Settled by the English in 1670, South Carolina was based on a plantation culture with an aristocratic, wealthy society that was dependent on black slave labor. South Carolina, one of the thirteen colonies, became the eighth state on May 23, 1788. On December 20, 1860, South Carolina became the first state to secede form the Union. It re- entered after the Civil War. the attack on Fort Sumter in the Charleston harbor launched the Civil War. After the war, the structure of the state changed. Today, South Carolina is a growing research center and banking state. It is fitting that the state tree of the "Palmetto State" is the cabbage palmetto, which also appears on the state flag. The flower of South Carolina is the yellow jessamine, and the capital is Columbia.