The South still has not recovered from slavery. David Kaiser offers some historical thoughts on the subject.
Yet it seems to me that slavery's most enduring effects, ironically, have fallen upon the descendants of those who owned the slaves, rather than the slaves themselves--and those effects still are a terrible burden to the American South.Since I travel regularly to Ripon, Wisconsin, which claims to be the birthplace of the Republican Party, let me add a bit more history from the abolitionist North.
The founders of the Republican Party included a number of small businessmen who recognized that the South's slavery was an economic advantage. The existing political parties, the Whigs and the Democrats, were not facing up to the deep divisions that slavery was causing. So the economics, along with the moral case for abolition, were all motivations for forming a new political party. Some of those same founders also established a college because they recognized the value of education.
Kaiser gives some of the history of how the Republican Party got from there to here, pretty much reversing all its stands along the way.