Uncle Tom's Cabin Essay

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In the following essay, Cumberland, an assistant professor at Seattle University, explains that Stowe's novel cannot be understood outside of its historical context and the author's motives for writing it .

When Uncle Tom's Cabin was published in 1852, it created an immediate controversy in a United States that was divided-both geographically and politically-by the issue of slavery. It is impossible to understand the content or the importance of Uncle Tom's Cabin outside of the historical forces that prompted Harriet Beecher Stowe to write it.

The early settlers of the Thirteen Colonies were well aware of the problem that was developing for the young nation as more and more slaves were kidnapped in Africa and brought to America to supply agricultural labor for the underpopulated colonies. Due to a complex combination of economic need, political indecision, scientific ignorance, and prior custom, no action was taken to rid the country of...

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This section contains 1,964 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Uncle Tom's Cabin Study Guide
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