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Geographically, the 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. In Colonial times, it was largely dominated by slave-owning plantations.
Geographic usage 
The "Old South" is usually defined in opposition to the Deep South including Alabama, Louisiana, South Carolina 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 
The Old South idea originated from the small percentage of whites in the Confederate south that represented the Antebellum era after the Civil War. This small group of people used the memories of how it used to be to forge ahead during the reconstruction era, in order to try and maintain social balance between blacks and whites. However, it is worth noting that the Antebellum idea of the south is not truly accurate of how daily life in the southern states was conducted. Only a small percentage of the population actually lived the lifestyle stereotypical of the Old South. Many coming of age white women in the South strived to maintain traditions and social grace their families had encouraged while dealing with the radical changes taking place around them. These women merged the "old" ideas of social structures with the new demands of reconstruction.
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 adverse 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.
See also 
- Documenting the American South. A digital publishing initiative that provides numerous documents and information about the South of the United States before and after the American Civil War.
- Jekyll Island Club - Victorian Playground of Northern Industrialists in the Old South
- Southern Arts Federation
Scholarly References 
- Smith, Mark M., "The Old South" (Malden, Mass: Blackwell Publishers, 2001).