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I'm writing an essay on Reconstruction for English and stumbled into this problem.

"the South had been heavily institutionalized ___ slavery"

What would the correct preposition be in the blank? Into seems to work, but not quite. For doesn't seem to be correct either.

Is there an idiomatic answer?

Thanks!

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As sumelic notes in the comments:

Per thefreedictionary.com, the American Heritage Dictionary defines institutionalize as:

  1. To make into, treat as, or give the character of an institution to: "The Irish institutionalized their language, requiring it on official documents" (Mark Abley).
  2. To place (a person) in the care of an institution.

Neither definition seems to work in your sentence. It seems like what you want to say is something like "The South had heavily institutionalized slavery." In that case, no preposition is needed.

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