Uncle Tom's Cabin Questions and Answers
by Harriet Beecher Stowe

Uncle Tom's Cabin book cover
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How did the North and the South react to Uncle Tom's Cabin?

Uncle Tom's Cabin created powerful emotional responses across the United States. In the North, it further drew support to abolitionism, and became one of the keystones of the abolitionist movement. In the South, it drew outrage and condemnation. Southerners became increasingly defensive in their outlook and their interactions with their Northern critics.

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The publication of Uncle Tom's Cabin created strong emotional reactions throughout the United States, and can be understood as contributing to the growing tensions between North and South over the issue of slavery.

In the North, the book was celebrated. It was championed by abolitionists for its condemnation of slavery as a moral abomination. It was a spectacular best-selling novel in the nineteenth century, widely read and discussed. In this, it impacted the national discourse of slavery and the perceptions that Northerners and Southerners had of one another.

Long before the crisis of the 1850s began, the North had been the center of abolitionist activity in the United States, and this book further drew attention and support to the abolitionist cause. At the same time, among Southerners it drew outrage. Southerners became more entrenched in their defense of slavery, crafting a counter-narrative with Uncle Tom's Cabin in mind. If you look at Southern discourse from this era concerning...

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