South Carolina Ordinance Of Secession [1860] - History

South Carolina Ordinance Of Secession [1860] - History


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We, the people of the State of South Carolina in convention assembled, do declare and ordain, and it is hereby declared and ordained, that the ordinance adopted by us in convention on . [May 23, I788] . ., whereby the Constitution of the United States of America was ratified, and also all acts and parts of acts of the general assembly of this State ratifying amendments of the said Constitution, are hereby repealed; and that the union now subsisting between South Carolina and other States, under the name of the " United States of America," is hereby dissolved.


South Carolina Ordinance Of Secession [1860] - History

South Carolina Ordinance Of Secession

AN ORDINANCE to dissolve the union between the State of South Carolina and other States united with her under the compact entitled "The Constitution of the United States of America."


We, the people of the State of South Carolina, in convention assembled, do declare and ordain, and it is hereby declared and ordained, That the ordinance adopted by us in convention on the twenty-third day of May, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty-eight, whereby the Constitution of the United States of America was ratified, and also all acts and parts of acts of the General Assembly of this State ratifying amendments of the said Constitution, are hereby repealed and that the union now subsisting between South Carolina and other States, under the name of the "United States of America," is hereby dissolved.


Done at Charleston the twentieth day of December, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty.


South Carolina Ordinance Of Secession [1860] - History

The people of the State of South Carolina, in Convention assembled, on the 26th day of April, A.D., 1852, declared that the frequent violations of the Constitution of the United States, by the Federal Government, and its encroachments upon the reserved rights of the States, fully justified this State in then withdrawing from the Federal Union but in deference to the opinions and wishes of the other slaveholding States, she forbore at that time to exercise this right. Since that time, these encroachments have continued to increase, and further forbearance ceases to be a virtue.

And now the State of South Carolina having resumed her separate and equal place among nations, deems it due to herself, to the remaining United States of America, and to the nations of the world, that she should declare the immediate causes which have led to this act.

In the year 1765, that portion of the British Empire embracing Great Britain, undertook to make laws for the government of that portion composed of the thirteen American Colonies. A struggle for the right of self-government ensued, which resulted, on the 4th of July, 1776, in a Declaration, by the Colonies, "that they are, and of right ought to be, FREE AND INDEPENDENT STATES and that, as free and independent States, they have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which independent States may of right do."

They further solemnly declared that whenever any "form of government becomes destructive of the ends for which it was established, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute a new government." Deeming the Government of Great Britain to have become destructive of these ends, they declared that the Colonies "are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved."

In pursuance of this Declaration of Independence, each of the thirteen States proceeded to exercise its separate sovereignty adopted for itself a Constitution, and appointed officers for the administration of government in all its departments-- Legislative, Executive and Judicial. For purposes of defense, they united their arms and their counsels and, in 1778, they entered into a League known as the Articles of Confederation, whereby they agreed to entrust the administration of their external relations to a common agent, known as the Congress of the United States, expressly declaring, in the first Article "that each State retains its sovereignty, freedom and independence, and every power, jurisdiction and right which is not, by this Confederation, expressly delegated to the United States in Congress assembled."

Under this Confederation the war of the Revolution was carried on, and on the 3rd of September, 1783, the contest ended, and a definite Treaty was signed by Great Britain, in which she acknowledged the independence of the Colonies in the following terms: "ARTICLE 1-- His Britannic Majesty acknowledges the said United States, viz: New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia, to be FREE, SOVEREIGN AND INDEPENDENT STATES that he treats with them as such and for himself, his heirs and successors, relinquishes all claims to the government, propriety and territorial rights of the same and every part thereof."

Thus were established the two great principles asserted by the Colonies, namely: the right of a State to govern itself and the right of a people to abolish a Government when it becomes destructive of the ends for which it was instituted. And concurrent with the establishment of these principles, was the fact, that each Colony became and was recognized by the mother Country a FREE, SOVEREIGN AND INDEPENDENT STATE.

In 1787, Deputies were appointed by the States to revise the Articles of Confederation, and on 17th September, 1787, these Deputies recommended for the adoption of the States, the Articles of Union, known as the Constitution of the United States.

The parties to whom this Constitution was submitted, were the several sovereign States they were to agree or disagree, and when nine of them agreed the compact was to take effect among those concurring and the General Government, as the common agent, was then invested with their authority.

If only nine of the thirteen States had concurred, the other four would have remained as they then were-- separate, sovereign States, independent of any of the provisions of the Constitution. In fact, two of the States did not accede to the Constitution until long after it had gone into operation among the other eleven and during that interval, they each exercised the functions of an independent nation.

By this Constitution, certain duties were imposed upon the several States, and the exercise of certain of their powers was restrained, which necessarily implied their continued existence as sovereign States. But to remove all doubt, an amendment was added, which declared that the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States, respectively, or to the people. On the 23d May , 1788, South Carolina, by a Convention of her People, passed an Ordinance assenting to this Constitution, and afterwards altered her own Constitution, to conform herself to the obligations she had undertaken.

Thus was established, by compact between the States, a Government with definite objects and powers, limited to the express words of the grant. This limitation left the whole remaining mass of power subject to the clause reserving it to the States or to the people, and rendered unnecessary any specification of reserved rights.

We hold that the Government thus established is subject to the two great principles asserted in the Declaration of Independence and we hold further, that the mode of its formation subjects it to a third fundamental principle, namely: the law of compact. We maintain that in every compact between two or more parties, the obligation is mutual that the failure of one of the contracting parties to perform a material part of the agreement, entirely releases the obligation of the other and that where no arbiter is provided, each party is remitted to his own judgment to determine the fact of failure, with all its consequences.

In the present case, that fact is established with certainty. We assert that fourteen of the States have deliberately refused, for years past, to fulfill their constitutional obligations, and we refer to their own Statutes for the proof.

The Constitution of the United States, in its fourth Article, provides as follows: "No person held to service or labor in one State, under the laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in consequence of any law or regulation therein, be discharged from such service or labor, but shall be delivered up, on claim of the party to whom such service or labor may be due."

This stipulation was so material to the compact, that without it that compact would not have been made. The greater number of the contracting parties held slaves, and they had previously evinced their estimate of the value of such a stipulation by making it a condition in the Ordinance for the government of the territory ceded by Virginia, which now composes the States north of the Ohio River.

The same article of the Constitution stipulates also for rendition by the several States of fugitives from justice from the other States.

The General Government, as the common agent, passed laws to carry into effect these stipulations of the States. For many years these laws were executed. But an increasing hostility on the part of the non-slaveholding States to the institution of slavery, has led to a disregard of their obligations, and the laws of the General Government have ceased to effect the objects of the Constitution. The States of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin and Iowa, have enacted laws which either nullify the Acts of Congress or render useless any attempt to execute them. In many of these States the fugitive is discharged from service or labor claimed, and in none of them has the State Government complied with the stipulation made in the Constitution. The State of New Jersey, at an early day, passed a law in conformity with her constitutional obligation but the current of anti-slavery feeling has led her more recently to enact laws which render inoperative the remedies provided by her own law and by the laws of Congress. In the State of New York even the right of transit for a slave has been denied by her tribunals and the States of Ohio and Iowa have refused to surrender to justice fugitives charged with murder, and with inciting servile insurrection in the State of Virginia. Thus the constituted compact has been deliberately broken and disregarded by the non-slaveholding States, and the consequence follows that South Carolina is released from her obligation.

The ends for which the Constitution was framed are declared by itself to be "to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity."

These ends it endeavored to accomplish by a Federal Government, in which each State was recognized as an equal, and had separate control over its own institutions. The right of property in slaves was recognized by giving to free persons distinct political rights, by giving them the right to represent, and burthening them with direct taxes for three-fifths of their slaves by authorizing the importation of slaves for twenty years and by stipulating for the rendition of fugitives from labor.

We affirm that these ends for which this Government was instituted have been defeated, and the Government itself has been made destructive of them by the action of the non-slaveholding States. Those States have assume the right of deciding upon the propriety of our domestic institutions and have denied the rights of property established in fifteen of the States and recognized by the Constitution they have denounced as sinful the institution of slavery they have permitted open establishment among them of societies, whose avowed object is to disturb the peace and to eloign the property of the citizens of other States. They have encouraged and assisted thousands of our slaves to leave their homes and those who remain, have been incited by emissaries, books and pictures to servile insurrection.

For twenty-five years this agitation has been steadily increasing, until it has now secured to its aid the power of the common Government. Observing the forms of the Constitution, a sectional party has found within that Article establishing the Executive Department, the means of subverting the Constitution itself. A geographical line has been drawn across the Union, and all the States north of that line have united in the election of a man to the high office of President of the United States, whose opinions and purposes are hostile to slavery. He is to be entrusted with the administration of the common Government, because he has declared that that "Government cannot endure permanently half slave, half free," and that the public mind must rest in the belief that slavery is in the course of ultimate extinction.

This sectional combination for the submersion of the Constitution, has been aided in some of the States by elevating to citizenship, persons who, by the supreme law of the land, are incapable of becoming citizens and their votes have been used to inaugurate a new policy, hostile to the South, and destructive of its beliefs and safety.

On the 4th day of March next, this party will take possession of the Government. It has announced that the South shall be excluded from the common territory, that the judicial tribunals shall be made sectional, and that a war must be waged against slavery until it shall cease throughout the United States.

The guaranties of the Constitution will then no longer exist the equal rights of the States will be lost. The slaveholding States will no longer have the power of self-government, or self-protection, and the Federal Government will have become their enemy.

Sectional interest and animosity will deepen the irritation, and all hope of remedy is rendered vain, by the fact that public opinion at the North has invested a great political error with the sanction of more erroneous religious belief.

We, therefore, the People of South Carolina, by our delegates in Convention assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, have solemnly declared that the Union heretofore existing between this State and the other States of North America, is dissolved, and that the State of South Carolina has resumed her position among the nations of the world, as a separate and independent State with full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which independent States may of right do.


Secession

Secession, as it applies to the outbreak of the American Civil War, comprises the series of events that began on December 20, 1860, and extended through June 8 of the next year when eleven states in the Lower and Upper South severed their ties with the Union. The first seven seceding states of the Lower South set up a provisional government at Montgomery, Alabama. After hostilities began at Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor on April 12, 1861, the border states of Virginia, Arkansas, Tennessee, and North Carolina joined the new government, which then moved its capital to Richmond, Virginia. The Union was thus divided approximately on geographic lines. Twenty-one northern and border states retained the style and title of the United States, while the eleven slave states adopted the nomenclature of the Confederate States of America.

The border slave states of Maryland, Delaware, Kentucky, and Missouri remained with the Union, although they all contributed volunteers to the Confederacy. Fifty counties of western Virginia were loyal to the Union government, and in 1863 this area was constituted the separate state of West Virginia. Secession in practical terms meant that about a third of the population with substantial material resources had withdrawn from what had constituted a single nation and established a separate government.

The term secession had been used as early as 1776. South Carolina threatened separation when the Continental Congress sought to tax all the colonies on the basis of a total population count that would include slaves. Secession in this instance and throughout the antebellum period came to mean the assertion of minority sectional interests against what was perceived to be a hostile or indifferent majority. Secession had been a matter of concern to some members of the Constitutional Convention that met at Philadelphia in 1787. Theoretically, secession was bound up closely with Whig thought, which claimed the right of revolution against a despotic government. Algernon Sidney, John Locke, and the British Commonwealth Men argued this theme, and it played a prominent role in the American Revolution.

Any federal republic by its very nature invited challenge to central control, a danger that James Madison recognized. He sought at the convention a clause that would prohibit secession from the proposed union once the states had ratified the Constitution. In debate over other points, Madison repeatedly warned that secession or 𠇍isunion” was a major concern. The Constitution as framed and finally accepted by the states divided the exercise of sovereign power between the states and the national government. By virtue of the fact that it was a legal document and in most respects enumerated the powers of the central government, the division was weighted toward the states. Yet much of the charter was drawn up in general terms and was susceptible to interpretation that might vary with time and circumstance.

