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The South Carolina Constitution of 1868 embodied many democratic principles absent from previous constitutions.

The new constitution:

(1) established a balanced, tripartite form of government for the first time in South Carolina’s history

(2) established comprehensive local governments, replacing the patchwork of specialized commissions which handled everything from roads to welfare

(3) created a detailed Declaration of Rights which mandated political equality regardless of race

(4) mandated state-wide public education for the first time

(5) established a welfare program for the poor, aged, and disabled that was channeled through county governments

(6) removed the requirement of owning property in order to vote

Courtesy of South Carolina Department of Archives and History