LOWER SOUTH, or the Deep South, is that part of the southern United States lying wholly within the cotton belt, including South Carolina, Georgia, and the Gulf states of Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas. Before the Civil War, the Border States and the Middle South states (Arkansas, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia) had more diversified economies than did the Lower South states, which relied more heavily on cotton and sugar as their main cash crops and on slave labor. In the later antebellum period, these states (Florida excepted) secured political leadership in the South and led the drive for secession.
Haywood J.PearceJr./c. p.