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American History

Uncle Tom was subservient, docile and strongly Christian. He accepted his fate as well as his position as an inferior according to the Bible. Next, we have to understand the political reason behind the decision to abolish slavery in America as a whole. Abraham Lincoln's policy on slavery was simple, it was an economic decision. Slavery was costly and the Southern states of America did not achieve the urbanisation and industrialisation that was apparent on the North. It was reasoned that because of slavery and its costs of maintenance, rapid industrialisation will have difficulty to penetrate the South. For example, the labour of a free African American was cheaper than the cost of maintaining a slave who's health, food, living and treatment must be accounted for. The other reason for the North's decision to stifle slavery in the South was so that they could obtain money from import tariffs. By stifling the cotton industry of the South and allowing cheaper imported cotton the Northern government could profit better. But in addition, it was also seen from the North that there was contempt of the Southern life and its standards. Robert E. Lee once wrote that the Africans who were displaced were better off here than they were in Africa and the pity was to the Southern whites. But he also believed that their slavery was a 'necessary' evil that would educate the Africans Americans even if it was by the hand of the 'plebeian' South.

2. If nothing else, slavery set the South apart, made it unique. How did the institution of slavery operate, and what was its effect on the slave Analyze the organization of the plantation system and the white racial attitudes that underpinned and justified slavery. How did these beliefs bind together planters and non-slaveholders After considering the institution from the slaveholder's point of view, consider how slaves responded to slavery. What effect did it have on their psyche, families, culture, and the like
Relevant Material: lecture notes, American History, Chapter 11; Stowe, Uncle Tom's Cabin

The institution of slavery was divided into two, the domestic sphere and the agricultural sphere. The slaves of the domestic sphere's work were concerned with only the family's wellbeing and needs and worked as butlers, servants, cooks, helps and even wet-nurses to the white families' children. The agricultural sphere was concerned with the planting, harvesting, etc. work. Nearing the civil war most of the slaves were already 2nd and 3rd generation African Americans and have been since birth embedded with the slave psyche. They developed an attitude of ignorance and avoidance of the white man. Their life was bleak and hopeless and yet they maintained faith in Christianity as a means of their own salvation. In actuality, their attitude was similar to the peasant and working classes of Europe, accepting the oppression within their lives. As I have said, characters that were represented in ...Show more

Summary

1. Slavery was seen as a "peculiar institution" of the South that affected the nation as a whole. How did slavery affect or shape the way that northerners, particularly Republicans, viewed the South How did these political antislavery activists view African Americans generally What images or stereotypes did antislavery activists-abolitionists like Harriet Beecher Stowe and politicians like Abraham Lincoln-have of white southerners, including planters, non-slaveholders, and southern women
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