This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by professional essay writers.

Discussion on Whether John Brown Was a Terrorist

downloadDownload printPrint

Pssst… we can write an original essay just for you.

Any subject. Any type of essay. We’ll even meet a 3-hour deadline.

Get your price

121 writers online

Download PDF

Was John Brown a terrorist?

Today, America’s perception of terrorism is based on the September 11th attacks back in 2001. However, the use of force and violence to advance political means is not a new concept. It dates all the way back to the period of antebellum, where the nation’s first terrorist killed in the name of abolitionism. His name was John Brown, and was more than just a martyr for several reasons.

First, John Brown was a terrorist simply by its definition. Terrorism is defined as the use of violence and intimidation in pursuit of political goals, both of which Brown engaged in for the years preceding the civil war. Brown killed many people in hopes of preventing slavery from taking over Bleeding Kansas. He tried to prevent slave-owners and even citizens that support it but don’t own any slaves themselves from establishing a political presence there in fear that Kansas would become a slave state. He even killed abolitionists he thought weren’t passionate enough. One of them was a slave who was looking for a missing guard. Brown shot the slave dead even though he was strongly against the use of slaves.

Second, John Brown was a terrorist because he targeted specific individuals rather than killing just to make a point. Brown would “go after particular men who were dangerous to the very survival of free-state settlers in the area” (Chowder 320). In fact, Brown would kill them during the night, when it was dark and came as even more of a surprise. This had never been done before, even among criminals, and could this element of shock could considered the beginning of modern terrorism. Brown had specific targets in mind with very carefully considered plans, proving that he intended to cause harm to individuals and not just blindly fight for a cause like a martyr would.

Finally, John Brown was a terrorist because he went out of his way to be cruel to his victims. The first example is when he killed all of James Doyle’s family. They were abolitionists like him, but he went to their house to “split open heads and cut off arms” because he family didn’t fight the pro-slavery forces (Chowder 316). Then, after stabbing, Brown put a single bullet in Mr. Doyle’s head. Another example is the two slave owners in the cabin – Brown forced them to walk with him to the creek where he decapitated them. Clearly he wants to strike fear in their hearts rather than just kill them and make a point.

Remember: This is just a sample from a fellow student.

Your time is important. Let us write you an essay from scratch

experts 450+ experts on 30 subjects ready to help you just now

delivery Starting from 3 hours delivery

Find Free Essays

We provide you with original essay samples, perfect formatting and styling

Cite this Essay

To export a reference to this article please select a referencing style below:

Discussion On Whether John Brown Was A Terrorist. (2018, October 26). GradesFixer. Retrieved January 19, 2022, from
“Discussion On Whether John Brown Was A Terrorist.” GradesFixer, 26 Oct. 2018,
Discussion On Whether John Brown Was A Terrorist. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 19 Jan. 2022].
Discussion On Whether John Brown Was A Terrorist [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2018 Oct 26 [cited 2022 Jan 19]. Available from:
copy to clipboard

Sorry, copying is not allowed on our website. If you’d like this or any other sample, we’ll happily email it to you.

    By clicking “Send”, you agree to our Terms of service and Privacy statement. We will occasionally send you account related emails.


    Attention! This essay is not unique. You can get a 100% Plagiarism-FREE one in 30 sec

    Receive a 100% plagiarism-free essay on your email just for $4.99
    get unique paper
    *Public papers are open and may contain not unique content
    download public sample

    Sorry, we could not paraphrase this essay. Our professional writers can rewrite it and get you a unique paper.



    Please check your inbox.

    Want us to write one just for you? We can custom edit this essay into an original, 100% plagiarism free essay.

    thanks-icon Order now

    Hi there!

    Are you interested in getting a customized paper?

    Check it out!
    Having trouble finding the perfect essay? We’ve got you covered. Hire a writer

    Haven't found the right essay?

    Get an expert to write you the one you need!


    Professional writers and researchers


    Sources and citation are provided


    3 hour delivery