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Free Traveling Guides » States » North Carolina

History of North Carolina

North Carolina, situated on the Atlantic seaboard in the southeastern United States, was formerly known as Carolina and was home to the first English colony in America. It was first inhabited by a number of Native American tribes, including the Pamlico, Cheraw, Cape Fear Indians, Cherokee, Waxhaw, Catawba, Cheraw, and Coree. A charter for land in present-day North Carolina was granted to Sir Walter Raleigh in 1584 by Queen Elizabeth I. However, Raleigh failed to colonize the granted land. A charter to set up a new colony on the North American continent was granted by Charles II in 1663. This land was named Carolina in honor of his father Charles I. Owing to the disputes over governance, the Carolina Territory was ultimately split into North Carolina and South Carolina in 1710. South Carolina became Georgia an year later.

British colonists, who had migrated south from Virginia, were the first permanent European settlers of North Carolina. Scots-Irish and German Protestants settled mainly in the upcountry of western North Carolina. The Tidewater in eastern North Carolina, on the other hand, was occupied by the immigrants from Highland Scotland and England. Intense guerilla warfare broke out between bands of pro-independence and pro-British colonists throughout the American Revolutionary War. On April 12, 1776, North Carolina permitted her emissaries to the Continental Congress to vote for independence. The first constitution of North Carolina was endorsed in December, 1776 by the delegates to the Fifth Provincial Congress. Richard Caswell was made the first governor of North Carolina on December 21, 1776. On November 21, 1789, North Carolina became the 12th state to join the federal union and ratify the U. S. Constitution. North Carolina also ceded a large part of its territory to the federal government in 1790.

North Carolina seceded from the Union on May 20, 1861. However, during the American Civil War, the state played an integral role by supplying more men and materials to the Confederates than any other state. Following the War, North Carolina was again added to the Union on June 25, 1868. Other determining events in the history of the state include the introduction of a far-reaching education program in 1901 by Governor Charles B. Aycock; construction of the successful powered flight by man at Kill Devil Hill by the Wright Brothers in 1903; and the rapid growth of the textile mills, furniture industry, and tobacco plantations in the late 1920s. Over the years, North Carolina has emerged as the prime center for education, industry, and agricultural technology.

 
 
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