Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe

Harriet Beecher Stowe’s “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” opened the eyes of millions of people worldwide. The book portrayed the brutal life of the black slaves. It went on to sell millions of copies and was given the title “The Greatest Book of the Age”. (pg. 616) It is had been commented that this book had helped “lay the groundwork for the Civil War”, according to Will Kaufman, and is widely regarded to one of the reasons of the Civil War. Langston Hughes refers to this book as a "moral battle cry for freedom." The characters in her book debated the causes of slavery, the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, the future of freed persons, individualism and racism. The Civil War arose from a combination of causes counting regional conflicts between the Southern and Northern states, economic forces, and humanitarian concerns for the welfare of enslaved people. The four year war opposed one section of the country against each other and nearly rescinded the United States of America. It is no wonder why when Abraham Lincoln met Stowe, he responded that she was “the little woman who wrote the book that started this great war” and I would agree with that statement of his. Whether this is true or not, the gush highlights the public linking between Uncle Tom's Cabin and the Civil War.
In the novel, Harriet Beecher Stowe introduces a housemaid slave, Eliza, who was promised her son would not be sold, however, when the poor economic conditions had hit her slave owners, they did not keep up with the promise of keeping Eliza’s son. One night she overheard them planning to sell her son, so Eliza escaped to help her son. “Eliza made her desperate retreat across the river just in the dusk of twilight. The gray mist of evening, rising slowly from the river, envelope...

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...f Americans to do something about it and it sparked the Civil War. That is why I agree with Abraham Lincoln’s comment on Harriet Beecher Stowe that she was, “the little woman who wrote the book that started this great war”.

Works Cited

• Impact of Uncle Tom's Cabin, Slavery, and the Civil War. (n.d.). The National and International Impact of Uncle Tom's Cabin. Retrieved May 5, 2014, from
• Editorial Team. (2008, November 11). Uncle Tom's Cabin. Retrieved May 9, 2014, from
• Stowe, H. B., & Kazin, A. (1981). Uncle Tom's cabin. Toronto: Bantam.
• Tindall, G. B., & Shi, D. E. (2013). America: a narrative history (9th ed.). New York: W.W. Norton & Co.
• Uncle Tom's Cabin. (2014, August 5). Wikipedia. Retrieved May 8, 2014, from's_Cabin
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