The very thing that Madison feared took on a concrete form during the party battles of the Washington and Adams administrations. And paradoxically, Madison found himself involved with those who seemed to threaten separation. In their reaction to the arbitrary assumption of power in the Alien and Sedition Acts, Thomas Jefferson and Madison argued for state annulment of this legislation. Jefferson’s response in the Kentucky Resolution advanced the compact interpretation of the federal Constitution. Madison’s Virginia Resolution was far more moderate, but both resolutions looked to state action against what were deemed unconstitutional laws. The national judiciary, they felt, was packed with their opponents. Neither resolution claimed original sovereignty for the states, but both argued for a strict reading of enumerated powers. During the War of 1812, a disaffected Federalist majority in New England advanced the compact theory and considered secession from the Union.

As modernization began to take hold in the United States, differences between the two major sections grew more pronounced: a plantation cotton culture worked by slave labor became concentrated in the South and industrial development featuring free labor in the North. A wave of reform activity in Europe and the United States made the abolition or at least the restriction of slavery a significant goal in the free states. Since abolition struck at the labor system as well as the social structure of the slave states, threats of secession punctuated the political dialogue from 1819 through 1860.

John C. Calhoun, the leading spokesman of the slave states, charged frequently and eloquently that the South and its way of life were under assault from an industrializing North. Like other proponents of endangered minorities, he looked to the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions and their assertion of the federal compact for the basis of his defense. He argued that a state or a group of states could nullify a federal law that was felt to be against a particular interest. But Calhoun made a fundamental extension of the Jeffersonian concept of states’ rights and claimed original undivided sovereignty for the people acting through the states. Although always seeking an accommodation for the South and its slave plantation system within the Union, Calhoun had hoped that nullification was a proper, constitutional alternative to disunion. But he eventually invoked secession with particular vehemence after the territorial acquisitions of the Mexican War and the formation of the Free-Soil party in 1848. Nationalists like John Marshall, Joseph Story, and Daniel Webster countered the Calhoun argument. They declared that the Constitution operated directly through the states on the people, not upon the states as corporate bodies, and their view gained wide acceptance in the free states.

Calhoun was instrumental in fostering southern unity on a sectional basis and in formulating the call for a convention of delegates from the slave states to be held at Nashville, Tennessee, in 1850. There is little doubt that had he lived, Calhoun would have been a formidable force for secession as the ultimate weapon. His death and the working out of a compromise that strengthened moderate opinion in both sections kept the secessionist element at bay temporarily.

But the territorial issue flared up again, this time with renewed fury over the question of whether Kansas should enter the Union as a free or slave state. By now antislavery sentiment had grown significantly in the free states. And opinion leaders in the slave states drew closer together in defense against what they saw as an impending attack on their institutions. The Kansas question created the Republican party, a frankly sectional political organization, and it nominated John C. Frémont for president on a Free-Soil platform in 1856. Although the Democrats, still functioning along national lines, managed to elect James Buchanan president by a slim margin, the slave states threatened secession if the Republicans should win the election in 1860.

The South was committed to an agrarian way of life. It was a land where profitable and efficient plantations worked by slave labor produced cotton for the world market. It was also a land where a majority of its white population was made up of subsistence farmers who lived isolated lives on the edge of poverty and whose literacy rates were low compared with those in the more densely populated North.

The South nevertheless was beginning to industrialize, a factor that added to the social tensions surfacing during the 1850s between the haves–plantation owners and professional groups in the few urban centers𠄺nd the have-nots𠄺n increasingly restive yeoman or small-farmer group. But the issue of black servitude provided cohesion for the white bloc and contributed greatly to a patriarchal system wherein the masses of the whites still looked to a planter-professional elite for political and social guidance. Although the northern masses might also defer to the opinions of the powerful and living conditions among the urban poor were precarious, educational levels were far higher than in the South. The ethic of free capital and free labor was deeply ingrained in the cities and in farm communities as well. It was this ethic that formed the ideological basis for a broad antislavery movement.

Southern leaders were concerned over internal stresses in their society and were increasingly aware of the moral and social repugnance the slave system engendered not only in the North but also in Western Europe. Southern leadership, though surely not unified in its response to a political victory of antislavery forces in 1860, began as early as 1858 to prepare its section for separation from the Union.

Even though the Republican platform of 1860 disavowed any move that would interfere with slavery where the custom and the law of a given state upheld it, many of the more extreme opinion makers in the South promoted the idea that a Republican victory meant eventual emancipation and social and political equality for their black population. So inflamed were the voters in South Carolina that before the election of Lincoln, they had chosen a convention that was committed to secession on news of a Republican victory. The situation of other states in the Deep South was more complicated. Elections were held promptly, but the results showed considerable division on secession. Three factions emerged: those for immediate secession, those who sought delay until the policy of the new administration toward the slave states became clear, and those who believed they could bargain with the new administration. All these groups, however, were united in support of the doctrine of secession. With this idea as a basic commitment, the better organized immediate secessionists were able to prevail.

The close connection between the right to revolution and separation from the governing power in the spirit of 1776 was an early theme in the provisional Confederacy. To be sure, the revolution was posited as a peaceful one. Separation from a Union perceived to be under the control of a tyrannical power that would destroy southern institutions was the objective.

Confederate leaders at this early date thought that the North would not fight to preserve the Union. But the provisional government nevertheless began purchasing arms and munitions, and seceded states started to equip and train their militias.

State and Confederate government authorities seized federal forts, arsenals, and other national property within their jurisdiction. When Abraham Lincoln was inaugurated on March 4, 1861, federal troops held only Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor, Fort Pickens off the Florida coast, and one or two other outposts in the South.

Concerned about the loyalty of the border states of Virginia, Maryland, Missouri, and Kentucky, the new administration went so far as to offer the slave states an amendment to the Constitution that would guarantee slavery where it legally existed. Lincoln himself in his inaugural address pledged only to hold federal property that was in the possession of the Union on March 4, 1861.

The provisional Confederacy likewise sought vigorously to stimulate secession sentiment in the border states. Had all the border slave states thrown in their lot with one or the other government, there might not have been a war, or conversely, separation might well have become an accomplished fact. As it was, however, the prompt action of the Lincoln administration after the bombardment and surrender of Fort Sumter secured Maryland and Delaware for the Union. Kentucky proclaimed its neutrality but eventually remained loyal to the Union. Missouri, too, though a major battleground for the contending forces, contributed most of its resources in men and matériel to the Union.

Once the war was joined, waves of patriotic sentiment swept over North and South. Vocal political opposition would exist on both sides, but it was never strong enough to overthrow either government. Secession as revolution, an early theme in southern rhetoric, was not emphasized after the formation of the Confederacy. Rather, Jefferson’s compact theory was enshrined in its Constitution. A nation could not have been formed, nor a war fought, if the states were wholly independent of any central authority.

Behind it all, of course, was the unity of a minority geographical section defending a distinct set of institutions that were thought to be under attack. The original federal Union that shared the exercise of power with the states strengthened the concept of secession. It also supplied a pretext for southern leaders to seize the initiative and form a separate nation.

The Reader’s Companion to American History. Eric Foner and John A. Garraty, Editors. Copyright © 1991 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


The Secession of South Carolina, December 20, 1860

John Caldwell Calhoun, 1782-1850 / Unidentified artist / Daguerreotype, 1843 / National Portrait gallery, Smithsonian Institution

But the means which may be sufficient to prevent diseases are not usually sufficient to remedy them. In slight cases of recent date, they may be but additional means are necessary to restore health, when the system has been long and deeply disordered. Such, at present, is the condition of our political system. The very causes which have occasioned its disorders have, at the same time, led to consequences not to be removed by the means which would have prevented them. They have destroyed the equilibrium between the two great sections, and alienated the mutual attraction between them, which led to the formation of the Union, and the establishment of a common government for the promotion of the welfare of all.

—John C. Calhoun, A Disquisition on Government and a Discourse on the Constitution and Government of the United States

The voice of sectionalism had been dead for ten years when South Carolina seceded from the Union on December 20, 1860. John C. Calhoun served his state and country as a representative, secretary of war, vice president, and ultimately, senator. He had been very much a nationalist until he could no longer tolerate the federal threat of increasing the tariff and the abolitionist discourse. Calhoun, however, had spoken loudly enough in his day for the echo yet to be heard in the legislative halls of the state in the weeks after the 1860 presidential election.

The South Carolina Ordinance of Secession—the first signature act that would propel the United States into civil war—was not the first time that the state had reacted against federal sovereignty. In 1832, led by Calhoun, South Carolina approved an Ordinance of Nullification, which was intended to serve notice on the United States government that South Carolina would not tolerate a high tariff. An eventual reduction of the tariff caused the South Carolina state legislature to repeal its act of nullification, but the debate over the rights of the states versus centralized federal control was merely brought down to a simmer from a boil. It would boil again soon, and then catch fire.

South Carolina's secession was the first in a series to occur before Abraham Lincoln's inauguration in March 1861. As if to instruct the rest of the South in the protocol of rebellion, South Carolina not only led the way in secession from the United States, but it would also provide the first battleground for the Civil War when Fort Sumter was fired upon by Confederate troops on April 12, 1861.

—Warren Perry, Catalog of American Portraits, National Portrait Gallery

Special thanks to James Barber, NPG historian, for discussing sectionalism and secession with me during the preparation of this article.


Contents

Humans arrived in the area of South Carolina around 13,000 BC. [ citation needed ] These people were hunters with crude tools made from stones and bones. Around 10,000 BC, they used spears and hunted big game. Over the Archaic period of 8000 to 2000 BC, the people gathered nuts, berries, fish and shellfish as part of their diets. Trade between the coastal plain and the piedmont developed. There is evidence of plant domestication and pottery in the late Archaic. The Woodland period brought more serious agriculture, more sophisticated pottery, and the bow and arrow. [4]

By the time of the first European exploration, twenty-nine tribes or nations of Native Americans, divided by major language families, lived within the boundaries of what became South Carolina. [5] Algonquian-speaking tribes lived in the low country, Siouan and Iroquoian-speaking in the Piedmont and uplands, respectively.

By the end of the 16th century, the Spanish and French had left the area of South Carolina after several reconnaissance missions, expeditions and failed colonization attempts, notably the short-living French outpost of Charlesfort followed by the Spanish town of Santa Elena on modern-day Parris Island between 1562 and 1587. In 1629, Charles I, King of England, granted his attorney general a charter to everything between latitudes 36 and 31. He called this land the Province of Carolana, which would later be changed to "Carolina" for pronunciation, after the Latin form of his own name.

In 1663, Charles II granted the land to the eight Lords Proprietors in return for their financial and political assistance in restoring him to the throne in 1660. [6] Charles II intended that the newly created Province of Carolina would serve as an English bulwark to the contested lands claimed by Spanish Florida and prevent Spanish expansion northward. [7] [8] The eight nobles ruled the Province of Carolina as a proprietary colony. After the Yamasee War of 1715–1717, the Lords Proprietors came under increasing pressure from settlers and were forced to relinquish their charter to the Crown in 1719. The proprietors retained their right to the land until 1719, when the South Carolina was officially made a crown colony.

In April 1670, settlers arrived at Albemarle Point, at the confluence of the Ashley and Cooper rivers. They founded Charles Town, named in honor of King Charles II. Throughout the Colonial Period, the Carolinas participated in many wars against the Spanish and the Native Americans, including the Yamasee and Cherokee tribes. In its first decades, the colony's plantations were relatively small and its wealth came from Native American trade, mainly in Native American slaves and deerskins.

