Why did John Brown want to abolish slavery so badly that he started a war that killed over 600,000 people? Couldn't he have been more diplomatic and achieved better results without killing so many people?
>Couldn't he have been more diplomatic and achieved better results without killing so many people?
You there! The sources of your livelihood are, in my opinion, immoral! Please abandon them immediately!
The entire Civil War essentially boiled down to the cultural difference between the south (stemming from the Chesapeake plantations) and the north (stemming from the self sufficient Puritan colonies).
John Brown, like most abolitionists, wanted slavery gone because muh jesus. Textile companies and industrialists who preferred irish immigrant wageslavery backed them. The south wanted muh freedoms and didn't want their culture touched, even though abolition would not have changed their way of life (less than 5% of their population were slave owners, and sharecropping effectively replicated slavery postwar anyway).
The war happened because a House Divided Cannot Stand. Bear in mind, the Northern led federal government executed Brown over Harper's Ferry because said industrialists, while not pro slavery, did not want a hugely expensive war. They just didn't want slavery to expand (this is also partially why Mexico was not annexed in 1848 and why blacks were prohibited from entering gold ladenCalifornia).
The Civil War started in 1854 anyway. The federal government disposed of the Mason Dixon line and decided to let new territories themselves vote on slavery. The result, in Kansas and Nebraska, was literal war. It spread upwards into DC and fractured the entire government leading to a full scale Civil War.
Again, a House Divided Cannot Stand. It's cliche but it is exactly what the US was going through. Half the country wanted one thing, the other half another. The inevitable result was armed conflict. John Brown was but one manifestation of it.
>killed over 600,000
>mfw more than DOUBLE the number of people died in that war than there were slaves even brough to America over the entirety of the slave trade
>Again, a House Divided Cannot Stand. It's cliche but it is exactly what the US was going through. Half the country wanted one thing, the other half another. The inevitable result was armed conflict. John Brown was but one manifestation of it.
To put it more clearly;
In 1854 the conflict in Kansas proved that a democratic solution to the slavery question was not possible. California, due to the Gold Rush, became a state in 1850 upsetting the delicate balance between pro-slavery and abolitionists in the Senate (the latter already had a majority in the House). At this point, the southern states only had power in the courts and in the White House.
Kansas burst into violence in 1854 and became a defacto Civil War. This is when people started taking the idea of it seriously. The Republican Party also rose to power in many states and the House in the 1854, 1856, and 1858 elections. In DC they pushed (but couldn't pass) abolitionist legislation. President Buchanan was useless, he wouldn't act either way on the slavery question and considered it a matter for the states. Congress was decidedly abolitionist, but the President and courts checked their power.
Then the Raid on Harper's Ferry occurred and enraged the entire south. Buchanan made sure that Brown hung to keep them from starting a war right here. This enraged the north, and led to the ascension of the Republican Party. The 1860 elections happened and the Republicans gained a huge amount of seats. Their leader, a moderate (and mostly unknown) bureaucrat, won the White House with only 40% of the vote.
The South did not recognize Lincoln as President and demanded a runoff election. The courts decided against them. So they recalled their representatives and voted for secession. Buchanan did absolutely nothing. Then Lincoln took office, and only had one option left: resupply US bases in the south. The first one was Fort Sumter, which was attacked by CSA forces during the First Battle of Bull Run.
After the battle, Congress voted for war and then went to bring as much troops down into DC as possible (remember, DC is in the south). Virginia (the state directly across from DC) was enemy territory now (but not the newly formed state of West Virginia which pledged allegiance to the Lincoln government). Maryland was the first to be occupied by US forces in order to secure the Capitol.
>you will never join ur bros in cutting down heathenistic white devils with your long-sword.
The guy was a nutjob religious zealot, and it's not like he was even unique in that sense. There were dozens of John Brown types on both sides during Bleeding Kansas. He's only unique because the Harper's Ferry Raid gave him and his views national attention.
Seriously though, Bleeding Kansas should get more attention than it does.