherokee. The Cherokee lived near the Blue Ridge Mountains in the western part of the state. Catawba lived near the town of Rock Hill in the northern part of the state.

Information about South Carolina State:

Capital Columbia
Population 5,118,429 (Source: 2022 U.S. Census)
Major Cities Columbia, Charleston, North Charleston, Mount Pleasant, Rock Hill
Borders North Carolina, Georgia, Atlantic Ocean
Gross Domestic Product (GDP) $295,880.5 million (2022 U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis)
Key Industries Agriculture including poultry, cattle, soybeans, tobacco, and peaches
Textiles, chemicals, paper, automobiles, machinery, and tourism

Flag of South Carolina State:

Europeans Arrive

The first European to arrive in South Carolina in 1521 was the Spanish explorer Francisco Gordillo. He captured many Native Americans and left the country. The Spaniards returned to settle the country in 1526 in hopes of finding gold. However, the settlement did not survive and people fled the country.

In 1562 the French arrived and established a settlement on the Isle of Paris. This agreement also failed, and the French soon returned home.

The English Arrive

In 1607, the British established the settlement of Jamestown in Virginia. The land south of Virginia was called Carolina. The first British settlement in South Carolina was founded in 1670 by him. It later became the city of Charleston.

Settlers soon moved to the area and cultivated crops on large plantations. They brought slaves from Africa to work on the plantations. Two of his main crops were rice and indigo, which is used to make a blue dye.

South Carolina State Symbols

  • South Carolina State Nickname: Palmetto State
  • South Carolina State Slogan: Smiling Faces. Beautiful Places. Also on one of its two base license plates.
  • South Carolina State Motto: Animis opibusque parati (Prepared in mind and resources) and Dum spiro spero (While I breathe, I hope)
  • South Carolina State flower: Yellow Jessamine
  • South Carolina State bird: Carolina Wren
  • South Carolina State fish: Striped bass
  • South Carolina State tree: Palmetto
  • South Carolina State mammal: White-tailed deer, Boykin Spaniel
  • South Carolina State foods: Peach, Milk, Sweet Tea

Splitting from North Carolina

As the area grew, South Carolinians sought their own government in North Carolina. In 1710 they were given their own governorship and formally declared a British colony in 1729.

American Revolution

When the American Revolutionary War began, South Carolina declared independence from Great Britain along with her 13 colonies in America. Many battles took place in South Carolina, including major battles at Kings Mountain and Cowpens, which helped turn the tide of the war. During the war, South Carolina saw more battles and battles than any other state.

The Geography of South Carolina State:

  • Total Size of South Carolina: 30,109 sq. miles (source: 2003 Census)
  • Geographical Low Point of South Carolina: Atlantic Ocean at Sea Level (source: U.S. Geological Survey)
  • Geographical High Point of South Carolina: Sassafras Mtn. at 3,560 feet, located in the county/subdivision of Pickens (source: U.S. Geological Survey)
  • Central Point of South Carolina: Located in Richland County approx. 13 miles southeast of Columbia (source: U.S. Geological Survey)
  • Counties of South Carolina: 46 (source: National Association of Counties)
  • Bodies of Water of South Carolina: Atlantic Ocean, Lake Murray, Lake Marion, Lake Moultrie, Lake Hartwell, Pee Dee River, Saluda River, and Santee River

Becoming a State

After the Revolutionary War, South Carolina joined the United States as her eighth state on May 23, 1788. The original capital was Charleston, but in 1790 the capital was moved to Columbia, closer to the state centre.

With the invention of the cotton gin in 1793, many plantations in South Carolina began growing cotton. The state became very rich because of cotton. Plantation owners brought slaves to work in the fields. More than 400,000 of her slaves lived in South Carolina in the mid-19th century.

The Civil War

When Abraham Lincoln was elected in 1860, South Carolina plantation owners feared he would free the slaves. As a result, South Carolina became the first state to secede from the Union and form the Confederate States of America. The Civil War began on April 12, 1861, with the Battle of Fort Sumter near Charleston.

By the time the war finally ended in 1865, much of South Carolina had been destroyed and had to be rebuilt. The states were allowed to rejoin the Union in 1868 after ratifying a new constitution providing for the emancipation of slaves.

Famous People of South Carolina State:

Vana White Game show host
Chris Rock Comedian and actor
Shoeless Joe Jackson Professional baseball player
Jasper Johns Artist
Jesse Jackson Civil rights activist
Andrew Jackson The 7th President of the United States
Sarah Moore Grimke Women’s rights activist
Kevin Garnett Professional basketball player
Joe Frazier Champion Heavyweight Boxer
James Brown Singer

Interesting Facts of South Carolina State:

Palm trees, the state tree of South Carolina, were used to build the walls of the fort on Sullivan’s Island. The rubbery wood was perfect for keeping shells from ricocheting off.

The first bombardment of the Civil War was at Fort Sumter, South Carolina.

Johnston, South Carolina is called the peach capital of the world. Near Gaffney is a giant peach-shaped water tower.

Before South Carolina adopted Palmetto State as its nickname, it was called Iodine State. The official state dance is the shag.

Rumor has it that a water monster lurks in the depths of Lake Murray.

The state amphibian is the salamander. The state insect is the Carolina praying mantis.

South Carolina’s beaches, including Grand Strand and Myrtle Beach, are popular tourist destinations.

Timeline Overview:

1521 – Spanish explorer Francisco Gordillo first arrives in South Carolina.
1526 – The Spaniards establish a settlement, which soon fails.
1562 – The French build a fortress on the Isle of Paris, but soon abandon it.
1670 – The first settlement in Europe is established by the British near Charleston.
1710 – South Carolina has its own governor.
1715 – The Yamasee War is fought between Native Americans and colonial militias.
1729 – South Carolina separates from North Carolina and becomes an official British colony.
1781 – British defeat by settlers at the Battle of Cowpens.
1788 – South Carolina becomes the eighth state to join the United States.
1790 – State capital moved to Columbia.
1829 – Andrew Jackson from South Carolina becomes the 7th President of the United States.
1860 – South Carolina becomes the first state to secede from the Union and join the Confederate States of America. 1861 – The Civil War begins with the Battle of Fort Sumter near Charleston.
1868 – South Carolina is allowed to rejoin the Union.
1989 – Hurricane Hugo causes extensive damage to the state and city of Charleston.
1992 – BMW opens a car plant in Greer.
2000 – The Confederate flag is removed from the state capital.