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Key Concepts:

Terms in this set (45)

-->The Three-Fifths Compromise was a compromise reached between delegates from southern states and those from northern states during the 1787 United States Constitutional Convention.
-->The debate was over whether, and if so, how, slaves would be counted when determining a state's total population for legislative representation and taxing purposes.
-->The issue was important, as this population number would then be used to determine the number of seats that the state would have in the United States House of Representatives for the next ten years. The effect was to give the southern states a third more seats in Congress and a third more electoral votes than if slaves had been ignored, but fewer than if slaves and free persons had been counted equally, allowing the slaveholder interests to largely dominate the government of the United States until 1861.
-->The Three-Fifths Compromise gave a disproportionate representation of slave states in the House of Representatives relative to the voters in free states until the American Civil War. In 1793, for example, Southern slave states had 47 of the 105 members but would have had 33, had seats been assigned based on free populations. In 1812, slave states had 76 out of 143 instead of the 59 they would have had; in 1833, 98 out of 240 instead of 73. As a result, Southern states had disproportionate influence on the presidency, the speakership of the House, and the Supreme Court in the period prior to the Civil War. Along with this must be considered the number of slave and free states, which remained mostly equal until 1850, safeguarding the Southern bloc in the Senate as well as Electoral College votes.
The Underground Railroad was the term used to describe a network of persons who helped escaped slaves on their way to freedom in the northern states or Canada. Although George Washington had commented upon such practices by the Quakers as early as the 1780s, the term gained currency in the 1830s, as northern abolitionists became more vocal and southern suspicions of threats to their peculiar institution grew.
The Underground Railroad was neither underground nor a railroad. It got its name because its activities had to be carried out in secret, using darkness or disguise, and because railway terms were used by those involved with system to describe how it worked.
-->Various routes were lines, stopping places were called stations, those who aided along the way were conductors and their charges were known as packages or freight. _
-->The network of routes extended through 14 Northern states and "the promised land" of Canada-beyond the reach of fugitive-slave hunters. Those who most actively assisted slaves to escape by way of the "railroad" were members of the free black community (including former slaves like Harriet Tubman Who reportedly made 19 return trips to the south; she helps him 300 slaves escape), Northern abolitionists who had little to no support from white abolitionists, philanthropists and church leaders like Quaker Thomas Garrett. Harriet Beecher Stowe, famous for her novel Uncle Tom's Cabin, "vigilance committees" (often biracial in character, and set up in northern cities ) and even a number of individual whites also aided runaways and gained firsthand knowledge of the plight of fugitive slaves through contacts with the Underground Railroad in Cincinnati, Ohio.
-->The practice involved more spontaneity than the railroad analogy suggests. By the time escapees reached areas where sympathetic persons might assist them, they had already completed the most difficult part of their journey.
-->A successful escape was usually less the product of coordinated assistance and more a matter of the runaways' resourcefulness-and a great deal of luck.
-->it may have helped anywhere from 40,000 slaves to 100,000 slaves reach freedom.
Uncle Tom's Cabin was the best-selling novel of the 19th century and the second best-selling book of that century, following the Bible. It is credited with helping fuel the abolitionist cause in the 1850s. In the first year after it was published, 300,000 copies of the book were sold in the United States; one million copies in Great Britain. Published in 1852, the novel "helped lay the groundwork for the Civil War", according to Will Kaufman. In 1855, three years after it was published, it was called "the most popular novel of our day."
-->Stowe, a Connecticut-born teacher at the Hartford Female Seminary and an active abolitionist, featured the character of Uncle Tom, a long-suffering black slave around whom the stories of other characters revolve. The sentimental novel depicts the reality of slavery while also asserting that Christian love can overcome something as destructive as enslavement of fellow human beings.
-->Stowe emphasized the horrors that abolitionists had long claimed about slavery. Her depiction of the evil slave owner Simon Legree, a transplanted Yankee who kills the Christ-like Uncle Tom, outraged the North, helped sway British public opinion against the South and inflamed Southern slave owners who tried to refute it by showing some slave owners were humanitarian. It inspired numerous anti-Tom novels, several written and published by women.
-->The book and the plays it inspired helped popularize a number of stereotypes about black people. These include the affectionate, dark-skinned "mammy"; the "pickaninny" stereotype of black children; and the "Uncle Tom", or dutiful, long-suffering servant faithful to his white master or mistress. In recent years, the negative associations with Uncle Tom's Cabin have, to an extent, overshadowed the historical impact of the book as a "vital antislavery tool."