- History of South Carolina
South Carolina is one of the thirteen original states of the
United States of America. Its history has been remarkable for an extraordinary commitment to political independence, whether from overseas or federal control. As a cornerstone of mercantilismand the slave trade, as the powder keg of the American Civil War, as the home of Jim Crow, and as the heart of the Dixiecratmovement, South Carolina's history has been the epitome of decentralization ( Anti-federalism) in the U.S.
Although the area that is now the contemporary
U.S. stateof South Carolinahas been populated since at least 13,000 BC (when tool-making nomadsbegan to leave material remains), the documented history of South Carolina begins in 1540 with the visit of Hernando de Soto.
proprietary colonyof Carolina was first settled at Charles Town (modern day Charleston) in 1670, mostly by immigrants from the (one of many) English colony of Barbados. There was discontent with the Lords Proprietorsfrom the earliest years of the colony. Colonists overthrew the proprietors after the Yamasee Warof 1715-1717. In 1719 the colony was officially made a crown colony, although the Lords Proprietors held their rights until 1729.
Differences between the northern and southern parts of Carolina were recognized during proprietary rule. Separate governors were established for each section. The "de facto" separation of the two colonies was made official when they were admitted as crown colonies in 1729.
South Carolina declared independence from
Great Britainand set up its own government on March 15, 1776. It joined the United States by signing the Declaration of Independence. For two years its president was John Rutledge, who became governor. On February 5, 1778, South Carolina became the first state to ratify the first constitution of the U.S., the Articles of Confederation.
engravingof Fort Sumter before the attack that began the Civil War.]
With the election of
Abraham Lincolnon an anti-slavery platform in 1860, the state legislature immediately called for a convention to debate the question of secession. On December 24, 1860, the convention decided, with considerable unanimity, to declare South Carolina independent, making it the first state to leave the Union. In February it joined the Confederate States of America. In April the American Civil Warbegan when Confederate forces attacked the American fort at Fort Sumter, in Charleston, 1861.
After the Confederate defeat, South Carolina underwent Reconstruction. Freed African Americans and poor whites benefited during Reconstruction, when they expanded the franchise, created and funded a public school system, and created social welfare institutions. The constitution they passed was kept nearly unaltered for 27 years, and most legislation passed during the Reconstruction years lasted longer than that. [ W.E.B.Du Bois, "Black Reconstruction in America, 1860-1880", New York: 1935, Free Press edition, 1998, p.598. ] African American gains were short-lived. As white planters returned to dominance, they passed
Jim Crow laws, especially severe in South Carolina, to create public segregation and control movement of African American laborers. The whites passed laws that effectively disfranchised African Americans by the turn of the century. Although a majority in the state from before the Civil War, African Americans suffered much diminished civil rights until they won restored protection under the Civil RightsAct of 1964 [http://finduslaw.com/civil_rights_act_of_1964_cra_title_vii_equal_employment_opportunities_42_us_code_chapter_21 Civil Rights Act of 1964] ] during the administration of President Lyndon Johnson.
From 1877 to 1990 the state was poor. Educational levels were low as public schools were underfunded, especially for African Americans. Most people lived on farms and grew cotton. The more affluent were landowners, who subdivided the land into farms operated by tenant farmers or
sharecroppers, along with land operated by the owner using hired labor. Gradually more industry moved into the Piedmont area, with textile factories that turned the raw cotton into yarn and cloth for sale on the national market.
Politically the state was part of the
Solid South. Because African Americans were disfranchised, despite the fact they paid taxes and supported other citizen obligations, no black officials were elected between 1900 and the late 1960s. Whites rigidly enforced segregation in the Jim Crowera, limiting African Americans' chances for education, representation and free public movement. The Civil Rights laws of the 1960s ended segregation and protected voting rights of African Americans and other minorities.
The cotton regime ended by the 1950s. As factories were built across the state, the great majority of farmers left agriculture. By 2000 South Carolina voted solidly Republican in presidential elections, but state and local government elections were contested by the two parties. The population continued to grow, reaching 4 million in 2000, as coast areas became prime locations for tourists and retirees. With a
povertyrate of 13.5%, the state was only slightly better than the national average of 11.7%.
The area of South Carolina was inhabited by indigenous peoples for thousands of years before European exploration. Archeological evidence shows tool-making nomads lived there by 13,000 B.C.
By the time of the first European exploration, twenty-nine tribes or nations of Native Americans lived within the boundaries of what became South Carolina. [ [http://www.sciway.net/hist/indians/index.html Native Americans in South Carolina] ]
By the end of the 16th century, the Spanish and French had left the area of
South Carolinaafter several reconnaissance missions and failed colonizationattempts. In 1629, Charles I granted his attorney general a charter to everything between latitudes 36 and 31. He called this land the Province of Carlana, which would later be changed to "Carolina" for pronunciation, after the Latin form of his own name. In 1663, Charles II gave the land to eight nobles, the Lords Proprietors, who ruled the Province of Carolinaas a proprietary colony. After the Yamasee Warof 1715-1717, the Lords Proprietors came under increasing pressure and were forced to relinquish their charter to the crown in 1719. The proprietors retained their right to the land until 1719, when the colony was officially split into the provinces of North Carolinaand South Carolina, crown colonies.
Throughout the Colonial Period, the Carolinas participated in many wars against the Spanish and the Native Americans, including the Yamasee and
Cherokeetribes. In its first decades, the colony's plantations were relatively small and its wealth came from Indian trade, mainly in deerskins and Indian slaves. With the importation of African slaves who had skills and knowledge of rice culture, in the first decades of the 18th century, planters began to create rice plantations which flourished along the coast. Enslaved Africans created the equivalent of huge earthworks while digging ditches, dams and other means to regulate the rice culture.
The Low Country was settled first, dominated by wealthy men who became owners of large amounts of land on which they created
plantations. They first transported white indentured servants as laborers, mostly teenage boys and girls from England who came to work off their passage in hopes of buying their own land. Planters also imported African laborers to the colonies. In the late years boundaries were fluid between indentured laborers and slaves, but gradually the terms of enslavement became more rigid. Before the beginning of the 18th century, the planters began to rely chiefly on enslaved Africans for labor.
