SAT Subject US History Practice Question 51: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 51

3. Why did Thoreau and other abolitionists praise John Brown?

A. They approved of using violence to change laws.
B. They looked forward eagerly to a war between North and South.
C. They wanted to see as many slavers killed as possible.
D. They admired his long history of helping African Americans and dealing fairly with them.
E. They felt that Brown had taken an appropriate revenge for Congressman Brooks's attack on Senator Sumner.

Correct Answer: D


Before the Pottawatomie Massacre and the raid on Harpers Ferry, Brown had been a distinguished abolitionist. He had been a part of the Underground Railroad and had helped free African Americans and escaped slaves with food, money, and whatever else they needed. He had spoken out forcefully in favor of abolition. Northerners honored him for his career. Even those who deplored his violent acts agreed with his principles.

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