South Carolina has been home to members of more different ethnic groups than any other southern state. Late in the twentieth century, many American northerners, as well as Germans and Canadians, moved to South Carolina. However, after 1990, Mexican immigrants far outnumbered those from any other country.
When Europeans made their first contact with the peoples of South Carolina during the early sixteenth century, the region was populated by Native Americans of the
In 1663, England’s King
The proprietors were eager to bring more white settlers into South Carolina. Some of the new immigrants were fleeing religious persecution, among them
After the U.S. Civil War (1861-1865), economic hardships in South Carolina discouraged new immigrants from entering the state, and pervasive poverty, along with racial discrimination, drove many black South Carolinians to northern cities. By the 1920’s, African Americans were no longer in the majority in South Carolina. Some returned to the state after the Civil Rights movement brought legal and social changes during the 1960’s. Meanwhile, the state’s African American cultural heritage had never been lost.
During the second half of the twentieth century, South Carolina’s rich history, ethnic diversity, and cosmopolitanism, along with its temperate climate, drew retirees from northern states to become permanent or part-time residents. New immigrants also came from various European countries and
Europeans and Canadians were not, however, the most numerous immigrants living in South Carolina during the early twenty-first century. In 2006, almost 50 percent of the state’s foreign-born residents were from Latin America. The majority of these immigrants were from
Edgar, Walter B. South Carolina: A History. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1998. _______ The South Carolina Encyclopedia. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 2006. Lacy, Elaine Cantrell. Mexican Immigrants in South Carolina: A Profile. Columbia: Consortium for Latino Immigration Studies, University of South Carolina, 2007. Mohl, Raymond A. “Globalization, Latinization, and the Nuevo New South.” In Other Souths: Diversity and Difference in the U.S. South, Reconstruction to Present, edited by Pippa Holloway. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2008.
African Americans and immigrants
West Indian immigrants