See Article History Alternative Titles: An abolitionist novel, it achieved wide popularity, particularly among white readers in the North, by vividly dramatizing the experience of slavery. Harley, the slave trader, examining one of the human lots up for auction, illustration from an early edition c.
See Article History Herbert Spencer, born April 27,DerbyDerbyshire, England—died December 8,BrightonSussexEnglish sociologist and philosopher, an early advocate of the theory of evolutionwho achieved an influential synthesis of knowledge, advocating the preeminence of the individual over society and of science over religion.
His magnum opus was The Synthetic Philosophya comprehensive work containing volumes on the principles of biologypsychologymoralityand sociology.
He is best remembered for his doctrine of social Darwinismaccording to which the principles of evolution, including natural selectionapply to human societies, social classes, and individuals as well as to biological species developing over geologic time.
Spencer declined an offer from his uncle, the Reverend Thomas Spencer, to send him to Cambridgeand in consequence his higher education was largely the result of his own reading, which was chiefly in the natural sciences. He was, for a few months, a schoolteacher and from to a railway civil engineer.
In he contributed some letters republished later as a pamphlet, The Proper Sphere of Government  to The Nonconformist, in which he argued that it is the business of governments to uphold natural rights and that they do more harm than good when they go beyond that.
After some association with progressive journalism through such papers as The Zoist devoted to mesmerism, or hypnosisand phrenology and The Pilot the organ of the Complete Suffrage UnionSpencer became in a subeditor of The Economist. In Effect of uncle toms cabin published Social Statics, which contained in embryo most of his later views, including his argument in favour of an extreme form of economic and social laissez-faire.
In Spencer, having received a legacy from his uncle, resigned his position with The Economist. Spencer published the first part of The Principles of Psychology in Between and he published a series of essays on education, which were collected in Education: Intellectual, Moral, and Physical Education was eventually adopted as a textbook in nearly all teacher-training colleges in England.
In Spencer issued a prospectus and accepted subscriptions for a comprehensive work, The Synthetic Philosophy, which was to include, besides the already-published Principles of Psychology, volumes on first principles and on biology, sociology, and morality. First Principles was published inand between then andwhen the third volume of The Principles of Sociology appeared, the task was completed.
Spencer was a friend and adviser of Beatrice Potter, later Beatrice Webbthe social reformer, who frequently visited Spencer during his last illness and left a sympathetic and sad record of his last years in My Apprenticeship Spencer died inat Brighton, leaving a will by which trustees were set up to complete the publication of the Descriptive Sociology.
The series comprised 19 parts — Spencer was one of the most-argumentative and most-discussed English thinkers of the Victorian period.
His strongly scientific orientation led him to urge the importance of examining social phenomena in a scientific way. He believed that all aspects of his thought formed a coherent and closely ordered system.
Science and philosophyhe held, gave support to and enhanced individualism and progress. Though it is natural to cite him as the great exponent of Victorian optimism, it is notable that he was by no means unaffected by the pessimism that from time to time clouded the Victorian confidence. Evolution, he taught, would be followed by dissolution, and individualism would come into its own only after an era of socialism and war.
The synthetic philosophy in outline Spencer saw philosophy as a synthesis of the fundamental principles of the special sciences, a sort of scientific summa to replace the theological systems of the Middle Ages.
He thought of unification in terms of development, and his whole scheme was in fact suggested to him by the evolution of biological species. In First Principles he argued that there is a fundamental law of matter, which he called the law of the persistence of force, from which it follows that nothing homogeneous can remain as such if it is acted upon, because any external force must affect some part of it differently from other parts and cause difference and variety to arise.
From that, he continued, it would follow that any force that continues to act on what is homogeneous must bring about an increasing variety. It should be noted that Spencer published his idea of the evolution of biological species before the views of Charles Darwin and the British naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace were known.
Spencer at that time thought that evolution was caused by the inheritance of acquired characteristics, whereas Darwin and Wallace attributed it to natural selection. Spencer later accepted the theory that natural selection was one of the causes of biological evolution. Spencer believed that the fundamental sociological classification was between military societies, in which cooperation was secured by force, and industrial societies, in which cooperation was voluntary and spontaneous.
Evolution is not the only biological conception that Spencer applied in his sociological theories.
He made a detailed comparison between animal organisms and human societies. In both he found a regulative system the central nervous system in the one, government in the othera sustaining system alimentation in the one case, industry in the otherand a distribution system veins and arteries in the first; roads, telegraphs, etc.
The great difference between an animal and a social organism, he said, is that, whereas in the former there is one consciousness relating to the whole, in the latter consciousness exists in each member only; society exists for the benefit of its members and not they for its benefit. His contrast between military and industrial societies is drawn between despotism, which is primitive and bad, and individualism, which is civilized and good.
He believed that in industrial society the order achieved, though planned by no one, is delicately adjusted to the needs of all parties. The function of true liberalism in the future will be that of putting a limit to the powers of parliaments.
Metaphysics In his emphasis on variety and differentiation, Spencer was unwittingly repeating, in a 19th-century idiomthe metaphysics of liberalism that Benedict de Spinoza and Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz had adumbrated in the 17th century. Though neither of them believed that time is an ultimate feature of reality, Spencer combined a belief in the reality of time with a belief in the eventual actualization of every possible variety of being.
He thus gave metaphysical support to the liberal principle of variety, according to which a differentiated and developing society is preferable to a monotonous and static one. His sociology, although it gave an impetus to the study of society, was superseded as a result of the development of social anthropology and was much more concerned with providing a rationale for his social ideals than he himself appreciated.
Indigenous peoples, for example, are not the childlike emotional creatures that he thought them to be, nor is religion to be explained only in terms of the souls of ancestors.Harriet Beecher Stowe's — Uncle_Tom's_Cabin_ was perhaps the most influential novel in history.
Its stark depictions of the horrors of slavery inflamed the sentiments of . The eNotes Study Guide contains many thousands of words about every aspect of Uncle Tom's Cabin. It even contains a chapter by chapter summary of the novel. Under "References" (see link below) the.
The novel Uncle Tom's Cabin indirectly helped to start the Civil War by playing a major role in influencing public opinion about slavery in the s.
Uncle Tom's Cabin: Uncle Tom’s Cabin is an abolitionist novel by Harriet Beecher Stowe that was published in serialized form in the United States in –52 and in book form in It achieved wide-reaching popularity, particularly among white Northern readers, through its vivid dramatization of the experience of slavery.
Uncle Tom's Cabin, or Life Among the Lowly, is an anti-slavery novel written by Harriet Beecher Stowe.
Uncle Tom's Cabin became the best selling novel of the 19th-century, selling over , May 20, · Reynolds writes: —"'Uncle Tom's Cabin' shaped the political scene by making the North, formerly largely hostile to anti-slavery reform, far more open to it than it had been, (paving) the way for.