After the Yamasee War, the backcountry's Indian population was greatly reduced. In contrast to the Tidewater, the newly emptied backcountry was settled chiefly by
Scots-Irishand North British migrants who had quickly moved down from Pennsylvaniaand Virginia. The immigrants from Ulster, the Scottish lowlands and the north of England (the border counties) comprised the largest group from the British Isles before the Revolution, and they came mostly in the 18th century, later than the others. Such "North Britons were a large majority in much of the South Carolina upcountry." The character of this environment was "well matched to the culture of the British borderlands." [David Hackett Fischer. "Albion's Seed: Four British Folkways in America". New York: Oxford University Press, 1989, pp.634-635 ] Such immigrants settled in the backcountry throughout the South and relied on subsistence farming. They mostly did not own slaves. Given the differences in background, class, slaveholding, economics and culture, there was longstanding competition between the Low Country and Upcountry that played out in politics.
Coastal planters earned wealth from two major agricultural crops: rice and indigo, both of which relied on cultivation by
slavelabor. Exports of these crops led South Carolina to become one of the wealthiest colonies prior to the Revolution. Near the beginning of the 18th century, planters began rice culture along the coast, mainly in the Georgetown and Charleston areas. Enslaved Africans brought the rice varieties and cultivation techniques when they were imported from West Africa and Sierra Leone, rice growing regions. The best rice became known as Carolina Gold, both for its color and its ability to produce great fortunes for plantation owners. [ [http://www.ego.com/us/sc/myr/history/rise.htm Rise of the Georgetown Rice Culture] ]
In the 1740s, Eliza Lucas Pinckney began indigo culture and processing in coastal South Carolina. An "Indigo Bonanza" followed, with South Carolina production approaching a million pounds in the late 1750s. This growth was stimulated by a British bounty of six pence per pound. [ [http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Aegean/7023/indigo.html Rice, Indigo, and Fever in Colonial South Carolina] accessed 7 Mar 2008]
In addition the colonial economy depended on sales of pelts (primarily deerskins), and naval stores and
timber. Coastal towns began shipbuilding to support their trade, using the prime timbers of the live oak.
South Carolina's liberal constitution and early flourishing trade attracted Sephardic Jewish immigrants. They came mostly from London and the Barbados, where they had been involved in the rum and sugar trades. In 1800 Charleston had the largest Jewish population in the United States. [ [http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=989&letter=S History of Jews in South Carolina] ] .
Prior to the
American Revolution, the British began taxing American colonies to raise revenue. Residents of South Carolina were outraged by the Townsend Acts that taxed tea, paper, wine, glass, and oil. To protest the Stamp Act, South Carolina sent wealthy rice planter Thomas Lynch, twenty-six-year-old lawyer John Rutledge, and Christopher Gadsdento the Stamp Act Congress, held in 1765 in New York. Other taxes were removed, but tea taxes remained. Soon South Carolinians, like the Boston Tea Party, began to dump tea into the Charleston Harbor, followed by boycottsand protests.
South Carolina declared independence from Great Britain and set up its state government on
March 15, 1776. Because of the colony's longstanding trade with Great Britain, the Low Country cities had numerous Loyalists. Many of the battles fought in South Carolina during the American Revolution were against loyalistCarolinians and the Cherokee tribe allied with the British. This was to British General Henry Clinton's advantage, as his strategy was to march his troops north from St. Augustine and sandwich George Washingtonin the North. Clinton alienated Loyalists and enraged Patriots by attacking and nearly annihilating a fleeing army of Patriot soldiers who posed no threat.
White colonists were not the only ones with a desire for freedom. Estimates are that about 25,000 slaves escaped, migrated or died during the disruption of the war, 30 percent of the state's slave population. About 13,000 joined the British, who had promised them freedom if they fought with them. From 1770 to 1790, the proportion of the state's population made up of blacks (almost all of whom were enslaved), dropped from 60.5 percent to 43.8 percent. [Peter Kolchin, "American Slavery: 1619-1877", New York: Hill and Wang, 1994, p. 73]
October 7, 1780, at Kings Mountain, Pickens led a body of North and South Carolinians and attacked British Major Patrick Fergusonand his body of Loyalists on a hilltop. This was a major victory for the patriots, especially because it was won by militiamenand not trained Continentals. Thomas Jefferson called it "The turn of the tide of success." [ [http://www.nps.gov/kimo/ Kings Mountain National Military Park] accessed 5 Mar 2008] It was the first patriot victory since the British had taken Charleston. Patriots went on to regain control of Charleston and South Carolina with untrained militiamen by trapping Colonel Banastre "No Quarter" Tarleton's troops along a river.
In 1787, John Rutledge, Charles Pinckney,
Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, and Pierce Butlerwent to Philadelphia where the Constitutional Convention was being held and constructed what served as a detailed outline for the U.S. Constitution. The federal Constitution was ratified by the state in 1787. The new state constitution was ratified in 1790 without the support of the Upcountry.
Antebellum South Carolina
John C. Calhounand Henry Clay.]
Due to the invention of the
cotton ginin 1786, the economies of Upcountry and Lowcountry became fairly equal in wealth. The Lowcountry could grow long staple cotton, but the Upcountry's soil could only grow short staple cotton. Lowcountry cotton had been easier to separate by hand until Eli Whitney's cotton gin made it as easy to process short staple Upcountry cotton. The invention led farmers to require a larger number of workers to expand their cotton holdings. Upcountry planters increased their importing of enslaved Africans. At the beginning of the 19th century, the population in South Carolina numbered 200,000 whites and 150,000 African Americans, almost all enslaved. [W.E.B. Du Bois, "Black Reconstruction in America, 1860-1880", New York: Oxford University Press, 1935; reprint, New York: Free Press, 1998, p.383]
To avoid the dangers of corruption in Charleston, the capital was moved to Columbia. Before the
War of 1812, the state's Congressmen voted to prevent Northern industry from exporting any goods, leading to inter-sectional tensions. After the war, however, John C. Calhounproclaimed the need for more industry, and proposed higher protective tariffs. He later reversed course.
