Impact of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Slavery, and the Civil War

Uncle Tom’s Cabin clearly illustrated slavery’s effect on families, and helped readers empathize with the enslaved characters. Stowe’s characters freely debated the causes of slavery, the Fugitive Slave Law, the future of freed people, what an individual could do, and racism. Poet Langston Hughes called the book a ‘moral battle cry for freedom.”

The civil war arose from a mixture of causes including regional conflicts between North and South, Economic forces, and humanitarian concerns for the welfare of enslaved people. Uncle Tom’s Cabin contributed to the outbreak of war by personalizing the political and economic arguments about slavery.

After is publication Uncle Tom’s Cabin was both praised and attacked. Receiving mixed reactions; liberal abolitionists felt the book was not strong enough in its call to end slavery. Moderate anti-slavery advocates and reformers praised the book for putting a human face on those held in slavery and emphasizing the impact slavery had on families.

Stowe responded to her critics by writing The Key to Uncle Tom's Cabin. Researching and writing The Key reinforced Stowe's anti-slavery sentiments and turned her into an abolitionist.

Source: Impact of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Slavery, and the Civil War
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