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 other. 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 indigo. 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 destroyed. 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.