The slave trade adversely affected tribes throughout the Southeast and exacerbated enmity and competition among some of them. Historians estimate that Carolinians exported 24,000–51,000 Native American slaves from 1670 to 1717, sending them to markets ranging from Boston in North America to Barbados. [9] Planters financed the purchase of African slaves by their sale of Native Americans, finding that they were somewhat easier to control, as they did not know the territory to make good an escape.

Perhaps the most notable moment in history for South Carolina was the creation of the Regulators in the 1760s, one of the first organized militias in the New World. The militia proposed ideas of independence and brought increased recognition to the need for backcountry rights in the Carolinas. This led to the War of the Regulators, a battle between the regulators and the British soldiers, led mainly by British Royal Governor William Tryon, in the area. This battle was the first catalyst in the American Revolution. [10]

Native people Edit

Divided roughly along the Santee River were the two main groups of Native American peoples— Eastern Siouan & the Cusaboan tribes. Relative to the Siouans were mostly the Waccamaw, Sewee, Woccon, Chickanee (a smaller offshoot of the northern Wateree), Winyaw & the Santee (not to be confused with the Dakota Santee of the west.). [11] [12] Most of the region south of the Santee River was controlled by the Muskogean Cusabo tribes. Some Muskogean speaking tribes, like the Coree lived among the Siouans, however. North of the Sewee were the Croatan, an Algonquian nation related to the Chowanoke, Piscataway, Nanticoke & Powhatan further north. Many descendants of the Croatan survive among the Lumbee, who also took in many Siouan peoples of the region. [13] Deeper inland were the lands of the Chalaques, or ancestral Cherokees.

Other tribes who entered the region over time were the Westo, an Iroquoian people believed to have been the same as the Erie Indians of Ohio. During the Beaver Wars period, they were pushed out of their homeland by the Iroquois & conquered their way down from the Ohio River into South Carolina, becoming a nuisance to the local populations & damaging the Chalaques. [12] They were destroyed in 1681, and, afterward, the Chalaques split into the Yuchi of North Carolina & the Cherokee to the south, with other fragment groups wandering off into different areas. Also, after this conflict, Muskogeans wandered north and became the Yamasee. [14] When the Cherokee & Yuchi later reformed into the Creek Confederacy after the Yamasee War, they destroyed the Yamasee, who became backwater nomads. They spread out between the states of South Carolina & Florida. Today, several Yamasee tribes have since reformed.

The Siouan peoples of the state were relatively small & lived a wide variety of lifestyles. Some had absorbed aspects of Muskogean culture, while others lived like the Virginian Saponi people. Most had a traditional Siouan government of a chief-led council, while others (like the Santee) were thought of as tyrannical monarchies. They were among the first to experience colonial contact by the Spanish colony in the state during the 16th century. After the colony collapsed, the native peoples even borrowed their cows & pigs and took up animal husbandry. They liked the idea so much, they went on to capture and domesticate other animals, such as geese and turkeys. Their downfall was a combination of European diseases & warfare. After the English reached the region, many members of these tribes ended up on both sides of most wars. The Sewee in particular met their end in a bizarre circumstance of virtually all the men of their people deciding to cut out the middleman and launched a canoe flotilla to cross the Atlantic so they could trade with Europe directly. They never returned. [12] In the end, all the Siouan peoples of the Carolinas ended up merging with the Catawba, who relocated to the N- S Carolina border around the Yadkin River. Later, the United States amalgamated the Catawba with the Cherokee & they were sent west on the Trail of Tears after the drafting of the Indian Removal Act in the 1830s. [15]

18th century Edit

In the 1700–70 era, the colony possessed many advantages - entrepreneurial planters and businessmen, a major harbor, the expansion of cost-efficient African slave labor, and an attractive physical environment, with rich soil and a long growing season, albeit with endemic malaria. Planters established rice and indigo as commodity crops, based in developing large plantations, with long-staple cotton grown on the sea islands. As the demand for labor increased, planters imported increasing numbers of African slaves. The slave population grew as they had children. These children were also regarded as slaves as they grew up, as South Carolina used Virginia's model of declaring all children born to slave mothers as slaves, regardless of the race or nationality of the father. So the majority of slaves in the colony came to be native-born. This became one of the wealthiest of the British colonies. Rich colonials became avid consumers of services from outside the colony, such as mercantile services, medical education, and legal training in England. Almost everyone in 18th-century South Carolina felt the pressures, constraints, and opportunities associated with the growing importance of trade. [16]

Yamasee war Edit

A pan-Native American alliance rose up against the settlers in the Yamasee War (1715–17), in part due to the tribes' opposition to the Native American slave trade. The Native Americans nearly destroyed the colony. But the colonists and Native American allies defeated the Yemasee and their allies, such as the Iroquoian-speaking Tuscarora people. The latter emigrated from the colony north to western New York state, where by 1722 they declared the migration ended. They were accepted as the sixth nation of the Iroquois Confederacy. Combined with exposure to European infectious diseases, the backcountry's Yemasee population was greatly reduced by the fierce warfare. [17]

Slaves Edit

After the Yamasee War, the planters turned exclusively to importing African slaves for labor. With the establishment of rice and indigo as commodity export crops, South Carolina became a slave society, with slavery central to its economy. By 1708, African slaves composed a majority of the population in the colony the blacks composed the majority of the population in the state into the 20th century. [18] Planters used slave labor to support cultivation and processing of rice and indigo as commodity crops. Building dams, irrigation ditches and related infrastructure, enslaved Africans created the equivalent of huge earthworks to regulate water for the rice culture. Although the methods for cultivation of rice were patterned on those of West African rice growers, white planters took credit for what they called "an achievement no less skillful than that which excites our wonder in viewing the works of the ancient Egyptians." [19]

While some lifetime indentured servants came to South Carolina transported as prisoners from Britain, having been sentenced for their part in the failed Scottish Jacobite Rebellions of 1744–46, by far most of the slaves came from West Africa. In the Low Country, including the Sea Islands, where large populations of Africans lived together, they developed a creolized culture and language known as Gullah/Geechee (the latter a term used in Georgia). They interacted with and adopted some elements of the English language and colonial culture and language. The Gullah adapted to elements of American society during the slavery years. Since the late nineteenth century, they have retained their distinctive life styles, products, and language to perpetuate their unique ethnic identity. [20] Beginning about 1910, tens of thousands of blacks left the state in the Great Migration, traveling for work and other opportunities to the northern and midwestern industrial cities.

Low country Edit

The Low Country was settled first, dominated by wealthy English men who became owners of large amounts of land on which they established plantations. [21] They first transported white indentured servants as laborers, mostly teenage youth from England who came to work off their passage in hopes of learning to farm and buying their own land. Planters also imported African laborers to the colony.

In the early colonial years, social boundaries were fluid between indentured laborers and slaves, and there was considerable intermarriage. Gradually the terms of enslavement became more rigid, and slavery became a racial caste. South Carolina used Virginia's model of declaring all children born to slave mothers as slaves, regardless of the race or nationality of the father. In the Upper South, there were many mixed-race slaves with white planter fathers. With a decrease in English settlers as the economy improved in England before the beginning of the 18th century, the planters began to rely chiefly on enslaved Africans for labor.

The market for land functioned efficiently and reflected both rapid economic development and widespread optimism regarding future economic growth. The frequency and turnover rate for land sales were tied to the general business cycle the overall trend was upward, with almost half of the sales occurring in the decade before the American Revolution. Prices also rose over time, parallel with the rise in the price for rice. Prices dropped dramatically, however, in the years just before the American Revolution, when fears arose about future prospects outside the system of English mercantilist trade. [22]

Back country Edit

In contrast to the Tidewater, the back country was settled later in the 18th century, chiefly by Scots-Irish and North British migrants, who had quickly moved down from Pennsylvania and Virginia. The immigrants from Ulster, the Scottish lowlands, and the north of England (the border counties) composed the largest group from the British Isles before the Revolution. They came mostly in the 18th century, later than other colonial immigrants. Such "North Britons were a large majority in much of the South Carolina upcountry." The character of this environment was "well matched to the culture of the British borderlands." [23]

They settled in the backcountry throughout the South and relied on subsistence farming. Mostly they did not own slaves. Given the differences in background, class, slave holding, economics, and culture, there was long-standing competition between the Low Country and back country that played out in politics.

Rice Edit

In the early period, planters earned wealth from two major crops: rice and indigo (see below), both of which relied on slave labor for their cultivation. [24] Exports of these crops led South Carolina to become one of the wealthiest colonies prior to the Revolution. Near the beginning of the 18th century, planters began rice culture along the coast, mainly in the Georgetown and Charleston areas. The rice became known as Carolina Gold, both for its color and its ability to produce great fortunes for plantation owners. [25]

Indigo production Edit

In the 1740s, Eliza Lucas Pinckney began indigo culture and processing in coastal South Carolina. Indigo was in heavy demand in Europe for making dyes for clothing. An "Indigo Bonanza" followed, with South Carolina production approaching a million pounds (400 plus Tonnes) in the late 1750s. This growth was stimulated by a British bounty of six pence per pound. [26]

South Carolina did not have a monopoly of the British market, but the demand was strong and many planters switched to the new crop when the price of rice fell. Carolina indigo had a mediocre reputation because Carolina planters failed to achieve consistent high quality production standards. Carolina indigo nevertheless succeeded in displacing French and Spanish indigo in the British and in some continental markets, reflecting the demand for cheap dyestuffs from manufacturers of low-cost textiles, the fastest-growing sectors of the European textile industries at the onset of industrialization. [27]

In addition, the colonial economy depended on sales of pelts (primarily deerskins), and naval stores and timber. Coastal towns began shipbuilding to support their trade, using the prime timbers of the live oak.

Jews and Huguenots Edit

South Carolina's liberal constitution and early flourishing trade attracted Sephardic Jewish immigrants as early as the 18th century. They were mostly elite businessmen from London and Barbados, where they had been involved in the rum and sugar trades. Many became slaveholders. In 1800, Charleston had the largest Jewish population of any city in the United States. [28] Huguenot Protestant refugees from France were welcomed and many became mechanics and businessmen. [29]

Negro Act of 1740 Edit

The comprehensive Negro Act of 1740 was passed in South Carolina, during Governor William Bull's time in office, in response to the Stono Rebellion in 1739. [30] The act made it illegal for enslaved Africans to move abroad, assemble in groups, raise food, earn money, and learn to write (though reading was not proscribed). Additionally, owners were permitted to kill rebellious slaves if necessary. [31] The Act remained in effect until 1865. [32]

Prior to the American Revolution, the British began taxing American colonies to raise revenue. Residents of South Carolina were outraged by the Townsend Acts that taxed tea, paper, wine, glass, and oil. To protest the Stamp Act, South Carolina sent the wealthy rice planter Thomas Lynch, twenty-six-year-old lawyer John Rutledge, and Christopher Gadsden to the Stamp Act Congress, held in 1765 in New York. Other taxes were removed, but tea taxes remained. Soon residents of South Carolina, like those of the Boston Tea Party, began to dump tea into the Charleston Harbor, followed by boycotts and protests.

South Carolina set up its state government and constitution on March 26, 1776. Because of the colony's longstanding trade ties with Great Britain, the Low Country cities had numerous Loyalists. Many of the Patriot battles fought in South Carolina during the American Revolution were against loyalist Carolinians and the Cherokee Nation, which was allied with the British. This was to British General Henry Clinton's advantage, as his strategy was to march his troops north from St. Augustine and sandwich George Washington in the North. Clinton alienated Loyalists and enraged Patriots by attacking and nearly annihilating a fleeing army of Patriot soldiers who posed no threat.

