The Carolina Colony was the first foothold for the British in the lower south region of North America. Carolina developed in the tradition of Barbados, with its economy based on staple crops. These staple crops would become rice and indigo, both of which flourished in the areas near the coast. This lucrative agricultural development would assure that the seat of power in Carolina would remain near the sea for most of its early history. The coastal elites would face three major concerns: threat from the Native Americans in the west, treats from the Spanish in the south, and a fear of slave revolt in a colony that had an ever-increasing black majority. The solution that was initiated in the 1730’s by the coastal government was to systematically settle a “new” backcountry that could provide a buffer between themselves and these growing physical threats. The settlement of this “new” backcountry would also help to add white residents to the colony to help dilute the growing black majority in the coastal regions. Due to this strategic positioning the backcountry settlers were exposed to extensive conflict and hardship, a circumstance that would have otherwise been thrust at the coastal settlements. In spite of these conditions the backcountry settlers grew from their yeoman roots to a prosperous society. Increased transportation networks, further access to slave labor, and the development of staple crops such as cotton, eventually allowed the backcountry to become involved with the staple based commercial economy of the coastal elites. This increase in commercial development would intimately intertwine the two regions of the state both economically and culturally by the turn of the nineteenth century.
Pruitt, Steven C.
"Settlement of South Carolina’s Colonial Backcountry: From Conflict to Prosperity,"
Bound Away: The Liberty Journal of History:
2, Article 2.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.liberty.edu/ljh/vol1/iss2/2