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Was Harriet Beecher Stowe, the little woman who wrote the book that started the Civil War? Although many America’s in the mid 1800’s believed so, the book “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” was not the only cause of the Civil War. Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote the book to show the brutal realities of how most slaves were treated. Uncle Tom’s Cabin contributed to the Civil War because it exposed what the politicians, slaves, and reporters at the time could not convey to the people. The book was based on the stories told to Harriet by freed slaves. It upset the Americans who were pro-slavery and was glorified by those who were anti-slavery. Many pro-slavery Americans tried to fight and hide the fact that the harsh realities of slavery were exposed. Some even tried to justify the cruelties of slavery by showing the Bible verses that showed human slavery and felt that Harriet’s book only showed one side of the story.
One main reason why the Civil War took place was because Abolitionist (people that wanted to end slavery, mainly those who lived in the North) had conflicts with the South (people who preferred slavery). The North had a stable growth of settlers. Many of them were refugees from the potato famine. The refugees could be hired at small salaries reducing the need for slavery. The South had longer growing seasons and rich soil making the South an economy based on farming cotton. Those in the Southern States were mostly white plantation owners. The plantation owners depended on the slaves to do an extensive variety of responsibilities. The North depended on industry and did not agree with slavery. The South depended on agriculture causing the fondness of slavery. The South also believed that the reason why the North wanted to abolish slavery was to reach Northern supremacy. This was one of many different reasons why the Civil War started.
Another reason why the Civil War took place is because they couldn’t decide on whether the new states should be a slave state or a free state. Northerners became more divided about slavery. Many in the North came to view slavery not just as undeserved, but ethically wrong. There was a large group of Northerners that wanted to stop slavery from expanding and some wanted to see immediate freedom of slaves like Fredrick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. Harriet Beecher Stowe helped open the eyes of several people to the reality of slavery when she wrote “Uncle Tom’s Cabin”. When Abraham Lincoln became president, the Southerners feared he would abolish slavery however, Abraham Lincoln wanted to stop slavery from expanding but would not interfere with slavery where it already existed. Although the South had the Constitution on its side, history was not. Republicans with growing rate came to believe they had a moral duty to end slavery, that they were indebted by a Higher Law than the Constitution.
One other reason why the Civil War started was because the South feared transformation. After the North ended slavery, they launched an industrial uprising that led to expansion, that led to the growth of education, which in its own chance gave ever-increasing strength to several modification movements but especially the abolitionist movement. The fact that most immigrants viewed slavery as repulsive led several immigrants to settle in the North rather than the South. Twice as many whites left the South for the North making the South feel the need to be defensive and hostile politically. The South did not want the North to thrive above them but since the South was a one crop agriculture, they found it hard to keep the “need” for slavery in their favor. The South felt that they were acting to preserve their rights, values, and Constitutional freedoms that the North threatened to take. The South’s perception of political belief had not changed in three-quarters of a century. However, the North’s had. The climb to power of the Republican Party, with its thought of competitive, equal free-labor capitalism, was an indication to the South that the Northern majority had turned permanently towards this terrifying, revolution approaching.
So, did Harriet Beecher Stowe’s book “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” start the Civil War on its own? No. It provided much insight to the way slaves were being treated but slavery alone was not the root cause of why the Civil War started. The division between the two peoples (the North and South) are what caused the war. Their inability to come to a tactful agreement about slavery, politics, tradition, and religion are some of many other reasons why the Civil War took place.

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