Thomas Jefferson: Was He a Hypocrite
It had been a long time debate in the years of history since Thomas Jefferson lived: was he a hypocrite? Organizations have come together to fight for him but also to fight against him. Jefferson was the man who had power over our country and was the profound leader of millions. If he was around at this day in age, with the remarks that he said about slavery and blacks, people would be outraged. I believe that Thomas Jefferson was a hypocrite based on evidence from dozens of letters and documents in the 1700s.
With almost every source that you research about our past president, it will always mention his outlook on the abolition of slaves and his view on the abilities of blacks. Multiple times Jefferson said that he believed blacks and whites were truly two separate nations of people that shouldn’t be able to live in peace with each other. He was the one that wrote directly in the Declaration of Independence that “all men are created equal.
” Not a single word in that document mentions African American’s rights. How can anyone think that slaves living under the harsh rules of their masters are equal to privileged whites with servants doing their work for them?
Alongside the people that are against Thomas Jefferson, there are many who are just as equally in support of him. He spoke about gradual emancipation and, but that concept didn’t seem to make much of an impact. Jefferson is known for the quote of comparing slavery to “holding a wolf by the ear, and we can neither hold him, nor safely let him go.
” He knew that getting rid of slaves all together would cause war, but keeping slavery in action would cause the same thing. Jefferson’s decision of not making a substantial change eventually caused civil war between the Union and Confederacy in 1861. In a letter responding to Benjamin Banneker, Jefferson wrote that blacks have “talents equal to those of other men” but said otherwise. In other times of his presidency, he said black were physically and mentally inferior to those of the white race. Also, he thought that abolishing the international slave trade and discouraging the growing and sale of crop that widely depended on the labor of slaves would benefit the gradual decline in salves. Instead, the slave population continued to grow. The state of Virginia’s highest “merchandise” wasn’t corn, wheat, or even tobacco, but they earned the most money from slaves.
From now until forever, there will always be tension about whether Thomas Jefferson was and is still a hypocrite. He made an effort to abolish slavery, but was not firm enough in his action. In his eyes, slaves were seen as a group of people that shouldn’t be treated with the same rights as the whites. He did not live out the concept of “all men should be created equal” that he wrote in the Declaration of Independence. Based on clear evidence, I believe Thomas Jefferson should be seen as a hypocrite.