HOLY CITY HISTORY
The "Holy City"...Charleston, the county seat of Charleston County, is South Carolina's second largest metropolitan area. It lies primarily between the Ashley and Cooper rivers. The harbor of Charleston has given the city a major role in the naval history of the United States and particular the American Civil War.
When Charles II was restored to the throne of England, he was unable to reward everyone to whom he was indebted with cash. In 1663, he provided eight former generals, who became known as the Lords Proprietors, the title to Carolina. The Fundamental Constitution of Carolina, written in 1669 by the philosopher John Locke provided the basis for Carolina's early government.
In 1670, settlers arrived at the Ashley River and established a settlement on the west band, which they named Charles Towne in honor of Charles II. The following year, to provide for better defense, they began to transfer themselves across the river and rebuilt at the tip of the peninsula between the Ashley and Cooper rivers. This transfer was completed by 1680. Charles Towne was originally a walled city. The fortified walls were built to keep out non-friendly Native Americans, marauding pirates and England's sworn enemy; the Spanish. Traces of the wall have been found throughout the city and a project is underway to outline the wall for future generations.
Charleston was instrumental in the American Revolution and was occupied by the British in 1780. Charleston Harbor was the site of the beginnings of the American Civil War in 1861. During the war, Charleston was continually bombed by Union forces (587 straight days) and was a shell of it's former self following the war. For the next 40 years or so, Charleston rebuilt and at the turn of the 20th century again became a vibrant American city. As World War I and II raged on, Charleston became an important military city with recruit training, ship building and air training facilities contributing to the war effort.
As Charleston entered the 21st century, the "Holy City" (so named for the many churches throughout the area), has continued to be a snapshot of Americana and has recently been labeled the number one tourist destination in the world. Through storm, flood, earthquake, fire, war and economic depression, Charleston has persevered and has become an All-American City
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