John Brown’s Raid in the South led to an explosion of passion and ultimately the secession of the south. Many radical abolitionists in the North felt that John Brown’s actions were justified and that he was a hero. These radical abolitionists maximized the damage caused by him and his followers and created an almost godly figure out of him. Not all Northern Republicans saw him as a hero, but rather as a terrorist and a convict. Southern slave holders and normal men alike were astounded, frightened, and infuriated by John Brown’s raid on Harpers Ferry. These two radically opposing views clashed together and caused the succession of the South.
Radical Abolitionists supported John Brown’s actions immensely and applauded his drive to free the slaves from the grasps of the slaveholders. Many of these strict abolitionists also believed that he was a hero, divinely appointed by God. This shows how much they revered him and how justified they believed his actions to be. In Document C, the Topeka Tribune explains that all Republicans revered him, just in different amounts. It explains that one class of Republicans thought that he was a hero and a philanthropist. The other class pretended not to approve of John Brown but really did respect him.
When John Brown was executed for treason against the state of Virginia, many northern abolitionists were sent into a rage. Even though he was dead, his spirit and ideals still inspired and affected many abolitionists, as seen in Document G. This song explains that even though his body is buried and decomposing underground, his soul still marches on. As you can see, many radical abolitionists revered, respected and approved of John Brown’s raid on Harpers Ferry, which directly opposed the South’s view. Secondly, not all Northern Republicans saw him as a hero, but rather as a terrorist and a convict of the state.
Many Northern citizens, although sympathetic to slaves, did not approve of John Browns actions and thought that he was insane and morally wrong. This view was the majority of the Northern Republicans and showed that Radical abolitionists were maximizing the damage that John Brown inflicted on the south. In document A, Horace Greely explains that although he wishes that all slaves were able to run away from their slaveholders and never be recaptured, he did not approve of what John Brown did. This shows that he was an abolitionist, but not a very radical one like the ones in the before mentioned paragraph.
He clearly states in the document that he did not support what John Brown did in the south which was the ideas of many Northerners. Document D, consists of reviews of a book about the Life of John Brown. Most of the reviews talk about how radically abolitionist the book is and how biased it is. This shows that the majority of the North did not support the doings of John Brown and that it was a small minority of whites that maximized the event. All of these events show that even though it could be perceived that the North was overwhelmingly supportive of the doings of John Brown’s Raid on Harpers Ferry.
Lastly, southern slave holders and normal men alike were astounded, frightened, and infuriated by John Brown. The events caused by John Brown eventually caused the breakdown and eventual split in the Democratic Party. Popular sovereignty was created to cool tempers in both the North and the South but ultimately ended in the split in the Democratic Party. The attack on Harpers Ferry not only infuriated southerners but it also scared them. In order to be able to better protect themselves, they strengthened state militias and armies.
This prepared them for the eventual war with the Union and it also supplied more confidence in the southerners. In the trial of John Brown, he was asked a series of questions. One of the comments given by a bystander was “To set them free would sacrifice the life of every man in this community. ” John Brown responded with, “I do not think so. ” “I know it, I think you are fanatical. ” The bystander then responded with, “And I think you are fanatical. “Whom are gods would destroy they first make mad,” and you are mad. ”1 This series of questions and answers shows the general consensus of the South, that he was a fanatical, crazy man.
As you can see, all of these things combined caused a massive amount of pressure to be put on the ties between the North and the South which consequently caused the succession of the South. In conclusion, all of the tensions built up caused by John Browns Raid on Harpers Ferry and the Trial of John Brown caused the decline in relations between the North and the South and the final succession of the South. The Northern radical abolitionists enlarged the event and made the southerners enraged by the raid on Harpers Ferry. The southerners were astounded, frightened, and infuriated. These emotions clashed and destroyed the Union.