In 1828, Calhoun decided that constitutionally, the state government of each state within that state had more power than the federal government. Consequently, if a state deemed it necessary, it had the right to "nullify" any federal law within its boundaries. When in 1832, South Carolina's houses quickly "nullified" the hated federally mandated tariffs, President
Andrew Jacksondeclared this an act of open rebellion and ordered U.S. ships to South Carolina to enforce the law. [cite web | title=South Carolina: History | url=http://www.infoplease.com/ce6/us/A0861203.html | accessdate= August 26| accessyear= 2005]
Calhoun resigned as vice president, planning on becoming a senator in South Carolina to stop its run toward secession while solving the problems inflaming his fellow Carolinians. Before federal forces arrived at Charleston, Calhoun and Senator
Henry Clayagreed upon a compromise. Clay won Congressional passage of the Compromise Tariff of 1833, which would lower rates over 10 years. [ [http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/ampage?collId=llsl&fileName=004/llsl004.db&recNum=676 Library of Congress, "A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation: U.S. Congressional Documents and Debates, 1774-1875] accessed 7 Mar 2008]
Because of their massive investment in enslaved African Americans and recognition they were outnumbered, slaveholding whites grew increasingly anxious about the institution of slavery. In 1822, free black craftsman and preacher
Denmark Veseywas convicted for having masterminded a plan to overthrow Charlestonian whites with a band of slaves and free blacks. Alarmed, whites established curfews, forbade teaching slaves to read and write, and prohibited the assembly of large numbers of African Americans. Since the very presence of free blacks posed a challenge to the slave society, South Carolina legislators required slaveholders to petition the state legislature for each desired manumission, rather than allowing manumission through wills or deeds, as had been the case before. White communities suffered periodic rumors of slave insurrections, but there was relatively little violence against them by slaves, considering the conditions under which slaves lived.
By 1860 the population of the state was 703,620, with 57% or slightly more than 402,000 classified as enslaved African Americans. Free blacks numbered slightly less than 10,000. Most of the free blacks lived in Charleston, where they could support themselves as artisans, craftsmen and laborers and had a community. [Du Bois, p.383]
The state's overreliance on cotton in its economy paved the way for post-Civil War poverty in three ways: planters ruined large swathes of land by overcultivation, small farmers in the upcountry reduced subsistence farming in favor of cotton, and greater profits in other states led to continued outmigration of many talented people, both white and black. From 1820–1860 nearly 200,000 whites left the state, mostly for Deep South states and their frontier opportunities. Many of them took enslaved African Americans with them; other slaves were sold to traders for the Deep South plantations. The state's wealthiest men failed to invest in keeping the land fertile or in manufacturing. [Walter B. Edgar. "South Carolina: A History". Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press, 1998,
American Civil War
Few South Carolinians saw emancipation as an option. Whites feared that if blacks, a majority in most parts of the state, were freed, they would try to "Africanize" the whites' cherished
societyand culture. This was what they believed had happened after slave revolutions in some areas of the West Indies. South Carolina's leaders were divided between devoted Unionists who opposed any sort of secession, and those who believed secession was a state's right. John C. Calhounnoted that the dry and barren West could not support a plantation system and would remain slaveless. Calhoun proposed that Congress should not exclude slavery from territories but let each statechoose for itself whether it would allow slaves within its borders. After Calhoun's death in 1850, however, South Carolina was left without a leader great enough in national standing and character to prevent action by those more militant South Carolinian factions who wanted to secede immediately. Andrew Pickens Butler argued against Charleston publisher Robert Barnwell Rhett, who advocated immediate secession and, if necessary, independence. Butler won the battle, but Rhett outlived him.
When people began to believe that
Abraham Lincolnwould be elected President, states in the Deep Southorganized conventions to discuss their options. South Carolina was the first state to organize such a convention, meeting in December following the national election. On December 17, 1860, delegates convened at the First Baptist Church in Columbia and voted unanimously to secede from the Union.citation|title=PDFlink| [http://pdfhost.focus.nps.gov/docs/NHLS/Text/71000800.pdf National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination: First Baptist Church] |32 KB|date= January 9, 1973|author=Benjamin Levy |publisher=National Park Service and PDFlink| [http://pdfhost.focus.nps.gov/docs/NHLS/Photos/71000800.pdf "Accompanying one photo, exterior, from 1972"] |32 KB] President James Buchanandeclared the secession illegal but did not act to stop it.
Six days later, on the day after Christmas,
Major Robert Anderson, commander of the U.S. troops in Charleston, withdrew his men against orders into the island fortress of Fort Sumterin Charleston Harbor. South Carolina militia swarmed over the abandoned mainland batteries and trained their guns on the island. Sumter was the key position to preventing a naval invasion of Charleston, so the Confederacy could not afford to allow federal forces to remain there indefinitely. More important, having a foreign country (the USA) control its largest harbor meant that the Confederacy was not really independent—which was Lincoln's point.
February 4, a congress of seven cotton states met in Montgomery, Alabama, and approved a new constitution for the Confederate States of America. Lincoln argued that the United States were "one nation, "indivisible"," and denied the Southern states' right to secede. South Carolina entered the Confederacy on February 8, 1861thus ending fewer than six weeks of being an independent State of South Carolina. Virginia politician Roger Pryor told Charleston that the only way to get Old Dominion to join the Confederacy was for South Carolina to instigate war with the United States. The obvious place to start was right in the midst of Charleston Harbor.
About 6,000 men were stationed around the rim of the harbor, ready to take on the 60 men in Fort Sumter. At 4:30 a.m. on
April 12, after two days of intense negotiations, and with Union ships just outside the harbor, the firing began. The decision was made by President Jefferson Davis and his cabinet. Edmund Ruffinis usually credited with being given the honor firing the first shot. Thirty-four hours later, Anderson's men raised the white flag and were allowed to leave the fort with colors flying and drums beating, saluting the U.S. flag with a 50-gun salute before taking it down. [ During this salute, one of the guns exploded, killing a young soldier—the only casualty of the bombardment and the first casualty of the war.] pp. 275-276]
Civil War devastates the state
The South was at a disadvantage in number, weaponry, and maritime skills—few southerners were sailors. Federal ships sailed south and blocked off one port after another. As early as November, Union troops occupied the Sea Islands in the Beaufort area, and established an important base for the men and ships who would obstruct the ports at Charleston and Savannah. Many plantation owners had already fled to distant refuges, sometimes taking their slaves with them.
