The Road to the New South: South Carolina and the Debate over I-95

Mark Thomas Evans, University of South Carolina


This essay examines how South Carolinians responded to Interstate-95, the principle north-south artery of the United States Interstate Highway System. Construction of I-95 commenced during the 1950s, a period when Southerners promoted a regional identity of cultural distinctiveness from the rest of the United States. Disdain for federal intervention in state affairs was the hallmark of this Southern identity, and South Carolina was arguably the most vocal champion of Southern exceptionalism.