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Publication of Uncle Tom's Cabin (1851)
Transcript of Publication of Uncle Tom's Cabin (1851)
While in the North it strengthened the Abolitionist movement, it garnered the opposite reaction in the South.
Defended slavery as being biblically justified and an aid to the African American Slaves.
Criticized the depiction of Uncle Tom as a noble, strong willed man.
-Fueled the Abolitionist Movements
-The citizens agreed with the views of the book and the idea of slavery angered them.
-Showed slavery to be much more than just a social structure
-The book targeted women of the North and their emotion
-A U.S. History Online Textbook reads, "Readers became acutely aware of the horrors of slavery on a far more personal level than ever before." (1)
Uncle Tom's Cabin.
Uncle Tom's Cabin was one of the most well known publications of its time. It was written in 1851 and published as a book in 1852. Abraham Lincoln even read the book and gave credit to its author when he said "So you're the little woman who wrote the book that made this great war," when meeting her for the first time.(1)
Harriet Beecher Stowe was a white woman living in Cincinatti, Ohio where she witnessed the atrocities of slavery, her strong opinion against slavery formed when she heard stories from escaped slaves.
She wrote the book Uncle Tom's Cabin to expose horrible truths about slavery. Her mission in writing this book in her own words is "I would write something that would make this whole nation feel what an accursed thing slavery is." (http://www.harrietbeecherstowecenter.org/utc/).
Out raged slave owners and formed new opinions in the public's mind
Many historians and even public figures of the time see her novel as one of the leading forces to the civil war
vs Northern Response
The south intended to combat the movement with numerous Anti-Tom novels, which glorified slavery to try to reverse the growing abolitionist sentiment.
Example: Little Eva, the Flower of the South
Uncle Tom's Cabin Told to the Children
"I feel sad for our poor people. I wish, papa, they were all free. Isn't there any way to have all slaves made free?" (78-79)
How it led to the Civil War
It led to, in the North, a shift in the perspective of abolitionism. Before, it was widely unaccepted, in part because of racism, and a generally unfavorable view of blacks. Her book changed that perspective, by breaking many of the stereotypes, and connecting emotionally through the struggles of slaves. In the South, it brought forth a stronger resolve to defend slavery.
It amplified the contrasting strong emotion of both sides that lead to a war of opposing ideas.
This contrast in ideals that occurred by changing the cultural vision of slavery in the North helped perpetuate conflict.
African American Response
Positive: Liked how Beecher Stowe explored the topic of slavery through the characterization of the novel, and the exploration of its justification by Christianity among other reasons. There was overall critical acclaim by the few African American Critics there were (documented) near the time of its release (Fredrick Douglas)
Negative: There were some who disliked the portrayal of an escape made by some of the characters to Canada with a goal of Liberia. They felt this supported the colonization of Libera (which aimed to have liberated slaves go "back to" Africa and colonize), which seemed to , to the African Americans involved, aim to rid those white "anti slavery" Northerners of the black presence.
This also led to an influx in publishing of the story of the slave. Still, sources are limited because of the limited number of black critics at the time.
Groups of People in the North
-Anti-Slavery: Passionate people that wanted to rid the country of slavery
-Moderate Anti-Slavery: Praised its portrayal of slavery and use of pathos
-Liberal Abolitionists: Felt that it was not a strong enough call to end slavery and that Tom was too weak.
-Pro-Slavery: People who felt very strongly about keeping slavery in the South. They didn't see an issue with what the South was doing as long as it didn't affect them.
1."28d. Harriet Beecher Stowe — Uncle Tom's Cabin." Harriet Beecher Stowe — Uncle Tom's Cabin [ushistory.org]. Independence Hall Association, n.d. Web. 27 Aug. 2013.
2."Uncle Tom's Cabin." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 27 Aug. 2013.
3. "African American Response to Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe." 123HelpMe.com. 27 Aug 2013
4. Reynolds, David. "Did a Book Start the Civil War? 'Uncle Tom's Cabin' Is a Testament to the Power of Culture." NY Daily News. Daily News, 11 Apr. 2011. Web. 27 Aug. 2013
5.Little Eva, the Flower of the Wouth (acessed at http://utc.iath.virginia.edu/childrn/cbcbambt.html)
6. Uncle Tom's Cabin Told to the Children(http://utc.iath.virginia.edu/childrn/cbcbhema17t.html )
7."Anti-Toms Homepage." Anti-Toms Homepage. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Aug. 2013.
8. "Uncle Tom's Cabin." Uncle Tom's Cabin. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Aug. 2013.
9."Impact of Uncle Tom's Cabin, Slavery, and the Civil War." The National and International Impact of Uncle Tom's Cabin. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Aug. 2013.