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By the second half of the s South Carolina was one of the richest of what were about to become the Thirteen Colonies. On March 26, , the colony adopted the Constitution of South Carolina ,  electing John Rutledge as the state's first president. In February, , South Carolina became the first state to ratify the Articles of Confederation ,  the initial governing document of the United States, and in May , South Carolina ratified the United States Constitution , becoming the eighth state to enter the union.
During the American Revolutionary War — , about a third of combat action took place in South Carolina,  more than in any other state. America's first census in put the state's population at nearly , By the census the population had increased 38 per cent to nearly , of which , were slaves. At that time South Carolina had the largest population of Jews in the 16 United States, mostly based in Savannah and Charleston,  the latter being the country's fifth largest city.
In the Antebellum period before the Civil War the state's economy and population grew. Cotton became an important crop after the invention of the cotton gin. While nominally democratic, from until , wealthy male landowners were in control of South Carolina. For example, a man was not eligible to sit in the State House of Representatives unless he possessed an estate of acres of land and 10 Negroes, or at least pounds sterling.
Columbia , the new state capital was founded in the center of the state, and the State Legislature first met there in The town grew after it was connected to Charleston by the Santee Canal in , one of the first canals in the United States.
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As dissatisfaction with the federal government grew, in the s John C. Calhoun became a leading proponent of states' rights , limited government , nullification of the US Constitution , and free trade. In , the Ordinance of Nullification declared federal tariff laws unconstitutional and not to be enforced in the state, leading to the Nullification Crisis. The federal Force Bill was enacted to use whatever military force necessary to enforce federal law in the state, bringing South Carolina back into line.
In the United States presidential election of voting was sharply divided, with the south voting for the Southern Democrats and the north for Abraham Lincoln 's Republican Party. Lincoln was anti-slavery, did not acknowledge the right to secession , and would not yield federal property in Southern states.
Southern secessionists believed Lincoln's election meant long-term doom for their slavery-based agrarian economy and social system. Lincoln was elected president on 6 November President a Hostile Act, 9 November ",  and within weeks South Carolina became the first state to declare secession from the US. For the rest of the war this area served as a Union base and staging point for other operations.
Whites abandoned their plantations,  leaving behind about 10, slaves. Several Northern charities partnered with the federal government to help these people run the cotton farms themselves under the Port Royal Experiment. Workers were paid by the pound harvested and thus became the first former slaves freed by the Union forces to earn wages.
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Although the state was not a major battleground, the war ruined the economy. Under conscription , all men aged 18—35 later 45 were drafted for Confederate service. More than 60, served,  and the state lost nearly one-third of the white male population of fighting age. At the end of the war in early , the troops of General William Tecumseh Sherman marched across the state devastating plantations and most of Columbia. Under presidential Reconstruction —66 , freedmen former slaves were given limited rights. Under Radical reconstruction — , a Republican coalition of freedmen, carpetbaggers and scalawags was in control, supported by Union Army forces.
They established public education, welfare institutions, and home rule for counties, expanding democracy.follow link
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White , the Supreme Court ruled the ordinances of secession including that of South Carolina were invalid, and thus those states had never left the Union. However, South Carolina did not regain representation in Congress until that date. Until the presidential election , South Carolina's legislature, not the voters, chose the state's electors for the presidential election. South Carolina was the last state to choose its electors in this manner. On October 19, President Ulysses S. Akerman , hundreds of Klansmen were arrested while Klansmen fled the state. They regained political control of the state under conservative white " Redeemers " and pro-business Bourbon Democrats.
In , the federal government withdrew its troops as part of the Compromise of that ended Reconstruction. The state became a hotbed of racial and economic tensions during the Populist and Agrarian movements of the s. A Republican-Populist biracial coalition took power away from White Democrats temporarily. To prevent that from happening again, Democrats gained passage of a new constitution in that effectively disfranchised almost all blacks and many poor whites by new requirements for poll taxes , residency, and literacy tests that dramatically reduced the voter rolls.
By , only 5, black voters remained on the voter registration rolls, although they constituted a majority of the state's population.
The constitution overturned local representative government, reducing the role of the counties to agents of state government, effectively ruled by the General Assembly, through the legislative delegations for each county. As each county had one state senator, that person had considerable power. The counties lacked representative government until home rule was passed in Governor "Pitchfork Ben Tillman" , a Populist, led the effort to disenfranchise the blacks and poor whites, although he controlled Democratic state politics from the s to with a base among poor white farmers.
During the constitutional convention in , he supported another man's proposal that the state adopt a one-drop rule , as well as prohibit marriage between whites and anyone with any known African ancestry. Some members of the convention realized prominent white families with some African ancestry could be affected by such legislation. In terms similar to a debate in Virginia in on a similar proposal which was dropped , George Dionysius Tillman said the following in opposition:.
If the law is made as it now stands respectable families in Aiken , Barnwell , Colleton , and Orangeburg will be denied the right to intermarry among people with whom they are now associated and identified.
At least one hundred families would be affected to my knowledge. They have sent good soldiers to the Confederate Army, and are now landowners and taxpayers. Those men served creditably, and it would be unjust and disgraceful to embarrass them in this way. It is a scientific fact that there is not one full-blooded Caucasian on the floor of this convention.
Every member has in him a certain mixture of… colored blood. The pure-blooded white has needed and received a certain infusion of darker blood to give him readiness and purpose. It would be a cruel injustice and the source of endless litigation, of scandal, horror, feud, and bloodshed to undertake to annul or forbid marriage for a remote, perhaps obsolete trace of Negro blood. The doors would be open to scandal, malice and greed; to statements on the witness stand that the father or grandfather or grandmother had said that A or B had Negro blood in their veins.
