• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

To what extent was Uncle Tom's Cabin preponderant in shaping people's mindset about slavery before the Civil War?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

´╗┐Ribeiro 1 Brenno Ribeiro Mr. Brian Horneck IB History of the Americas December 4th, 2012 To what extent was Uncle Tom's Cabin preponderant in shaping people's mindset about slavery before the Civil War? Uncle Tom?s Cabin surely had a huge effect on people?s mindset prior to the Civil War; within the context of pre-civil war America, the book had an amazing impact in terms of radically changing the way all parties involved (the north, the south, and foreign third parties such as Britain) viewed slavery as an institution. Abraham Lincoln is said to have greeted Harriet Beecher Stowe?author of the novel?in the White House after the Civil War by saying ?So you?re the little woman who wrote the book that started this Great War?? That is no overstatement?Stowe?s work would soon travel the world, being a catalyst of change that moved and empowered masses; it affected the destiny of an entire nation by shedding light on the darkness that covered the issue of slavery. In order to reach a decent understanding of the novel?s effect on people?s mindsets, one must first immerse oneself in the context of the world at the time and also become acquainted with the content of the novel itself. Economically, the United States depended heavily on agriculture, and consequently, on slave labor. ...read more.

Middle

Last but not least, there is Uncle Tom?a generous and docile man, who gets increasingly more abuse from his owners as he is sold further and further South, eventually becoming subject to the cruelty of the very Simon Legree who had ownership of Cassie. Eventually, after severe physical and emotional torture and mistreatment, Legree orders Tom to be beaten to death by his subordinates?all three accounts are quite graphical and truly gruesome (Stowe, Harriet Beecher). These intertwined stories were eventually published in 1852 under the name of ?Uncle Tom?s Cabin; Or, Life Among the Lowly?; it was primarily geared towards opening the eyes of ignorant people all around the United States and the world to what the institution of slavery actually meant. As a matter of fact, Stowe claims to have softened much of the content so as to keep it from becoming offensive to the reader, which would make sense considering the scope of the work. The novel also guaranteed more cooperation from the Southerners because it actually didn?t demonize the South?as a matter of fact, Stowe had the characters Emily Shelby and St. Clare (Southerners in the book) speak against slavery. In a soft but effective manner, Stowe planted a seed of hope in the South?appealing to them was something that few radical abolitionists were able to do; the easily dismissible nature of regular radical speech against slavery had plagued the struggle to eradicate slavery, and Stowe?s novel was a landmark in overcoming that obstacle. ...read more.

Conclusion

Had Great Britain?s people not become conscious of the issue, foreign intervention could?ve turned the tides of the war in favor of the South (although admittedly internal pressure wasn?t the only reason for the neutral stance of Great Britain, it was certainly a huge contributing factor). Amongst the supposed words of Abraham Lincoln, the sheer number of copies sold, and the words of Stowe herself, it is impossible to deny the effect of ?Uncle Tom?s Cabin? as a preponderant force in shaping the mindsets of people in relation to slavery prior to the Civil War. After strong statements from the government in form of the Fugitive Slave Act and the Dred Scott Supreme Court decision, someone had to speak up in order to stir the abolitionist movement. Motivation and emotional empathy needed to be plentiful in a time of huge adversity, and that?s exactly what Stowe managed to transmit through her novel. The practical implications of the release of the novel?ranging from the actual figure of millions of copies sold worldwide in a time of illiterate masses, to the neutrality of England, not to mention the intangible but assuredly existent aspect of a change in the attitude of both Northerners and Southerners alike towards slavery?are a testament to the sheer power of this tiny lady who changed the world. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate History section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related International Baccalaureate History essays

  1. the causes and consequences of the spanish civil war

    The historical evidence is, however, found by Preston and Thomas in their authoritative studies to be incontrovertible. Instead of the Second Republic being an irregular period of democratic experiment, it seemed as though the long Franco regime was now the anomaly, separating two devolutionary democracies.

  2. How did the American anticommunism beliefs help advance the civil rights movement in the ...

    communism increased the popularity of the Civil Rights movement and success with King as leader in the 1960s. Tensions between the U.S. and Soviets increased during WWII that led to the Cold War and their use of racism as propaganda to make the U.S.

  1. The Evaluation and Effect on the Formation of W.E.B Du Boiss NAACP during the ...

    The book disagreed with Booker T. Washington's, one of the most prominent African-American civil rights leaders, views on the ways to make blacks more prosperous in America. Washington believed that teaching was a duty that every black individual needed to obtain in order to assimilate with the white culture during the civil rights movement.

  2. The Chinese Civil War

    which was under Chiang Kai-Shriek. Several reasons have lied upon the triumph of the CCP. Mao and his party were capable of gaining support from the majority of the population through their restrained land policies; they were also able to take advantage of KMT weaknesses, in addition to their complete dedication during the years.

  1. The North, The South, and Slavery

    Cotton Man. Produced goods of coarse grade ii. Fine goods had to be imported from England iii. Woolens suffered from lack of raw materials to produce enough goods to satisfy the home market iv. America exported little because it could not fit demands at home v.

  2. Notes on the History and Development of the Arab-Israeli Conflict

    There were two peace negotiations which were proposed and failed: The Reagan Plan and the Fez Plan Significance of the war for Israel and the Palestinians - 19 000 Palestinian's died, 368 Israeli's - About 8,000 Palestinian fighters were dispersed across the Arab world helped by an International Peacekeeping force.

  1. Expansion of Slavery and its Role in the US Civil War

    The abolition of slavery would devastate the southern economy, as they would lose their primary workforce. In the federal government, (2) the political issues centered on balancing the number of slave and free states, as this affected the number of congressmen from each state.

  2. The Chinese Civil War - Background and Main Events

    Mao never forgot the way he and the CCP had been treated by the USSR. Japan surrendered in 1945 and China returned to its Civil War between the CCP and GMD. As WW2 came to an end in the Pacific, relations between the government of Kaishek in China and its powerful US ally had become frayed.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work