John Brown's Raid


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  • In 1859, John Brown, an antislavery radical,  made plans to seize a fortress in Virginia from which he would create a slave rebellion.
  • On October 16, he and a group of 18 followers attacked and seized control of a United States arsenal in Virginia.
  • However, the slave rebellion that Brown hoped would occur did not happen, and soon after, Brown was besieged by United States troops. Ten of his men were killed.
  • Brown was promptly tried in court in Virginia for treason and was hanged to death.
  • No other event did more than Brown's raid in convincing Southerners that their beliefs would not be represented in the Union. They believed that his raid was supported by the Republican Party, and as a result, became very upset and later seceded before the Civil War.
  • Although Brown's raid may have not succeeded in any way, its impact was enormous. The raid solidified the belief that the Southerners' interests would not be represented in the Union, and as a result, opened their minds to secession. This would later lead to the Civil War and a shift in the direction of America.
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