South Carolina
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When the Spanish and French explorers arrived in the 16th century, they found a land inhabited by tribes of native americans.The largest tribes were the Cherokees and the Catawbas. The first European attempts at settlement failed. In1670 a permanent settlement was established called Charles Town on the coast near present day Charleston. The colony was named Carolina after King Charles I. Carolina was divided in 1710 into South Carolina and North Carolina. The Europeans built plantations in the low country, growing rice and indigo. African slaves were brought in to provide labor and by 1720 2/3rds of the state population were slaves. Charleston became an important commerce and culture center. The upcountry was being settled slowly by farmers and traders, who pushed the Native Americans west.

By the time of the American Revolution South Carolina was one of the richest colonies in America. South Carolina contributed many leaders to the fight for independence. More Revolutionary War battles were fought in South Carolina than in any other state. Major engagements were at Sullivan's, Camden, Kings Mountain, and Cowpens. South Carolina ratified the United States Constitution on May 23, 1788 becoming the eighth state to enter the union.

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