Nat Turner's Rebellion

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Nat Turner's Rebellion. Nat Turner was born during a slave rebellion in 1800. After being a slave in Virginia, he became the leader of the largest Rebellion against slavery in America's history. The revolution led by Nat Turner did not succeed in ending slavery. However, it was influential in forming the century and moving the state closer to the civil war (Rothman, 2016). While he was a slave, he became a charismatic leader, and others believed that he was God's chosen. Turner was sure that he had to play a unique role. He viewed himself as chosen, too. His belief was confirmed in the 1820s when he had a number of visions (Rothman, 2016). According to him, the visions meant that he was chosen by God to head a rebellion against slavery and sweep away all the slave owners.
Before the rebellion, Turner had shared his vision with a few of his friends. They all agreed that they would attack and kill any man, woman, and child who was in any way connected to slavery. When the sun turned bluish-green on August 22, 1831, Turner and his crew took it as a sign to proceed with their plan. He had an army of about 60 slaves and they were able to kill up to 55 people (Rothman, 2016). He was captured two months later and executed.
The actions of Turner prompted civil hostilities between the slaves and the whites. For instance, the slaves in North Carolina were wrongly accused of planning a rebellion against their masters and some of them were killed. Therefore, there existed a bad blood between the whites and the slaves.
Race and Liberty in America: The Essential Reader
Frederick Douglass was born in 1818 to a black mother. He never knew his white father due to widespread racism and prohibited interracial intimacy. He spent his childhood working on various slave farms where he learnt to read and write. He escaped from his master and began a writing career in Massachusetts. He used his writings to push anti-slavery agenda. He disagreed with other anti-slavery campaigners who had argued that the union should be dismantled in order to achieve reforms that would end slavery. Instead, he believed that the American constitution stood for equality and had no place for slavery. Douglass utilized his literacy to write many publications that spoke to both the slaves and their masters. He emphasized that slavery was undermining both the constitution and Christian values that many Americans held dear.
Fredrick Douglass’ work mainly focused on the constitution and Christian teachings. He challenged proponents and supporters of slavery to justify their actions using the constitution. He notes how slavery was in contravention with the Declaration of Independence and religious doctrines.
The Relationship between the Two Sources
Both sources cover the plight of slaves in the US. Douglass and Turner suffered under slavery for a long time. In their actions and writings, they try to make the slave masters and their supporters feel or imagine the suffering that slaves go through. Both activists heavily relied on religion, specifically Christianity, to strengthen their anti-slavery campaigns. While Douglass’ source presents a relatively tolerant and moderate approach to slavery, Turner’s source presents an aggressive and militant approach. Douglass used his knowledge on the bible and constitution and ability to communicate through writing. His knowledge and abilities were combined to persuade supporters of slavery to abandon the practice. Contrarily, turner used force to subdue anybody who believed that slavery was justified.

Banks, Christopher. (2012). Race and Liberty in America. Liberty Magazine.
Douglass, F. (2009). Fourth of July oration. In J. Bean & G. Saari (Eds.), Race and liberty in America: The essential reader (pp. 38–42)

October 26, 2021

Music History

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