AP®︎/College US History
- The slave economy
- Life for enslaved men and women
- Early abolition
- Uncle Tom's Cabin - influence of the Fugitive Slave Act
- Uncle Tom's Cabin - plot and analysis
- Uncle Tom's Cabin - reception and significance
- Sectional conflict: Regional differences
- Sectional conflict: regional differences
Uncle Tom's Cabin - plot and analysis
What actually happened in the novel Uncle Tom's Cabin that so affected nineteenth century audiences? Kim and Becca discuss the plot and social implications of Uncle Tom's Cabin.
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- Kim said that Tom led even Simon Legree to Christianity but I just finished Uncle Tom's Cabin today and from what I understood Tom's death just scared him even more than he was from the ghost stuff and led him to become a drunk and eventually drink himself to death. Am I getting it wrong or did Kim mean something else?(9 votes)
- I believe that is true, I’m almost done with uncle toms cabin.(7 votes)
- why did slavery happen?(6 votes)
- The tribes in Africa were already capturing and enslaving people from other tribes. The explorers saw this and offered to buy those slaves to take across the Atlantic to the U.S. In the U.S. it had been tried to enslave Native Americans, but they died from European diseases to which they had no immunity, and it was too easy for Native Americans to escape to an area they already knew and family who would help them. They had tried European bondsmen, but they were lost when their term of service was up. The Africans had better immunity and could not escape back across the ocean.(12 votes)
- who is the book by(2 votes)
- If you are asking who wrote Uncle Tom's Cabin, it was written by Harriet Beecher Stowe and published on March 20, 1852.(4 votes)
- Why is it that Uncle Tom's Cabin considered as the Second Great Awakening?(2 votes)
- The Second Great Awakening is different from Uncle Tom's Cabin. It was a time period of religious revival. For more information, go to the Khan Academy link below.
- If lot's of people didn't like Uncle Tom's Cabin, why didn't certain states or at least individual towns ban the book/novel?(3 votes)
- Well, that's a really good question, and good questions are the hardest to answer. My best shot at it was that even if it was banned, no one would abide to it; or maybe it would be a threat to our 1st amendment.(2 votes)
- wow i can't believe a novel story started a war! just WOW!(1 vote)
- It took more than a novel to start that war. But the novel played a cultural role in getting things on the way.(3 votes)
- When did Harriet Beecher Stowe begin writing Uncle Tom's Cabin?(2 votes)
- how did the book effect about everyone(1 vote)
- The book became world famous and brought the horrors of slavery to light. So everyone but the south wanted to ban it after reading the book. Then his christian faith sparked interest in many who read the book.(3 votes)
- Does the term, "Beecher's Bibles," mean rifles for use in a possible slave insurrection?(1 vote)
- I would guess it was more likely a term for the rifles carried by the Union Army in the Civil War.(3 votes)
- From this plot analysis I do not see how Uncle Tom as a character can be viewed in a negative light - it seems like he was simply trying his best to get by after being dealt a really terrible deck of cards in life. Yet I know Uncle Tom is generally used as an insulting term. Can you explain how Uncle Tom is used as an insult and what action by Uncle Tom in the book is the reason for this?(1 vote)
- It refers to a coping skill where individuals use passivity and submissiveness when confronted with a threat, leading to subservient behaviour and appeasement, while concealing their true thoughts and feelings. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uncle_Tom_syndrome(2 votes)
- [Voiceover] So Becca and I have been talking about Uncle Tom's Cabin which is this book from the 1850s that Abraham Lincoln actually said started the Civil War. So how did this book start a war? So in this video we'll tell you more about the plot. But in the previous video we kind of discussed what was going on in the country at the time and Harriet Beecher Stowe again was from this abolitionist family. She was really deeply effected by the Compromise of 1850 and the Fugitive Slave Act, and also by slave auctions. So this video will get a little bit more into the heart of the plot of the novel which does have to do with the family being torn apart. - [Voiceover] So what was Uncle Tom's Cabin actually about? Uncle Tom's Cabin was set on a plantation in Kentucky and it starts out with this kind of group of slaves that are about to be sold to other plantation owners. So Eliza and her son actually run away. They