This post starts with the statements:
The South had a very rich pre-Civil War history. There is no doubt about that. Much of that culture and tradition had nothing (or little) to do directly with slavery.
This statement ignores the reality of the pervasiveness of slavery and its domination of the South's economic, legal, cultural and social framework. The South had neglible industry and urban population, especially when compared to the North. Its economy was totally dependent on the exploitation of slave labor, not on manufacturing. Trade was dependent on importing slaves from abroad until 1807, and thereafter an active slave trade within the South continued. Exports of cotton and other agricultural products were largely the result of slave labor. The legal system in the South contained many substantive and procedural protections for the ownership and trading of slaves. Although over half the whites in the south did not own slaves, they were legally and socially privileged with respect to slaves. Southern churches, media, civic and social organizations all supported the institution of slavery by and large.