Date of Award

Spring 1976

Document Type

Legacy Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)




College of Humanities and Fine Arts

First Advisor

James Branham


This paper is written to demonstrate three main points: (1) that a solid compact civilization existed in Coastal South Carolina before the Civil War, totally divergent from that in the North in economy, social customs and ideals, and political beliefs; (2) that the Civil War was the collision of these divergent points of view; and (3) that the post war period from 1868-1895 was an abortive attempt to adjust to new conditions thrust upon the coastal region by the collision of the war. The first three chapters deal with the economy of the coastal districts, its culture and lifestyles, and its political beliefs that led it down the pathway to secession and war. In these early chapters the Negro is only superficially dealt with becuase the author feels that during this period the Negro, though the muscle and the backbone of the culture, none the less, had no rights to venture his opinion regarding the direction of his state. He was more or less an invisible force, and though he is discussed along with the planter, the planter's wife, childhood education, and other aspects of the coastal society, he is not given an indepth observation. The Civil War is dealt with briefly, and only the military operations of the different counties are observed. The Port Royal experiment is combined with Reconstruction because it anticipated the coming peace and was an attempt to prepare programs to cope with the problems of the peace. The final chapters deal with the post war years: reconstruction, Black supremacy and the resurgence of white supremacy. Included in these chapters is the death of the Ante Bellum rice economy in Beaufort, Charleston and Georgetown and the different counties' attempts to rebuild a sound economy in a climate of deep state and social division. It concludes with the Negro disenfranchisement debates, the Constitutional period of 1895, and how both effected the coastal counties.