Economic issues

A New State and Nation
Chapter 9
Up Country vs Low Country
The American Revolution
made the already stressed
relationship between the
people of the two political
regions in South Carolina
even worse. Low Country
Patriots fought Up
Country Loyalists,
sometimes turning
neighbors and even family
members against each
These tensions continued
after the Revolutionary
War ended.
Up Country vs Low Country
The economic differences
between the two regions
caused most of the
differences. The first white
settlers to move to the Up
Country were traders and
woodsmen, so they were
viewed by the Low Country
elite as “uncivilized.” Up
Country folk were subsistence
farmers who worked the land.
Although a few owned slaves,
they did not have large
plantations and large slave
holdings. Many worked their
farms without the assistance
of slave labor.
Up Country vs Low Country
The Low Country was
dominated by the
planter elite whose
economic well being
and social status
depended on their
slave holdings. The
Low Country was the
first area settled in
the state, and
eventually the
plantation owners in
the area grew wealthy
(rich) from the
export of rice and
Economic issues
Both groups suffered
economically as a result of the
war. During the war years,
fighting destroyed the
countryside and slaves,
livestock and goods were
taken by the British. They
were also damaged from
revenge between loyalists and
patriots, or as a result of
supporting the armies camped
nearby. Fields that had grown
rice before the war were
Once the war ended the
economy was slow to improve.
Economic issues
The slave population was
drastically decreased, by the end
of the war nearly 25,000 slaves
had been killed, stolen, or
escaped. This made rebuilding
the damaged fields and growing
new crops extremely difficult.
Before the war, the Low Country
benefited from England’s
subsidies, and the fact that
Great Britain provided South
Carolina a guaranteed rice
market. After the war, these
subsidies were gone, and Great
Britain now refused to buy cash
crops as a punishment for the
new independent United States.
Economic issues
Poor crop yields made it even
more difficult to recover
economically, when you don’t have
a lot of crops to sell, you don’t get
a lot of money. The planters owed
money to creditors in England
which they had borrowed before
the war and they could not pay it
back because they weren’t making
money off of their crops. The
American government was also
unable to pay for the goods it had
commandeered during the fighting
from the citizens of the state.
Economic problems persisted until
the early 1800s when cotton
became a new cash crop.
Economic issues
During South Carolina’s
early years, there was a
larger white population living
in the Up Country, but most
of the political power rested
in the Low Country. Not only
did the Low Country have
greater representation in
the legislature but
Charleston was the capital,
which gave the Charleston
elite a greater influence on
the government.
Economic issues
Up Country people didn’t like having
to travel so far to present issues
to the legislature. In 1786, the Low
Country compromised and the
capital was moved to the newly
established city of Columbia. It
was in the center of the state and
equally accessible to both regions,
but as a compromise for moving the
capital, the Low Country maintained
its majority in the legislature. This
helped ease but did not eliminate
political tensions between the Up
Country and the Low Country.