Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe was a catalyst for the Civil War due to its depiction of slavery as harsh and brutal. The main character, a slave named Uncle Tom, and one of the slave owners, Simon Legree were used to attack the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 and the institution of slavery that it protected. Throughout the novel, characters, scenes and plots were Stowe’s persuasions to the reader that slavery is evil, un-Christian, and should not be tolerated. She illustrates the fact that slavery and Christian values oppose each other and are not in any way compatible. Uncle Tom’s Cabin outraged the southerners and made the northerners more aware of the brutality of slavery.
While there is plenty to discuss why this was the cause of the war, the differences between the North and the South go much deeper then the question of slavery. Especially, since the Northern states tried slavery but it did not benefit them as well as it benefited the South. The last use of slaves in the North ended before 1850. While, slavery did play an influence and will be discussed how it did later, it is important to dispel some myths that have been lost in translation over the past 152 years. To the average American today, when asked what caused the Civil War a majority will say, slavery was the immediate cause of the war.
Most of the disagreement came from Southern slave owners. They thought that Douglass was crazy for wanting to abolish slavery and have total equality because that would cripple their income. These were the kind of men that were fighting, like Douglass and most Northerners, a war about slavery. Even though most men in the South owned and depended on slavery they had different motives for fighting in the war. Jim Kepler, a Confederate soldier, said, “Damn fool… He still thinks it’s about slavery” pg66.
Abraham Lincoln believed and made known that he thought that “slavery was an evil… that [every man] had the right to freedom and fruits of their labor” (PowerPoint). Many Southerners (included the Whig party) feared that President Lincoln if elected would outlaw slavery all together. Because of this dispute, Southern states (including South Carolina) began the process of secession wanting to make a political statement. This statement, however, brought about a war in which the Northern and Western states and territories fought to preserve the Union, and the South fought to establish Southern independence as a new confederation of states under its own constitution.
This major controversy over the runaway slaves sparked the beginning of the Civil War. The northerners felt that slavery was an act that was in opposition to the United States Constitution. The Constitution states that all people were entitled to their basic rights, to which the suspected runaway slaves were being denied. It was known that some blacks in the North were free, yet they were still being accused of being a runaway during this time of chaos.
They simply had not understood that the South truly believed they needed their slaves to accomplish all the work quotas on the plantation. By taking the "moral highroad", they were motivated by passion.... ... middle of paper ... ...n the North at Fort Sumter. Though they did seem to attempt to avoid war, the inevitability of it all was overwhelming. As their social beliefs on slavery were dramatically different, westward expansion was creating a rise in tension, and Spot's Resolution, the Wilmot Proviso, and Election of 1860 made the war inevitable. Both sides were passionate with their beliefs, creating a rough start to the situation.
People often misunderstand the factors that led to one of the bloodiest wars in history, the Civil War. While many believe the question of the morality of slavery is what drove the South to secede, leading to the Civil War, that was not the main element. While main issue that led to the war was slavery, freedom and morality were not the center of this. It was a variety of political and economic aspects of slavery were what initiated the Civil War. Anti-Slavery writers such as Seward and Helper urged the country to abandon the extension of slavery in order to protect the union and the economy.
The Southern and Northern states varied on many issues, which eventually led them to the Civil War. There were deep economic, social, and political differences between the North and the South. These differences stemmed from the interpretation of the United States Constitution on both sides. In the end, all of these disagreements about the rights of states led to the Civil War. There were reasons other than slavery for the South?s secession.
This new ruling meant that Congress no longer had the authority to stop the spread of slavery. Because of this abrupt change in political power, the northerners feared that slavery would spread into federal territories. These tensions ... ... middle of paper ... ...y deserved no rights. These impelling disagreements upon the view of slavery created a contrast in daily life from the North and South. Social disputes in different viewpoints of people regarding slavery eventually initiated the Civil War.
After thoroughly assessing past readings and additional research on the Civil War between the North and South, it was quite apparent that the war was inevitable. Opposed views on this would have probably argued that slavery was the only reason for the Civil War. Therefore suggesting it could have been avoided if a resolution was reached on the issue of slavery. Although there is accuracy in stating slavery led to the war, it wasn’t the only factor. Along with slavery, political issues with territorial expansion, there were also economic and social differences between North and South.