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The South "ante bellum," that is "before the war," was a place of great prosperity and grandeur, along with great suffering for the slaves working in the fields. In the Dred Scott decision, the US Supreme Court outraged opinion in the North by interpreting slaveholding rights as extending anywhere, including free states. John Brown was an abolitionist who believed that violence against slavery was justified, as he showed in the assault at Harpers Ferry in 1860. The Missouri Compromise of 1820 only deferred and did not eliminate the deep divide in philosophical and economic feelings about slavery and its extension to new territories.