|Harriet Beecher Stowe|
Therefore, Lincoln's statement about Stowe being responsible for the Civil War has some validity. The country was already on the slippery slope towards war, but the publication of Stowe's novel signified that the country was past the point of no return. Stowe's work successfully presented the case against slavery and encouraged other nations that the time was right to end slavery in America. Northerners who may have been timid before could no longer be timid. This war literally put brother against brother and caused rifts that still were not healed 100 years later.
Nevertheless, the novel has come under criticism of racism and the term "Uncle Tom" has adopted a negative connotation. Some even view the book as children's literature. Ultimately, however, the novel will be judged for the significant impact it had during one of this country's most critical periods in its history.