Did Uncle Tom's Cabin Help to Start the Civil War?

The publication of Uncle Tom’s Cabin was just one of many events in the decade of the 1850s that led up to the Civil War. The novel changed attitudes in society about the institution of slavery, and helped bring abolitionist ideas into the mainstream of American life. The growing attitudes against slavery in the North, reinforced by the content of Uncle Tom's Cabin, no doubt helped to secure the victory of Lincoln and the new Republican Party./

A Novel With a Definite Purpose

Harriett Beecher Stowe wanted to portray the evils of slavery in a way that would make a large part of the American public relate to the issue. She saw that a novel could deliver political ideas while engaging readers. Her novel it is made clear that all Americans, not just those in the South, are responsible for the evil institution of slavery.

Her characters, white and black, in the North and in the South, all grapple with the institution of slavery. They were both good and evil.

Enormous Controversy

In the South, the novel was bitterly denounced. In some states it was illegal to own a copy of the book.

The Factual Basis of Uncle Tom's Cabin

Although Stowe claimed that all the characters were fiction, she based many of the incidents described in the book on actual events. This realism made the book believable.

The Impact of Uncle Tom’s Cabin Was Enormous

Uncle Tom’s Cabin helped move anti-slavery feeling in the North to the general population. Stowe had achieved her political goal.

Source: Did Uncle Tom's Cabin Help to Start the Civil War?

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