State The colony of Carolina was settled by English settlers sent by the Lords Proprietors in 1670, followed by French Huguenots. The Carolina upcountry was settled largely by Scotch-Irish migrants from Pennsylvania and Virginia. Carolina became a royal colony in 1712. North Carolina was split off in 1729. The state declared its independence from Great Britain and set up its own government on March 15, 1776. On February 5, 1778 South Carolina became the first state to ratify the first constitution of the United States, the Articles of Confederation.
South Carolina seceded from the United States on December 20, 1860. The rest of the Southern states seceded in the following months; together, they organized themselves as the Confederate States of America. President James Buchanan took little action, preferring to let the newly elected President Abraham Lincoln decide the matter. On April 12, 1861, Confederate batteries began shelling Fort Sumter, which stands on an island in Charleston harbor, thus precipitating the Civil War. Students from The Citadel were among those firing the first shots of the war, though Edmund Ruffin is usually credited with firing the first shot.
After the American Civil War, South Carolina was reincorporated into the United States during Reconstruction. The state became a hotbed of racial and economic controversy during the Populist and Agrarian movements of the late 1800s.
In the 20th century, South Carolina developed a thriving textile industry, converted its agricultural base from cotton to more profitable crops, attracted large military bases and, most recently, attracted European manufacturers.