People generally think that the controversy over slavery was the reason for the Civil War. Others think it was the economic competition/division that led to the tensions between the North and South. And some agree that sectional pride was the underlying cause of the fighting.
All the reasons stated above are true; indeed, they were the issues responsible for causing the Civil War… in a nutshell.
It is surprising that there were SO MANY events that helped lead to the Civil War. Yet so many of them are overlooked and treated as insignificant events, although they must have been a big deal to the people who were involved.
19th century America was a hard time to live in. The Constitution states that people have the freedom of speech that neither man nor government can take away. How funny. In 19th century America, you risked social execution or even DEATH if you spoke your opinion on slavery. But many still did so anyway, because they knew that they were doing the right thing. Let’s take a moment to appreciate all the things these brave souls did.
Harriet Beecher Stowe deserves a gold star (and more!) for writing Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Being a woman at that time was difficult too; yet she pushed through and wrote a book that was so powerful and so remarkable that it touched the hearts of many around the world.
“I wrote what I did because as a woman, as a mother, I was oppressed and broken-hearted with the sorrows and injustice that I saw, because as a Christian I felt the dishonor to Christianity- because as a lover of my country, I trembled at the coming day of wrath.” – Harriet Beecher Stowe
All the hardly-known slaves who rebelled in the early days should get respect and acknowledgement. Gabriel from Richmond, although he never got to the actual rebelling because of informers, was hanged for taking action against what was wrong. Denmark Vesey also led an “ill-fated” rebellion in Charleston, and was hung. Nat Turner should also get props for taking action against what was wrong, even though killing women and children was not practical and a bit too radical.
Lots and lots of admiration for the founders of the American Colonization Society, American Anti-Slavery Society, the Liberty Party, and all the others for making a difference and helping to get rid of slavery!
William Lloyd Garrison made a huge difference by starting his paper, The Liberator, and giving hope and light to the other abolitionists with his strong advocacy! He also should be thanked for founding many anti-slavery societies such as the New England Anti-Slavery Society and the American Anti-Slavery Society.
Theodore Weld also made a big contribution by assembling the pamphlet, American Society As It Is, and by his ability to make persuasive arguments that could appeal to even the most uneducated of farmers.
Frederick Douglass was very brave for speaking out publically, risking hate and violence from others, and publishing inspirational things like the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass and the North Star.
There were many, many more fearless people who took responsibility in their own hands and gave their all (even their lives) to make a difference. Many of them are overlooked, or given one line in a history textbook. The next time America remembers and gives thanks to the Civil War veterans, we must also remember to thank these heroes, too.
Abolitionist Cartoon Picture From:
“Annotation 6 – First Amendment.” Findlaw. Thomson Reuters, n.d. Web. 19 Dec. 2013.
“Frederick Douglass.” PBS. PBS, n.d. Web. 18 Dec. 2013.
“Gabriel’s Rebellion: Another View of Virginia in 1800.” U.S.History.org. Independence
Hall Association, n.d. Web. 17 Dec. 2013. <http://www.ushistory.org/us/20f.asp>.
“Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Life.” Harriet Beecher Stowe Center. Harriet Beecher Stowe
Center, n.d. Web. 17 Dec. 2013. <http://www.harrietbeecherstowecenter.org/hbs/>.
“Harriet Beecher Stowe.” Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Dec.
“The Nat Turner Rebellion.” History Matters. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Dec. 2013.