African American Bell Curve Essay

1268 words - 5 pages

The bell curve of African American rights has risen and fallen throughout America's history. The period between the Pre-Civil War Era and the Post Civil War Era, were momentous in displaying the status and rights of African-Americans in the time. As the Civil War approached, the status of African-Americans was an increasingly troubling issue among the American Public. During the War, the bell's curve had reached its height. And during the Post-Civil War, the curve fell slowly and would not rise again for another 100 years. The cause of this racial bell curve is a series of political and social events that directly affected the lives of African Americans. The Compromise of 1850 marked the initial rise of Black loss of rights in this period. Previously, it was possible for Northerners to ferry slaves to their freedom. However, "Included in the compromise were funds budgeted specifically for catching fugitive slaves and prosecuting anyone lending assistance in the effort" (Kevin Holloway, The Fugitive Slave Act and the Compromise of 1850). With specific funds that were directed in catching fugitive slaves, white bounty hunters could freely raid the North and search for fugitive slaves. These brutal hunters could now abduct any Black person left alone. Many Blacks that were never in bondage were kidnapped and taken to the South to be slaves. This legislation limited the rights of African Americans and enabled the white populous to oppress African Americans. The bell curve approached its peak when the novel Uncle Tom's Cabin was introduced to American Culture. This novel, by Harriet Beecher Stowe, was a revelation to the North because it displayed the cruelty of the southern trade practice. This single piece of literature created uproar throughout the country. The North was outraged by its tale of tragedy, deceit and hate. The South was outraged by its conception of slavery and its bashing of the southern culture. Either way, it marked an event in American History that would change history forever. African American status was now a major issue among Americans. Abraham Lincoln, in remarks to her book, once said to Harriet Beecher Stowe, "So you are the little lady that caused the big war." The quote displays the impact in which this one novel brought a social war into the eyes of the public. Uncle Tom's Cabin was responsible for the increase in the abolitionist movement. Supporters of the abolitionist rallied through the country. One man, a man named John Brown seized this opportunity and believed that he would start a slave uprising. His raid on Harpers Ferry, a federal arsenal, was a failure because his belief that slaves would up rise after the attack was false. This movement instilled fear throughout the South that a slave uprising, or some sort of rebellion would be imminent. The Bell Curve was nearly at its peak; tensions were high, and social well being in danger. When the shots rang out at Fort Sumter, North...

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