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14. The Abolitionist Conspiracy: John Brown and Harpers Ferry
About this Lecture
In this module, we look at whether there was an abolitionist conspiracy during the 1850s, exploring John Brown and his raid of Harpers Ferry, Virginia. In particular, we focus on: (i) John Brown's plan to incite slave rebellion in Virginia through is raid on Harpers Ferry; (ii) the events of the Harpers Ferry raid and why the Harpers Ferry raid failed; (iii) the trial of John Brown and how the raid was perceived in both North and South; and (iv) the political consequences of John Brown's raid on Harpers Ferry.
In this course, Professor Nicole Etcheson (Ball State University) explores the failures of compromise between North and South during the 1850s. In the first module, we examine the question of whether there could be a compromise on slavery at all. After this, we explore the finality of compromise in the early 1950s by looking at the Wilmot Proviso, the Fugitive Slave Law and political change in the period. From there, we look at whether there was a Slave Power conspiracy in the 1850s by looking at the Kansas-Nebraska Act, the caning of Charles Sumner, Bleeding Kansas, and the setting up of filibuster governments in the period. In the next modules, we explore the presidency of James Buchanan in more detail, exploring the Dred Scott decision, the Utah Territory, the Lecompton Constitution, and the late 1850s economic depression. In the final modules, we look at whether there was an abolitionist conspiracy during the 1850s, exploring the Lincoln-Douglas debates, the raid on Harpers Ferry by John Brown, and the election of 1860.
Professor Nicole Etcheson is Alexander M. Bracken Professor of History at Ball State University. She specialises in the history of the sectional crisis, the Jacksonian era, the Civil War and Reconstruction. She has written widely on these themes, including her book, A Generation at War: The Civil War Era in a Northern Community (2011), which won the 2012 Avery O. Craven Award from the Organization of American Historians for most original book on the Civil War era and the 2012 Best Nonfiction Book of Indiana.
Cite this Lecture
Etcheson, N. (2022, April 21). US History - Failure of Compromise, 1848-61 - The Abolitionist Conspiracy: John Brown and Harpers Ferry [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://www.massolit.io/courses/us-history-failure-of-compromise-1848-61/the-abolitionist-conspiracy-john-brown-and-harpers-ferry
Etcheson, N. "US History - Failure of Compromise, 1848-61 – The Abolitionist Conspiracy: John Brown and Harpers Ferry ." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 21 Apr 2022, https://www.massolit.io/courses/us-history-failure-of-compromise-1848-61/the-abolitionist-conspiracy-john-brown-and-harpers-ferry