North Carolina is located on the Atlantic Seaboard in the southeastern part of the US. In addition, it is on of the original 13 colonies, which makes it one of the original founding states of the US. It was named Carolina after King Charles I of England. Raleigh has been the capital since 1710, the city was named after Sir Walter Raleigh who discovered the coast of North Carolina. During the American Civil War (1861-1865) North Carolina was part of the Confederacy and is counted among the Southern states.
North Carolina is often also referred to as “the Old Northern State” or “Tar Heel State” – the North Carolinians are also called Tar Heels. The exact etymology of the term is unclear, but most experts believe the term to come from the extraction of tar, pitch and turpentine from the vast pine forests of the former British colony.
Due to its geographical position and its history, North Carolina has a number of cultural and historical attractions, as well as a beautiful scenery and many national parks. The state offers a variety of recreational facilities and activities, including Ocracoke Lifeguard Beach, Outer Banks, that was rated number 1 by the famous beach tester Stephen Leatherman alias Dr. Beach.
The Appalachian Mountain range forms a natural border in the West. The highest point is High Rock Mountain with a height of only 1,119 feet above sea level. In between the mountains are valleys with rich soil, with a lot of rivers and streams. The mountains themselves are covered with vast forests, just a few mountain tops are bare with prairie-like vegetation. While agriculture is still a vital economic factor in this region, tourism is becoming increasingly important and has developed into the largest economic sector in the mountain region.
In 1584, Elizabeth I granted Sir Walter Raleigh permission to establish a British colony. The first settlements in the early 1580s failed, the next was established in the spring of 1587. A group of 110 people settled on Roanoke Island. Virginia Dare was born there on August 18, 1587 as the first child born in the new world to English-speaking parents. As the leader of the settlers returned from a trip he had taken in 1590, he found the settlement deserted. Nobody ever found out what had happened to the settlers. This second failed settlement, the Lost Colony, is to this date one of the most mysterious chapters in American history.
Around 1650, English settlers came from the North to settle in the Albemarle Sound area. In 1663 Charles II granted permission to start a new colony. He gave the land to eight Lord Proprietors and named it after his father Charles I (Latin: Carolus), Carolina. Bath, the first city in what is today North Carolina, was founded in 1705. In 1710 Carolina started to split because of disputes concerning the form of government, North Carolina and South Carolina came into existence. The latter became English Crown Colony in 1729, which officially finalized the separation. On April 12, 1776, the Provincial Congress of North Carolina decided to declare independence from the British. Thus North Carolina was the first colony to instruct its delegates to the Continental Congress to vote for independence from the British crown, through the so-called Halifax Resolves. The date in the flag and seal of North Carolina reminds of this event.
Throughout its history, North Carolina has always been an agricultural state. Rice, cotton and tobacco was grown on plantations. Forestry also was important, the vast forests were useful to create tar and turpentine. As in most of the Southern states, the structural change to an industrialized society happened very slowly after the War of Secession ended. Even today agriculture and forestry are still a major part of North Carolina’s economy. After losing a lot of production jobs due to globalization, North Carolina has repeatedly tried to attract research and technology companies. In addition to a highly positive development in the finance industry, high-tech companies are now counted among the most important employers in the former low-wage region. The real GDP per capita was $ 36,489 in 2006. This makes North Carolina a middle-ranking state, and, compared to all 50 states, puts it in 20th place.