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North Carolina History Facts

North Carolina is a state in the southeastern region of the United States.

It is a big state: 28th largest in the United States.

It borders South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and Georgia.

Seal Of North Carolina

The capital city of the state is Raleigh and Charlotte is the biggest city.

Charlotte is the 23rd most populated city in the United States and is the largest banking center after New York City.

Related: North Carolina State Facts

Duke Energy Center And The Westin Charlotte

North Carolina was established in 1729 as a colony and is one of the original Thirteen Colonies.

Carolina was named after King Charles I England.

This was because the name “Carolus” means  “Charles” in Latin.


First populations

Human beings have lived in the area since 10,000 BCE.

Around 750 CE, many important buildings were built by Native Americans of the Mississippian-culture, such as pyramid-type flat top buildings.

In 1550, there were many Native American groups living in modern-day North Carolina.

These groups included: the Chowanoke, the Roanoke, the Pamlico, the Machapunga, the Coree, the Cape Fear Indians, the Wazhaw, the Waccamaw and the Catawba.

A Popular History Of The United States

Exploration and first settlements

A man called Juan Pardo first visited the area between the years of 1566 and 1567.

He established a fort called Fort San Juan in 1567, near the present-day city of Morganton.

The local community of the Joara were in conflict with these settlers and killed the 120 men, so this settlement only lasted 18 months.

Iglesia De San Francisco

In 1584, Philip Amadas and Arthur Barlowe explored the area.

It was in the eighteenth-century that the region began to attract foreign migrants, for example Scots-Irish, Quaker, English and German immigrants came to settle in North Carolina at this time.

Many early English colonists arrived and were indentured servants.

This means that to pay for their fare to come from England to America, they agreed to work for free on arrival.

Over time, this type of labor was replaced by labor from the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, where people were enslaved in Africa and brought over to the Americas on slave ships.


Slavery in North Carolina

North Carolina’s economy was very dependent on slave labor.

Much of the landscape was made up of huge slave plantations where tobacco was grown. The whole region was a ‘slave society’.

By 1860, North Carolina was known as a ‘Slave State’ because one third of the population was enslaved.

Flag Of North Carolina

The American Civil War

North Carolina joined the Confederacy. This was a group of states that fought against the United States in the American Civil War.

Some people in North Carolina did not support the Confederacy and supported the Union instead.

When the Union won and the Confederacy collapsed in 1865, North Carolina was put under the control of the United States military.

army soldier

In order to join the United States, North Carolina had to agree to make changes.

One of these was that they were supposed to create a new constitution that recognized equal rights for African-Americans.

However, they were admitted to the Union even though this never happened.

US State History

Quiz Time!

Biltmore Estate

How long has North Carolina been inhabited?

Who was North Carolina named after?


Who lived in North Carolina before Europeans arrived?

When was the first settlement in North Carolina?

How long did this settlement last?

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