4-40 The State of South Carolina

Return to Home Page

Lesson List

The great state of South Carolina became the 8th state in the Union on May 23, 1788.  Its state capital is Columbia.  South Carolina was named to honor King Charles I (Carolus is Latin for Charles).

Spaniards explored the South Carolina coast as early as 1514.  Spanish fears of French rivalry were heightened when Huguenots led by Jean Ribaut attempted to settle on what is now Parris Island near Beaufort in 1562.  Ribaut returned to France for reinforcements and the soldiers who were left behind revolted.  They built a ship and sailed for France. The horrors of that voyage went beyond eating shoes to cannibalism before an English ship rescued the remaining soldiers.

The Spanish built Fort San Felipe on Parris Island in 1566 and made the new settlement there, known as Santa Elena. The fort was abandon while under attack from Native Americans in 1576.  The fort was rebuilt the next year.  In 1587, South Carolina was left to the Native Americans until the English established the first permanent European settlement at Albemarle Point on the Ashley River in 1670.

King Charles II gave Carolina to eight English noblemen, the Lords Proprietors. The proprietors' settlements came to resemble the plantation economy of the West Indies.  By 1708, a majority of the non-native inhabitants were African slaves.  Native Americans, ravaged by diseases against which they had no resistance, threatened the colony's existence in the Yemassee War of 1715. After the colonists revolted against proprietary rule in 1719, the proprietors' interests were bought out and South Carolina became a royal province.

By the 1750s, rice and indigo had made the planters and merchants of the South Carolina the wealthiest men in what would become the United States.  By 1790, the spread of cotton plantations soon made African American slaves the majority.

Charlestonians were strong supporters of their rights as Englishmen in the Stamp Act crisis of 1765.  Charleston merchant Henry Laurens served as President of the Continental Congress in 1777 and 1778. The first decisive victory of the war was the repulse of a British fleet by patriot defenders in a palmetto log fort on Sullivans Island on June 28, 1776.  Over two hundred battles and skirmishes occurred in the State, many of them vicious encounters between South Carolinians who opted for independence and those who chose to remain loyal to King George. Battles at Kings Mountain (1780) and Cowpens (1781) were turning points in the war.

South Carolina became the eighth state to ratify the United States Constitution in 1788, and in 1790 moved its seat of government from Charleston to the new city of Columbia in the state's midlands.

Emblem/Symbol Name of Emblem/Symbol Adopted
Motto "Dum Spiro Spero" - While I breathe, I hope
"Animis Opibusque Parati" - Ready In Soul and Resource
Nickname Palmetto State  
State Seal 1776
State Bird Carolina Wren 1948
State Wild Game Bird Wild Turkey 1976
State Flower Yellow Jessamine 1924
State Wildflower Goldenrod 2003
State Song "Carolina"
"South Carolina On My Mind"
State Tree Sabal Palmetto 1939
State Flag 1776
State Dog Boykin Spaniel 1985
State Insect Carolina Mantid 1988
State Butterfly Tiger Swallowtail 1994
State Fish Striped Bass 1972
State Animal White-tailed Deer 1972
State Stone Blue Granite 1969
State Gemstone Amethyst 1969
State Reptile Loggerhead Turtle 1988
State Amphibian Spotted Salamander 1999

Complete the questions below.

1.  South Carolina became the 8th state in the Union on May 23, .

2.  The capital of South Carolina is .

3.  The state dog is the .

4. The Amethyst is the state .

5.  The state insect is the .

6.  "Animis Opibusque Parati" means .

7.  South Carolina was named after King .

8.  Blue Granite is the state .

9.  The state wildflower is the .

10.  The state nickname is the .



Elementary & Middle School Lessons & Self-Correcting Tests for Children in all Subject Areas.
If you have found an error or would like to make comments on this lesson, please email us at:

Copyright 1999-2022 by Educational Designers, LLC.  All rights reserved.
Lessons & Tests in Math, Reading, Spelling, Science, Language, and Social Studies.

"This site uses cookies from Google to deliver its services and analyze traffic. Your IP address and user-agent are shared with Google along with performance and security metrics to ensure quality of service, generate usage statistics, and to detect and address abuse."