Study the link “Slavery and Literature” on the four positions on slavery, the authors, and some works related to the positions.

Slavery and Literature

Issues of the Civil War

Northern position:

Abolitionists–destruction of slavery as an institution

Nationalists–preservation of the Union

Southern position

Constitutionalist: Defend slavery as an institution whose rights have been guaranteed by the

States Rights: Vindicate the sovereignty of the individual state

Forms of Society

Northern: democratic, industrial economy

Southern: aristocratic, agrarian economy

Events Precipitating the War

1. Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 (Links to an external site.)

2. Rival efforts to control Kansas: Bleeding Kansas (Links to an external site.) after Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854

3. Dred Scott decision (Links to an external site.)

4. John Brown’s insurrection of the slaves (martyrdom)

5. Election to the Presidency in 1860 of Republican nominee

6. Secession of South Caroline, then Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana,
and Texas

7. Formation of the Confederate States of America

8. Firing on the federal troops at Ft. Sumter

Guarantee of Victory

North: arms, population, resources

South: cotton for the textile industry, thus the entire economy

Representative Positions in Literature


Sojourner Truth

Harriet Jacobs

Frederick Douglass

Harriet Tubman

Jane Pittman

Northern Voices:

Abolitionist John Greenleaf Whittier “Ichabod”

Harriet Beecher Stow Uncle Tom’s Cabin

Unionists Daniel Webster “Liberty and Union, one and inseparable”

Abraham Lincoln “Letter to Horace Greenley (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.Second Inaugural Address

Southern Voices

South Right to Own Slaves/Slaves Rights
John Pendleton Kennedy Swallow Barn

William J. Grayson The Hireling and the Slave

Constitutional Right

Emancipation Proclamation

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