South Carolina (abbr.: SC or S.Car.), state of the United States of America, 80,432 km2, 3.5 million inhabitants; capital: Columbia.
The extreme northwest of the state is part of the Appalachian Mountains (Blue Ridge Mountains; highest peak in the state: Sassafras, 1085 m) and rises about 400 m above the Piedmont, the undulating landscape that descends slowly to the southeast to approx. 150 m. The crystalline rocks of the Piedmont merge with a sharp edge, the fall line, into the coastal plain, which comprises about 2/3 of the state. The rivers are navigable from the fall line. Three major rivers flow southeast through the state: the Pee Dee in the northeast, the Santee in the middle, which is formed by the confluence of several rivers, and the Savannah, which forms most of the border with Georgia in the southwest.. Dams have created a number of large reservoirs, such as Lake Murray, Lake Marion and Lake Moultrie. The estuaries consist of lagoons and lakes, connected parallel to the coast by channels (Intracoastal Waterway), due to the presence of sandbanks, swamps and islands with dunes. The climate ranges from temperate in the northwest to subtropical in the southeast.
The average population density is 42 inhabitants. per km2. About 55% of the population lives in urban areas. The largest cities are Charleston and Columbia. See top cities in South Carolina.
In the 20th century, South Carolina has changed from a predominantly agricultural state to a distinctly industrial state. The textile and clothing industry are by far the most important. Also important are the production of chemicals, foodstuffs, industrial machines, pottery, rubber, plastics, metal products, electronics, transport equipment and products of the wood processing industry (timber, paper, wood pulp, etc.). Tobacco is the main crop, followed by soybeans and corn. Furthermore, for vegetables, fruits and cotton. Livestock includes cattle, pigs and poultry. The main mining products are gold, cement, kaolin, clay, sand and gravel, vermiculite.
Major attractions in South Carolina include the cities of Charleston and Georgetown, with their historic districts, and along the coast, the area around Myrtle Beach, known as the Grand Strand, and Hilton Head Island. In a number of places there are reminders of the Freedom War and the Civil War (including Fort Sumter National Monument).
The area was colonized by the French in 1562, but only definitively by the English in 1670, when the city of Charleston was founded. The colony prospered through the fur trade with the Indians and later through the importation of slaves for agriculture. After the American Revolutionary War (the state joined the Union as the 8th state in 1788), it became the leading state of the South in the defense of slavery. In the American Civil War, South Carolina was the first to secede from the Union in 1860. The state suffered greatly from the war, the capital Columbia was completely destroyed by Sherman. In 1890 the power of the old planter aristocracy was broken by the peasants’ party, which brought some social reform but was strongly anti-black and enforced strict segregation.