run up North, so Eliza goes up North and Uncle Toms is sold down the river. - [Voiceover] So, Eliza is trying to make sure that she and her son are not separated by being sold. So she decides that she is going to escape and take her son with her up to Canada. But Uncle Tom, he's not actually related, he is sold in the opposite direction. He's getting farther away from freedom by heading down the Mississippi. When you think about the geography of slavery it's a much more urban environment than some of the more coastal areas. So you might be in Charleston, or you might even be in Baltimore as an enslaved person. You might have a pretty high degree of freedom and also a possibility of escape either by crossing the border or by boat. When you're sold into the deep South area you are deep in plantation country and there might not be another soul that you could rely on to help you escape for 100, 200 miles. - [Voiceover] And I think this is really something that Harriet Beecher Stowe wants to help point out in the book, that there was this sense of doom for Uncle Tom. However, his Christian faith was the only thing that really kept him going. He bonded with this young white woman that he met, Eva, just about their Christian faith. And really, reading his Bible was the thing that got him up in the morning. So where were those feelings about religion coming from? - [Voiceover] You can definitely see that Harriet Beecher Stowe is influenced by her own family's faith which is influenced by the Second Great Awakening. The Second Great Awakening was this flowering of religious belief in the 1830s and 1840s. It was kind of a reaction against the Era of Enlightenment which was what had inspired the founders of the United States to think of a more humanist world, a more rational, scientific world. People start going to camp meetings, they have religious revivals. They experience religious conversions. And in this time period there's a shift in thinking about God in the United States. If you think back to the puritans they have this incredibly punitive sort of Old Testament destroyer God, right? One of the most famous early sermons in the United States is sinners in the hands of an angry God, that at any moment God might release you into the flames. Well there's a new emphasis on Christ-like love in the early 1830s, 1840s. New interpretation of God as being forgiving and gentle, family oriented, it's very Victorian. Where God was seen as this punisher who condemned most people to hell, in the Second Great Awakening there's a new emphasis on a forgiving, kind family-oriented Jesus who will save everyone. That's very incompatible with the ideas of slavery. - [Voiceover] Exactly, and I think that Uncle Tom's Cabin can really be considered a part of the Second Great Awakening because of the way that it points out these fundamental inconsistencies and contradictions between Christian faith and human bondage. How could a religion that says treat thy neighbor as thyself actually sanction slavery? - [Voiceover] So Uncle Tom is this martyr character, right? He is a devout believer in Christianity and the forgiveness of God right up until his very end. So how does Uncle Tom's Cabin actually end? - [Voiceover] Uncle Tom's Cabin ends with Uncle Tom is beaten by his overseers. He's sold through this chain of different slave families in the deep South and he ends up with just a terrible, terrible slave holder who requests his death, actually partially because he was reading all of this religious text. [Voiceover] And this slave owner was named Simon Legree. And this name, Simon Legree, has actually stuck with us in popular culture to mean a really evil, cruel, punitive master. - [Voiceover] The rest of the family actually meets back up. Eliza is reunited with a bunch of other people that were on the original plantation and they really think about Uncle Tom as this martyr, the hero's death. He's looked at as this sacrifice for the cause of freedom. - [Voiceover] Right, also Uncle Tom, he dies never having renounced his Christian faith. His example of martyrdom actually leads everyone who witnesses his death, including Simon Legree, to convert to Christianity and to vow never to hold slaves again. - [Voiceover] But I think the ending of the book really points out this main theme within a lot of Second Great Awakening texts which was that if you just paid attention to how you are falling away from your Christian commitments then you could get back on track and maybe bring people together by utilizing Christian faith in a productive and public way. - [Voiceover] The book is published in 1852, then what happens? How do people receive this book? - [Voiceover] We'll talk about this Tom-mania that ensues in the next video.