The Impending Crisis of the South

The Impending Crisis of the South: How to Meet It
The Impending Crisis of the South: How to Meet It is an 1857 book written by Hinton Rowan Helper of North Carolina, which he self-published in New York City.wikipedia
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Hinton Rowan Helper

Hinton HelperHelper, Hinton RowanHinton R. Helper
The Impending Crisis of the South: How to Meet It is an 1857 book written by Hinton Rowan Helper of North Carolina, which he self-published in New York City.
The Impending Crisis of the South, written partly in North Carolina but published when the author was in the North, argued that slavery hurt the economic prospects of non-slaveholders, and was an impediment to the growth of the entire region of the South.

1850 United States Census

1850 census18501850 U.S. Census
Helper claimed that slavery hurt the Southern economy by preventing economic development and industrialization, and that it was the main reason why the South had progressed so much less than the North (according to the results of the 1850 census and other verifiable factual measures) since the late 18th century.
Hinton Rowan Helper made extensive use of the 1850 census results in his politically notorious book The Impending Crisis of the South (1857).

John Sherman

ShermanJohnJohn J. Sherman
It widened the gulf between North and South, especially through the protracted December 1859 – January 1860 political struggle about electing John Sherman to the speakership of the House.
The election for Speaker was sidetracked immediately by a furor over an anti-slavery book, The Impending Crisis of the South, written by Hinton Rowan Helper and endorsed by many Republican members.

North Carolina

NCNorthState of North Carolina
The Impending Crisis of the South: How to Meet It is an 1857 book written by Hinton Rowan Helper of North Carolina, which he self-published in New York City.

New York City

New YorkNew York, New YorkNew York City, New York
The Impending Crisis of the South: How to Meet It is an 1857 book written by Hinton Rowan Helper of North Carolina, which he self-published in New York City.

Horace Greeley

Horace GreelyGreeleyGreeley, Horace
The book was widely distributed by Horace Greeley and other antislavery leaders, and infuriated Southern leaders.

Slavery

slaveslavesenslaved
The book condemned slavery, but did not take what Helper considered to be the ineffectually sentimental or moralistic abolitionist approach (as seen in Uncle Tom's Cabin, 1852): Hinton explicitly wrote "not with reference, except in a very slight degree, to its humanitarian or religious aspects."

Abolitionism in the United States

abolitionistabolitionistsabolitionism
The book condemned slavery, but did not take what Helper considered to be the ineffectually sentimental or moralistic abolitionist approach (as seen in Uncle Tom's Cabin, 1852): Hinton explicitly wrote "not with reference, except in a very slight degree, to its humanitarian or religious aspects."

Uncle Tom's Cabin

Uncle Tom’s CabinTopsySimon Legree
The book condemned slavery, but did not take what Helper considered to be the ineffectually sentimental or moralistic abolitionist approach (as seen in Uncle Tom's Cabin, 1852): Hinton explicitly wrote "not with reference, except in a very slight degree, to its humanitarian or religious aspects."

Rational egoism

rational self-interestrational selfishnessself-interest
Instead, Helper crafted an analysis that appealed to whites' rational self-interest, rather than any altruism towards blacks.

Altruism

altruisticaltruistselflessness
Instead, Helper crafted an analysis that appealed to whites' rational self-interest, rather than any altruism towards blacks.

Plain Folk of the Old South

plain folkYeoman farmerscommon people
Helper tried to speak on behalf of the majority of Southern whites, poor or of moderate means— the Plain Folk of the Old South—whom he claimed were oppressed by a small aristocracy of wealthy slave-owners.

Free Soil Party

Free SoilFree SoilerFree Soilers
Helper's tone was aggressive: "Freesoilers and abolitionists are the only true friends of the South; slaveholders and slave-breeders are downright enemies of their own section. Anti-slavery men are working for the Union and for the good of the whole world; proslavery men are working for the disunion of the States, and for the good of nothing except themselves."

American Civil War

Civil WarU.S. Civil WarUnited States Civil War
Historians agree it helped sharpen sectional political differences in the period immediately preceding the American Civil War.

Bibliography of the American Civil War

Bibliography of Naval history of the American Civil WarAmerican Civil War bibliographyCivil War history

White trash

white-trashpoor white trashtrash
Hinton Rowan Helper's extremely influential 1857 book The Impending Crisis of the South – which sold 140,000 copies and was considered to be the most important book of the 19th century by many people – describes the region's poor Caucasians as a class oppressed by the effects of slavery, a people of lesser physical stature who would be driven to extinction by the South's "cesspool of degradation and ignorance."

Hinton Rowan Helper House

Built on land that once belonged to Daniel Boone, it was the childhood and early adult home of Hinton Rowan Helper (1829-1909) whose The Impending Crisis of the South (published 1857) was an influential antislavery work that inflamed tensions in 1860.