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North Carolina


The second territory to be colonized by the British, the state was originally part of the Province of Carolina, named in memory of King Charles I (Carolus in Latin), which ­included much of the southeast.

North Carolina was the first colony to vote for independence from the Crown, and several important Revolutionary War battles were fought here. The state was asleep economically during most of the 1800s, due mainly to closed-minded and indifferent leaders, leading to the nickname the ‘Rip Van Winkle State.’ Divided on slavery, North Carolina reluctantly seceded in 1861, and went on to provide more Confederate soldiers than any other state.

WWII brought some new industries and large military bases, and the economy continues to boom with the growth of finance in Charlotte, and of technology and medicine in the Raleigh-Durham area.