White colonists were not the only ones with a desire for freedom. Estimates are that about 25,000 slaves escaped, migrated or died during the disruption of the war, 30 percent of the state's slave population. About 13,000 joined the British, who had promised them freedom if they left rebel masters and fought with them. From 1770 to 1790, the proportion of the state's population made up of blacks (almost all of whom were enslaved), dropped from 60.5 percent to 43.8 percent. [33]

On October 7, 1780, at Kings Mountain, John Sevier and William Campbell, using volunteers from the mountains and from Tennessee, surrounded 1000 Loyalist soldiers camped on a mountain top. It was a decisive Patriot victory. It was the first Patriot victory since the British had taken Charleston. Thomas Jefferson, governor of Virginia at the time, called it, "The turn of the tide of success." [34]

While tensions mounted between the Crown and the Carolinas, some key southern Pastors became a target of King George: ". this church (Bullock Creek) was noted as one of the "Four Bees" in King George's bonnet due to its pastor, Rev. Joseph Alexander, preaching open rebellion to the British Crown in June 1780. Bullock Creek Presbyterian Church was a place noted for being a Whig party stronghold. Under a ground swell of such Calvin Protestant leadership, South Carolina moved from a back seat to the front in the war against tyranny. Patriots went on to regain control of Charleston and South Carolina with untrained militiamen by trapping Colonel Banastre "No Quarter" Tarleton's troops along a river.

In 1787, John Rutledge, Charles Pinckney, Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, and Pierce Butler went to Philadelphia where the Constitutional Convention was being held and constructed what served as a detailed outline for the U.S. Constitution. The federal Constitution was ratified by the state in 1787. The new state constitution was ratified in 1790 without the support of the Upcountry.

Scots Irish Edit

During the Revolution, the Scots Irish in the back country in most states were noted as strong patriots. One exception was the Waxhaw settlement on the lower Catawba River along the North Carolina-South Carolina boundary, where Loyalism was strong. The area had two main settlement periods of Scotch Irish. During the 1750s–1760s, second- and third-generation Scotch Irish Americans moved from Pennsylvania, Virginia, and North Carolina. This particular group had large families, and as a group they produced goods for themselves and for others. They generally were patriots.

In addition to these, The Earl of Donegal arrived in Charleston on December 22, 1767, from Belfast, bringing approximately fifty families over who received land grants under the Bounty Act. Most of these families settled in the upstate. A portion of these eventually migrated into Georgia and on into Alabama.

Just prior to the Revolution, a second stream of immigrants came directly from northern Ireland via Charleston. Mostly poor, this group settled in an underdeveloped area because they could not afford expensive land. Most of this group remained loyal to the Crown or neutral when the war began. Prior to Charles Cornwallis's march into the backcountry in 1780, two-thirds of the men among the Waxhaw settlement had declined to serve in the army. British victory at the Battle of the Waxhaws resulted in anti-British sentiment in a bitterly divided region. While many individuals chose to take up arms against the British, the British forced the people to choose sides, as they were trying to recruit Loyalists for a militia. [35]

Loyalists Edit

South Carolina had one of the strongest Loyalists factions of any state. About 5000 men took up arms against the Patriot government during revolution, and thousands more were supporters. Nearly all had immigrated to the province after 1765, only about one in six was native-born. About 45% of the Loyalists were small farmers, 30% were merchants, artisans or shopkeepers 15% were large farmers or plantation owners 10% Were royal officials. Geographically they were strongest in the backcountry. [36] [37]

Although the state had experienced a bitter bloody internal civil war 1780-82, civilian leaders nevertheless adopted a policy of reconciliation that proved more moderate than any other state. About 4500 white Loyalists left when the war ended, but the majority remained behind. The state successfully and quickly reincorporated the vast majority. Some were required to pay a 10% fine of the value of the property. The legislature named 232 Loyalists liable for confiscation of their property, but most appealed and were forgiven. [38]

Rebecca Brannon, says South Carolinians, "offered the most generous reconciliation to Loyalists . despite suffering the worst extremes of violent civil war" According to a reviewer, she:

convincingly argues that South Carolinians, driven by social, political, and economic imperatives, engaged in a process of integration that was significantly more generous than that of other states. Indeed, Brannon's account strongly suggests that it was precisely the brutality and destructiveness of the conflict in the Palmetto State that led South Carolinians to favor reconciliation over retribution. [39]

South Carolina led opposition to national law during the Nullification Crisis. It was the first state to declare its secession in 1860 in response to the election of Abraham Lincoln. Dominated by major planters, it was the only state in which slaveholders composed a majority of the legislature.

Politics and slavery Edit

After the Revolutionary War, numerous slaves were freed. Most of the northern states abolished slavery, sometimes combined with gradual emancipation. In the Upper South, inspired by revolutionary ideals and activist preachers, state legislatures passed laws making it easier for slaveholders to manumit (free) their slaves both during their lifetimes or by wills. Quakers, Methodists, and Baptists urged slaveholders to free their slaves. In the period from 1790 to 1810, the proportion and number of free blacks rose dramatically in the Upper South and overall, from less than 1 percent to more than 10 percent.

When the importation of slaves became illegal in 1808, South Carolina was the only state that still allowed importation, which had been prohibited in the other states.

Slave owners had more control over the state government of South Carolina than of any other state. Elite planters played the role of English aristocrats more than did the planters of other states. In the late antebellum years, the newer Southern states, such as Alabama and Mississippi, allowed more political equality among whites. [40] Although all white male residents were allowed to vote, property requirements for office holders were higher in South Carolina than in any other state. [40] It was the only state legislature in which slave owners held the majority of seats. [40] The legislature elected the governor, all judges and state electors for federal elections, as well as the US senators into the 20th century, so its members had considerable political power. [40] The state's chief executive was a figurehead who had no authority to veto legislative law. [40]

With its society disrupted by losses of enslaved Black people during the Revolution, South Carolina did not embrace manumission as readily as states of the Upper South. Most of its small number of "free" Black people were of mixed race, often the children of major planters or their sons, who raped the young Black enslaved females. Their wealthy fathers sometimes passed on social capital to such mixed-race children, arranging for their manumission even if officially denying them as legal heirs. Fathers sometimes arranged to have their enslaved children educated, arranged apprenticeships in skilled trades, and other preparation for independent adulthood. [ citation needed ] Some planters sent their enslaved mixed-race children to schools and colleges in the North for education. [ citation needed ]

In the early 19th century, the state legislature passed laws making manumission more difficult. The manumission law of 1820 required slaveholders to gain legislative approval for each act of manumission and generally required other free adults to testify that the person to be freed could support himself. This meant that freedmen were unable to free their enslaved children since the first law [ which? ] required that five citizens attest to the ability of the person proposed to be "freed" to earn a living. In 1820, the legislature ended personal manumissions, requiring all slaveholders to gain individual permission from the legislature before manumitting anyone.

The majority of the population in South Carolina was Black, with concentrations in the plantation areas of the Low Country: by 1860 the population of the state was 703,620, with 57 percent or slightly more than 402,000 classified as enslaved people. Free Black people numbered slightly less than 10,000. [41] A concentration of free people of color lived in Charleston, where they formed an elite racial caste of people who had more skills and education than most Black people. Unlike Virginia, where most of the larger plantations and enslaved people were concentrated in the eastern part of the state, South Carolina plantations and enslaved people became common throughout much of the state. After 1794, Eli Whitney's cotton gin allowed cotton plantations for short-staple cotton to be widely developed in the Piedmont area, which became known as the Black Belt of the state. [40]

By 1830, 85% of inhabitants of rice plantations in the Low Country were enslaved people. When rice planters left the malarial low country for cities such as Charleston during the social season, up to 98% of the Low Country residents were enslaved people. This led to a preservation of West African customs while developing the Creole culture known as Gullah. [40] By 1830, two-thirds of South Carolina's counties had populations with 40 percent or more enslaved people even in the two counties with the lowest rates of slavery, 23 percent of the population were enslaved people. [40]

In 1822, a Black freedman named Denmark Vesey and compatriots around Charlestown organized a plan for thousands of enslaved people to participate in an armed uprising to gain freedom. Vesey's plan, inspired by the 1791 Haitian Revolution, called for thousands of armed Black men to kill their enslavers, seize the city of Charleston, and escape from the United States by sailing to Haiti. The plot was discovered when two enslaved people opposed to the plan leaked word of it to white authorities. Charleston authorities charged 131 men with participating in the conspiracy. In total, the state convicted 67 men and executed by hanging 35 of them, including Vesey. White fear of the insurrection of enslaved people after the Vesey conspiracy led to a 9:15 pm curfew for enslaved people in Charleston, [40] and the establishment of a municipal guard of 150 white men in Charleston, with half the men stationed in an arsenal called the Citadel. Columbia was protected by an arsenal.

Plantations in older Southern states such as South Carolina wore out the soil to such an extent that 42% of state residents left the state for the lower South, to develop plantations with newer soil. The remaining South Carolina plantations were especially hard hit when worldwide cotton markets turned down in 1826–32 and again in 1837–49. [40]

Nullification Edit

The white minority in South Carolina felt more threatened than in other parts of the South, and reacted more to the economic Panic of 1819, the Missouri Controversy of 1820, and attempts at emancipation in the form of the Ohio Resolutions of 1824 and the American Colonization Petition of 1827. [42] South Carolina's first attempt at nullification occurred in 1822, when South Carolina adopted a policy of jailing foreign Black sailors at South Carolina ports. This policy violated a treaty between the United Kingdom and the United States, but South Carolina defied a complaint from Britain through American Secretary of State John Quincy Adams and a United States Supreme Court justice's federal circuit decision condemning the jailings. [42] Foreign Black men from Santo Domingo had previously communicated with Denmark Vesey's conspirators, and the South Carolina State Senate declared that the need to prevent insurrections was more important than laws, treaties or constitutions. [42]

South Carolinian George McDuffie popularized the "Forty Bale theory" to explain South Carolina's economic woes. He said that tariffs that became progressively higher in 1816, 1824 and 1828 had the same effect as if a thief stole forty bales out of a hundred from every barn. The tariffs applied to imports of goods such as iron, wool, and finished cotton products. The Forty Bale theory was based on faulty math, as Britain could sell finished cotton goods made from Southern raw cotton around the world, not just to the United States. Still, the theory was a popular explanation for economic problems that were caused in large part by overproduction of cotton in the Deep South, competing with South Carolina's declining crops because of its depleted soil. South Carolinians, rightly or wrongly, blamed the tariff for the fact that cotton prices fell from 18 cents a pound to 9 cents a pound during the 1820s. [42]

While the effects of the tariff were exaggerated, manufactured imports from Europe were cheaper than American-made products without the tariff, and the tariff did reduce British imports of cotton to some extent. These were largely short-term problems that existed before United States factories and textile makers could compete with Europe. Also, the tariff replaced a tax system where slave states previously had to pay more in taxes for the increased representation they got in the U.S. House of Representatives under the three-fifths clause. [43]

The Tariff of 1828, which South Carolina agitators called the Tariff of Abominations, set the tariff rate at 50 percent. Although John C. Calhoun previously supported tariffs, he anonymously wrote the South Carolina Exposition and Protest, which was a states' rights argument for nullifying the tariff. Calhoun's theory was that the threat of secession would lead to a "concurrent majority" that would possess every white minority's consent, as opposed to a "tyrannical majority" of Northerners controlling the South. [42] Both Calhoun and Robert Barnwell Rhett foresaw that the same arguments could be used to defend slavery when necessary. [44] [45] [46]

President Andrew Jackson successfully forced the nullifiers to back down and allowed a gradual reduction of tariff rates. [42] Calhoun and Senator Henry Clay agreed upon the Compromise Tariff of 1833, which would lower rates over 10 years. [47] Calhoun later supported national protection for slavery in the form of the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 and federal protection of slavery in the territories conquered from Mexico, in contradiction to his previous support for nullification and states' rights. [48]

Censorship and slavery Edit

On July 29, 1835, Charleston Postmaster Alfred Huger found abolitionist literature in the mail, and refused to deliver it. Slave owners seized the mail and built a bonfire with it, and other Southern states followed South Carolina's lead in censoring abolitionist literature. [49] South Carolina's James Henry Hammond started the gag rule controversy by demanding a ban on petitions for ending slavery from being introduced before Congress in 1835. [50] The 1856 caning of Republican Charles Sumner by the South Carolinian Preston Brooks [51] after Sumner's Crime Against Kansas speech heightened Northern fears that the alleged aggressions of the slave power threatened republican government for Northern whites.

