Jefferson and Slavery

Thomas Jefferson, the third American President and the author of the Declaration of Independence was born on a remote plantation in the State of Virginia, where he spent his childhood and youth (Miller Center 2014). Being an author of words “all men are created equal” (Jefferson 1776) and a proponent of abolishment of slavery, Jefferson, nevertheless, failed to undertake any steps towards emancipation over 40 years on a political arena (Magnis 1999, 492). His views on emancipation were not that simple, because Jefferson has insisted on liberation of slaves, which would involve provision of equality for blacks and whites in all spheres: “to declare them free and independent people” (Jefferson 1784, 1). Nevertheless, the main condition of the emancipation was its implementation not on American soil. Jefferson in his major work Notes on the State of Virginia advocated slaves’ colonization to Africa as the most appropriate step against slavery. Jefferson was right in this position on emancipation, because it was the only step that could be adopted in condition of polarization of the slavery sentiment between the South and the North. This paper will prove Jefferson’s policy of non adoption of any radical anti-slavery actions to be right, as when employed they led to an open confrontation between the North and the South and the American Civil War.

The official act that served as the first impulse to the rise of tensions and division between states was the Missouri Compromise. A series of agreements conducted by the Congress confirmed Missouri to be a slave state and Main to be a free state with a 36’30 parallel to be a dividing line between the slave South and free North (Civili War Trust 2014). The act that was signed 11 years after ...

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... War – Secession.” Last modified April 2014.

Magnis, Nicholas E. 1999. “Thomas Jefferson and Slavery. An Analysis of His Racist Thinking as Revealed by His Writings and Political Behaviour.” Journal of Black Studies 29(4):491-509. Accessed 22 April, 2014.

Miller Center. 2014. “American President: Thomas Jefferson 1743-1826.” Last modified April 2014.

Poplar Forest. 2014. “Jefferson’s Views on Slavery.” Last modified April 2014.

Statistics of Slaves. n.d. “Number of Slaves in United States.” Accessed April 22, 2014.
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