‘Section to nation’ examines how, by 1830, the American South had long had a predominantly agricultural economy. Its people soon idealized the agrarian republic that had taken shape after the American Revolution as the basis for an emerging sectional identity. Slavery was the basis of a productive economic system, in which the South was enmeshed with northern merchants and traders and the whole financial world of England. The American Civil War undermined southern ideology dramatically through the emancipation of slaves. The Reconstruction era would be nearly equal to the Civil War in forging a self-conscious white southern identity.