Protest of the Negro Act of 1740 Edit

John Belton O'Neall summarized the Negro Act of 1740, in his written work, The Negro Law of South Carolina, when he stated: "A slave may, by the consent of his master, acquire and hold personal property. All, thus required, is regarded in law as that of the master." [52] [53] Across the South, state supreme courts supported the position of this law. [54] In 1848, O'Neall was the only one to express protest against the Act, arguing for the propriety of receiving testimony from enslaved Africans (many of whom, by 1848, were Christians) under oath: "Negroes (slave or free) will feel the sanctions of an oath, with as much force as any of the ignorant classes of white people, in a Christian country." [55] [53]

Secession and war Edit

South Carolina was the first state to secede from the Union after the election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860. South Carolina adopted the Declaration of the Immediate Causes Which Induce and Justify the Secession of South Carolina from the Federal Union on December 24, 1860, following a briefer Ordinance of Secession adopted December 20. All of the violations of the alleged rights of Southern states mentioned in the document are about slavery. President Buchanan protested but made no military response aside from a failed attempt to resupply Fort Sumter via the ship Star of the West, which was fired upon by South Carolina forces and turned back before it reached the fort. [56]

Prewar tensions Edit

Few white South Carolinians considered abolition of slavery as an option. Having lived as a minority among the majority-black slaves, they feared that, if freed, the slaves would try to "Africanize" the whites' cherished society and culture. This was what they believed had happened after slave revolutions in Haiti, in which numerous whites and free people of color were killed during the revolution. South Carolina's white politicians were divided between devoted Unionists who opposed any sort of secession, and those who believed secession was a state's right.

John C. Calhoun noted that the dry and barren West could not support a plantation system and would remain without slaves. Calhoun proposed that Congress should not exclude slavery from territories but let each state choose for itself whether it would allow slaves within its borders. After Calhoun's death in 1850, however, South Carolina was left without a leader great enough in national standing and character to prevent action by those more militant South Carolinian factions who wanted to secede immediately. Andrew Pickens Butler argued against Charleston publisher Robert Barnwell Rhett, who advocated immediate secession and, if necessary, independence. Butler won the battle, but Rhett outlived him.

When people began to believe that Abraham Lincoln would be elected president, states in the Deep South organized conventions to discuss their options. South Carolina was the first state to organize such a convention, meeting in December following the national election. On December 20, 1860, delegates convened in Charleston and voted unanimously to secede from the Union. President James Buchanan declared the secession illegal, but did not act to stop it. The first six states to secede with the largest slaveholding states in the South, demonstrating that the slavery societies were an integral part of the secession question.

Fort Sumter Edit

On February 4, the seven seceded states approved a new constitution for the Confederate States of America. Lincoln argued that the United States were "one nation, indivisible," and denied the Southern states' right to secede. South Carolina entered the Confederacy on February 8, 1861, thus ending fewer than six weeks of being an independent State of South Carolina. Meanwhile, Major Robert Anderson, commander of the U.S. troops in Charleston, withdrew his men into the small island fortress of Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor and raised the U.S. flag. Fort Sumter was vastly outgunned by shore batteries and was too small to be a military threat but it had high symbolic value. In a letter delivered January 31, 1861, South Carolina Governor Pickens demanded of President Buchanan that he surrender Fort Sumter, because "I regard that possession is not consistent with the dignity or safety of the State of South Carolina." [57] Buchanan refused. Lincoln was determined to hold it to assert national power and prestige he wanted the Confederacy to fire the first shot. If it was to be a dignified independent nation the Confederacy could not tolerate a foreign fort in its second largest harbor. [58]

About 6,000 Confederate men were stationed around the rim of the harbor, ready to take on the 60 men in Fort Sumter. At 4:30 a.m. on April 12, after two days of fruitless negotiations, and with Union ships just outside the harbor, the Confederates opened fire on orders from President Jefferson Davis. Edmund Ruffin fired the first shot. Thirty-four hours later, Anderson's men raised the white flag and were allowed to leave the fort with colors flying and drums beating, saluting the U.S. flag with a 50-gun salute before taking it down. During this salute, one of the guns exploded, killing a young soldier—the only casualty of the bombardment and the first casualty of the war. In a mass frenzy, North and South men rushed to enlist, as Lincoln called up troops to recapture the fort. [59]

Civil War devastates the state Edit

The South was at a disadvantage in number, weaponry, and maritime skills the region did not have much of a maritime tradition and few sailors. Federal ships sailed south and blocked off one port after another. As early as November, Union troops occupied the Sea Islands in the Beaufort area, and established an important base for the men and ships that would obstruct the ports at Charleston and Savannah. Many plantation owners had already fled to distant interior refuges, sometimes taking their slaves with them.

Those African-Americans who remained on the Sea Islands became the first "freedmen" of the war. Under military supervision, the Sea Islands became a laboratory for education, with Northern missionary teachers finding former enslaved adults as well as children eager for learning. The supervisors assigned plots of plantation land to individual freedmen households, who began to do subsistence farming, generally of food crops and cotton or rice.

Despite South Carolina's important role, and the Union's unsuccessful attempt to take Charleston from 1863 onward, fighting was largely limited to naval activities until almost the end of the war. Having completed his March to the Sea at Savannah in 1865, Union General Sherman took his army to Columbia, then north into North Carolina. With most major Confederate resistance eliminated by this point, the Union army was nearly unopposed. Sherman's troops embarked on an orgy of looting and destruction as there was widespread resentment at South Carolina being "the mother of secession" and the principal reason why the war started in the first place. Columbia and many other towns were burned.

On February 21, 1865, with the Confederate forces finally evacuated from Charleston, the black 54th Massachusetts Regiment, led by Thomas Baker, Albert Adams, David Adams, Nelson R. Anderson, William H. Alexander, Beverly Harris, Joseph Anderson, Robert Abram, Elijah Brown, Wiley Abbott, marched through the city. At a ceremony at which the U.S. flag was raised over Fort Sumter, former fort commander Robert Anderson was joined on the platform by two African Americans: Union hero Robert Smalls, who had piloted a Confederate ship to Union lines, and the son of Denmark Vesey.

Continuing to rely on agriculture in a declining market, landowners in the state struggled with the change to free labor, as well as the aftermath of the war's destruction. There was an agricultural depression and deep financial recession in 1873, and changes in the labor market disrupted agriculture. South Carolina lost proportionally more of its young men of fighting age than did any other Southern state. Recorded deaths were 18,666 however, fatalities might have reached 21,146. This was 31–35% of the total of white men of ages 18–45 recorded in the 1860 census for South Carolina. As with other military forces, most of the men died of disease rather than being wounded in battle. [60]

African Americans had long composed the majority of the state's population. However, in 1860, only 2 percent of the state's black population were free most were mulattos or free people of color, with ties of kinship to white families. They were well established as more educated and skilled artisans in Charleston and some other cities despite social restrictions, and sometimes as landowners and slaveholders. As a result, free people of color before the war became important leaders in the South Carolina government during Reconstruction they made up 26 percent of blacks elected to office in the state between 1868 and 1876 and played important roles in the Republican Party, prepared by their education, skills and experiences before the war. [61] [62]

Despite the anti-Northern fury of prewar and wartime politics, most South Carolinians, including the state's leading opinion-maker, Wade Hampton III, believed that white citizens would do well to accept President Andrew Johnson's terms for full reentry to the Union. However, the state legislature, in 1865, passed "Black Codes" to control the work and movement of freedmen. This angered Northerners, who accused the state of imposing semi-slavery on the freedmen. The South Carolina Black Codes have been described:

Persons of color contracting for service were to be known as "servants", and those with whom they contracted, as "masters." On farms the hours of labor would be from sunrise to sunset daily, except on Sunday. The negroes were to get out of bed at dawn. Time lost would be deducted from their wages, as would be the cost of food, nursing, etc., during absence from sickness. Absentees on Sunday must return to the plantation by sunset. House servants were to be at call at all hours of the day and night on all days of the week. They must be "especially civil and polite to their masters, their masters' families and guests", and they in return would receive "gentle and kind treatment." Corporal and other punishment was to be administered only upon order of the district judge or other civil magistrate. A vagrant law of some severity was enacted to keep the negroes from roaming the roads and living the lives of beggars and thieves. [63]

The Black Codes outraged northern opinion and apparently were never put into effect in any state.

Republican rule Edit

After winning the 1866 elections, the Radical Republicans took control of the Reconstruction process. The Army registered all male voters, and elections returned a Republican government composed of a coalition of freedmen, "carpetbaggers", and "scalawags". By a constitutional convention, new voters created the Constitution of 1868 this brought democratic reforms to the state, including its first public school system. Native white Republicans supported it, but white Democrats viewed the Republican government as representative of black interests only and were largely unsupportive.

Adding to the interracial animosity was the sense of many whites that their former slaves had betrayed them. Before the war, slaveholders had convinced themselves that they were treating their slaves well and had earned their slaves' loyalty. When the Union Army rolled in and slaves deserted by the thousands, slaveholders were stunned. The black population scrambled to preserve its new rights while the white population attempted to claw its way back up the social ladder by denying blacks those same rights and reviving white supremacy.

Ku Klux Klan raids began shortly after the end of the war, as a first stage of insurgency. Secret chapters had members who terrorized and murdered blacks and their sympathizers in an attempt to reestablish white supremacy. These raids were particularly prevalent in the upstate, and they reached a climax in 1870–71. Congress passed a series of Enforcement Acts aimed at curbing Klan activity, and the Grant administration eventually declared martial law in the upstate counties of Spartanburg, York, Marion, Chester, Laurens, Newberry, Fairfield, Lancaster, and Chesterfield in October 1870. [64]

The declaration was followed by mass arrests and a series of Congressional hearings to investigate violence in the region. Though the federal program resulted in over 700 indictments, there were few successful prosecutions, and many of those individuals later received pardons. [64] The ultimate weakness of the response helped to undermine federal authority in the state, though formal Klan activity declined precipitously following federal intervention. The violence in the state did not subside, however. New insurgent groups formed as paramilitary units and rifle clubs who operated openly in the 1870s to disrupt Republican organizing and suppress black voting such groups included the Red Shirts, as of 1874, and their violence killed more than 100 blacks during the political season of 1876.

