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South Carolina, abbreviated SC or SC, is a state on the east coast of
the United States, between North Carolina and Georgia. The state has a total
area of 82,901 km2 and has 5,024,369 residents (US Census,
2017). The capital is Columbia.
South Carolina is often called The Palmetto State, after the tree sabal
palmetto in the state flag.
The landscape can be divided into three main areas: the Atlantic coastal
plain; the foreland of the Appalachians (Piedmont), and a smaller area farthest
northwest (Blue Ridge) that reaches into the Appalachians themselves; 1085 masl in
Sassafras Mountain. The coastal plain is low and marshy, with a number of
smaller islands and sandbanks along the coast. Piedmont is separated from the
coastal plain by a fall line extending southwest through the state, and is a
hilly landscape, 100–400 m asl, covered by clay soil. The rivers drain from the
Appalachians to the southeast; The most famous is the Savannah River, 505 km
long, which forms the border with Georgia.
Blacks made up the majority of the population until 1930. However, large
emigration (to the northern states) has reduced the black population, which was
43.2 percent in 1990 and 29 percent in 2004. Today, Black / African Americans
make up 27.3 percent of the population, while 5.7 percent are Hispanic and 63.8
percent are considered white (US Census, 2017).
66.3 per cent of the residents live in cities or urban areas (2010). Major
cities are the capital of Columbia, the port city of Charleston, North
Charleston and Greenville. The largest churches are the Southern Baptist
Convention and the Methodist.
South Carolina sends two senators and seven representatives to the
federal congress in Washington DC.
In the past, South Carolina was a typical agricultural state, and in recent
years industry and tourism have taken over as the most important trade routes
and sources of income. Tobacco, soybeans, wheat, cotton, maize, vegetables and
peaches are grown and exported, as well as a considerable pig and poultry
farm. Of minerals, granite, gold and kaolin are extracted. Fishing for crab,
oysters and shrimp is offshore.
South Carolina holds a leading position in the textile industry; cotton, but
also wool and synthetic fibers are manufactured and used in the clothing
industry. The metal industry, forestry and wood industry are also important,
with the production of paper, wood pulp and cellulose.
The original Carolina was visited by Spanish explorers in the early 1520s,
by Frenchmen later in the 16th century and colonized by English settlers from
the mid-1600s. The area was divided into South Carolina and North Carolina in
1729. South Carolina became a state in the United States in 1788.
The state had a typical plantation economy with cotton and tobacco
cultivation, and with extensive use of slaves. South Carolina was the first
state to break with the Union in 1860, when the attack on Fort
Sumter initiated the American Civil War. South Carolina had to apologize
particularly hard during both the war and the reconstruction period that
followed. In the 1900s, South Carolina gained a more versatile business base.