My focus question is how Thomas Jefferson’s views on slavery compare to those of his actions. Firstly Thomas Jefferson was America’s 3rd US president. Jefferson was born on April 13th 1743 in Shadwell, Virginia. Jefferson had a rough childhood spending most of his time juggerling being the man of the house after his father died and studying to become the great leader his known as today. There is much speculation on Thomas Jefferson and his views on slavery. He appeared to be an abolitionist yet owned over 200 slaves and at times strengthened the nations view on slavery. So what did Thomas Jefferson really think on slavery? In the end did he really make a difference or is he just another man made out more than he is? Following his father’s death in 1757 Jefferson’s inherited more than 5,000 acres of land and 20 slaves. By 1774 Jefferson inherited 22 more slaves from his mother along with another 11,000 acres of land and 135 slaves on his wife’s and father in laws behalf. To me it appears ironic that one of the world’s most known abolitionist heroes owned over 200 slaves. Jefferson was always appearing to believe slavery an immoral and unjust tradition in society, but I’m not sure he did enough in his power to change these ways. Most people argue that because of the social view and status of blacks Jefferson did the best he could in this situation. Indeed, we can see that Jefferson tried to behave just towards his slaves and gave them fair workloads, a nice living environment and a better life then the average slave. But could he have done more? Jefferson stated that the “physical and behavioural differences between the races suggested that Negroes were cruder and more animalistic then whites”. This shows that, like the people in society, Jefferson believed the Blacks as animals more than human beings.
When I say Thomas Jefferson the first thing that pops into many people’s head is the famous “All men are created equal” quote. Although Jefferson said that...
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