Spending and debt Edit

A major theme of conservative opposition to Republican state government was the escalating state debt, and the rising taxes paid by a white population that was much poorer than before the war. Much of the state money had been squandered or wasted. [ citation needed ] Simkins and Woody say that, "The state debt increased rapidly, interest was seldom paid, and credit of the state was almost wiped out yet with one or two exceptions the offenders were not brought to justice." [65] [ better source needed ]

Reconstruction government established public education for the first time, and new charitable institutions, together with improved prisons. There was corruption, but it was mostly white Southerners who benefited, particularly by investments to develop railroads and other infrastructure. Taxes had been exceedingly low before the war because the planter class refused to support programs such as education welfare. The exigencies of the postwar period caused the state debt to climb rapidly. [66] [67] [68] [69] When Republicans came to power in 1868, the debt stood at $5.4 million. By the time Republicans lost control in 1877, state debt had risen to $18.5 million. [70]

The 1876 gubernatorial election Edit

From 1868 on, elections were accompanied by increasing violence from white paramilitary groups such as the Red Shirts. Because of the violence in 1870, Republican Governor Chamberlain requested assistance from Washington to try to keep control. President Ulysses S. Grant sent federal troops to try to preserve order and ensure a fair election. [71]

Using as a model the "Mississippi Plan", which had redeemed that state in 1874, South Carolina whites used intimidation, violence, persuasion, and control of the blacks. In 1876, tensions were high, especially in Piedmont towns where the numbers of blacks were fewer than whites. In these counties, blacks sometimes made up a narrow majority. There were numerous demonstrations by the Red Shirts—white Democrats determined to win the upcoming elections by any means possible. The Red Shirts turned the tide in South Carolina, convincing whites that this could indeed be the year they regain control and terrorizing blacks to stay away from voting, due to incidents such as the Hamburg Massacre in July, the Ellenton riots in October, [72] and other similar events in Aiken County and Edgefield District. Armed with heavy pistols and rifles, they rode on horseback to every Republican meeting, and demanded a chance to speak. The Red Shirts milled among the crowds. Each selected a black man to watch, privately threatening to shoot him if he raised a disturbance. The Redeemers organized hundreds of rifle clubs. Obeying proclamations to disband, they sometimes reorganized as missionary societies or dancing clubs—with rifles.

They set up an ironclad economic boycott against black activists and "scalawags" who refused to vote the Democratic ticket. People lost jobs over their political views. They beat down the opposition—but always just within the law. In 1876, Wade Hampton made more than forty speeches across the state. Some Black Republicans joined his cause donning the Red Shirts, they paraded with the whites. Most scalawags "crossed Jordan", as switching to the Democrats was called. [ citation needed ]

On election day, there was intimidation and fraud on all sides, employed by both parties. Edgefield and Laurens counties had more votes for Democratic candidate Wade Hampton III than the total number of registered voters in either county. [73] The returns were disputed all the way to Washington, where they played a central role in the Compromise of 1877. Both parties claimed victory. For a while, two separate state assemblies did business side by side on the floor of the state house (their Speakers shared the Speaker's desk, but each had his own gavel), until the Democrats moved to their own building. There the Democrats continued to pass resolutions and conducted the state's business, just as the Republicans were doing. The Republican State Assembly tossed out results of the tainted election and reelected Chamberlain as governor. A week later, General Wade Hampton III took the oath of office for the Democrats.

Finally, in return for the South's support of his own convoluted presidential "victory" over Samuel Tilden, President Rutherford B. Hayes withdrew federal troops from Columbia and the rest of the South in 1877. The Republican government dissolved and Chamberlain headed north, as Wade Hampton and his Redeemers took control.

Memory Edit

Whites and blacks in South Carolina developed different memories of Reconstruction and used them to justify their politics. James Shepherd Pike, a prominent Republican journalist, visited the state in 1873 and wrote accounts that were widely reprinted and published as a book, The Prostrate State (1874). Historian Eric Foner writes:

The book depicted a state engulfed by political corruption, drained by governmental extravagance, and under the control of "a mass of black barbarism." The South's problems, he insisted, arose from "Negro government." The solution was to restore leading whites to political power. [74]

Similar views were developed in scholarly monographs by academic historians of the Dunning School based at Columbia University in the early 20th century they served as historians at major colleges in the South, influencing interpretation of Reconstruction into the 1960s. They argued that corrupt Yankee carpetbaggers controlled for financial profit the mass of ignorant black voters and nearly plunged South Carolina into economic ruin and social chaos. The heroes in this version were the Red Shirts: white paramilitary insurgents who, beginning in 1874, rescued the state from misrule and preserved democracy, expelled blacks from the public square by intimidation during elections, restored law and order, and created a long era of comity between the races.

The black version, beginning with W.E.B. Du Bois' Black Reconstruction (1935), examines the period more objectively and notes its achievements in establishing public school education, and numerous social and welfare institutions to benefit all the citizens. Other historians also evaluated Reconstruction against similar periods. Their work provided intellectual support for the Civil Rights Movement. [75]

In the 1980s, social battles over the display of the Confederate flag following the achievements of the Civil Rights Movement were related to these differing interpretations and the blacks' nearly century of struggle to regain the exercise of constitutional rights lost to Conservative Democrats after Reconstruction.

The Democrats were led by General Wade Hampton III and other former Confederate veterans who espoused a return to the policies of the antebellum period. Known as the Conservatives, or the Bourbons, they favored a minimalist approach by the government and a conciliatory policy towards blacks while maintaining white supremacy. Also of interest to the Conservatives was the restoration of the University of South Carolina to its prominent prewar status as the leading institution of higher education in the state and the region. They closed the college before passing a law to restrict admission to whites only. The legislature designated Claflin College for higher education for blacks. [76] (The Reconstruction legislature had opened the college to blacks and established supplemental programs to prepare them for study.)

Once in power, the Democrats quickly consolidated their position and sought to unravel the legacy of the Radical Republicans. They pressured Republicans to resign from their positions, which included violence and intimidation by members of the Red Shirts, a paramilitary group described the historian George Rabe as the "military arm of the Democratic Party," who also worked to suppress black voting. Within a year both the legislative and judiciary were firmly in the control of the Democrats. [77] [78] The Democrats launched investigations into the corruption and frauds committed by Republicans during Reconstruction. They dropped the charges when the Federal government dropped its charges against whites accused of violence in the 1876 election campaign. [79]

With their position secure, the Democrats next tackled the state debt. Many Democrats from the upcountry, led by General Martin Gary, who had developed the Edgefield Plan for targeted violence to take back the state, pushed for the entire state debt to be canceled, but Gary was opposed by Charleston holders of the bonds. [80] A compromise moderated by Wade Hampton was achieved and by October 1882, the state debt was reduced to $6.5 million.

Other legislative initiatives by the Conservatives benefited its primary supporters, the planters and business class. Taxes across the board were reduced, and funding was cut for public social and educational programs that assisted poor whites and blacks. Oral contracts were made to be legally binding, breach of contract was enforced as a criminal offense, and those in debt to planters could be forced to work off their debt. In addition, the University of South Carolina along with The Citadel were reopened to elite classes and generously supported by the state government.

By the late 1880s, the agrarian movement swept through the state and encouraged subsistence farmers to assert their political rights. They pressured the legislature to establish an agriculture college. Reluctantly the legislature complied by adding an agriculture college to the University of South Carolina in 1887. Ben Tillman inspired the farmers to demand a separate agriculture college isolated from the politics of Columbia. [81] [82] [83] The Conservatives finally gave them one in 1889.

In 1890, Ben Tillman set his sights on the gubernatorial contest. The farmers rallied behind his candidacy and Tillman easily defeated the conservative nominee, A.C. Haskell. The conservatives failed to grasp the strength of the farmers' movement in the state. The planter elite no longer engendered automatic respect for having fought in the Civil War. Not only that, but Tillman's "humorous and coarse speech appealed to a majority no more delicate than he in matters of taste." [84]

The Tillman movement succeeded in enacting a number of Tillman's proposals and pet projects. Among those was the crafting of a new state constitution and a state dispensary system for alcohol. Tillman held a "pathological fear of Negro rule." [85] White elites created a new constitution with provisions to suppress voting by blacks and poor whites following the 1890 model of Mississippi, which had survived an appeal to the US Supreme Court.

They followed what was known as the Mississippi Plan, which had survived a US Supreme Court challenge. Disfranchisement was chiefly accomplished through provisions related to making voter registration more difficult, such as poll taxes and literacy tests, which in practice adversely affected African Americans and poor whites. After promulgation of the new Constitution of 1895, voting was for more than sixty years essentially restricted to whites, establishing a one-party Democratic state. White Democrats benefited by controlling a House of Representatives apportionment based on the total state population, although the number of voters had been drastically reduced. Blacks were excluded from the political system in every way, including from serving in local offices and on juries.

During Reconstruction, black legislators had been a majority in the lower house of the legislature. The new requirements, applied under white authority, led to only about 15,000 of the 140,000 eligible blacks qualifying to register. [86] In practice, many more blacks were prohibited from voting by the subjective voter registration process controlled by white registrars. In addition, the Democratic Party primary was restricted to whites only. By October 1896, there were 50,000 whites registered, but only 5,500 blacks, in a state in which blacks were the majority. [87]

The 1900 census demonstrated the extent of disfranchisement: a total of 782,509 African Americans made up more than 58 percent of the state's population, essentially without any representation. [88] The political loss affected educated and illiterate men alike. It meant that without their interests represented, blacks were unfairly treated within the state. They were unable to serve on juries segregated schools and services were underfunded law enforcement was dominated by whites. African Americans did not recover the ability to exercise suffrage and political rights until the Civil Rights Movement won passage of Federal legislation in 1964 and 1965.

The state Dispensary, described as "Ben Tillman's Baby", was never popular in the state, and violence broke out in Darlington over its enforcement. In 1907, the Dispensary Act was repealed. In 1915, the legal sale of alcohol was prohibited by referendum.

Tillman's influence on the politics of South Carolina began to wane after he was elected by the legislature to the U.S. Senate in 1895. The Conservatives recaptured the legislature in 1902. The elite planter, Duncan Clinch Heyward, won the gubernatorial election. He made no substantial changes and Heyward continued to enforce the Dispensary Act at great difficulty. The state continued its rapid pace of industrialization, which gave rise to a new class of white voters, the cotton mill workers.

White sharecroppers and mill workers coalesced behind the candidacy of Tillmanite Cole Blease in the gubernatorial election of 1910. They believed that Blease was including them as an important part of the political force of the state. Once in office, however, Blease did not initiate any policies that were beneficial to the mill workers or poor farmers. Instead, his four years in office were highly erratic in behavior. This helped to pave the way for a progressive, Richard I. Manning, to win the governorship in 1914. [89]

In the 1880s Atlanta editor Henry W. Grady won attention in the state for his vision of a "New South", a South based on the modern industrial model. By now, the idea had already struck some enterprising South Carolinians that the cotton they were shipping north could also be processed in South Carolina mills. The idea was not new in 1854, De Bow's Commercial Review of the South & West had boasted to investors of South Carolina's potential for manufacturing, citing its three lines of railroads, inexpensive raw materials, non-freezing rivers, and labor pool. Slavery was so profitable before 1860 that it absorbed available capital and repelled Northern investors, but now the time for industrialization was at hand. By 1900, the textile industry was established in upland areas, which had water-power and an available white labor force, comprising men, women, and children willing to move from hard-scrabble farms to mill towns. [90]

In 1902, the Charleston Expedition drew visitors from around the world. President Theodore Roosevelt, whose mother had attended school in Columbia, called for reconciliation of still simmering animosities between the North and the South.

The Progressive Movement came to the state with Governor Richard Irvine Manning III in 1914. The expansion of bright-leaf tobacco around 1900 from North Carolina brought an agricultural boom. This was broken by the Great Depression starting in 1929, but the tobacco industry recovered and prospered until near the end of the 20th century. Cotton remained by far the dominant crop, despite low prices. The arrival of boll weevil infestation sharply reduced acreage, and especially yields. Farmers shifted to other crops. [91]

Black sharecroppers and laborers began heading North in large numbers in the era of World War I, a Great Migration that continued for the rest of the century, as they sought higher wages and much more favorable political conditions. [92]

As early as 1948, when Strom Thurmond ran for President on the States Rights ticket, South Carolina whites were showing discontent with the Democrats' post–World War II continuation of the New Deal's federalization of power. South Carolina blacks had problems with the Southern version of states' rights by 1940, the voter registration provisions written into the 1895 constitution effectively still limited African American voters to 3,000—only 0.8 percent of those of voting age in the state. [93] African Americans had not been able to elect a representative since the 19th century. Hundreds of thousands left the state for industrial cities in the Great Migration of the 20th century. By 1960, during the Civil Rights Movement, South Carolina had a population of 2,382,594, of whom nearly 35%, or 829,291 were African Americans, who had been without representation for 60 years. [94] In addition, the state enforced legal racial segregation in public facilities.

