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Colonial South Carolina: A History

4.7 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1570031892
ISBN-10: 1570031894
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: University of South Carolina Press (October 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1570031894
  • ISBN-13: 978-1570031892
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,094,465 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
Sometimes it happens that you read a book for a different reason from the one which made the author write it. In that case, when writing a critique, you must be very careful not to fault the author for not "living up to" your requirements. That is the case here. For many years, I have been intrigued by the question, "Why are states like South Carolina so different from my own state of Massachusetts when they were settled largely by people from the same country at around the same time?" I never did much about finding the answer, but some time ago I did buy this book. I have only just read it. OK, so it wasn't such a burning question ! But that is what impelled me to undertake to read COLONIAL SOUTH CAROLINA and I'm glad I did.

Weir's clearly-written history provides a detailed look at the colony, which began to emerge in the 1630s under the rule of proprietors who brought in colonists. He gives background on Spanish and French incursions and battles over the area, as well as on the various Indian peoples, who might not have been as numerous as those to the south or west. Weir's main interest, however, is political and legal---in the growth of laws, political institutions, and people in government---and how these led eventually to rebellion against Britain. For an amateur, these sections get rather detailed. I was interested in almost everything else---the relationship with the Indians, the economy (naval stores, rice, indigo), slavery, social classes, and their standards of living. Because of his focus, he begins with political developments instead of with economics and the society, which I feel is a mistake. In his way, amateurs like me can hardly grasp the motives or the players in the political game until we reach subsequent chapters.
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Format: Paperback
I acquired this book while on vacation at Kiawah Island, SC. If you fancy yourself an amateur historian, this is the book for you. Prof. Weir provides a detailed review of the formation of South Carolina and its growth from proprietary colony to royal colony to free state. He blends social, economic and political history with fascinating tidbits about the geography around you. It is a little heavy on the political aspects, however, and sometimes my mind glazed over with governor-this and who owned what. But all in all, I quite enjoyed reading it as I toured the area. One of the most interesting parts was the extensive information he included about the interactions between the colonists and the native American populations which they ultimately destroyed or enslaved.
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Format: Paperback
Colonial South Carolina played an undervalued role in early American history. New England and Philadelphia had a corner on European shipping routes, but South Carolina played just as a significant role in the very lucrative Caribbean trade. University of South Carolina history professor, Robert Weir, has admirably filled in a lot of gaps in the public's mind regarding early American with his excellent Colonial South Carolina: A History. Considering South Carolina's preeminent role in British America south of Williamsburg, VA, the role that the colony played extended far beyond its natural borders, which were set by the mid 1700's.

Books like this, covering a large time period from before recorded history to roughly 1775 in a few hundred pages are by nature very selective. Weir does an admirable job of describing South Carolina's history before European colonization. His main goal is to describe the land and the native people's in relationship to how they affected and altered the English attempt to establish a colony south of Virginia.

What made Carolina different, for it was just one colony at the time, was that it was settled by business leadership from the island of Barbados. So total was the Barbados influence, that Carolina could be said to be the only mainland location that was settled from the Caribean, rather than the other way around. The story that Weir tells of South Carolina is that of a trading colony that remained a transitional land between the raw commercialism of the Caribean islands and the settled little British communities of the rest of British North America.

Carolina's growth, and by extenstion, eventually the deep South's growth and culture had its origin's at the very start in the late 17th century.
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