Being part of the original 13 colonies, South Carolina was originally, along with North Carolina, known as Carolina. Indigo was a significant cash crop because it helped dye dresses and clothing for the wealthy in the colonies, providing the South with a large dependence on the plantation system that rested on slavery. South Carolina became its own colony in 1729, and it was the 8th state to join the Union on May 23, 1788. Later, during the Civil War, South Carolina was the first state to secede from the Union and the home of the first Civil War battle at Fort Sumter.

Before its first constitution, the state was ruled by the Lords Proprietors who were appointed to the colony by the King of England. South Carolina adopted a state constitution on March 26, 1776, when the Declaration of Independence was three months away from being signed. The General Assembly elected John Rutledge as the first state president, and he led the first independent government in the colonies. The Constitution of 1778 changed the title to governor and allowed for the position of lieutenant governor.

South Carolina has 46 counties that are part of the South Carolina Association of Counties. Administration is easily provided to residents through the divisions. Spartanburg County is known for its historic district and mills that bring back a taste of the past, as well as the Walnut Grove Plantation that was preserved from the American Revolution. Settled by Congregationalists from Massachusetts, Dorchester County was named after its original spot in Massachusetts. The state’s male death row is in a prison in this county.

As for the judicial system in South Carolina, the lowest courts are municipal and probate courts that can appeal to Circuit Courts, Court of Appeals, and the Supreme Court. The Magistrate Court falls under the Circuit Courts and offers jury trials for claims up to $7500 and misdemeanors, as well as minor charges. South Carolina’s Supreme Court has both original and appellate jurisdiction for cases; there are four justices and one Chief Justice.

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