Uncle Tom’s Cabin As One Of The Reasons For Civil War

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Many things were a part of the onset of the Civil War. The lead up to the civil war lasted many years until the war started in 1861. Some of the important events that lead up to the war is The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, Uncle Tom's Cabin Novel in 1852, and the John Brown Raid of 1857. Each of these acts was a very big contributor to the war. They all caused tension between the North and the South and they all caused civilians too make their side more opinionated after each of these events.

In 1850 The Fugitive slave Act was instituted. This law was different from the laws in 1793 and 1824 because this one eliminated jury trials for people who were alleged fugitives. So anyone could be names a fugitive and without any trial they would be sent back into slavery even if they were freee before. The law also made it swo that not only state officials would report fugitives but individual people would also. People in the North were very angered by this becasue they believed the Government was going to far in trying to keep and widen slavery. This aroused the abolishment cause from the Northerners who then thought that slavery was even more wrong than they did before because of the new law. After this law was enacted many many more people were hired as slave catchers to catch and return alves to their owners. There was even a reward for people who brought back slaves. $10 if they reported them fugitives and brought them back and $5 if they only reported them as fugitives but did not return them to their master. Along with the increase of slave catchers there was also an increase of Northerners who would help the slaves escape and hide from the Southern slave catchers. A growing amount of Northerners were challenging the federal government about this law that wasn't only affecting slaves but it was affecting free blacks also because no one knew if there was a slave hiding amongst them. Many free blacks were sent back into slavery becasue people reported them as fugitives, and without the right to t a trial they were sucessfully sent back. The northerners thought this absurd. Many protests broke out over this law. This law also cause the initial debate on weather or not slavery should be abolished or not. Thus showing the rising tension that would eventually lead to the Civil War.

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In 1852, after the Fugitive Slave Act Northern civilians were concerned about thier role in getting ride of slavery. They felt like they were not doing enough to end it. This feeling was even more elevated after Harriet Beecher Stowe published the novel called Uncle Tom's Cabin which was inspired by the passing of the Fugitive Slave Act. This novel was based on former slaves stories and abolitionist’s thoughts. The novel became popularized in the north along with other forms of abolitionist press (which were becoming more widely known at this time). However none of that press was as widely known as Uncle Tom's Cabin was. It was read by millions and it affected millions. The book portrayed the slaves as innocent and the masters as cruel overseers with many punishments. Which made it easy for white Northerners to relate with the slaves. Even though the real stories of slaves surpassed the fictional ones the subtext was still there. This book brought attention to the issue of slavery. Which added more awareness to the widening problem of it. This caused more people to start fighting for slave freedom. Therefore giving more things to protest about which ended up leading to a war.

To end, an act was made by a man who was an abolitionist of slavery and an equal rights fighter. This man was John Brown. He was a deeply religious man who believed deeply that slavery should be stopped. Brown decided that direct action was the only thing that was going to make a difference. He asked many people to follow him in his journey to hope to abolish slavery. He even asked Frederick Douglass, but he decided against it. His plan was to kidnap the arsenal and then hand out weapons to the slaves so they could fight back.This he had hoped would end the slave plantation system. So, on October 16th of 1859 Brown and his small circle of followers headed out. They successfully kidnapped some men and the arsenal but soon the militia was in Harpers Ferry and Brown and his followers were taken. 14 rebels were killed during this event and some of them were even Browns own sons. Word spread about the raid and Brown was considered both a hero and a madman. By Northerners he as called a hero and by Southerners he was called a madman. After this raid many southern planters were sure this was a federal government led by abolitionists. He was hanged on December 2nd 1859 and many people were outraged at this. The raid was seen as many different things across the North. From the abolitionists they organized parades and parties and bonfires to celebrate and pay tribute to Brown and his Rebellion. From the Quakers, and other pacifists they also thought Browns a hero as he gave his life for his beliefs of abolishing slavery. However northern politician thought it was a rash act that would only make the tension worse. All of these groups were correct. INcluding the politicians because after the raid the southerners were starting to fight back and protest against the north, which did cause a lot more tension. By now the North and the South were on the edge of war, and all of these events helped lead up to the final emergence of the Civil War.

There were many things that led up to the Civil War. The three that I believe to be the most impactful were the Fugitive Slave Act, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, and John Brown's raid. All of these things happened bewteen 1848 and 1860, and all of them led to a further acknowlegement or conversation about the issue of slavery. They also added much tension between the North and the South each time an event like any of these broke out. In conclusion, the cause of the Civil war was a collection of events that led to protests fighting and opinions that they believed could only be solved by the butal battles of war.

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Uncle Tom’s Cabin As One Of The Reasons For Civil War. (2021, September 09). Edubirdie. Retrieved May 25, 2024, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/uncle-toms-cabin-as-one-of-the-reasons-for-civil-war/
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