The earliest African Americans, enslaved by Spanish explorers, arrived in 1670, and subsequent settlers continued the forced migration and enslavement of Africans. As horrible as this story begins, it is also a story of triumph, beginning with emancipation and freedom in the late 19th century and continuing with important civil rights gains in the 20th and 21st centuries. The entry on African Americans is a good place to start. Learn More »

Even into the 21st century, South Carolina’s economy and culture are tied to agriculture. Historically important crops include rice, indigo, cotton, soybeans, peaches, and tobacco. With more than 4 million acres of farmland, the state produces $3 billion annually, between crops and livestock. Check out the entries on rice, indigo, cotton, soybeans, peaches, and tobacco to learn more. Learn More »

South Carolina’s architectural landscape bears witness to its historically diverse population. Important contributions came from the English, German, and Sephardic Jewish settlers as well as from enslaved Africans. The state is the site of buildings by Robert Mills, who designed the US Capitol Building, and a house by Frank Lloyd Wright. To learn more, start with the general entry on Architecture. Learn More »

From the natural history work of artists such as Mark Catesby to the work of contemporary folk artists, South Carolina has produced a wide range of artists, including Jonathan Green and the world renowned Jasper Johns. Its museums house works by Johns and Green as well as important artists such as Andrew Wyeth, Frederic Remington, and others. Starting points, in addition to the entries on Catesby, Green, and Johns, include the Gibbes Museum of Art, the Greenville County Museum of Art, and the Columbia Museum of Art. Learn More »

From its colonial beginnings, South Carolina has always promoted business and commerce. Currently important companies include Hartsville-based Sonoco; Spartanburg-based BMW; and South Carolina Electric and Gas Company. The state offers low tax burdens for businesses as well as a number of other incentives. Learn More »

For roughly the first 200 years of the state’s history, education was the province of the home and church. Not until after the Civil War was the first widely accessible public education system funded by the General Assembly. Currently, the state boasts important colleges and universities as well as robust elementary and secondary schools in some areas. Some schools, however, continue to suffer because of a lack of resources. Learn More »

From the hills and hollows of the state’s Dark Corner to the beautiful beaches of the Grand Strand, South Carolina boasts a wide range of environmental and geographic diversity. Begin learning more by checking out entries on Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge, Congaree National Park, Atlantic Beach, and Myrtle Beach. Learn More »

According to the most recent US Census (2010), South Carolina’s population was 66.2 percent white, 27.9 percent African American, 1.3 percent Asian, and 1.7 percent mixed race. To learn more about the state’s ethnic diversity, entries on African Americans, Catawbas, and Hispanics are good starting points. Learn More »

Since 1776, South Carolina has had seven constitutions, each revision coming at critical points in the state’s history, with the last drafted in 1895. In 1969, the Committee to Make a Study of the South Carolina Constitution of 1895 suggested revision of seventeen articles, but voters adopted only five. For more information, start with entries on Constitutions, General Assembly, and Governors. Learn More »

Ranging from Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Julia Mood Peterkin to contemporary writers such as Ron Rash and Pat Conroy, the state has a lively history of contributions to literature. In addition to the entries on Peterkin, Rash, and Conroy, check out those on Alice Childress, Gwen Bristow, Nikky Finney, and Josephine Humphreys. Learn More »