Non-violent action against segregation began in Rock Hill in 1961, when nine black Friendship Junior College students took seats at the whites-only lunch counter at a downtown McCrory's and refused to leave. [95] When police arrested them, the students were given the choice of paying $200 fines or serving 30 days of hard labor in the York County jail. The Friendship Nine, as they became known, chose the latter, gaining national attention in the Civil Rights Movement because of their decision to use the "jail, no bail" strategy.

Economic change Edit

The rapid decline of agriculture in the state has been one of the most important developments since the 1960s. As late as 1960, more than half the state's cotton was picked by hand. Over the next twenty years, mechanization eliminated tens of thousands of jobs in rural counties. By 2000, only 24,000 farms were left, with fewer than 2% of the population many others lived in rural areas on what were once farms, but they commuted to non-farm jobs. Cotton was no longer king, as cotton lands were converted into timberlands. Until the 1970s rural areas had controlled the legislature.

After 1972, both houses of the state legislature were reapportioned into single-member districts, ending another rural advantage. Coupled with the federal Voting Rights Act of 1965, which protected voting for African Americans, the reapportionment transformed South Carolina politics. The South Carolina Democratic party, which dominated the state for nearly a century after Reconstruction, due to suppression of black voting, began to decline at the state and county level with the 1994 elections. The majority white voters had been supporting Republican presidential candidates since the late 1960s and gradually elected the party candidates to local and state offices as well. Republicans won all but one statewide constitutional office, and control of the state house of representatives.

Fritz Hollings, governor 1959–63, who was a key supporter of development, executed a campaign to promote industrial training programs and implemented a state-wide economic development strategy. The end of the Cold War in 1990 brought the closing of military installations, such as the naval facilities in North Charleston, which Rep. Mendel Rivers had long sponsored. The quest for new jobs became a high state priority. Starting in 1975 the state used its attractive climate, lack of powerful labor unions, and low wage rates to attract foreign investment in factories, including Michelin, which located its U.S. headquarters in the state. The stretch of Interstate 85 from the North Carolina line to Greenville became "UN Alley" as international companies opened operations.

Tourism became a major industry, especially in the Myrtle Beach area. With its semitropical climate, cheap land and low construction costs (because of low wages), the state became a developer's dream. Barrier islands, such as Kiawah and Hilton Head, were developed as retirement communities for wealthy outsiders. The state's attempts to manage coastal development in an orderly and environmentally sound manner have run afoul of federal court decisions. The U.S. Supreme Court (in Lucas v. South Carolina Coastal Council) ruled that the state, in forbidding construction on threatened beachfront property, had, in effect, seized the plaintiff's property without due process of law. The rush to build upscale housing along the coast paid its price in the billions of dollars of losses as Hurricane Hugo swept through on September 21–22, 1989. Charleston was more used to hurricanes historical preservation groups immediately stepped in to begin salvage and reconstruction, with the result that one year after Hugo, the city was virtually returned to normal.

By the late 1980s, however, the state's economic growth rate flattened. South Carolina's development plan focused on offering low taxes and attracting low-wage industries, but the state's low levels of education have failed to attract high wage, high tech industries. [96]

In 1991, under the leadership of then Governor Carroll A. Campbell, the state successfully recruited BMW's (Bavarian Motor Works) only U.S. auto factory to the city of Greer, in Spartanburg County. Second-tier and third-tier auto parts suppliers to BMW likewise established assembly and distribution facilities near the factory, creating a significant shift in manufacturing from textiles to automotive.

In 2009, the state outbid the state of Washington for a giant new Boeing plant, to be constructed in North Charleston. Boeing must create at least 3,800 jobs and invest more than $750 million within seven years to take advantage of the various tax inducements, worth $450 million. [97]

Politics Edit

In the 1970s, South Carolina white voters elected the state's first Republican governor since Reconstruction. In 1987 and 1991, the state elected and reelected Governor Carroll Campbell, another Republican. Many politicians switched from the Democratic Party to the GOP, including David Beasley, a former Democrat who claimed to have undergone a spiritual rebirth he was elected governor as a Republican. In 1996, Beasley surprised citizens by announcing that he could not justify keeping the Confederate flag flying over the capitol. He said that a "spate of racially motivated violence compelled him to reconsider the politics and symbolism of the Confederate flag, and he concluded it should be moved." [98] Traditionalists were further surprised when Bob Jones III, head of Bob Jones University, announced he held the same view.

Beasley was upset for reelection in 1998 by the little-known Jim Hodges, a state assemblyman from Lancaster. Hodges attacked Beasley's opposition to the creation of a state lottery to support education. Hodges called for a fresh tax base to improve public education. Despite Hodges' unwillingness to join Beasley in his opposition to flying the Confederate flag, the NAACP announced its support for Hodges. (At the same time the NAACP demanded a boycott of conferences in the state over the flag issue). Hodges reportedly accepted millions in contributions from the gambling industry, which some estimated spent a total of $10 million to defeat Beasely. [99]

After the election, with public opinions steadfastly against video gambling, Hodges asked for a statewide referendum on the issue. He claimed that he would personally join the expected majority in saying "no" on legalized gambling, but vowed not to campaign against it. Critics in both parties suggested that Hodges' debts to the state's gambling interests were keeping him from campaigning against legalized gambling. The state constitution does not provide for referendums except for ratification of amendments. State legislators shut down the state's video casinos soon after Hodges took office.

Upon his election, Hodges announced that he agreed with Beasley's increasingly popular compromise proposal on the Confederate flag issue. He supported the flag's transfer to a Confederate monument on the State House's grounds. Many South Carolinians agreed with this position as the only solution. Further, they admired Hodges' solution to nuclear waste shipments to the state. Hodges alienated moderate voters sufficiently so that in 2002, most of the state's major newspapers supported the Republican Mark Sanford to replace him. Hodges was held responsible for the state's mishandling of the Hurricane Floyd evacuation in 1999. By 2002, most of the funds from Hodges' "South Carolina Education Lottery" were used to pay for college scholarships, rather than to improve impoverished rural and inner-city schools. Religious leaders denounced the lottery as taxing the poor to pay for higher education for the middle class.

In the lottery's first year, Hodges' administration awarded $40 million for "LIFE Scholarships", granted to any South Carolinian student with a B average, graduation in the top 30% of the student's high school class, and an 1,100 SAT score. [100] Hodges' administration awarded $5.8 million for "HOPE Scholarships", which had lower GPA requirements.

Hodges lost his campaign for reelection in 2002 against the Republican conservative Mark Sanford, a former U.S. congressman from Sullivan's Island.

Mark Sanford served two terms as governor from 2003 to 2011. He left office in the heat of a political scandal while in office, Sanford took a trip to Argentina without anyone's knowing it, and he reportedly had an affair with a woman. Sanford later publicly apologized for the affair, but he and his wife, Jenny Sullivan, divorced in 2010. Sanford was elected to the United States House of Representatives from South Carolina's 1st District in May 2013, a position which he also held from 1995 to 2003. [ citation needed ]

In 2012, Governor Nikki Haley appointed Tim Scott as one of South Carolina's two United States Senators. In 2014, Scott won election to the office and became the first African-American to serve as U.S. Senator from South Carolina since the Reconstruction era. [ citation needed ] In 2010, Nikki Haley, who took office as Governor of South Carolina in January 2011, became the first female to be elected governor. Additionally, Haley was the first person of Asian-Indian descent to be elected governor. Haley served from 2011 until 2017 President Donald Trump nominated her as the United States Ambassador to the United Nations, a position which she accepted and was approved by the United States Senate. After Haley's resignation on January 24, 2017, Henry McMaster became the incumbent, 117th governor of South Carolina. [ citation needed ]

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A people, owning slaves, are mad, or worse than mad, who do not hold their destinies in their own hands . Every stride of this Government, over your rights, brings it nearer and nearer to your peculiar policy. . The whole world are in arms against your institutions . Let Gentlemen not be deceived. It is not the Tariff – not Internal Improvement – nor yet the Force bill, which constitutes the great evil against which we are contending. . These are but the forms in which the despotic nature of the government is evinced – but it is the despotism which constitutes the evil: and until this Government is made a limited Government . there is no liberty – no security for the South.


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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC00395 Author/Creator: South Carolina Convention (1860-1862) Place Written: Charleston, South Carolina Type: Broadside Date: 1861 Pagination: 1 p. 81.2 x 68.2 cm.

Exact lithographic copy of the original manuscript ordinance with reproduced signatures of those who voted for the act. Printed by Evans and Cogswell, by act of the South Carolina assembly. ". An ordinance to dissolve the Union between the State of South Carolina and other states united with her under the compact entitles 'The Constitution of the United States of America. ' " Dated 1860, but printed 1861. The copy was so exact as to have fooled many Union soldiers four years later during Sherman's march through South Carolina. This copy was previously shellacked and cut. Mounted on backer board, dimensions of board, 90 x 74.5 cm.

The State of South Carolina
At a Convention of the People of the State of South Carolina, begun and holden at Columbia, on the Seventeenth day of December on the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty and then continued by adjournment to Charleston and there by divers adjournments to the Twentieth day of December in the same year -
An Ordinance. To dissolve the Union between the State of South Carolina and other States united with her under the compact entitled "The Constitution of the United States of America."
We, the People of the Sate of South Carolina in convention assembled, do declare and ordain, and it is hereby declared and ordained, That the Ordinance adopted by us in Convention, on the twenty-third day of May, in the year of our Lord One thousand Seven hundred and eighty-eight, whereby the Constitution of the United States of America was ratified, and also all Acts and parts of Acts of the General Assembly of the State, ratifying amendments of the said Constitution hereby repealed and that the union now subsisting between South Carolina and other States, under the name of the "United States of America", is hereby dissolved -
Done at Charleston, the twentieth day of December, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty.
D. J. Jamison - Delegate from Bornwand
President of the Convention


SOUTH CAROLINA DECLARATION OF CAUSES OF SECESSION (1860)

On 20 December 1860, the state of South Carolina sounded the clarion call of secession that rapidly reverberated through the South. The plantation aristocrats, who dominated the state legislature, fearing for the livelihood of their cherished "peculiar institution," voted unanimously to repeal South Carolina's ratification of the U.S. Constitution and thus leave the Union.

While citing what they deemed breaches of the Constitution and states' rights, the legislature denounced newly elected Abraham Lincoln as a representative of a "sectional party" determined to undermine the state's autonomy and tear the very social fabric of the South. Slavery lay at the heart of South Carolina's grievances with the federal government, as Lincoln's election signified the final maneuver of a steadily encroaching Northern hegemony over Southern politics and life. Employing a logic akin to that found in the "social contract" philosophy of John Locke and Jean Jacques Rousseau, the "Declaration of Causes of Secession" argues that the "constitutional compact" between state and nation had "been deliberately broken and disregarded" and thus ceased to be binding.

By 1 February 1861, six more Southern states had followed the lead of the "fire-eating" South Carolinians. Nearly fifty years of turbulence in the relationship between the state of South Carolina and the federal government had finally reached the point of irreconcilable differences. After the nullification campaign of 1832 and near secession in 1836 and 1852, South Carolina took the first official step toward dividing the Union. The new consensus among Southerners regarding secession, which had not existed in 1836 and 1852, placed South Carolina at the spearhead of a steady movement toward civil war.

