South Carolina is a southeastern U.S. state known for its shoreline of subtropical beaches and marshlike sea islands. Coastal Charleston is a historic city, defined by pastel-colored houses, Old South plantations and Fort Sumter, where the Civil War’s opening shots were fired. To the north is the Grand Strand, a roughly 60-mile stretch of beachfront known for golf courses and the vacation town Myrtle Beach.
in the southeastern region of the United States. The state is bordered to the north by North Carolina, to the south and west by Georgia across the Savannah River, and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean.
South Carolina became the eighth state to ratify the U.S. Constitution, doing so on May 23, 1788. South Carolina became the first state to vote to secede from the Union on December 20, 1860. After the American Civil War, it was readmitted into the United States on June 25, 1868.
Following exploration of the coast in 1521 by Francisco de Gordillo, the Spanish tried unsuccessfully to establish a colony near present-day Georgetown in 1526, and the French also failed to colonize Parris Island near Fort Royal in 1562. The first English settlement was made in 1670 at Albemarle Point on the Ashley River, but poor conditions drove the settlers to the site of Charleston (originally called Charles Town).
South Carolina, officially separated from North Carolina in 1729, was the scene of extensive military action during the Revolution and again during the Civil War . The Civil War began in 1861 as South Carolina troops fired on federal Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor, and the state was the first to secede from the Union.
Once primarily agricultural, South Carolina today has many large textile and other mills that produce several times the output of its farms in cash value. Charleston makes asbestos, wood, pulp, steel products, chemicals, machinery, and apparel.
Farms have become fewer but larger in recent years. South Carolina ranks second in peach production after California. Other top agricultural commodities include broilers (31.5% of total state farm receipts), turkeys, greenhouse products, cattle and calves, and corn. One of only two commercial tea plantations in America is 20 mi south of Charleston on Wadmalaw Island.
Points of interest include Fort Sumter National Monument, Fort Moultrie, Fort Johnson, and aircraft carrier USS Yorktown in Charleston Harbor; the Middleton, Magnolia, and Cypress Gardens in Charleston; Cowpens National Battlefield; the Hilton Head resorts; and the Riverbanks Zoo and Botanical Garden in Columbia.
South Carolina is the 40th most extensive and the 23rd most populous U.S. state. Its GDP as of 2013 was $183.6 billion, with an annual growth rate of 3.13%. South Carolina comprises 46 counties. The capital and largest city is Columbia with a 2013 population of 133,358; the Greenville-Anderson-Mauldin metropolitan area had a 2013 population of 850,965.
South Carolina is named in honor of King Charles I of England, under whose reign the English colony was first formed, with Carolus being Latin for “Charles”. To learn more about South Carolina click here