19th Century American Slavery: Expository Synthesis Essay

Topics: Uncle Tom's Cabin, Slavery in the United States, American Civil War Pages: 4 (1288 words) Published: April 14, 2008
19th Century American Slavery: Expository Synthesis Essay
Every great civilization or country has had at least one dirty little time in their history that all would rather forget. America knows this feeling well, especially within the 19th century, the slave era. America was divided, the North was generally against slavery and all for letting the African Americans roam free in a colony in Africa. The South on the other hand viewed African Americans as tools, essential to the economy and work, however still just tools. Tools to be bought a sold and driven until the breaking point just like every other implement in the shed. Fast-forward to the 21st century, slavery is gone from America and has become that dirty period of time that is spoken about in whispers. A question of immeasurable proportions arises, how were the incredibly difficult slave owners of the South get convinced that slavery was bad? The largest answer is the power of rhetoric, otherwise known as the written word. Two books played the largest role in molding of American society, Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe and The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglas by none other than Frederick Douglas himself. Important stylistic and rhetorical choices made by Douglas and Stowe greatly affected change in the major political and moral issue of slavery in 19th century America in two different ways, through politics via the male society (Douglas) and through the home front via religious and moral cases made to women (Stowe).

Politics is the heart of America. To enact change in a major area of the nation, the politics must be discussed to no end and one must know how to speak the words of the politicians. 19th century American politics were primarily governed by males. Douglas knew that any change in the slavery laws would be done through the male politicians and therefore his target audience was the rich, white upper class males of the North and South. With this knowledge in hand, Douglas...
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