John Brown A Social Raid Essay

1719 words - 7 pages

When speaking about the Civil War and what led to it, a lot of names come to mind. One of them is the legendary leader John Brown. Not only to his peers at the time, but to the nation until this day. “If it is deemed necessary that I should forfeit my life for the furtherance of the ends of justice, and mingle my blood further with the blood of my children and with the blood of millions in this slave country whose rights are disregarded by wicked, cruel, and unjust enactments-I submit; so let it be done.” -John Brown. John Brown came from a history of religious, military and anti-slavery family. Through his life he has dealt with mutipule losses such as His grandfather who died in the ...view middle of the document...

From the preceding definition it can be inferred that the social forces that revolve around us every day are the ones that shape an individual into who they become, what they believe, and what they do. With that being said, in Tony Horwitz "Midnight Rising" there is a presence of a sociological argument for John Brown's actions and consequences during his lifetime.
John Brown was an individual who was greatly influenced by several social forces, some of them being his father, religion, and the social movement of enslavement: which would then lead him to his own self identification that would further on guide him towards sparking which would become a significant social movement and to a revolution known as the Civil War. looking back to before John Brown was born, starting with his father (Owen Brown), he was a very devout Calvinist. He bestowed this austere Calvinism onto John. Calvinism is a faith that is ever vigilant against sin and has an undue attachment to the things of this world. Both John and Owen would write short autobiographies, which are a major source of and they are from where a lot of the knowledge of their life experiences came from. As we will see, from very early on John's father and his family impacted him enormously when it came to religion and their view of slavery that was occurring at the time. John's family had lived in Connecticut's "Western Reserve" which was pioneered by New Englanders seeking to extend their godly settlement. John's father followed these poeple in order to support religion and civil order, which we will soon come to see are the main things John would come to support as well. In the beginning of "Midnight Rising" it is consistently mentioned how John fully supported his father in many of his beliefs and how John would adopt hard work, strict piety, and many characteristics from his father. Is there something sociological about this? The answer is yes! In our society is one simply born with a strong religious faith? The answer to this is no. When it comes to religion, from the sociological perspective, it is argued that the religion one chooses to follow is based on the influences that surround that individual. In John Brown's case it can easily be seen that his major influence into Calvinism was his father. Being raised around a pious father and religious family soon led to Brown's adoption of its doctrines. According to Manza, religion is not defined by one set of doctrines or another. Instead it is defined by the behaviors, beliefs, and commitments of the people of a group or society. Thus, religion plays a major role in defining who the person is and what they do, which is seen in John Brown.
With Brown's father being a strong religious man who believed that they had a covenant with God to make America a moral beacon to the world, he would soon adopt from a preach the belief of antislavery. The Calvinists believed that slavery would ruin their special relationship with God because it was...

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