John Brown Dbq

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  • Topic: American Civil War, Slavery, Abolitionism
  • Pages : 2 (484 words )
  • Download(s) : 184
  • Published : March 31, 2008
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John Brown, in 1859, raided and killed seven innocent people in the South while attempting to free the slaves of the area and create a haven for them. Brown was convicted of murder and hanged. While Southerners may have hated Brown for his invasion their rights to own slaves, he was thought to be a martyr for the abolitionist cause in the North with his self sacrifice and deep devotion, further separating the two in both ideals and motives of pre-Civil War 1863. However you may slice it, Brown’s actions were proved to be “the errors of a fanatic, not the crimes of a felon” in his self righteousness (Doc A). ‘Saint John’ Brown was sung of as often more than Jesus to both black slaves and abolitionists. To them, instead of murdering innocent people, he simply “forgot that the armory of the Lord contained other weapons than the sword” (Doc I). He was above the law to the Northerners, but below it to the South. Brown’s intrusion just showed Southerners that they needed to split from the Union as soon as possible before their slaves were taken from them. The Southern Democrats were accused of “bushwhacking” for claiming that the Republicans wanted to end slavery in states which had the greatest slave population (Doc E). Frederick Douglas was honored to meet such a confident and pristine individual as John Brown, saying he “enjoyed his confidence” (Doc F). His death and the Harpers Ferry incident were one of the main causes of the Civil War. They also were enraged after several northern intellectuals, including Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson praised Brown for his actions stating that Brown’s “devotion to principle” was the equivalent of “eternal justice and glory” (Doc B). They felt that he had conducted himself bravely and intelligently during his failed attempt in inciting a slave rebellion and during his trials in Virginia. The possibility of another slave revolt, this time in a much larger scale, had touched the foremost fear of the...
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