Was Thomas Jefferson A Hypocrite

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One of Thomas Jefferson’s greatest accomplishments was being one of the main authors of the Declaration of Independence. Thomas Jefferson strongly believed that slavery was morally wrong and that the United States should abolish it once and for all. Jefferson believed that all men were created equal, but he was a slave owner who refused to let go of his own slaves. There is evidence behind the thought that his words did not always match his actions, especially when it came to individual rights and freedom. Thomas Jefferson is a hypocrite because he could not stand by his own belief of freeing slaves. Thomas Jefferson was born into a slaveholding society, a reason many people believed he was not capable of giving up his slaves.…show more content…
According to Finkelman, “as he accumulated more slaves, he worked assiduously to increase the productivity and the property values of his labor force” (Finkelman). Jefferson knew that without his slaves, he would not be able to live his luxurious lifestyle. At the time he wrote the Declaration of Independence, as it is reported in “Jefferson and Slavery,” Jefferson was the owner of 175 slaves and after his death, he emancipated only five and sent nearly two hundred back to the auction block (Finkelman). This provides more evidence to the hypocrisy behind his beliefs. Not only did he keep his slaves working while many other landowners freed them, but he also sold their scores when he was in debt. Thomas Jefferson could not live without his slaves. He was dependent on them to cook his meals and tend his field, but while he lived this lavish lifestyle, he encouraged others to emancipate their slaves because freeing them would be the right thing to…show more content…
Jefferson states that King George III “waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating its most sacred rights of life & liberty” (Jefferson). He blames the King for capturing slaves and taking them back to slavery, even though he had slaves of his own back at his mansion. He also calls the King a hypocrite because he promises the slaves freedom if they fight for the British. Like Finkelman argues, Jefferson is a deceitful person who criticizes others, although he carries out the actions he is so strongly
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