Outline of Charleston History in 6 Parts

Story by planitcharleston.com / July 4, 2017

History of the Holy City
Charleston, South Carolina, is one of the oldest and most beautiful cities in the United States.  With its stunning skyline of church steeples and long history of religious tolerance, Charleston is often referred to as “The Holy City”.  Charleston was settled in 1670 as Charles Towne, and was one of America’s largest thriving cities for nearly two hundred years.  Almost 350 years old, today Charleston is a historically and culturally rich city beloved by residents and visitors alike.  Take a walk along the oak lined streets and you’ll se that the Holy City has maintained much of its historical charm, even with the onslaught of the modern era.

  1. Colonial Period: 1670-1776
    Charles Towne was established in 1670 as the capitol of the Carolina territory and was meant to become a “great port towne”, and it certainly has.  Charles Towne was known for its remarkable ethnic, cultural, and religious diversity.  By the mid eighteenth century, Charles Towne had become a thriving trade center, and the cultural and economic center of the South.

  2. American Revolution 1776-1785
    Charles Towne, being one of America’s largest cities, was a vital part of the American Revolution, and main target of the British forces.  The British launched two major attacks on Charles Towne during the Revolution.  The second attack in 1780 led to the Siege of Charles Towne, regarded as the greatest American defeat of the Revolution.  When the British left in December of 1782, the city officially changed their name to Charleston.

  3. Antebellum: 1785-1861
    Antebellum, the time between the American Revolution and the Civil War was a time of great growth for Charleston.  In peace and prosperity, Charlestonians were able to build up their community and add on to the city.  Though Columbia became the capitol of South Carolina during this time, Charleston’s plantation based economy continued to thrive.

  4. American Civil War: 1861-1865
    Charleston played an important role in the Civil War, and their role is a source of pride for many Charlestonians even today.  South Carolina was the first state to secede from the Union, and the first shots of the war were fired in the Charleston Harbor.  However, the Civil War was also a time that Charleston saw damage and destruction of much that was cherished by residents.

  5. Postbellum: 1865-1945
    After the Civil War, Charlestonians worked hard to restore their community and reconstruct their city.  Freed Slaves contributed to the efforts to bring Charleston back to its old vibrancy, and it was during that time that many of Charleston’s familiar institutions were established.

  6. Modern Day: 1945-present
    During the last four decades, Charlestonians have been laboring to revive the historical charm and character of the Holy City.  Though Hurricane Hugo hit in 1989 and caused major damage to much of the historical portion of the city, Charleston has continued with a commitment to preservation of its cherished history.

Today Charleston is the economic center of South Carolina, supporting huge technical industries and a booming port economy.  It is also the state’s main medical center and is home to multiple state-of-the-art medical facilities.  Charleston is a major tourist destination, where people from across the country and the world come to relax, learn about our country’s history, and enjoy Southern hospitality at its very best.  Take some time to learn more about beautiful Charleston, South Carolina…


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