The city of Columbia dates back to 1786 when government officials ordered the state to develop a new capital, to replace the current capital, Charleston. This decision was made to resolve conflicts between the plantation owners in the midlands and the low country. Columbia, South Carolina was a huge leader and supporter of the American Civil War and was the first state to succeed from the union in December of 1860. This secession aided in the rebellion of other southern states, creating the alliance called, The Confederate States of America. During the war, many affluent leaders would meet in Columbia to discuss war strategies and other relevant matters. Columbia surrendered to the Union on February 17, 1865, resulting in the liberation of thousands of emancipated slaves, and war prisoners. The overwhelming amount of people in the city lead to The Burning of Columbia, a massive fire that engulfed much of the inner city. Today, the fires are still very controversial because some believe the fires were accidental, while others believe the fires were an act of vengeance from the Union soldiers. The fires destroyed the old South Carolina State House and the interior of the new State House, in addition to all military assets, railroad stations and depots, the Arsenal Academy, and many other prominent buildings throughout Columbia.
After the Civil War, Columbia began to rebuild and develop a new economy that was primarily based on government, manufacturing, and agriculture. The most important crops consisted of peaches, tobacco, and cotton. Today, Columbia still manufactures synthetic fibers and textiles, in addition to industrial equipment.