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Manhunt: American Civil War and James L. Swanson Essay

a) In Manhunt, by James L. Swanson, John Wilkes Booth assassinates Abraham Lincoln because he has very strong beliefs that African Americans should have rights. In the success of Lincoln’s attempt to preserve the Union and free the slaves, Booth took matters into his own hands by killing Lincoln. Although this was a very extreme way to deal with things, I can connect Booth’s passion to myself. His cause was not good, but he set out to do what is right in his eyes and did it. I can connect his motivation in doing things to myself. My passion is to live my life as environmentally friendly as I possibly can. Some things I do are take caps off water bottles, and bring them to centers where they collect them. I always try to get my mom to only buy products that were made from recycled materials this way there is less garbage in landfills. This is something I am very passionate about as Booth was in rights of African Americans.

b) I can relate Manhunt to ‘Romeo and Juliet’ by William Shakespeare. There is a similarity between John Wilkes Booth and Romeo in the way that they are very rash characters/people. They both don’t use their heads, and this ends them both up in bad positions. Booth thinks by shooting Lincoln this will benefit the cause of the South, but it ends up making a big mess for the whole country. Romeo thinks by killing Tybalt, Juliet’s cousin, this will avenge the death of his friend Mercutio, but he ends up being banished ruining his relationship with Juliet. Both their plans end up in turmoil because of their impulsive behavior. If they would have thought things through more they could have seen that their actions were nonsensical, and would not result in any type of benefit to either of their causes.

c) Martin Luther King Jr. was another great leader like President Abraham Lincoln who believed in equal rights for African Americans. Both courageous people tried their hardest to accomplish it, and really did change America for the better. President Lincoln ended slavery as this was the result of the civil war, and King fought against segregation and discrimination. In the end both fell victim to assassination because of their brave actions and beliefs. For both Lincoln and king there were people who thought that what they were doing was wrong and decide to stop them. For Lincoln it was John Wilkes Booth who assassinated the President in Ford’s theater to avenge the South. James Earl Grey assassinated King because he was a racist, and did not want segregation to end. Although they died fighting for equality their ideas, and words did not.

Personal Reaction:

All over the world there are people who live under corrupt governments, and there is always a person who starts the catalyst for change. In Tunisia a revolution started, but many people do not realize how. Al Bouazizi was a poor 26-year-old right out of college and struggled to get a job to support his family. When no work was to be found he got himself a cart and sold fruit on the street. A police officer said he did not have the paperwork to have the cart so Bouazizi took a stand. He burned himself in front of a government building to protest the unjust government. This is what Tunisia needed to get their selves to stop the corrupt government, and thus the revolution started. Al Bouazizi did not live to see how his heroic actions will change the history of Tunisia, but he was the hair on the camel’s back that made the citizens of Tunisia say this is enough.

To take such a valiant stand is remarkable as was when John Wilkes Booth assassinated President Abraham Lincoln. Booth’s beliefs contradicted Lincoln’s and Booth was determined to stop him. Bouazizi and Booth both believed that their leaders were corrupt, and risked their lives to stop them and make a stand. Booth killed President Lincoln to avenge the South after their loss in the civil war. Bouazizi made his stand to show the government no matter how hard you try to do what is right there is no way to make it under Tunisia’s corrupt government. They were both very hardworking people, and not ready to give up all that they worked for, and I do not blame them. Some people might call their actions rash, but for them to have that much courage is remarkable.

After Bouazizi’s stand started the revolution started, and set the country into mayhem; this was much like the United Sates was during the Civil War. The South disagreed with the North and thus a war started. They had different views on rights of African Americans, and social differences. The South was based on the plantation system while the North was focused on city life. This change in the North meant that society evolved as people of different cultures and classes had to work together. On the other hand, the South continued to hold onto an old-fashioned social order. This could be related to how the citizens of Tunisia revolted against the government.

Tunisia is much like the South they thought they were being short-handed so they decided enough was enough. The South seceded, and Tunisia revolted. They did not like what the government was telling them, and said enough was enough. The South needed slavery for their cotton farms, and was not giving it up without a fight. Tunisia’s employment was almost nonexistent; there were no opportunities to be had, and it just was not fair anymore. Different people, time period, and place, same problem.

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