In today's world we recognize the institution of slavery as an evil and a mistake due to gross ignorance and near sightedness in past eras. Southerners in the 19th century tried desperately to save their blessed money making enterprise but to no avail. Their efforts to protect their "peculiar institution” stemmed into the areas of religion, economics, and legal means. Religion is the first subject at hand.
The desperate Southerners even blasphemed themselves by using the bible and the word of God to justify their bondage. The Southerners were so asinine as to quote the words of the Christian holy book to justify their enslavement of an entire race. The idea of "positive good” was wide spread among the slavery favoring whites. Supporters of this idea believed that the slave traders and owner were actually doing them a favor. They believed that by seizing the African Natives from their motherland they were rescuing them from a barbaric existence and a life of pagaen beliefs. The third religion-affiliated effort to save slavery in the South was the formation of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK). The KKK is part of a long list of extremist groups that practice white supremacy. The KKK focused mainly on hatred of anyone who was not a white protestant; they justified this through their interpretation of God's word. Economic issues were also used in the South's great design.
The many slaveryites of the South also used their economic pull to sway the non-believers to their side. The Northern economy was reliant on exports and the droves of pro-slavery people in the South believed that they could use "King Cotton” to command the abolitionist into compliance with their horrible trade. The plantations of the South generated a huge amount of cotton that accounted for nearly three quarters of the Yankee's shipping. The slaveryites knew that war would not only effected the many lowly seamen and captains but would greatly cripple if not kill the ship building industry.