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After the exploration of South Carolina's coast by Francisco de Gordillo in 1521, the Spanish tried to establish a colony near Georgetown. Then the French tried to colonize Parris Island in 1526. Both attempts failed and the first permanent settlement wasn't established until 1670 at Albemarle Point but was quickly moved to Charleston due to poor conditions.
In 1710, the Carolina colony was divided into South Carolina and North Carolina. Settlers began to build large plantations and many slaves were brought into the colony to provide labor. By 1720, slaves made up the majority of the region's population.
On May 23, 1788, South Carolina became the 8th state to join the Union. But, restrictions on free trade and fears that slavery would be abolished led the state to become the first to secede from the Union in 1860. And, it wasn't admitted back into the Union until June 25, 1868.
South Carolina once primarily depended on agriculture, but has diversified into manufacturing. There are several large textile mills located in the state and asbestos, steel products, machinery, chemicals and other products are manufactured in Charleston. And, livestock also adds to the states revenues.
While there are fewer farms in the state, the remaining farms are much larger than the original ones. The state ranks third in the production of peaches and fourth in the nation in the production of tobacco. Along with many other crops, the state has the only commercial tea plantation in the nation located on Wadmalaw Island.
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