The Palmetto State
The Making of Modern South Carolina
Publication Year: 2012
Published by: University of South Carolina Press
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations
The origin of this book is a column,written in 2002 by Will Moredock for the Charleston City Paper, noting the fortieth anniversary of the publication of my book Porgy Comes Home. Moredock wrote that the book “documents the quiet revolution that changed South Carolina between World War II and 1970.” ...
South Carolinians began their fourth century looking not behind, but ahead. Yet, as William Faulkner observed, especially about the South, “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” ...
1. The Beginning
Although earlier European settlements on today’s South Carolina coast had failed, Stephen Bull wrote on September 12, 1670, to his patron in England, Lord Ashley, “Wee conceive this to be as healthful A place as ever was settled . . . there is a lande sufficient here for some thousands of People where they may make very brave and happy settlements.”1 ...
2. The American Revolution
On June 28, 1776, nine British ships attempting to enter Charleston Harbor bombarded Fort Sullivan on Sullivan’s Island on the northern flank of the city’s harbor. Colonel William Moultrie commanded patriot forces manning the fort, whose soft, spongy palmetto log walls absorbed the shock of British cannonballs without shattering. ...
3. An Era of Decline
During the first two decades of the nineteenth century, South Carolina prospered. Charleston trailed only New York in the value of its imports in 1816. The national Panic of 1819, however, dealt South Carolina an economic blow from which it never recovered. ...
4. Civil War and Reconstruction
On the night of December 26, 1860, Colonel Robert Anderson moved about seventy-four United States soldiers from Fort Moultrie on Sullivan’s Island to a still-incomplete fort, Fort Sumter, in the middle of Charleston Harbor. Anderson had informed his superiors that he could not hope to defend the land-bound Fort Moultrie, ...
5. The Tillman Era
Ben Tillman rose to political prominence on a wave of dissatisfaction with the Bourbons. Tillman came from a well-to-do Edgefield family that had owned close to fifty slaves before the war and managed to hold onto their land afterward. As a boy he would sit outdoors and read the classics. ...
6. World Wars and the Depression
The entry of the United States into the First World War proved a watershed for the American South. Many South Carolinians benefited from the war. The price of cotton shot up to forty cents a pound, and mill wages grew in response to the demand for uniforms, tents, and other textiles by the United States armed forces. ...
7. Civil Rights Era
South Carolina played a unique role during the civil rights era. An established statewide network of strong black leaders ultimately coalesced with a succession of progressive governors to ease the transition to a multiracial society. It took the federal courts and federal law to force change and the courage of African American citizens to bring lawsuits. ...
8. Politics of Transition
In preparing the state for the breaking of the color line, Hollings set a new direction for South Carolina, a clear break with the past.An important period of political transition, however, had preceded him, beginning with Lieutenant Colonel James Strom Thurmond returning home from World War II focused on a single goal: ...
9. A New Era Evolves
Few political figures anywhere could match the depth and quickness of mind, tartness of tongue, and innovative outlook that made Fritz Hollings a transitional figure for South Carolina. In preparing the state for the breaking of the color line, Hollings set a new direction, a clean break with the past. ...
10. Popular Culture
Even amid all the conflict over race, there existed in South Carolina and throughout the South an ongoing and deep cultural exchange that included food, music, religion, and even the taboo arena of sex. White southerners enjoying the taste of succulent boiled peanuts in the summer, sweet potatoes in the fall and winter, ...
11. The Republican Rise
Although Democrats seemed to have retained their dominance in 1970, the 1974 Democratic primary for governor reflected submerged party tensions that would push open the door for Republican growth. A reform element in the party sought progressive change, both in addressing long-ignored issues of public policy and in opening the process to new ideas. ...
12. Beyond the Bozart
In his biting 1917 essay “The Sahara of the Bozart,” Baltimore satirist H. L. Mencken opened with a couplet from Richland County’s J. Gordon Coogler, whose extensive body of work combined high ambition with limited talent: “Alas for the South; her books have grown fewer. / She never was much given to literature.” ...
13. The Changing Economy
The combination of social change wrought by the civil rights era in South Carolina and the state’s response to it opened a new era of economic development. In outlawing racial discrimination in employment, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 provided new job opportunities for almost a third of the state’s population. ...
14. Change and Continuity
Life in South Carolina has changed more since World War II than in any other period of the state’s history, except for the brief era of Reconstruction. The twin forces of transformation flow from the interconnected federally mandated collapse of segregation and the pace of economic modernization. Yet the state retains a strong sense of continuity with its past. ...
A South Carolina Chronology
Page Count: 248
Publication Year: 2012
OCLC Number: 797853029
MUSE Marc Record: Download for The Palmetto State