According to the maps linked below, the modern Republican states consist of the former slave holding states, and the modern Democratic states come from what was the North side of the Civil War.

So were the slaveholders racists, or just good capitalists who valued profit over any other human value? The author claims that the Southern system was driven primarily by economics, not race. (Which is not to say they weren’t racist as well) Even after slavery was prohibited, the Southern mind still believed in low-wages for the poor, low-taxes for the rich, and, of course, few regulations upon business.

Here a couple of provocative quotes from the article linked below:

“…Anything that increases the bargaining power of Southern workers vs. Southern employers must be opposed, in the interest of the South’s regional economic development model.  Unions, federal wage and workplace regulations, and a generous, national welfare state all increase the bargaining power of Southern workers, by reducing their economic desperation.  Anti-union right-to-work laws, state control of wages and workplace regulations, and an inadequate welfare state all make Southern workers more helpless, pliant and dependent on the mercy of their employers.  A weak welfare state also maximizes the dependence of ordinary Southerners on the tax-favored clerical allies of the local Southern ruling class, the Protestant megachurches, whose own lucrative business model is to perform welfare functions that are performed by public agencies elsewhere, like child care.” Michael Lind

“…Today many business-class conservatives from Texas and other Southern states such as former Texas Senator Phil Gramm champion “guest-worker programs” which would bring in Mexican nationals and others to work as indentured servants in the South, while forbidding them to become U.S. citizens with legal and voting rights.” -ibid.