In 1663, King Charles II of England granted a charter to eight proprietors, granting them all the land between latitudes 31° and 36° north, extending west to the South Seas (Pacific Ocean). This charter established the colony of Carolina, which would later become North Carolina. The first Europeans to settle in the area were the Spanish, with Lucas Vázquez de Ayllón and Juan Pardo arriving in the region. North Carolina was an important part of the American Revolution, with three of its citizens signing the Declaration of Independence.
The state also played a key role in the war effort, harassing British forces and securing military victories with the Continental Army and guerrilla units. After the Civil War ended in 1865, North Carolina was not re-admitted to the Union until three years later, when a state constitution was passed that explicitly protected the rights of African Americans. Today, North Carolina's economy is largely driven by research in fields such as biotechnology, pharmaceuticals and banking. Textile manufacturing is also an important industry in the state, especially during World War II when North Carolina became a major supplier of textile products to the US military.
The first successful settlement in what would become North Carolina probably dates back to around 1648, by Plumpton and Tuke. Life during this colonial period was characterized by plantation settlements and a desire to move west. In 1690, Seth Sothel was appointed as governor of North Carolina, although he had been previously expelled from the state due to his corrupt conduct.