The Southern United States—commonly referred to as the American South, Dixie, or simply the South—is an area in the southeastern and south-central United States. The region is known for its distinct culture and history, having developed its own customs, musical styles and varied cuisines that have helped distinguish it from the rest of the United States. The Southern ethnic heritage is diverse. The central factor has been—according to some scholars of Southern history—formulated as a result of an early support for the doctrine of States' Rights, slave labor on plantations in the Lower South; the presence of a large proportion of African Americans in the population; and the legacy of the Civil War and Reconstruction Era, as seen in thousands of lynchings (mostly from 1880 to 1930), the segregated system of separate schools and public facilities known as "Jim Crow", that lasted until the 1960s, and the denial to blacks of the right to vote or hold office until the 1960s. Today however, it is often noted that the South is the most integrated section of the country, and some scholars argue that race-relations are actually better than in any other region of the United States.