Even before the state seceded, South Carolina had already begun making preparations for a war that most of her citizens believed either would never actually occur or would be of short duration. Militia companies, some of them with lineages dating back to the Revolutionary War, were joined by new units raised in cities, towns, and communities all over the state to accommodate the flood of enthusiastic volunteers.
Much of the evolution of the South Carolina General Assembly revolves around attempts by conflicting factions to preserve or gain an advantage in representation. For example, increasingly powerful Carolina-based leaders struggled with proprietary and royal authorities during the colonial era to establish the dominance of the Commons House of Assembly as a basis for political independence (1670–1776).
The South would have to remain under federal control until it was deemed safe to leave matters to the southern state governments. This probationary period of federal control was termed “Reconstruction.”
As a delegate to the 1868 constitutional convention, he served as chair of the education committee and advocated a statewide system of integrated public education. In 1868 he was elected secretary of state, becoming the first African American in the United States elected to statewide office.
The major growth of the state’s Republican Party occurred in the 1980s and 1990s as conservative whites switched to the Republicans. In 1986 Republican Carroll Campbell was elected governor in a close contest, but he was reelected in a landslide in 1990.