Book Description

The Remarkable Book that Contributed
To the Downfall of Slavery in America

The Crisis of the American South
by Hinton Rowan Helper

Although Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin is considered to be the book that most motivated a nation against slavery, it was not a work of fiction, but rather a sociological treatise that perhaps should take that honor. Hinton Rowan Helper, a slaveholder's son, wrote a well-researched and persuasive indictment of slavery, which not only became widely known but also had a major impact on American politics. In fact, it was instrumental in helping Abraham Lincoln win the Presidential election of 1860. However, this work, The Crisis of the America American South, is complex, and it would be a mistake to look at it solely as anti-slavery propaganda. Helper, as other authors, argued that the basic injustices within the institution of slavery were a heinous offence against Christian principles. Yet, he went much further than others to document the harm that was actually being done to society by this institution. For example, Helper claimed that slavery was keeping the South backwards agriculturally and industrially, that it was destroying land prices, and hindering railroad building. In addition, he brought much needed attention to key cultural aspects that were usually ignored, such as the dependence of Southerners on the products of Northern industry, a lack of patriotism amongst the Southern elite, and the inability of the illiterate poor whites of the South to express their desires and aims. The Crisis of the America American South provides a much-needed new perspective on the condition of America on the eve of the Civil War, and because of its extensive research and analysis into all areas of society, this book will be of great value to students and scholars.

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Other related titles:
Is Secession Treason? by Albert Bledsoe; End of an Era, by John Sergeant Wise.

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