By the end of this section, girlfriend will:Explain how regional differences regarded slavery resulted in tension in the year leading approximately the polite War

Suggested Sequencing

Use this Narrative together the Harriet Tubman and also the Underground rail Narrative to check out the duties women played in the abolitionist movement.

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In December 1862, the writer Harriet Beecher Stowe went to the White residence at a critical moment. President Abraham Lincoln had issued a preliminary Emancipation Proclamation earlier in September after the battle of Antietam, stating the would use his war powers as president to free the enslaved men and women in many Union-occupied locations of the Confederate claims on January 1, 1863. Stowe had an audience v the president to make certain he maintained that promise. He apparently asked, “Is this the tiny woman that made this good war?” even though it is most likely apocryphal, the question consists of a great deal that truth around the affect of this necessary writer and her seminal novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin.

Harriet Beecher was the daughter that the famous new England clergyman and social reformer Lyman Beecher and also his pious wife, Roxana. She had plenty of siblings and also read voraciously as a child, including standards that fired her imagination. Later, she teach at the Hartford female Seminary till the family members moved to Cincinnati, where Lyman came to be president of roadway Theological Seminary.

Raised in a religious household, Harriet adopted the Puritan spiritual tradition and outlook of brand-new England. However, she and her family started to inquiry the Calvinist doctrinal orthodoxy the predestination in donate of a more personal theology. Resulting age throughout the Second an excellent Awakening, she saw the emotional preaching the ministers from new denominations and their autonomous appeal come the marginalized. She began to think in a benevolent God, the value of an excellent works, a communal religion, and even spiritualist visions that angels and saints.

Beecher married Calvin Stowe, a professor at roadway Seminary, in 1836 and supplemented his meager salary by writing short stories and also essays. Females of this time generally operated inside the home and were restricted from politics and employment by the “cult the domesticity,” yet some gotten in public life together writers and moral reformers for reasons such together abolitionism, temperance, and antiprostitution. Stowe and also her husband were connected in those 3 reform movements, and also those movements affected her writing.


Harriet Beecher Stowe’s novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin to be a literary phenomenon and also sold more than 300,000 duplicates in the United claims alone in its very first year, and an ext than a million in great Britain. This is the title page of the first edition.

Her book stirred the national dispute as Stowe intended. Meanwhile, resistance to enslavement swept v the north, where countless started to protest the Fugitive servant Act and also slavery generally, as confirmed by the crowd of 50,000 the gathered to oppose servant catchers trying to seize the escaped enslaved man Anthony Burns in Boston two years later. Numerous northern writers tried to imitate Stowe’s work and penned novels attack slavery, back with much less success. However, numerous in the North also continued to support slavery, and also even many abolitionists still organized racist see of african Americans.

White southerners were outraged through Uncle Tom’s Cabin and feared it might cause slave rebellions. The book was outlawed in the South, and editors spilled much ink creating rebuttals, mostly saying that enslaved persons were content, treated fine by paternalistic masters, and better off than the commercial “wage slaves” in northern factories. George Fitzhugh wrote probably the most significant proslavery book, Sociology for the South, or, The failure of complimentary Society, rooted in sociology and also economics. It defended slavery and also argued that the Founders to be wrong about human equality being based upon natural rights, since blacks to be inferior. Follow to Fitzhugh, slavery allowed for a department of labor and also all the this job produced, follow to the abilities and needs of black and also white plantation residents. “Slavery,” the wrote, “is a form, and the really best form, the socialism.”

Uncle Tom’s Cabin and its author did not cause the civil War, yet the book was certainly critical part of the nationwide conversation about slavery and its expansion throughout the 1850s. Two years ~ its publication, congress passed senator Stephen Douglas’s controversial Kansas-Nebraska bill, i beg your pardon mandated famous sovereignty over the slavery inquiry in new states and led to an episode of violence and murder known as “Bleeding Kansas.” In 1856, southerner preston Brooks beat abolitionist Charles Sumner senseless top top the floor the the Senate. A year later, the can be fried Court authorize its notorious Dred Scott v. Sandford decision, suggesting that blacks to be not and also could not be U.S. Citizens and also that the Missouri weaken was unconstitutional. In 1858, Abraham Lincoln and also Stephen Douglas battled over the worries rhetorically in your famous project debates for the Senate. In 1859, radical abolitionist man Brown led a violent yet abortive raid ~ above the federal arsenal in ~ Harpers Ferry to try to start a enormous slave rebellion. The choice of Lincoln in 1860 brought about secession, as southerners search to defend their “peculiar institution,” in fear that Lincoln to be going to free their slaves. In between December 1860 and also early 1861, southerly states started to pass posts of secession, advertising their on purpose to leave the Union and type their own government. Tensions finally spilled over and also fighting commenced when South Carolinians fired on fort Sumter in April 1861. The war had actually begun.