Those African Americans who remained on the Sea Islands became the first "freedmen" of the war. The Sea Islands became a laboratory for education, with Northern missionary teachers finding former enslaved adults as well as children eager for learning, and subsistence farming by
African Americans, as they took over land for their own use.
Despite South Carolina's important role, and the Union's unsuccessful attempt to take Charleston from 1863 onward, few military engagements occurred within the state's borders until 1865. Having completed his March to the Sea at Savannah, Sherman took his Army to Columbia, then north into North Carolina. There was little resistance to his advance. Sherman's 1865 march through the Carolinas resulted in the burning of Columbia and numerous other towns.
Poverty would mark the state for generations to come. There was an agricultural depression, and changes in the labor market disrupted agriculture. Also, proportionally South Carolina lost more of its young white men of fighting age than did any other Southern state. Recorded deaths were 18,666 but fatalities may have reached 21,146. This was 31-35% of the total of white men of ages 18-45 recorded in the 1860 census for South Carolina. [ Walter B. Edgar. "South Carolina: A History". Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press, 1998, p.375.]
February 21, 1865, with the Confederate forces finally evacuated from Charleston, the black 55th Massachusetts Regimentmarched through the city. At a ceremony at which the U.S. flag was once again raised over Fort Sumter, former fort commander Robert Anderson was joined on the platform by two men: African-American Union hero Robert Smallsand the son of Denmark Vesey.
African Americans had long comprised the majority of the state's population. They began to play a prominent role in the South Carolina government for the first time during Reconstruction. Despite the anti-Northern fury of prewar and wartime politics, most South Carolinians, including the state's leading opinion-maker,
Wade Hampton III, believed that white citizens would do well to accept President Johnson's terms for full reentry to the Union. However, the state legislature, in 1865, passed " Black Codes", angering Northerners, who accused the state of imposing semi-slavery on the Freedmen. The South Carolina Black Codes have been described:: "Persons of color contracting for service were to be known as "servants", and those with whom they contracted, as "masters." On farms the hours of labor would be from sunrise to sunset daily, except on Sunday. The negroes were to get out of bed at dawn. Time lost would be deducted from their wages, as would be the cost of food, nursing, etc., during absence from sickness. Absentees on Sunday must return to the plantation by sunset. House servants were to be at call at all hours of the day and night on all days of the week. They must be "especially civil and polite to their masters, their masters' families and guests", and they in return would receive "gentle and kind treatment." Corporal and other punishment was to be administered only upon order of the district judge or other civil magistrate. A vagrant law of some severity was enacted to keep the negroes from roaming the roads and living the lives of beggars and thieves." [Ellis Paxson Oberholtzer, "A History of the United States since the Civil War" (1917) 1:128–129]
The Black Codes outraged northern opinion and apparently were never put into effect in any state.
After winning the 1866 elections, the Radical Republicans took control of the Reconstruction process. The Army registered all male voters, and elections returned a Republican government composed of a coalition of freedmen,
carpetbaggers, and scalawags. The federally mandated new Constitution of 1868 brought democratic reforms. Scalawags supported it, but most whites viewed the Republican government as representative of black interests only and were largely unsupportive. Laws forbidding former Confederates, virtually the entire native white male population, from bearing arms only exacerbated the tensions, especially as rifle-bearing black militia units began drilling in the streets of South Carolina towns.
Adding to the interracial animosity was the sense of many whites' that their former slaves had betrayed them. Before the war, slaveholders had convinced themselves that that they were treating their slaves well and had thus earned their slaves' loyalty. When the Union Army rolled in and slaves deserted by the thousands (though many did not), slaveholders were stunned. The black population scrambled to preserve its new rights while the white population attempted to claw its way back up the social ladder by denying blacks those same rights.
The 1876 gubernatorial election
Ku Klux Klanraids began shortly thereafter, terrorizing and murdering blacks and black sympathizers in an attempt to reestablish white supremacy. In some areas, local leaders squelched the movement after a few years. In 1876, tensions were high, especially in Piedmont towns where the numbers of blacks were fewer than whites. There were numerous demonstrations by the Red Shirts—white Democrats determined to win the upcoming electionsby any means possible. A paramilitary group, the Red Shirts turned the tide in South Carolina, convincing whites that this could indeed be the year they regain control and terrorizing blacks to stay away from voting. Because of the violence, Republican Governor Chamberlain requested assistance from Washington to try to keep control. President Ulysses S. Grantsent federal troops to try to preserve order and ensure a fair election. [ [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=9F00EFDC133AE63BBC4952DFB467838D669FDE The Political Situation, 10 December 1871, "The New York Times"] , accessed 5 Mar 2008]
Using as a model the "Mississippi Plan", which had redeemed that state in 1874, South Carolina Redeemers employed intimidation, persuasion, and control of the blacks. Armed with heavy pistols and rifles, they rode on horseback to every Republican meeting, and demanded a chance to speak. The Red Shirts milled among the crowds. Each selected a black man to watch, privately threatening to shoot him if he raised a disturbance. The Redeemers organized hundreds of rifle clubs. Obeying proclamations to disband, they sometimes reorganized as missionary societies or dancing clubs — with rifles. They set up an ironclad economic boycott against Black activists and scalawags who refused to vote the Democratic ticket. People lost jobs over their political views. They beat down the opposition — but always just within the law. Only a few confrontations drew blood. Wade Hampton made more than forty speeches across the state. Thousands of Black Republicans joined his cause; donning the Red Shirts, they paraded with the whites. Most scalawags "crossed Jordan", as switching to the Democrats was called.
On election day, there was intimidation on all sides, employed by both parties, and the returns were disputed all the way to Washington, where they played a central role in the
Compromise of 1877. Both parties claimed victory. For a while, two separate state assemblies did business side by side on the floor of the State House (their Speakers shared the Speaker's desk, but each had his own gavel), until the Democrats moved to their own building. There the Democrats continued to pass resolutions and conducted the state's business, just as the Republicans were doing. The Republican State Assembly tossed out results of the tainted election and reelected Chamberlain as governor. A week later, General Wade Hampton III took the oath of office for the Democrats.
