What were the differences between the Northern and Southern economy before the American Civil War? Analysis should be linked to Uncle Tom's Cabin book by Harriet B Stowe.

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One of the primary differences between the Northern and Southern economy before the American Civil War was the presence of slavery.  Uncle Tom's Cabin focuses on this element, this difference between North and South.  Part of the reason why slavery is shown to be so cruel is that it...

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One of the primary differences between the Northern and Southern economy before the American Civil War was the presence of slavery.  Uncle Tom's Cabin focuses on this element, this difference between North and South.  Part of the reason why slavery is shown to be so cruel is that it degrades human beings as objects.  Simon Legree's cruelty to his slaves is reflective of this dehumanization. The opening of the book speaks about Tom as if he's an object to be traded for other goods:  

"I can't make trade that way- I positively can't."

"Why the fact is, Haley, Tom is an uncommon fellow, he is certainly worth that sum anywhere, -steady, honest, capable, manages my whole farm like a clock."

Stowe's point in this exchange is to reveal how the Southern economy is predicated upon slavery, the bartering of human beings for profit and trade. This is seen in stark contrast to the North, which is shown to generate income apart from the selling of human flesh.  For Stowe, the North is a domain where money can be made in a more honest manner than in the South, a culture whose economic presence is owed to the dehumanization of human beings. Stowe writes that "The most dreadful part of slavery, to my mind, is its outrages of feelings and affections—the separating of families, for example." The "peculiar institution" of slavery is such because it is based off the exploitation of human suffering.  In order for White owners to make money and generate profit, the degradation and dehumanization of slaves must be evident.  It is in this regard where I think that the statement about Northern and Southern economy is central to the novel's thesis.  For Stowe, any economy that is based off of the suffering of human beings in order for another to generate profit is a condition that has to be criticized, if not condemned in its entirety.

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