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John Brown: Terrorist or Prophetic Hero - Essay Example

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Instructor John Brown: Terrorist or Prophetic Hero? To some, he was insane, a monster, a killer, a fanatic, and a terrorist! To others, he was a slave rescuer, a willing victim of human freedoms, defender and agitator of human rights, a humanitarian, and a hero…
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John Brown: Terrorist or Prophetic Hero
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John Brown: Terrorist or Prophetic Hero

Download file to see previous pages... Was he a prophetic hero or was he a terrorist?” To the people committed to social justice and freedom for all people, John Brown occupies a special place in their annals. To other people, he was a murderer who killed people and used monstrous approaches that were inhumane in order to achieve his objectives like any other common criminal. Despite John Brown using approaches that were inhumane and resulted in loss of life to many people while fighting against slavery, he endeared himself to many people who identified - and still do identify - him as an abolitionist who had the interests of slaves at heart and defended the rights of slaves by using any means necessary, which made him achieve a prophetic hero status. It is important to understand this man John Brown. First, the man started as a businessman who was unsuccessful in his business pursuits and was always on the verge of bankruptcy with creditors always following him to pay his dues (Stewart 200). Nonetheless, this did not prevent Brown from focusing on a different cause after his businesses failed. In this regard, he turned his attention to an issue that affected America then, and helped other abolitionists establish communities of African Americans (Stewart 200). In identifying this issue, John Brown appears to have seen a future America whereby every race would be equal by being accorded equal rights. Brown’s frustrations following his personal loss and the ensuing political events in the country that included the Annexation of Texas, the enactment of a Fugitive Law on slaves and the war in Mexico were among the reasons that convinced Brown to engage in war against slavery (Gilbert 108). In line with this, it is evident that Brown was guided by a cause and he was focused on ensuring that slavery ended. In comparison to modern day terrorism, it is evident that most terrorists engage in causes that achieve little if any significance since their reasons for engaging in battle are based on hate, and not on issues that affect people. On the other day, it is evident that a majority of terrorists in the contemporary society engage in terrorism activity in order to achieve heroic status without using a basis such as freeing people from slavery as a basis for engaging in their activities. On the other hand, it is evident that Brown was focused on achieving the end of slavery and ensuring that African Americans acquired equal rights with the natives. Consequently, this makes his activities heroic in nature unlike the activities conducted by terrorists. Perhaps the most significant incident that highlights John Brown’s heroism involves his attack on Pottawatomie, Kansas. In what has come to be known as a mini-civil war, Brown directed his men to attack and kill proslavery sympathizers and Southern settlers who wanted to make the pro-free-capital a place that recognized slavery (Gilbert 109). In this case, Brown feared that the takeover of this pro-free-capital by forces that supported slavery would hamper the progress of ensuring the end to slavery. In effect, Brown assembled an army that included his sons and they defended Pottawatomie Creek against these forces. In another battle at Harpers Ferry, Brown and his army attacked the federal armory and fought the U.S. Marines who received help from local militias although he was defeated, which consequently led to his capture (Gilbert 123). However, it is crucial to point out that he carried his execution in a calm demeanor, which was in a ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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