Uncle Tom’s Cabin and the American Civil War

Uncle Tom’s Cabin and the American Civil War

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Uncle Tom’s Cabin and the Civil War


     Uncle Tom’s Cabin played a big role in starting the only war that was fought entirely on American soil. There were many factors that led up to the Civil War, but Uncle Tom’s Cabin turned the anger caused by the fugitive slave act into moral outrage which was then fueled by cases such as John Brown and Dredd Scott.

     The Fugitive Slave Act was seen by many Northerners as a violation of their personal freedoms. Why should any Northerner be forced to miss work and leave their family to take a runaway slave back to their master? Unfortunately they didn’t have a choice unless they wanted to go to jail and/or pay a $1000 fine. Uncle Tom’s Cabin included a slave family (Eliza, George, and Harry Harris) that was running away in order to keep their son. This made Northerners mad because they didn’t want to leave their life anyways and to leave it to destroy another family was completely against their will.

     Most Northerners saw slave owners as lazy because they didn’t do their own work. With new ideas about human rights, dignity, and the sanctity of motherhood brought about by the social reforms caused by cult of domesticity. Harriet Beecher Stowe showed that slaves were people too through Tom and his role all of the plantations that he worked on. By humanizing slaves many the North saw the freedom of slaves as an issue worth fighting and dying for. John Brown started an uprising at Harper’s Ferry. His goal was to get the arms and ammunition at Harper’s Ferry and arm slaves to start an uprising, but the uprising was crushed and Brown was hung for treason. Brown became a martyr for
the fight against slavery and caused the tension between The North and The South to reach a new high.

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Stowe included Simon Leguie to show Northerners how evil some slave owners are and even showed how many slave owners don’t care about their slave’s health. She had Simon say that if a slave gets sick that he would just let them die and buy a new one. He talks about how he plans on working them to death and then replacing them with new slaves.
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