Finally, in return for the South's support of his own convoluted presidential "victory" over
Samuel Tilden, President Rutherford B. Hayeswithdrew federal troops from Columbia. The Republican government dissolved and Chamberlain headed north, as Wade Hampton and his Redeemers took control.
Conservative rule 1877–1890
The Democrats were led by General
Wade Hampton IIIand other former Confederate veterans who espoused a return to the policies of the antebellum period. Known as the Conservatives, or the Bourbons, they favored a minimalist approach by the government and a conciliatory policy towards blacks while maintaining white supremacy. Also of interest to the Conservatives was the restoration of the University of South Carolinato its prominent prewar status as the leading institution of higher education in the state and the region. [cite book | last = Cooper | first = William | title = The Conservative Regime: South Carolina, 1877-1890 | year = 2005 | publisher = University of South Carolina Press | id = ISBN 1-57003-597-0 | pages = p. 40]
Once in power, the Democrats quickly consolidated their position and sought to repair the damage done to the state by the Radical Republicans. They pressured Republicans to resign from their positions and within a year both the legislative and judiciary were firmly in the control of the Democrats. [cite book | first = John S. | last = Reynolds | title = Reconstruction in South Carolina | year = 1969 | publisher = Negro University Press | id = ISBN 0-8371-1638-4 | pages = pp. 460-461] [cite book | last = Ball | first = William Watts | title = The State That Forgot; South Carolina's Surrender to Democracy | year = 1932 | publisher = The Bobbs-Merrill Company | pages = p. 169] They launched investigations into the corruption and frauds committed by eminent Republicans during Reconstruction. All charges were dropped when the Federal government dropped its charges against white participants accused of violence in of the 1876 election campaign. [cite book | last = Williamson | first = Joel | title = After Slavery: the Negro in South Carolina during Reconstruction, 1861-1877 | year = 1990 | publisher = University Press of New England | pages = p. 416]
With their position secure, the Democrats next tackled the state debt. Reconstruction government had established public education and new charitable institutions, together with improving prisons. There was corruption, but it was mostly white Southerners who benefited. Taxes had been exceedingly low before the war because the planter class refused to support public programs like education. The exigencies of the postwar period caused the state debt to climb rapidly. [cite book | last = Wallace | first = David Duncan | title = South Carolina: A short history, 1520-1948 | year = 1961 | publisher = University of South Carolina Press | pages = pp. 577-579, 582-584] [cite book | last = Pike | first = James Shepherd | title = The Prostrate State: South Carolina under Negro Government | year = 2005 | publisher = Adena | pages = pp. 122-211] [cite book | last = Rubin | first = Hyman | title = South Carolina Scalawags | year = 2006 | publisher = University of South Carolina Press | pages = p. 81] [cite book | first = John S. | last = Reynolds | title = Reconstruction in South Carolina | year = 1969 | publisher = Negro University Press | id = ISBN 0-8371-1638-4 ] When the Radical Republicans came to power in 1868, the debt stood at $5.4 million and in 1877 when the Radicals lost the reigns of state government, the debt had risen to $18.5 million. [cite book | last = Ball | first = William Watts | title = The State That Forgot; South Carolina's Surrender to Democracy | year = 1932 | publisher = The Bobbs-Merrill Company | pages = p. 182] Many Democrats from the upcountry, led by Martin Gary, pushed for the entire state debt to be canceled, but Gary was opposed by Charleston holders of the bonds. [cite book | last = Wallace | first = David Duncan | title = South Carolina: A short history, 1520-1948 | year = 1961 | publisher = University of South Carolina Press | pages = p. 609] A compromise moderated by Wade Hampton was achieved and by October 1882, the state debt was reduced to $6.5 million.
Other legislative initiatives by the Conservatives benefited its primary supporters, the planters and business class. Taxes across the board were reduced, and funding was cut for public social and educational programs that assisted the poor whites and blacks. Oral contracts were made to be legally binding, breach of contract was enforced as a criminal offense, and those in debt to planters could be forced to work off their debt. In addition, the University of South Carolina along with The Citadel were reopened and generously supported by the state government.
By the late 1880s, the agrarian movement swept through the state and encouraged subsistence farmers to assert their political rights. They pressured the legislature to establish an agriculture college. Reluctantly the legislature complied by adding an agriculture college to the University of South Carolina in 1887. Ben Tillman provoked the farmers into demanding a separate agriculture college isolated from the politics of Columbia. [cite book | last = Cooper | first = William | title = The Conservative Regime: South Carolina, 1877-1890 | year = 2005 | publisher = University of South Carolina Press | id = ISBN 1-57003-597-0 | pages = p. 166] [cite book | last = Wallace | first = David Duncan | title = South Carolina: A short history, 1520-1948 | year = 1961 | publisher = University of South Carolina Press | pages = p. 616] [cite book | last = Clark | first = E. Culpepper | title = Francis Warrington Dawson and the Politics of Testoration: South Carolina, 1874-1889 | year = 1980 | publisher = University of Alabama Press | pages = p. 175] The Conservatives finally relented in 1889.
Tillman era and disfranchisement, 1890–1914
In 1890, Ben Tillman set his sights on the gubernatorial contest. The farmers rallied behind his candidacy and Tillman easily defeated the Conservative nominee, A.C. Haskell. The Conservatives failed to grasp the strength of the farmers' movement in the state. They no longer engendered automatic respect for having fought in the Civil War. Not only that, but Tillman's "humorous and coarse speech appealed to a majority no more delicate than he in matters of taste." [Lander, Ernest: "A History of South Carolina 1865-1960", page 34. University of South Carolina Press, 1970.]
The Tillman movement succeeded in enacting a number of Tillman's proposals and pet projects. Among those was the crafting of a new state constitution and a state dispensary system for alcohol. Tillman held a "pathological fear of Negro rule." [Lander, Ernest: "A History of South Carolina 1865-1960", page 40. University of South Carolina Press, 1970.]
White elites created a new constitution with provisions to deprive blacks and poor whites of voting rights without violating the Fifteenth Amendment. This was chiefly accomplished through provisions related to voter registration, such as poll taxes and literacy tests, which adversely affected African Americans and poor whites. After promulgation of the new Constitution of 1895, voting was essentially restricted to whites.
