Thomas Jefferson and His Contradictions

Topics: Slavery in the United States, United States Declaration of Independence, Slavery Pages: 1 (267 words) Published: April 24, 2013
Thomas Jefferson was very aware of the contradiction between slavery and the ideas he, along with others, expressed in the Declaration. It was twice that he mentioned how the enslavement of African Americans goes against the “most sacred rights of life and liberty”. As well as, enslavement amounts to “crimes committed against the Liberties of one people”. Thomas Jefferson as well was born to a slave owning family and he himself owned slaves. Many people found it mysterious that Jefferson owned so many slaves but yet was so open in saying that slavery was immoral and it should be abolished. Even after admitting he was wrong; Jefferson still blamed the king for slavery and the slave trade. In the first paragraph of the draft of the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson condemned the king for supporting the importation of slavery to the colonies, stating that the crown “has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating its most sacred rights of life and liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating and carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere.” Still, this small section was asked to be dropped from the Declaration of Independence by the delegates from South Carolina and Georgia. Jefferson also based his charge due to the fact that several times during the 18th century, Virginia’s legislature passed a tariff made to put a stop on the importation of slaves. The lawmakers did otherwise, because the colony’s slave population was expanding rapidly and importing too many Africans would lower the price of domestic slaves whom Virginia planters wanted to sell.
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