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Prior to the Civil War, the southern economy was based primarily on agriculture. Slaves were the majority of the southern work force, so southerners in general supported slavery. They saw it as part of their way of life. The northern economy, however, was based on industry. They had no need for slaves because most industry by that time called for specialized workers, not slaves.

Another point relating to Economics: The primary southern crop, cotton, required year-round tending; the northern crops were finished in the fall, so the fields - and thus the slaves - lay fallow for several months. Slave owners did not like maintaining slaves while no work was being done, so they gradually moved to a system of hired hands who could be let go if there was no work to be done, and did not have to be supported.

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Actually, the more cogent point is that the conservatives (north and south) favored slavery, while liberals (north and south) were the abolitionists of the time. Thus Abraham Lincoln, though a Repubilcan, was by the standards of his time a social liberal.

One is inclined to doubt that Lincoln, while credited with founding the Republican Party, would even be welcome in that party today. Political liberalism is defined this way:

�A political philosophy based on belief in progress, the essential goodness of man, and the autonomy of the individual and standing for tolerance and freedom for the individual from arbitrary authority in all spheres of life, especially by the protection of political and civil liberties and for government under law with the consent of the governed.� Webster�s Third New International Dictionary. IT was hard work to in american.69

EDIT: It is also worth noting that in 1860 The Republican party was the more liberal party and the Democratic party was the more conservative.

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Q: Why was Democratic south in favor of slavery while Republican north against it and how does this make Democratics feel knowing their party supported racism and slavery?
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