Although the exact influence of Uncle Tom’s Cabin may be difficult to measure, Frederick Douglass voiced elegant worship for the book. That wrote: “The touching, yet too truthful tale of Uncle Tom’s Cabin has rekindled the slumbering embers of antislavery zeal into active flames. Its recitals have actually baptized with holy fire myriads who before cared nothing because that the bleeding slave.”

Review Questions

1. What book was written as a proslavery argument versus Uncle Tom’s Cabin?

Henry David Thoreau, Walden PondTheodore Dwight Weld, enslavement as the IsGeorge Fitzhugh, Sociology for the South, or, The failure of cost-free SocietyFrederick Douglass, stare of the Life the Frederick Douglass

2. What national event inspired Harriet Beecher Stowe to compose Uncle Tom’s Cabin?

Passage that the Fugitive servant Act (1850)Passage that the Kansas-Nebraska plot (1854)The Dred Scott v. Sandford decision (1857)John Brown’s Raid (1859)

3. Uncle Tom’s Cabin was originally published together a

playpoemserialized novelshort story

4. The widening of transportation and also communication networks together a an outcome of the market transformation benefited Harriet Beecher Stowe’s reason in writing Uncle Tom’s Cabin because

the more books she sold, the wealthier she becameit helped the book come to be widely read, raising abolitionist sentimentshe was able to travel extensively in great Britainit created a mass sector for book-related merchandise

5. Many abolitionists, consisting of Harriet Beecher Stowe, were affected by the autonomous appeal to the marginalized contained in

Puritanismthe ide of republican motherhoodspiritualismthe Second an excellent Awakening



Title page of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin.

Refer come the photo provided.

According to the location page, this execution of the novel was released in

a free state and a slave statea city known for its strong connection to abolitionist sentimentstates the bordered servant statestwo that the 10 largest cities in the United claims at the time

Free response Questions

Analyze the sources that shame Harriet Beecher Stowe’s expertise of slavery in the South.Contrast the reactions to the publishing of Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe in the North and also the South.

AP practice Questions

“Mr. Bailey,

Dear Sir:

I am at present occupied upon a story . . . Embracing a series of sketches which give the lights and also shadows the the “patriarchal institution,” composed either indigenous observation, cases which have emerged in the ball of my an individual knowledge, or in the knowledge of mine friends. I shall display the ideal side of the thing, and also something faintly pull close the worst.

Up come this year i have constantly felt that I had actually no certain call come meddle through this subject, . . . However I feel currently that the time has come when even a woman or a son who have the right to speak a word because that freedom and humanity is bound to speak. . . .

My vocation is just that that a painter, and also my object will be to organize up in the many lifelike and also graphic manner possible slavery, that is reverses, changes, and also the negro character, which ns have had actually ample opportunities for studying. There is no saying with pictures, and also everybody is impressed by them, even if it is they typical to it is in or not. . . .

Yours with (sincere) esteem,

H. Stowe”

Harriet Beecher Stowe, Letter come Gamaliel Bailey, march 9, 1851

Refer come the excerpt provided.

1. This letter was likely written in solution to events associated with

the harshness of the Fugitive Slave legislation of 1850the issuance that a can be fried Court decision in Dred Scott v. Sandfordthe result of a commonwealth presidential election of 1860a presidential veto of the damage of 1850

2. The excerpt expresses principles that most directly resulted indigenous the

Seneca drops ConventionFree floor movementSecond great AwakeningDemocratic Party

3. A historian might use this letter to assistance the claim that

Harriet Beecher Stowe, as a woman, had an obstacle securing a posting contract in the nineteenth-century AmericaHarriet Beecher Stowe is representative that nineteenth-century radical abolitionistsHarriet Beecher Stowe’s writing depended upon sources that questionable validityHarriet Beecher Stowe’s writing, developing within the “private sphere,” is continual with the expected function of females at the time

Primary Sources

Stowe, Harriet Beecher. Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Boston: man P. Jewett & Co., 1852.

Suggested Resources

Holt, Michael F. The Fate of your Country: Politicians, enslavement Extension, and also the resulting the polite War. New York: Hill and Wang, 2004.

Howe, Daniel Walker. What afoot God Wrought: The change of America, 1815-1848. Oxford: Oxford university Press, 2007.

McPherson, James. Battle Cry that Freedom: The Civil battle Era. Oxford, UK: Oxford university Press, 1988.

Potter, David M. The impending Crisis, 1848-1861. Brand-new York: Harper and Row, 1976.

See more: What Is The Longest Word In The English Language Riddle, 10 Riddles Using The English Language

Reynolds, David S. Mightier than the Sword: Uncle Tom’s Cabin and also the fight for America. New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 2011.