Charleston and the Lowcountry of South Carolina
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Charleston, South Carolina has a long and interesting history, beginning with its founding as Charles Towne, named after King Charles II, in 1670. The city is located at the confluence of the Ashley and Cooper Rivers, which flow together into Charleston Harbor and the Atlantic Ocean. In its early history, the settlement of Charles Towne faced periodic attacks from both Spain and France, each contesting England’s claim to the area. It later became a focal point in the American Revolution. After South Carolina declared its independence from Britain, Charles Towne twice became the target of British attacks. The British retained control until December of 1782, after which the name of Charles Towne was changed to Charleston.
In 1860, South Carolina became the first state to secede from the Union and cadets from the Citadel, in Charleston, fired the first shots of the Civil War against a Union ship entering the harbor.
Natural disasters have also caused significant destruction to both Charleston and the region. In 1866 it was nearly destroyed by an earthquake measuring 7.5. In 1989, Hurricane Hugo caused over 2.8 billion dollars of damage to the area.
Tourism, followed by port activity, are the leading revenue sources in the city. Charleston has mild winters and hot, humid summers with significant rainfall all year long.
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