During Reconstruction, black legislators had been a majority in the lower house of the legislature. The new requirements meant that only about 15,000 of the 140,000 blacks could qualify to register. [ [http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=9E03E2DE1331E033A25755C1A9679D94679ED7CF South Carolina's Congressmen: She May Lose Four of Them Through Disfranchising Blacks, 15 November 1896, "The New York Times"] accessed 5 Mar 2008] In practice, many more blacks were prohibited from voting by the subjective voter registration process controlled by white registrars. In addition, the Democratic Party primary was restricted to whites only. By October 1896 there were 50,000 whites registered, but only 5,500 blacks, in a state in which blacks were the majority. [George Brown Tindall. "South Carolina Negroes, 1877-1900". Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 2003, p.88]
The 1900 census demonstrated the extent of disfranchisement: African Americans comprised more than 58% of the state's population, with a total of 782,509 citizens essentially without any representation. [ [http://fisher.lib.virginia.edu/collections/stats/histcensus/php/state.php Historical Census Browser, 1900 US Census, University of Virginia] , accessed 15 Mar 2008] The political loss affected educated and illiterate men alike. It meant that without their interests represented, blacks were unfairly treated within the state. They were unable to serve on juries; segregated schools and services were underfunded; law enforcement was dominated by whites. African Americans did not recover the ability to exercise suffrage until the Civil Rights Movement won passage of Federal legislation in 1964 and 1965.
The state Dispensary, described as "Ben Tillman's Baby", was never popular in the state, and violence broke out in Darlington over its enforcement. In 1907, the Dispensary Act was repealed. In 1915 the legal sale of alcohol was prohibited by referendum.
Tillman's influence on the politics of South Carolina began to wane after his move to the U.S. Senate in 1895. The Conservatives recaptured the legislature in 1902. Aristocratic planter
Duncan Clinch Heywardwon the gubernatorial election. They made no substantial changes and in fact Heyward continued to enforce the Dispensary Act at great difficulty. The state continued its rapid pace of industrialization and this gave rise to a new class of voters, the cotton mill workers.
White sharecroppers and mill workers coalesced behind the candidacy of Tillmanite Cole Blease in the gubernatorial election of 1910. They believed that Blease was making them an important part of the political force of the state. Once in office, however, Blease never initiated any policies that were beneficial to the mill workers or poor farmers. Instead, his four years in office were highly erratic in behavior. This helped to pave the way for a progressive, Richard I. Manning, to win the governorship in 1914. [Lander, Ernest: "A History of South Carolina 1865-1960", page 53. University of South Carolina Press, 1970.]
Economic booms and busts
In 1886, Atlanta newspaper publisher
Henry W. Grady, speaking before a New York audience, proclaimed his vision of a " New South", a South based on the Northern economic model. By now, the idea had already struck some enterprising South Carolinians that the cottonthey were shipping north could also be processed in South Carolina. The idea was not entirely new to South Carolinians; in 1854, "De Bow's Commercial Review of the South & West", founded by Charleston-born James Dunwoody Brownson De Bow, had boasted to investorsof South Carolina's potential for manufacturing, citing its three lines of rail roads, inexpensive raw materials, nonfreezing rivers, and labor pool.
These advantages persisted after the Civil War. By the end of the 19th century, the
textileindustry was exploding across South Carolina, particularly upstate because of its turbine-turning rivers. It brought relief from the depressed sharecropper economy. For whites, things were looking up. In 1902, the Low Country hosted the Charleston Expedition, drawing visitors from around the world, with the hope of impressing them with the idea that the state was on the rebound. On April 9, President Theodore Roosevelt, whose mother had attended school in Columbia, made an appearance. He spoke to reconciliation of still simmering animosities between the North and the South.
In South Carolina, things continued to improve with the election of progressive Governor
Richard Irvine Manning IIIin 1914. The expansion of brightleaf tobaccoaround 1900 from North Carolina brought an agricultural boom. This was broken by the Depression, but the tobacco industry recovered and prospered until near the end of the 20th century. Despite its not having paid well since before the Civil War, cotton was still a major crop.
In 1919, the invasion of the
boll weevildestroyed the state's cotton crop, as it did throughout the South. Sharecroppers and laborers had to leave the land. Together with disfranchisement and oppressive segregation, underfunding of public education and limited opportunities, the failure of cotton led thousands of both black and white laborers to migrate to northern cities to seek better jobs, education for their children, and the ability to vote. African Americans joined the Great Migration from 1910-1940. A second wave of the Great Migration lasted through 1970. From having been rural laborers, they became urban industrial workers in cities such as Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York, New Haven and Hartford.
The expansion of
military basesduring and after World War II, followed by domestic and foreign investment in manufacturing, has helped revitalized the state.
Civil Rights Movement
Compared to hot spots such as Mississippi and Alabama,
desegregationwent rather smoothly during the 1950s and 1960s in South Carolina. As early as 1948, however, when Strom Thurmondran for presidenton the States Rightsticket, South Carolina whites were showing discontent with the Democrats' post– World War IIcontinuation of the New Deal's federalization of power.
South Carolina blacks had problems with the Southern version of states rights; by 1940 the implementation of disfranchisement written into the 1895 constitution had the practical effect of still limiting registration of African Americans to 3,000 - only 0.8 percent of those of voting age in the state. [Lawrence Edward Carter. "Walking Integrity: Benjamin Elijah Mays, Mentor to Martin Luther King Jr.". Macon, GA: Mercer University Press, 1998, pp.43-44] African Americans had not been able to elect a representative since the 19th century. By 1960, during the Civil Rights Movement, South Carolina had a population of 2,382,594, of whom nearly 35%, or 829,291 were African Americans, who had been without representation for 60 years. [ [fisher.lib.virginia.edu/collections/stats/histcensus/php/state/php Historical Census Browser, 1960 Census, Accessed 13 Mar 2008] ]
Non-violent action began in Rock Hill in 1961, when nine black
Friendship Junior Collegestudents took seats at the whites-only lunch counterat a downtown McCrory'sand refused to leave. [Siglas, Mike (2003). "South Carolina." Emeryville, CA: Avalon Travel Publishing. ISBN 1-56691-545-7.] When police arrested them, the students were given the choice of paying $200 fines or serving 30 days of hard labor in the York County jail. The Friendship Nine, as they became known, chose the latter, gaining national attention in the American Civil Rights Movement because of their decision to use the "jail, no bail" strategy.
