What was the significance of Uncle Tom's Cabin?

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Uncle Tom's Cabin was a book written by Harriet Beecher Stowe in 1852.  The publication of the book, and the response to it, are credited with helping to bring about the Civil War.  In fact, Abraham Lincoln is supposed to have called Stowe the "little woman who wrote the book that made this great war."  Whether he actually said it or not, this sums up the way the book is seen.

Stowe's book made many Northerners feel very angry about slavery and the South.  It made them feel a great deal of sympathy for the plight of slaves such as the ones portrayed in the book.  Because of this, it became a huge bestseller.  This wave of support made people in the South angry and distrustful.  These reactions to the book helped to drive the North and South farther apart, making the Civil War more likely to occur.