One of the original 13 colonies and a state that makes up the United States of America is South Carolina. It is located along the southern U.S. Eastern Seaboard. The state is bounded to the north by North Carolina, on the southeast by the Atlantic Ocean, and on the southwest by Georgia. The state is shaped like an inverted triangle with an east-west base of 285 miles (459 km) and a north-south length of around 225 miles (360 km). The state’s capital and main city is Columbia, which is situated in the middle of the state.

South Carolina, an English colony founded in 1670, had an affluent, aristocratic, and powerful colonial society based on plantation agriculture that employed Black slaves as labour. African Americans now made up almost two thirds of the colony’s overall population by 1730. In the early 19th century, the plantation system expanded from the coastal areas into the sloping interior, and the new state joined the Southern Cotton Belt.

The subtropical climate of South Carolina features hot, muggy summers and typically moderate winters. The low 70s F (low 20s C) in the highland northwest and the low 80s F (upper 20s C) in the midlands and along the coast are the typical July temperatures. From around 38 °F (3 °C) in the highlands, 45 °F (7 °C) in the midlands, and roughly 50 °F (10 °C) near the coast, which is heated by the Gulf Stream, are the typical wintertime temperatures.

Less than 200 days in the state’s northwest and roughly 290 days on the Sea Islands make up the growing season. Nearly 50 inches (1,270 mm) of precipitation fall on the majority of the state each year, but mountains in the northwest receive 70 to 80 inches (1,780 to 2,030 mm). Rainfall in the summer, which is characterised by afternoon thunderstorms, typically exceeds that in any other season.