When the time came for
Clemson Universityto allow Harvey Ganttinto its classes in 1962, after the state and the college's board of trustees had exhausted legal recourse to prevent it, word went out from influential whites that no violence or otherwise unseemly behavior would be tolerated. Gantt's entrance into the school occurred without incident. The March 16, 1963, " Saturday Evening Post" praised the state's handling of the crisis, with an article titled "Desegregation with Dignity: The Inside Story of How South Carolina Kept the Peace". Twenty years later, Gantt would go on to serve as mayorof Charlotte, North Carolina.
Barry Goldwater's platform galvanized South Carolina's conservative Democrats and led to major defections of whites into the Republican Party, led by Senator Thurmond. With the Civil Rights Act of 1964 [http://finduslaw.com/civil_rights_act_of_1964_cra_title_vii_equal_employment_opportunities_42_us_code_chapter_21 Civil Rights Act of 1964] ] and Voting Rights Act of 1965, finally South Carolina blacks regained the power of suffrage. Since then African Americans have been regularly elected to national, state and local offices.
The tragic shooting at Orangeburg in 1968 shattered the state's peaceful desegregation. Three students were killed and more than 30 others
woundedby police overreacting to the violence of students' protesting a segregated bowlingalley.
In 1970, when South Carolina celebrated its Tricentennial, more than 80% of its residents had been born in the state. Since then, however, Northerners have discovered South Carolina's
golfcourses, beaches and mild climate. The state, particularly the coastal areas but increasingly inland as well, has become more popular as a tourist destination and magnet for new arrivals. Even some descendants of black South Carolinians who moved out of the South during the Jim Crow years have moved back. Despite these new arrivals, about 69% of residents are native born.
In the 1970s, South Carolina elected its first Republican governor since Reconstruction. In 1987 and 1991, the state elected and reelected Governor Caroll Campbell, another Republican. Republican
David Beasley, a former Democrat who claimed to have undergone a spiritual rebirth that caused him to reconsider his views, ran for governor as a Republican and won. In 1996 Beasley surprised citizens by announcing that he could not justify keeping the Confederate flagflying over the capitol. He said that a "spate of racially motivated violence compelled him to reconsider the politics and symbolism of the Confederate flag, and he concluded it should be moved." [ [http://www.jfklibrary.org/ Profile in Courage Award, David Beasley] ] Traditionalists were further shocked when Bob Jones III, of Bob Jones University, announced he held the same view.
Beasley went into the 1998 elections with such an edge in popularity that the top two Democratic candidates did not bother to run. Remarkably, Beasley was defeated by the Democrats' third stringer, Lancaster State Assemblyman
Jim Hodges. Hodges, a former opponent of legalized gambling, attacked Beasley's opposition to the creation of a state lottery to support education. Hodges painted this as a tax base to improve public education.
Despite Hodge's unwillingness to join Beasley in his opposition to flying the Confederate flag, the
NAACPannounced its support for Hodges. (At the same time the NAACP demanded a boycottof conferences in the state over the same issue). Hodges reportedly accepted millions in contributions from the gambling industry, which some estimated spent a total of $10 million in its own campaign to defeat Beasely. [ [http://www.nationalreview.com/comment/comment052400a.html Michael Graham, "The Luckiest Politician in America?", "The National Review", 24 May 2000] , accessed 24 Mar 2008]
After the election, however, with public opinions steadfastly against video gambling, Hodges asked for a statewide
referendumon the issue. He claimed that he would personally join the expected majority in saying "no" on legalized gambling, but vowed not to campaign against it. Criticsin both parties suggested that Hodge's debtsto the state's gambling industrywere keeping him from campaigning against legalized gambling. The state constitution does not provide for referendums except for ratification of amendments. State legislators shut down the state's video casinos soon after Hodges took office.
Upon his election, Hodges announced that he agreed with Beasley's increasingly popular
compromiseproposal on the Confederate flag issue. He supported the flag's transfer to a Confederate monumenton the State House's grounds. Many South Carolinians agreed with this position as the only solution. Further, they admired Hodges' solution to nuclear wasteshipments to the state.
moderatevoters sufficiently so that in 2002, most of the state's major newspapers supported Mark Sanfordto replace him. Hodges was held responsible for the state's mishandling of the Hurricane Floydevacuation in 1999. The absence of hurricanesin the 2000 and 2001 seasons did not give citizens a chance to see if Hodges' post-Floyd revisions would work.
In 2002, South Carolinians were surprised to learn that most of the funds from Hodges' "South Carolina Education Lottery" were used to pay for college
scholarships, rather than to improve ruraland inner-cityelementary, middle, and high schools. Hodges had criticized the lower schools' achievements in his campaign for the lottery. Critics included leaders at Hodge's church, United Methodist. They denounced the lottery as taxing the poor to pay for services for the middle class.
In the lottery's first year, Hodges' administration awarded $40 million for "LIFE Scholarships", granted to any South Carolinian student with a B average,
graduationin the top 30% of the student's high school class, and an 1,100 SATscore. [cite web | title=Scholarships South Carolina Department of Education | url=http://www.myscschools.com/superintendent/scholarships.cfm?ID=2 | accessdate= August 26| accessyear= 2005 ] Hodges' administration awarded $5.8 million for "HOPE Scholarships", which had lower g.p.a. requirements.
Hodges lost his campaign for reelection in 2002 against Republican conservative
Mark Sanford, former U.S. congressmanfrom Sullivan's Island.
