Heroes and Villains
John Brown and Self-Deception
Students will explore the vice of self-deception in this lesson on civic virtue. Students will examine if John Brown deceived himself with self-righteousness by thinking that he could end slavery in the antebellum United States by freeing and arming slaves to launch a racial war in the South. Students will analyze a historical narrative, discussion guide, primary sources, and other activities to decide whether it is acceptable to break the law based upon one’s view of a higher law.
The principle of equal justice under law means that every individual is equal to every other person in regards to natural rights and treatment before the law. There are no individuals or groups who are born with the right to rule over others.
Every individual is equal to every other person in regards to natural rights and treatment before the law.
Inalienable / Natural Rights
Freedoms which belong to us by nature and can only be justly taken away through due process.
Except where authorized by citizens through the Constitution, the government does not have the authority to limit freedom.