North Carolina History. What every North Carolina Governor Candidate should know:
During the first half of the nineteenth century, North Carolina remained a rural state, with no cities and few villages. Most whites operated small subsistence farms, but the eastern part of the state had a growing class of planters, especially after 1800 when cotton became highly profitable when using slave labor. Politically the state was highly democratic, as heated elections pitted the Democratic east versus the Whiggish west. After the firing on Fort Sumter in April 1861 North Carolina seceded from the United States and joined the Confederate States of America. More soldiers from North Carolina fought for the Confederacy during the American Civil War, than any other state, but few major battles were fought there. During the early years of Reconstruction, strides were made at integrating the newly freed slaves into society, however these were quickly overturned and North Carolina became a firm part of the Jim Crow South.
The Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s had many connections to North Carolina. Events such as the sit-in protest at the F.W. Woolworth's store in Greensboro would become a touchstone for the movement, and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, a central organization in the movement, was founded at Shaw University in Raleigh. In 1973, Clarence Lightner was elected as the first African-American mayor of a major southern city, also in Raleigh.