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South Carolina

South Carolina is a state in the southeastern region of the United States. The state is bordered to the north by North Carolina, to the south and west by Georgia across the Savannah River, and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean.
South Carolina became the eighth state to ratify the U.S. Constitution, doing so on May 23, 1788. South Carolina became the first state to vote to secede from the Union on December 20, 1860. After the American Civil War, it was readmitted into the United States on June 25, 1868.
South Carolina is the 40th most extensive and the 23rd most populous U.S. state. Its GDP as of 2013 was $183.6 billion, with an annual growth rate of 3.13%. South Carolina comprises 46 counties. The capital is Columbia with a 2013 population of 133,358; whilst its largest city is Charleston with a 2016 population of 134,385. The Greenville-Anderson-Mauldin is the largest metropolitan area with a 2013 population of 850,965.
South Carolina is named in honor of King Charles I of England, under whose reign the English colony was first formed, with Carolus being Latin for “Charles”.
The state can be divided into three geographic areas. From east to west: the Atlantic coastal plain, the Piedmont, and the Blue Ridge Mountains. Locally, the coastal plain is referred to as the Low Country and the other two regions as Up Country. The Atlantic Coastal Plain makes up two-thirds of the state. Its eastern border is the Sea Islands, a chain of tidal and barrier islands. The border between the low country and the up country is defined by the Atlantic Seaboard fall line, which marks the limit of navigable rivers.
The state’s coastline contains many salt marshes and estuaries, as well as natural ports such as Georgetown and Charleston. An unusual feature of the coastal plain is a large number of Carolina bays, the origins of which are uncertain. The bays tend to be oval, lining up in a northwest to southeast orientation. The terrain is flat and the soil is composed entirely of recent sediments such as sand, silt, and clay. Areas with better drainage make excellent farmland, though some land is swampy. The natural areas of the coastal plain are part of the Middle Atlantic coastal forests ecoregion.
Just west of the coastal plain is the Sandhills region. The Sandhills are remnants of coastal dunes from a time when the land was sunken or the oceans were higher.
The Upstate region contains the roots of an ancient, eroded mountain chain. It is generally hilly, with thin, stony clay soils, and contains few areas suitable for farming. Much of the Piedmont was once farmed. Due to the changing economics of farming, much of the land is now reforested in Loblolly pine for the lumber industry. These forests are part of the Southeastern mixed forests ecoregion. At the southeastern edge of the Piedmont is the fall line, where rivers drop to the coastal plain. The fall line was an important early source of water power. Mills built to harness this resource encouraged the growth of several cities, including the capital, Columbia. The larger rivers are navigable up to the fall line, providing a trade route for mill towns.
The northwestern part of the Piedmont is also known as the Foothills. The Cherokee Parkway is a scenic driving route through this area. This is where Table Rock State Park is located.
Highest in elevation is the Blue Ridge Region, containing an escarpment of the Blue Ridge Mountains, which continue into North Carolina and Georgia, as part of the southern Appalachian Mountains. Sassafras Mountain, South Carolina’s highest point at 3,560 feet (1,090 m), is located in this area. Also located in this area is Caesars Head State Park. The environment here is that of the Appalachian-Blue Ridge forests ecoregion. The Chattooga River, located on the border between South Carolina and Georgia, is a favorite whitewater rafting destination.

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