Paul S.Bartels,
Villanova University

The people of the State of South Carolina in Convention assembled, on the 2d day of April, A. D. 1852, declared that the frequent violations of the Constitution of the United States by the Federal Government, and its encroachments upon the reserved rights of the States, fully justified this State in their withdrawal from the Federal Union but in deference to the opinions and wishes of the other Slaveholding States, she forbore at that time to exercise this right. Since that time these encroachments have continued to increase, and further forbearance ceases to be a virtue.

And now the State of South Carolina having resumed her separate and equal place among nations, deems it due to herself, to the remaining United States of America, and to the nations of the world, that she should declare the immediate causes which have led to this act.

In 1787, Deputies were appointed by the States to revise the articles of Confederation and on 17th September, 1787, these Deputies recommended, for the adoption of the States, the Articles of Union, known as the Constitution of the United States.

…Thus was established by compact between the States, a Government with defined objects and powers, limited to the express words of the grant.…We hold that the Government thus established is subject to the two great principles asserted in the Declaration of Independence and we hold further, that the mode of its formation subjects it to a third fundamental principle, namely, the law of compact. We maintain that in every compact between two or more parties, the obligation is mutual that the failure of one of the contracting parties to perform a material part of the agreement, entirely releases the obligation of the other and that, where no arbiter is provided, each party is remitted to his own judgment to determine the fact of failure, with all its consequences.

In the present case, that fact is established with certainty. We assert that fourteen of the States have deliberately refused for years past to fulfil their constitutional obligations, and we refer to their own statutes for the proof.

The Constitution of the United States, in its fourth Article, provides as follows:

"No person held to service or labor in one State under the laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in consequence of any law or regulation therein, be discharged from such service or labor, but shall be delivered up, on claim of the party to whom such service or labor may be due."

This stipulation was so material to the compact that without it that compact would not have been made. The greater number of the contracting parties held slaves, and they had previously evinced their estimate of the value of such a stipulation by making it a condition in the Ordinance for the government of the territory ceded by Virginia, which obligations, and the laws of the General Government, have ceased to effect the objects of the Constitution. The States of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin and Iowa, have enacted laws which either nullify the acts of Congress, or render useless any attempt to execute them. In many of these States the fugitive is discharged from the service of labor claimed, and in none of them has the State Government complied with the stipulation made in the Constitution. The State of New Jersey, at an early day, passed a law in conformity with her constitutional obligation but the current of Anti-Slavery feeling has led her more recently to enact laws which render inoperative the remedies provided by her own laws and by the laws of Congress. In the State of New York even the right of transit for a slave has been denied by her tribunals and the States of Ohio and Iowa have refused to surrender to justice fugitives charged with murder, and with inciting servile insurrection in the State of Virginia. Thus the constitutional compact has been deliberately broken and disregarded by the nonslaveholding States and the consequence follows that South Carolina is released from her obligation.…

We affirm that these ends for which this Government was instituted have been defeated, and the Government itself has been destructive of them by the action of the non-slaveholding States. Those States have assumed the right of deciding upon the propriety of our domestic institutions and have denied the rights of property established in fifteen of the States and recognized by the Constitution they have denounced as sinful the institution of Slavery they have permitted the open establishment among them of societies, whose avowed object is to disturb the peace of and eloin the property of the citizens of other States. They have encouraged and assisted thousands of our slaves to leave their homes and those who remain, have been incited by emissaries, books, and pictures, to servile insurrection.

For twenty-five years this agitation has been steadily increasing, until it has now secured to its aid the power of the common Government. Observing the forms of the Constitution, a sectional party has found within that article establishing the Executive Department, the means of subverting the Constitution itself. A geographical line has been drawn across the Union, and all the States north of that line have united in the election of a man to the high office of President of the United States whose opinions and purposes are hostile to Slavery. He is to be intrusted with the administration of the common Government, because he has declared that "Government cannot endure permanently half slave, half free," and that the public mind must rest in the belief that Slavery is in the course of ultimate extinction.

This sectional combination for the subversion of the Constitution has been aided, in some of the States, by elevating to citizenship persons who, by the supreme law of the land, are incapable of becoming citizens and their votes have been used to inaugurate a new policy, hostile to the South, and destructive of its peace and safety.

On the 4th of March next this party will take possession of the Government. It has announced that the South shall be excluded from the common territory, that the Judicial tribunal shall be made sectional, and that a war must be waged against Slavery until it shall cease throughout the United States.

The guarantees of the Constitution will then no longer exist the equal rights of the States will be lost. The Slaveholding States will no longer have the power of self-government, or self-protection, and the Federal Government will have become their enemy.

Sectional interest and animosity will deepen the irritation and all hope of remedy is rendered vain, by the fact that the public opinion at the North has invested a great political error with the sanctions of a more erroneous religious belief.

We, therefore, the people of South Carolina, by our delegates in Convention assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, have solemnly declared that the Union heretofore existing between this State and the other States of North America is dissolved, and that the State of South Carolina has resumed her position among the nations of the world, as a separate and independent state, with full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which independent States may of right do.

SOURCE: Moore, Frank, ed. The Rebellion Record: A Diary of American Events, With Documents, Narratives, Illustrative Incidents, Poetry, etc. New York: Putnam, 1861.


South Carolina's Secession at 150

On December 20, 1860 South Carolina seceded from the American Union because of the election of an antislavery president, Abraham Lincoln, setting into motion the creation of the southern Confederacy and the start of the Civil War. Remarkably, on the 150th or sesquicentennial anniversary of South Carolina's secession, arguments used to legitimize disunion are back in vogue.

In a speech before Congress on the eve of Lincoln's election to the presidency, Senator James Chesnut of South Carolina, a southern rights Democrat, accused that "red republicanism" in America had merely "blacked its face." Chesnut was referring to the antislavery platform of the original Republican Party, whose centerpiece was the non-extension of slavery into the western territories. The election of a president based on such a policy he argued would gravely endanger the property rights of southern slaveholders.

Long before Tea Party activists and other sundry conservatives detected the ghost of socialism in health care reform and financial regulation legislation, proslavery theorists argued that abolition was akin to socialism. Even though the Lincoln administration would preside over the largest uncompensated confiscation of property in American history, four million slaves valued at around three billion dollars, the Republican party of the Civil War era was as far from socialism as the Obama administration is today.

Not only do contemporary accusations of a drift towards socialism have historical roots in the debates over secession but the alleged rights of the states to nullify or veto federal laws and secede from the Union are also enjoying a newfound popularity. The father of constitutional thought in South Carolina was its most prominent nineteenth century son, John C. Calhoun. Calhoun was part of the Senatorial triumvirate that included Henry Clay of Kentucky and Daniel Webster of Massachusetts in an age, with the exception of Andrew Jackson, of highly forgettable presidents. But while Clay and Webster were known for their devotion to the Union, Calhoun was notorious for formulating an absolute version of state sovereignty, the "Carolina Doctrine," according to which nullification and secession were rights reserved to "sovereign states" in the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

Calhoun's constitutional ideas were designed to protect slavery, which he euphemistically called the south's "domestick institution," against federal intervention. Calhounian state sovereignty would die in the battlefields of the Civil War, only to be revived by southern segregationists during the Civil Rights Movement. Despite the brief evocation of states rights by abolitionists during the fugitive slave controversy of the 1850s, Calhoun's arguments forever associated states rights with secession, the defense of racial slavery, and segregation.
Indeed, the old South Carolinian is probably smiling from his grave to see his theory of state sovereignty contained in the Tenth Amendment revived by the so-called Tenther movement. A couple of weeks ago, proposals from members of the Texas legislature vindicating state sovereignty capped a nearly year long agitation by "tenthers." In 2009, the Georgia state senate and Texas house passed resolutions affirming state sovereignty and the Florida legislature received a petition proposing similar action against the implementation of the federal health law. The new Calhounites range from a northern Governor, Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota, to Governor Rick Perry of Texas, who regularly invoke state sovereignty and the Tenth Amendment in their political battles against the Obama administration. The idea of a state nullifying a federal law or Calhoun's "state interposition" has gained political currency with state governments like Virginia vowing to block federal health care reform as unconstitutional.

Not just nullification but secession is back in fashion. Some Republicans like Governor Perry have unearthed the constitutionally and militarily discredited notion of a state's alleged right to secede from the Union, albeit more as a flamboyant political gesture than a serious threat. It is indeed a supreme irony of history that the Grand Old Party of the Union, the party of Lincoln, is becoming the Grand Old Party of Secession and Calhounian state sovereignty.

The state of South Carolina itself has taken the lead with Senator Jim DeMint, the doyen of Tea Party Republicans, leading the charge against "socialism" and for state sovereignty. In the years before the Civil War, unionist James Louis Petigru commenting on his state's reputation for political extremism, sardonically noted that South Carolina was too large to be an insane asylum and too small to be an independent republic. As if on cue, the South Carolina division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans plan a "secession ball" to commemorate their state's departure from the Union over a hundred years ago.

Note: The writer is the author of The Counterrevolution of Slavery: Politics and Ideology in Antebellum South Carolina (2000).


South Carolina’s Explanation of Secession (1860)

In December of 1860, after Republican Abraham Lincoln had been elected president, South Carolina’s state government passed an Ordinance of Secession announcing that it was withdrawing from the United States. The following excerpt comes from an accompanying resolution passed by the South Carolina state legislature that explained its decision to leave the Union.

…the State of South Carolina having resumed her separate and equal place among nations, deems it due to herself, to the remaining United States of America, and to the nations of the world, that she should declare the immediate causes which have led to this act…

We hold that the Government thus established [by the Constitution] is subject to…the law of compact. We maintain that in every compact between two or more parties, the obligation is mutual that the failure of one of the contracting parties to perform a material part of the agreement, entirely releases the obligation of the other…

We assert that fourteen of the States have deliberately refused, for years past, to fulfill their constitutional obligations…

The ends for which the Constitution was framed are declared by itself to be “to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.”

These ends it endeavored to accomplish by a Federal Government, in which each State was recognized as an equal, and had separate control over its own institutions. The right of property in slaves was recognized by giving to free persons distinct political rights, by giving them the right to represent, and burthening them with direct taxes for three-fifths of their slaves by authorizing the importation of slaves for twenty years and by stipulating for the rendition of fugitives from labor.

We affirm that these ends for which this Government was instituted have been defeated, and the Government itself has been made destructive of them by the action of the non-slaveholding States. Those States have assume the right of deciding upon the propriety of our domestic institutions and have denied the rights of property established in fifteen of the States and recognized by the Constitution they have denounced as sinful the institution of slavery they have permitted open establishment among them of societies, whose avowed object is to disturb the peace and to eloign the property of the citizens of other States. They have encouraged and assisted thousands of our slaves to leave their homes and those who remain, have been incited by emissaries, books and pictures to servile insurrection.

For twenty-five years this agitation has been steadily increasing, until it has now secured to its aid the power of the common Government. Observing the forms of the Constitution, a sectional party [the Republican Party] has found within that Article establishing the Executive Department, the means of subverting the Constitution itself. A geographical line has been drawn across the Union, and all the States north of that line have united in the election of a man to the high office of President of the United States, whose opinions and purposes are hostile to slavery….

On the 4th day of March next, this party will take possession of the Government. It has announced that…that a war must be waged against slavery until it shall cease throughout the United States.

The guaranties of the Constitution will then no longer exist the equal rights of the States will be lost. The slaveholding States will no longer have the power of self-government, or self-protection, and the Federal Government will have become their enemy….

We, therefore, the People of South Carolina, by our delegates in Convention assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, have solemnly declared that the Union heretofore existing between this State and the other States of North America, is dissolved, and that the State of South Carolina has resumed her position among the nations of the world, as a separate and independent State with full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which independent States may of right do.


Watch the video: Was the Civil War About Slavery?