Civil War/ John Brown term paper 9133

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John Brown's raid on the federal armory at Harpers Ferry, Virginia, In October 1859, involved

only a handful of abolitionists, freed no slaves, and was over in two days. Although many

Northerners condemned the raid, by 1863 John Brown had become a hero and a martyr in the

North. The views about John Brown expressed in the documents illustrate the strained

relationship between the North and South before the civil war(1859-1860) and the severely

crippled relationship after the civil war.

In 1859 before the Civil war the Northern-Southern relationship was strained with such

laws as the Kansas-Nebraska act, 'legalizing' slavery through popular soveirgnty in the

territories, and the Dredd Scott decision practically legalizing slavery in any territory(without

popular sovereignty). Soon after John Brown's famous raid, Northerners condemned him(Doc.

A) for combating a 'great evil'(Slavery) in an 'unfit way'(through fighting), They said this because

it was unconstitutional to fight without going through the government and there are other ways to

get rid of slavery. This basically was a last ditch effort to save the south from succeeding from

the union and to hold the thread that was holding the relations of the North and South together.

By 1860, the dreaded election of 1860 was here and the Civil war would soon start

due to the 'Railsplitter' Lincoln winning the election. Views of John Brown in the North were

gaining more momentum as he became more popular(Doc. D). More Northerners began to feel

it that John Brown had done it the right way. The Democrats at this time were using tactics to

use John Brown against the Republicans that were for it, this failed and showed that most

northerners were with John Brown all the way(Doc. E). He began to be more like a martyr in

the north toward the end of 1860(Doc. F). When Lincoln was elected the South immediatelysucceeded and the Civil war began shortly after. During the Civil War John Brown rose to

Hero and Martyr status and a famous song of the civil war was pledged to him(Doc. G).

In Conclusion, the views of John Brown between 1859-1863 clearly showed how the

North-South relationship was hanging on a thread and was cut as John Brown became more

famous between these periods and into the Civil War.


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