Slavery and Progress: Mind of the Old South. Pre-Civil War American southern society created its own powerful regional ruling class and developed a worldview which gradually became antithetical to that of the North and western Europe. Historians have expressed perplexity at finding that intellectuals of the Old South--many of whom were well educated--defended the institution of slavery in every possible way, seeing in it no apparent conflict with their knowledge of modern science, theology, politics, and economics. This study critically reconstructs US Southern intellectuals' pro-slavery ideology with its determined insistence that there was more 'humaneness' in slavery than in the labor system taking shape in the industrializing North. The study elucidates the contradictory character of 19th century American capitalism in which a purportedly pre-modern economic and social system flourished in tandem with an economy that was to dominate the modern world capitalist system.