A.P. United States History
14 January 2011
Effects of John Brown’s Raid On Northern-southern Relations
John Brown’s raid of the federal armory at Harpers Ferry, Virginia involved only a few abolitionists, freed no slaves, and ended after only two short days. Brown’s initial idea was that after raiding the federal armory slaves would rise up and rebel against their owners, not only in the north but eventually in the south. This was a radical idea, and although his raid was primarily condemned in the north, Brown became a hero. Southerners became offended when in the years following Brown’s raid northerners felt compassion and even regarded him as a hero. The southerners however felt that he wanted to cause upheaval in the south. The issue however united the north for the cause of abolishing slavery. ”Congress can contribute much to avert [southern withdrawal from the Union] by proposing… an explanatory amendment of the Constitution on the subject of slavery…” (Doc G)
The Northern view of John Brown had changed drastically in the years leading up to the civil war. Initially John Brown was viewed as an irrational for his actions in Pottawatomie, Kansas. It was in Pottawatomie where Brown and a few colleagues took violent measures of vengeance against five pro-slavery southerners in Response to the Bleeding Kansas crisis. The northern view of Brown changed however after his 1859 raid on Harpers Ferry, Virginia. The northern people did not immediately view him as a hero however. Many northerners viewed his raid as “utterly mistaken and, in its direct consequences, pernicious”. (Doc A) Southern people viewed Brown’s raid as a commotion and an appeal to rebellion. The previous Bleeding Kansas crisis also pushed the south more towards succession. “It was by delegates chosen by the several states… that the Constitution of the United States was framed in 1787 and submitted to the several states for ratification… that of a compact...
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