Harriet Beecher Stowe and Uncle Tom’s Cabin

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In 1852, Uncle Tom’s Cabin was published. In the first year Uncle Tom’s Cabin sold 300,000 copies, which was a big shock to the people of the United States considering the topic of the book and that of slaves being main characters. What also came as a shock to the people, was that it was written by Mrs. Harriet Beecher Stowe a white woman who has never owned a slave in her life. The book appealed not only to the people’s emotions, but also their intellect. It informed people, especially in the north, about how harsh a slave’s life was. Stowe gave her book “realistic futures, by showing that not all slave owners were bad, but that there were few slave owners that did care about their slaves.” The south was furious about how slave’s lives were portrayed in Uncle Tom’s Cabin, and “denounced the book as a slanderous.” This soon made Uncle Toms Cabin’s one of the most influential anti-slavery book ever written. Uncle Tom’s Cabin helped start the civil war by contributing to the division between the north and south in the United States. Uncle Tom’s Cabin helped the north feel more sympathetic towards the corrupted slave trade industry, which raised more questions about if slavery should be abolished in all parts of the United States.

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Harriet Beecher Stowe was a woman who was brought up in a family of preachers and “who has never stepped foot on a plantation.” Although Mrs. Stowe did not own slaves, she had become familiar with the lifestyles of slaves by “listening to stories from a slave named Eliza.” In 1850, a year before Uncle Tom’s Cabin was published the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 was passed. This law made it harder for slaves that had ran away to free states be able to stay free, if caught and taken to court. This made people of the north feel indignation towards the law because they felt they “were forced to help in an industry that they did not support.” This influenced Stowe to write Uncle Tom’s Cabin even more. However, when Stowe was asked how was she was able to write Uncle Tom’s Cabin she then answered “God had written it for her.”During the time of slavery religion was important to slaves and their owners. Slave owners often believed that slavery was right “because the bible had said so” However, in Uncle Tom’s Cabin religion created a big power struggle between slavery and religion.

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