Unit 7: The Slavery Controversy and Abolitionist Literature
At the same time that women’s limited roles in public society were being challenged through literary production and other forms of activism, Americans in the antebellum period also struggled with the question of slavery. Even as politicians repeatedly attempted to find ways to hide sectional differences and quiet the controversy, the issue of slavery became more and more divisive and eventually became the leading cause of the Civil War. In this last unit, we will focus on anti-slavery literature, looking at some of the founding statements of the Radical Abolitionist Movement as well as some of the most popular texts of the era. At the end of the course, you should be able to trace the ways that literary genres helped their writers craft the uniquely American sensibility that emerged in this period.
Completing this unit should take you approximately 42 hours.