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"C" is for Compromise of 1808

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"C" is for Compromise of 1808. The Compromise of 1808 represented the culmination of efforts by upcountry leaders to secure equitable representation in the General Assembly. The 1790 Constitution moved the capital to Columbia, but otherwise contained little to appease the upcountry. Change became possible in the early nineteenth century when prominent lowcountry leaders such as Joseph Alston joined the reapportionment cause. In 1808 the legislature passed a constitutional amendment that apportioned the representation in the South Carolina House of Representatives according to white population and taxation. Thus one representative would represent 1/62 of the state’s population and one would represent 1/62 of taxes collected—yielding 124 House members. The act also allowed for reapportionment every ten years. The Compromise of 1808 settled the issue of representation of the upcountry and helped unify the state.

Dr. Walter Edgar has two programs on South Carolina Public Radio: Walter Edgar's Journal, and South Carolina from A to Z. Dr. Edgar receivedhisA.B.degreefromDavidson College in 1965 and his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in 1969. After two years in the army (including a tour of duty in Vietnam), he returned to USC as a post-doctoral fellow of the National Archives, assigned to the Papers of Henry Laurens.