Slavery and Sectional Attitudes
In the time between 1830 and 1860 we see a great divide through America on the topic of slavery. Abolitionists were growing in number and starting to rally against the Pro-slave supporters of the south.
For a long time people who did not support slavery were still fine with the use of slaves in the south. The feelings towards slavery took a drastic turn in 1852 with the publishing of Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe. The anti-slavery novel sold up to 270,000 volumes by 1860 (F). It was viewed very differently by the north and the south. While northerners did not necessarily support slavery they were against the anti-slavery reform until the publishing of Uncle Tom’s Cabin. As more and more northerners read the book a sort of fire erupted amongst them, causing many people to jump to the aid of the abolitionist. As the number of abolitionists grew so did the support of an anti-slavery candidate like Lincoln. It could be argued that this book is actually part of the reason that Lincoln was elected as President in the 1860 elections.
However, while the north was growing closer in support of anti-slavery, the south was struggling. They despised the story that had been written against them. To them the use of slaves was a common thing. In many homes black slaves were even used to care for and raise the children (C). Though they wanted to fight it many people instantly looked down on the southern slave owners causing even more discontent between the north and the south.
Harriet Beecher Stowe was not the only influential person though. Hinton Helper also played a large role during this timed period. Helper talked of the power of the north and did whatever he could to prove that the north was just as important, if not more so, then the south, and they did not need slavery (E). Helper self published his own book in 1857. It had almost as great of an effect as Uncle Tom’s Cabin in gaining more support against the...
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