background_fid.jpg
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

"F" is for the Fundamental Constitutions of Carolina

South Carolina from A to Z logo

"F" is for the Fundamental Constitutions of Carolina [1669-1698]. Part Constitution and part promotional tract, the Fundamental Constitutions of Carolina comprised a much-revised document that the Lords Proprietors created to govern their New World province. Among the guiding principles of the constitutions were that landownership was the bedrock of society and that Carolina’s government should avoid creating a "numerous democracy." The proprietors’ insistence on provisions for considerable religious liberty was innovative. From 1669 to 1698 the proprietors promulgated four amended versions of their unalterable Fundamental Constitutions, each of which was shorter and granted more political concessions to the Carolinians than its predecessor. The final version of the Fundamental Constitutions of Carolina was issued in April 1698 and debated off and on for several years in the Commons House of Assembly, but was never accepted by the colonists.

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.