South Carolina is on the south eastern coast of the United States. It is bordered by Georgia, and North Carolina. It had a population in 2007 of 4,407,709. The capital state of South Carolina is Columbia. Geographically South Carolina has flat low country, which leads inland through sandhills and hillier piedmont to the mountainous Blue Ridge. These mountains are part of the Appalachians, and Sassafras Mountain is South Carolina’s highest point at 3560 feet (1085m). There are several major lakes in the state including Lake Marion, Lake Strom Thurmond and Lake Moultrie. The summer is hot and humid; averaging 86-103F (30-40C), but it is cooler in the mountains. In the winter, coastal areas drop to an average 60F (16C) whilst the upstate area is below freezing. Year round it is quite rainy, and occasionally hurricanes or tornadoes may hit the area.
South Carolina was settled by English settlers in 1670, who came mainly from Barbados. The freedom of religious practice soon attracted many more immigrants and African slaves. It was one of the first colonies to declare independence from the British Crown. It was also the first state to secede from the Union and was one of the founding states of the Confederate States of America. In the 20th century South Carolina had a thriving textile industry, but now grows less cotton and more profitable agricultural crops.