Abolitionist Movement Essay
In the mid 1800’s, the Abolitionist Movement was undertaken to promote the freedom of slaves. One of the men who wanted to abolish slavery was Frederick Douglass. He used non-violent means by writing a newspaper called The North Star. Other men like John Brown supported the abolitionist by using violence and rebellion to attack Harpers Ferry. Frederick Douglass’s actions were the best way to ensure liberty and equality for all because his actions were non-violent.
Frederick Douglass had been a slave himself, who had been beaten and abused. This experience led him to actively oppose and work against slavery. He wrote speeches, spoke out at anti slavery organizations, and encouraged people to speak out and express freedom. In his newspaper, The North Star, he stated, “…the man who has SUFFERED THE WRONG, is the man to DEMAND REDRESS, -that the man STRUCK is the man to CRY OUT-and that he who ENDURED THE CRUEL PANGS OF SLAVERY is the man to ADVOCATE LIBERTY.” The commanding words explained how Douglass had suffered the wrong, and is now demanding for equal rights. He had suffered the cruel pains of slavery, and now is advocating and supporting freedom.
John Brown’s father was a big influence on him to oppose slavery. He told Brown you must do “right”, or you will answer to God. Brown became an abolitionist hero, as a result of attacking the federal arsenal in Harpers Ferry, to capture guns, free slaves to join him, and start a war. “Talk! Talk! Talk! That will never free the slaves. What we need is action—action!” are the powerful words Brown spoke at a meeting in Boston. He saw the Abolitionist Movement as a war against slaves “slavery, throughout its entire existence… is none other than a most unjustifiable war of one portion of citizens upon another portion.”
Frederick Douglass’s actions and viewpoints were better than John Brown’s actions. He wrote about his life and gave speeches to anti-slavery organizations. Douglass’s actions were better because they were non-violent and more effective, unlike John Brown’s actions, which led him to be hanged. More people could be educated through words, and understand better through words, rather than through violence.
The fight for slavery to be abolished was very difficult and took years to finally be achieved. Both Frederick Douglass and John Brown put forth a great effort to end the mistreatment of African American people through slavery. Frederick Douglass thought people could understand more within a peaceful discussion, rather than throughout violent actions.
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