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Why John Brown Chose Violence

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Essay title: Why John Brown Chose Violence

Why do you believe that John Brown believed that the situation in the U.S. at the time could only be solved by bloodshed and not compromise?

I believe that there are many reasons why John Brown believed that violence was the only way he could prevail in the fight to end slavery in the United States. First of all; at this time in history, issues were moving fairly quickly. As soon as Kansas was to become a territory, supporters from both the North and South rushed to settle on the land and tried to gain control of the vote in the area. Secondly, it probably seemed that any attempts at compromise at that time had not, and would not, get very far in the issue. Lastly, the most prominent reason I believe that John Brown felt violence was the only answer, was because of his belief in God. As he stated in his speech to the courts during his trial, he felt that what he did was not wrong. Sacrificing his life was worth it; even if it was just one step towards ending slavery, something that was so cruel and wicked anyway, his violence was no worse than the slavery.

When the Kansas-Nebraska Act was introduced in the U.S., the North was upset because the new territories would probably be pro-slavery. As soon as they could, both sides of the issue sent in settlers to try and gain control. This “race for Kansas” made the race to make a final decision on the issue of slavery in the U.S. an even more urgent issue. This battle to decide what side the two new territories would be on probably pushed the issue so hard it caused a lot of discomfort and probably hurried people like John Brown into making decisions quickly, because people were afraid. I believe that the rush to make a ruling for or against slavery was one reason why John Brown chose bloodshed over compromise.

The second reason I believe Brown picked violence over negotiation was because of the lack of communication. It probably seemed a hopeless endeavor to even try to correspond with the South on the issue, especially after violence had already begun in many places; not to mention in the act of slavery itself. It would have been very hard for either side to civilly speak

or negotiate with the opposition in an reasonable manner. Conflict had already gotten too deep by the time John Brown decided to take a stand.

Obviously to me, Brown’s belief in God was the chief reason why he chose bloodshed over concession. In his own speech to the courts during his trial after the fight at Harper’s Ferry, he himself stated, “I believe that to have interfered as I have

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