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South Carolina

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South Carolina

The general assembly approved a new constitution on March 19, 1778, to replace the temporary form of government adopted in 1776. It established a senate and house of representatives, both of which served for two years. Appropriation bills had to originate in the house, and could be rejected, but not altered, by the senate; all other legislation could be drafted or amended in either chamber. Senators were required to have £2,000 freehold, while representatives, as well as all voters, had to be free white males over 21, owning 50 acres of land or a town lot of equivalent value. The legislature jointly elected a governor, lieutenant governor, and eight privy councilors, all of whom were required to have a £10,000 freehold, and who served for two years before becoming ineligible for the same office for the next four years. There was no executive veto. Judges were chosen by a joint legislative ballot and served for good behavior. All officeholders were required to be Protestants, and the “Christian Protestant religion” was established in the state. A majority of both legislative chambers could alter the constitution.