Jefferson and Washington
Ambrose believes, “Few of us entirely escape our times and places,” and this is true because people are products of their times and places. Thomas Jefferson, was no different. They were not able to escape their times and places, and rise above the major political and social issues of their time period. Jefferson had the potential and the means to rise above his time and place on the issue of slavery, but he failed. Instead, “He thought abolition of slavery might be accomplished by the young men of the next generation,” leaving the issue men of future times. He also left other problems facing civil rights for native americans and women behind him for future generations to deal with. “He knew- how could a man with his agile mind not know- that these (beliefs of African Americans) were all lies...He could not rise above the convenience”. Jefferson knew that owning slaves was wrong, but he liked the notion, so he convinced himself of these beliefs, and chose to go along with norm of that time period. George Washington, however, was ahead of his time and place. Though he had slaves, he freed them upon his death unlike Jefferson. Washington was a man with little educated, but he was able to rise and become one of the greatest presidents in American history. King George the 3rd said as Washington was ending his 2nd term, “If George Washington goes back to his farm he will be the greatest character of his age,” and Washington did creating a rule that American presidents can only be in office for two terms. Washington understood that every move he made would affect the newborn nation, and instead of becoming a monarch himself, he realized that in generations to come, a short lived president would be best for the country he helped build. Great leaders,such as Washington and Jefferson, are formed by their actions and not their words. Jefferson was a highly educated man who wrote the “Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom” , and the...
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