The U.S. State of South Carolina (SC) was admitted as the 8th state of the union on May 23rd, 1778. Like much of North America prior to European exploration, the area comprising modern day South Carolina was inhabited by several indigenous civilizations for thousands of years. By the early 1600’s, the area was home to a relatively large Native American population of mostly localized tribes from the Cherokee and Catawba nations, respectively. In addition, several tribes of Sioux, Apalachee, and Yamasee decent maintained smaller populations.
The Spanish were the first Europeans to set foot in modern day SC when they explored the area during the summer of 1521. Five years later, they established the first European settlement in the region at modern day Georgetown, South Carolina. In addition to the settlement being the first European settlement in the area of South Carolina, it was also the first European settlement established within the mainland United States of America. By the mid-1500’s, the French also began to explore the region, establishing a settlement of their own on Parris Island. After several disputes between the two European empires, the Spanish had mostly expelled the French from the area. By the turn of the century, Native American tribes had retaken much of the Spaniard controlled territory. A short time after, the English Navy showed up along the coast and began to encroach upon what was left of the Spanish settlements. Subsequently, in 1629, King Charles I of England established the Province of Carolina, claiming ownership on the land comprising both North and South Carolina.
The fertile land of the new province was greatly suitable for agriculture. Almost immediately, the province began to establish plantations with the intent of growing and producing cash crops like rice and indigo. Over nearly a century, the province experienced a financial explosion along with a considerable growth in population resulting in the province being split in two creating the new English colonies of North and South Carolina. Both North and South Carolina would become two of the original thirteen colonies. In no time, South Carolina went on to become one of the richest of the thirteen colonies.
Currently, SC ranks as the 40th among the fifty states in terms of land area and 23rd in terms of population. The city of Charleston and the capital city of Columbia are among the most populated cities in the state, being homes to nearly three hundred thousand people. In 2014, the United States Census Bureau estimated the population of South Carolina to be 4,896,146.
Over the years South Carolina has cultivated a unique appeal among American citizens for its coastal communities, its status as a staple in Southern American culture, and a haven for the arts. While the state is lacking in housing a major professional sports franchise, South Carolina does have a fair share of institutions representing a wide range of artistic mediums. For instance, the Gibbs Museum of Art in Charleston, the Columbia Museum of Art, and the SC State Museum are among the most popular venues for the visual arts in the state.