In 1670, Charleston was the Capital of Carolina. The settlers on the Albemarle Sound and the Ashley River at the time had notable cultural differences. The area north of Cape Fear soon developed its government. In 1712, Charles II, the niece to Queen Anne finally granted the northern settlers petition for the division of the territory with the border at the Cape Fear River. Discontented settlers in the south soon rebelled against the inept leadership of the proprietors and overthrew them as they wanted direct governance from the Crown. Settlers in North Carolina rebelled soon after. By 1729 North and South Carolina were regarded as separate royal colonies.
In 1732, the province of Georgia was granted a charter by King George II. The move was welcomed by the residents of South Carolina as Georgia would provide a buffer zone with Spanish Florida. The poorly defined boundary led South Carolina to believe that it still owned a large swath of north Georgia. The territory west of the Head of the Altamaha to the Mississippi was affirmed to be in South Carolina by the Lords of Trade. Georgia's future expansion and the better definition of the border meant that South Carolina lost access of the west thereby becoming the smallest of the southern states. Border disputes between the two led to a meeting held at Beaufort in 1787 by representatives from South Carolina and Georgia. The resulting agreement set the borderline at the center of the Savannah River and also awarded the rivers islands to Georgia. There were occasional disputes between the two neighbors over the years due to factors such as the Savannah River shifting course which resulted in Barnwell Island, formerly in Georgia territory shifting to South Carolina. The shift led Georgia to file a suit against South Carolina in 1977 to reaffirm ownership. The US Supreme Court ruled the matter in favor of South Carolina.