Any man who is half a man would be ready to blow up half the world with dynamite to prevent or avenge attacks upon the honor of his mother in the legitimacy or purity of the blood of his father. The state postponed such a one-drop law for years. Virginian legislators adopted a one-drop law in , forgetting that their state had many people of mixed ancestry among those who identified as white. Early in the 20th century, South Carolina developed a thriving textile industry. The state also converted its agricultural base from cotton to more profitable crops; attracted large military bases through its powerful Democratic congressional delegation, part of the one-party South following disfranchisement of blacks at the turn of the century; and created tourism industries.
During the early part of the 20th Century, millions of African Americans left South Carolina and other southern states for jobs, opportunities and relative freedom in U. In total from to , 6. By South Carolina had a white majority  for the first time since South Carolina was one of several states that initially rejected the Nineteenth Amendment giving women the right to vote. The South Carolina legislature later ratified the amendment on July 1, The struggle of the civil rights movement took place in South Carolina as they did in other Southern states.
Strom Thurmond was among the nation's most radical and effective opponents of social equality and freedom for U. As of , South Carolina had one of the lowest percentages among all states of women in state legislature, at Starting January 1, , South Carolina was one of the first states that no longer pays for 'early elective' deliveries of babies , under either Medicaid and private insurance.
The term early elective is defined as a labor induction or Cesarean section between 37—39 weeks that is not medically based. This change is intended to result in healthier babies and fewer unnecessary costs for South Carolina. On November 20, , South Carolina became the 35th state to legalize same-sex marriages , when a federal court ordered the change. Same-sex marriage in South Carolina. South Carolina has many venues for visual and performing arts. There are also numerous historic sites and museums scattered throughout the state paying homage to many events and periods in the state's history from Native American inhabitation to the present day.
South Carolina also has performing art venues including the Peace Center in Greenville, the Koger Center for the Arts in Columbia, and the Newberry Opera House , among others to bring local, national, and international talent to the stages of South Carolina. There are also countless local festivals throughout the state highlighting many cultural traditions, historical events, and folklore. Religion in South Carolina .
Fourth largest is the African Methodist Episcopal Church with congregations and , members and fifth largest is the Presbyterian Church USA with congregations and almost , members. As of , South Carolina is the American state with the highest per capita proportion of Baha'is with 17, adherents,  making the Baha'i Faith the second largest religion in the state.
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Although no major league professional sports teams are based in South Carolina, the Carolina Panthers do have training facilities in the state and played their inaugural season's home games at Clemson's Memorial Stadium, however, they currently play in North Carolina. The Panthers consider themselves "The Carolinas' Team" and refrained from naming themselves after Charlotte or either of the Carolinas. The state is also home to numerous minor league professional teams.
College teams represent their particular South Carolina institutions, and are the primary options for football, basketball and baseball attendance in the state. South Carolina is also a top destination for golf and water sports. According to the U. Major agricultural outputs of the state are tobacco, poultry, cotton, cattle, dairy products, soybeans, hay, rice, and swine. Industrial outputs include textile goods, chemical products, paper products, machinery, automobiles, automotive products and tourism.
The service sector accounts for It is continuing a steady decline with an unemployment rate of 8. Many large corporations have moved their locations to South Carolina. Boeing opened an aircraft manufacturing facility in Charleston in , which serves as one of two final assembly sites for the Dreamliner.
South Carolina is a right-to-work state  and many businesses utilize staffing agencies to temporarily fill positions. South Carolina also benefits from foreign investment.
There are 1, foreign-owned firms operating in South Carolina employing almost , people. The state has the fourth largest state-maintained system in the country, consisting of 11 Interstates , numbered highways , state highways , and secondary roads, totalling approximately 41, miles. On secondary roads, South Carolina uses a numbering system to keep track of all non-interstate and primary highways that the South Carolina Department of Transportation maintains.
Secondary roads are numbered by the number of the county followed by a unique number for the particular road. Passenger rail Amtrak operates four passenger routes in South Carolina: The Crescent route serves the Upstate cities, the Silver Star serves the Midlands cities, and the Palmetto and Silver Meteor routes serve the low country cities. There are seven significant airports in South Carolina, all of which act as regional airport hubs. The busiest by passenger volume is Charleston International Airport. As of , South Carolina is one of three states that has not agreed to use competitive international math and language standards.
In , the South Carolina Supreme Court ruled the state had failed to provide a "minimally adequate" education to children in all parts of the state as required by the state's constitution. South Carolina has 1, K—12 schools in 85 school districts with an enrollment of , as of fall In , the national average SAT score was and the South Carolina average was , 48 points lower than the national average.
South Carolina is the only state which owns and operates its own statewide school bus system. As of December , the state maintains a 5, bus fleet with the average vehicle in service being 15 years old with , miles, compared to the national average of 6 years. In in the budget proposal, Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman requested the state lease to purchase 1, buses to replace the most decrepit vehicles. An additional buses could be purchased immediately through the State Treasurer's master lease program. South Carolina has a diverse group of institutions of higher education, from large state-funded research universities to small colleges that cultivate a liberal arts, religious or military tradition, including the following:.
For overall health care, South Carolina is ranked 33rd out of the 50 states, according to the Commonwealth Fund , a private health foundation working to improve the health care system. Arcadia Plantation, circa , Georgetown County. Beachcombers at Myrtle Beach photographed from the ninth floor of a resort hotel. Midlands Mountain trail during winter, in Harbison State Forest. Access to Fort Sumter in Charleston harbor, where the American Civil War began in , requires a half-hour ferry ride each way.
Coastal towns and cities often have hurricane-resistant Live oaks overarching the streets in historic neighborhoods, such as these on East Bay Street, Georgetown.