Professor: Percy, Matthew
Leading to War
Throughout the history of America there have been many different wars that have taken place all over the world. In these wars Americans have lost their lives for a multitude of reasons, but all that have helped shape this country into what it is today. The most deadly of all the wars was the Civil war. The Civil war was responsible for taking 620,000 lives of men and women fighting for what they believed to be true. When examining the Civil War it can easily be seen that it took a multitude of different events to start this major war, but one of the biggest events to take place leading into the Civil war was the Abolitionist movement. During the Abolitionist movement many key events took place that helped aid the start of the Civil war, the publishing of Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin, the underground rail road, the Dred Scott Case and the election of 1860. Each event played a key role during the 1800’s leading to this brutal unforgiving war.
The Abolitionist movement which was known also known as the antislavery movement was created during the early 1800’s in extreme attempts to end slavery. The goals of this Abolitionist movement were to free slaves and end racial segregation and discrimination throughout the country. The movement made extreme attempts to end all expansion of slavery throughout the western areas and would do anything to stop it the quickest way possible. With abolitionist taking any means possible to end slavery was led to huge disagreements between the North and South creating more anger between each other. It’s difficult to think that a single piece of literature was able to change the thoughts and minds so severely in a society; or was able to create such a major conflict in a country. In 1852 Harriet Beecher Stowe’s wrote the story Uncle Tom’s Cabin. This story is considered by many people as the most influential fictional works ever published or even written in America. The Story Uncle Tom's Cabin first print was in a magazine and then in 1852 finally published as a book. This very popular book sold over 300,000 copies the first year it was published and created a lot of controversy between the North and South. Uncle Tom's Cabin was a major success as other anti-slavery writings never succeeded. This piece of literature was able to make this impact because it had made a very deep emotional impact on slaves and humanized slaves by elevating them on a different level then what they were previously viewed. The story showed many people that slaves were human just like them and had thoughts and feelings just like any other white man or like any other ethnicity. This story had a huge effect on both the North and the South exclaims Delbanco, “In the North, Frederick Douglass rejoiced that she had “baptized with holy fire myriads who before cared nothing for the bleeding slave.” In the South, her indictment of slavery through the odious figure of Legree was likened to a “malignant” attack on the institution of marriage, as if she had chosen a wife-beater to represent “the normal condition of the relation” between loving spouses”. The influence of Uncle Tom’s Cabins during this era was phenomenal and had provoked angry rebuttals down South and awakened the anti-slavery sentiment up North.
In addition to Uncle Tom’s Cabin, The Underground Railroad also created animosity between the north and south and was also big in aiding the two sides into the Civil War. The Underground Railroad was a network of secret routes and safe houses used in the early 19th century to help slaves escape to Free states and Canada. Slaves would travel through these secrete routes at night and hideout throughout the day time. The Underground Railroad was a success for many as it helped thousands of slaves to freedom. As this rail road kept growing it angered the South and they created a law called the Fugitive slave act. Congress enacted this