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Describe the methods used by the Abolitionist movement in their campaign against slavery in the 1840s and 1850s.

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  • Essay length: 752 words
  • Submitted: 14/08/2003
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AS and A Level History of the USA, 1840-1968

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Describe the methods used by the Abolitionist movement in their campaign against slavery in the 1840s and 1850s.

Abolitionists used many different ways to get their point across, and try to make changes to the allowance of slavery in the United States of America. One of the more radical, even fanatical abolitionists was John Brown. This man did not plan carefully; he was almost certainly psychotic; yet he is remembered to this day in the song 'John Brown's Body', therefore he must have made an impact on the views of people about slavery. He was very violent - in 1856 he had five pro-slavery men butchered on Pottawotamie Creek. However, Northerners glossed over the murders, claiming Brown was a hero who had acted in self defence. This started up a bout of 'tit-for-tat' killings. Meanwhile, Brown gathered round him a gang of anti-slavery marauders, and planned revolution. He chose to begin his uprising at Harper's Ferry, near Washington DC. This was the site of an arsenal belonging to the government. On 17 October 1859, Brown and 21 men tried to raid it, steal the weapons and then free slaves by force. However the army besieged them there

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