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Regional definitions vary from source to source. The states shown in dark red are usually included, though their modern boundaries differ from the boundaries of the Thirteen Colonies.

Geographically, Old South is a subregion of the American South, differentiated from the "Deep South" as being the Southern States represented in the original thirteen American colonies, as well as a way of describing the former lifestyle in the Southern United States. Culturally, the term can be used to describe the antebellum period.[1]


Geographic usage

The Southern Colonies were Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, Delaware, South Carolina, and Georgia.

The "Old South" is usually defined in opposition to the Deep South including Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia and Mississippi, and it is also further differentiated from the inland border states such as Kentucky and West Virginia and the peripheral southern states of Florida and Texas.

The "Old South" also refers to the tradition of Southerners voting the Democratic ticket. During the Reconstruction period after the Civil War, many Democrats lost their ability to vote. This led to a Republican South until 1877, when southern Democrats returned to power. Recently this Democratic dominance has eroded, yet the south maintains its conservative stance. The majority of the southern population now identifies with the Republican party.

Cultural usage

After the Civil War, many southern whites used it with nostalgia to represent the memories of a time of prosperity, social order, and gracious living. A majority of blacks saw it as being a reference to the past times of slavery and the plantation. It is the adversus to the "New South."

Even after those with personal memories of the antebellum South were largely deceased, the term continued to be used. It was used even as a marketing term, where products were advertised as having "genuine Old South goodness" and the like.

Certain groups now wish to rescue the term from racist connotations by stating that they desire to celebrate only the things about the Old South which might be considered good, such as Southern chivalry.

See also

References and external links



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