South Carolina, Antebellum

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Summary

South Carolina is a state in the Southeastern United States. It is bordered to the north by North Carolina; to the south and west by Georgia, located across the Savannah River; and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. Originally part of the Province of Carolina, the Province of South Carolina became a slave society after rice and indigo became established as commodity crops, and from 1708, a majority of the population were slaves, many born in Africa. It was the first of the 13 colonies that declared independence from the British Crown during the American Revolution.

Details

Antebellum South Carolina did more to advance nullification and secession than any other Southern state. Their first attempt at nullification was in 1822 following a slave rebellion led by Denmark Vesey. The state responded by passing a Negro Seamen Act, later declared unconstitutional by Supreme Court Justice William Johnson. His ruling was not enforced. In 1832, a South Carolina state convention passed the Ordinance of Nullification, declaring the Federal tariff laws of 1828 and 1832 unconstitutional, null and not to be enforced in the state of South Carolina after February 1, 1833.

This led to the Nullification Crisis, in which U.S. President Andrew Jackson,the only president as yet to have been born in South Carolina, received congressional authorization, through the Force Bill, to use whatever military force necessary to enforce Federal law in the state. This was the first U.S. legislation denying individual states the right to secede. As a result of Jackson's threat of force, the South Carolina state convention was re-convened and repealed the Ordinance of Nullification in March.

Anti-abolitionist feelings ran strong in South Carolina. In 1856, Democrat South Carolina congressman Preston Brooks entered the United States Senate chamber and, with a metal-tipped cane, beat Massachusetts Republican Senator Charles Sumner. He drew blood and injured Sumner badly enough that the latter was unable to serve for several months. Brooks was retaliating for a speech Sumner had just given in which he attacked slavery and insulted South Carolinians. Brooks resigned his seat but received a hero's welcome on returning home.

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External Links

  • WikipediaState of South Carolina government websiteSouth Carolina Department of Parks & TourismEnergy & Environmental Data for South CarolinaUSGS real-time, geographic, and other scientific resources of South Carolina

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