The Southern Colonies

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Why was South Carolina founded?

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South Carolina was founded through a royal charter from Charles I in 1629. It was established because the British wanted to keep the Spanish contained in Florida, preventing them from moving north and claiming more land. Settlers migrating from colonies such as Virginia had already drifted into the northern part of the territory.

France and Italy had both tried and failed to establish colonies in South Carolina. In 1663, Charles II granted the land to eight aristocrats who had helped him gain the throne after the death of Oliver Cromwell. They saw the colony as a money-making venture in which they would use slave labor to grow crops such as indigo, rice, and cotton. This made the colony a commercial venture: nobody founded it looking for religious freedom.

Originally, South Carolina included what today is both North and South Carolina. The colony was separated into North and South Carolina in 1712 because the one colony became too big to administer.

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