* [http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=52694010 Peirce, Neal R. "The Deep South States of America: People, Politics, and Power in the Seven Deep South States" (1974)] solid reporting on politics and economics 1960-72
Textbooks and surveys
* Edgar, Walter. "South Carolina: A History," (1998) the standard scholarly history
* Edgar, Watler, ed. "The South Carolina Encyclopedia,"
University of South Carolina Press, 2006 ISBN 1-57003-598-9, the most comprehensive scholarly guide
* Rogers Jr. George C. and C. James Taylor. "A South Carolina Chronology, 1497-1992" 2nd Ed. (1994)
* [http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=57281887 Wallace, David Duncan. "South Carolina: A Short History, 1520-1948" (1951)] standard scholarly history
* [http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=78272110 WPA. "South Carolina: A Guide to the Palmetto State" (1941)]
* [http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=104882476 Wright, Louis B. "South Carolina: A Bicentennial History"' (1976)]
cholarly secondary studies: to 1865
* Orville Vernon Burton; "In My Father's House Are Many Mansions: Family and Community in Edgefield, South Carolina." (1985) [http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=10585854 online edition]
* [http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=9910027 Clarke, Erskine. "Our Southern Zion: A History of Calvinism in the South Carolina Low Country, 1690-1990" (1996)]
* Channing, Steven. "Crisis of Fear: Secession in South Carolina" (1970)
* [http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=8121238 Coit, Margaret L. "John C. Calhoun: American Portrait" (1950)]
* [http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=28187303 Crane, Verner W. "The Southern Frontier, 1670-1732" (1956)]
* [http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=78907323 Ford Jr., Lacy K. "Origins of Southern Radicalism: The South Carolina Upcountry, 1800-1860" (1991)]
* [http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=23379119 Johnson Jr., George Lloyd. "The Frontier in the Colonial South: South Carolina Backcountry, 1736-1800" (1997)]
* [http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=7693265 Rogers, George C. "Evolution of a Federalist: William Loughton Smith of Charleston (1758-1812)" (1962)]
* Roper, L. H. "Conceiving Carolina: Proprietors, Planters, and Plots, 1662-1729" Palgrave Macmillan, ISBN 1-4039-6479-3.
* [http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=7959992 Schultz Harold S. "Nationalism and Sectionalism in South Carolina, 1852-1860" (1950)]
* [http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=105868417 Sinha, Manisha. "The Counterrevolution of Slavery: Politics and Ideology in Antebellum South Carolina" (2000)]
* [http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=3519942 Smith, Warren B. "White Servitude in Colonial South Carolina" (1961)]
* Wood, Peter H. "Black Majority: Negroes in Colonial South Carolina from 1670 Through the Stono Rebellion" (1996)
cholarly secondary studies: since 1865
* Bass, Jack and Marilyn W. Thompson. "Ol' Strom: An Unauthorized Biography of Strom Thurmond,". (2003)
* David L. Carlton, "Mill and Town in South Carolina, 1880-1920" (1982
* [http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=9910027 Clarke, Erskine. "Our Southern Zion: A History of Calvinism in the South Carolina Low Country, 1690-1990" (1996)]
* William J. Cooper Jr., "The Conservative Regime: South Carolina, 1877-1890" (1968).
* Lacy K. Ford, "Rednecks and Merchants: Economic Development and Social Tensions in the South Carolina Upcountry, 1865-1900", "Journal of American History," LXXI (September 1984), 294-318; in JSTOR
* Kantrowitz, Stephen. "Ben Tillman & the Reconstruction of White Supremacy" (2002)
* Kantrowitz, Stephen. "Ben Tillman and Hendrix McLane, Agrarian Rebels: White Manhood, 'The Farmers,' and the Limits of Southern Populism." "Journal Title: Journal of Southern History." Volume: 66. Issue: 3. (2000) pp. 497+. in JSTOR [http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=5002365039 online edition]
* Keyserling, Harriet. "Against the Tide: One Woman's Political Struggle". University of South Carolina Press, 1998.
* [http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=52694010 Peirce, Neal R. "The Deep South States of America: People, Politics, and Power in the Seven Deep South States"; (1974)] solid reporting on politics and economics 1960-72
* [http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=55550734 Simon, Bryant. "A Fabric of Defeat: The Politics of South Carolina Millhands, 1910-1948" (1998)]
* [http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=3844981 Simkins, Francis Butler. "The Tillman Movement in South Carolina" (1926)]
Simkins, Francis Butler. "Pitchfork Ben Tillman: South Carolinian" (1944)
Simkins, Francis Butler, and Robert Hilliard Woody. "South Carolina during Reconstruction" (1932).
*Slap, Andrew; "The Spirit of '76: The Reconstruction of History in the Redemption of South Carolina" in "The Historian". Volume: 63. Issue: 4. 2001. pp 769+ online in JSTOR on 1876
* [http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=15039957 Tullos, Allen "Habits of Industry: White Culture and the Transformation of the Carolina Piedmont" (1989)]
* Williamson Joel R. " After Slavery: The Negro in South Carolina during Reconstruction, 1861-1877" (1965)
* Zucek, Richard, "State of Rebellion: Reconstruction in South Carolina" U of South Carolina Press, 1996
* Bass, Jack and Jack Nelson."The Orangeburg Massacre,". Mercer University Press, 1992.
* [http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=10585854 Burton, Orville Vernon. "In My Father's House Are Many Mansions: Family and Community in Edgefield, South Carolina" (1985)] , new social history
* Carlton, David L. "Mill and Town in South Carolina, 1880-1920" (1982)
* [http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=9348093 Doyle, Don H. "New Men, New Cities, New South: Atlanta, Nashville, Charleston, Mobile, 1860-1910" (1990)]
* Huff, Jr., Archie Vernon. "Greenville: The History of the City and County in the South Carolina Piedmont" (1995)
* Moore, John Hammond. "Columbia and Richland County: A South Carolina Community, 1740-1990" (1993)
* Pease, William H. and Jane H. Pease. "The Web of Progress: Private Values and Public Styles in Boston and Charleston, 1828-1843" (1985),
* Rose, Willie Lee. " Rehearsal for Reconstruction: The Port Royal Experiment" (1964)
* Pike, James Shepherd, "The Prostrate State: South Carolina Under Negro Government"(New York, 1874). hostile report on Reconstruction [http://www.hti.umich.edu/cgi/t/text/text-idx?c=moa;idno=AFK4119.0001.001 full text online at Making of America, University of Michigan]
* [http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=394304 Salley, Alexander S. ed. "Narratives of Early Carolina, 1650-1708" (1911)]
* Woodmason Charles. "The Carolina Backcountry on the Eve of the Revolution" Edited by Richard J. Hooker. (1953), a missionary reports
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