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Relationship Between Thomas Jefferson And Slavery

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Thomas Jefferson and Slavery: An Analysis
Thomas Jefferson’s relationship with slavery is a complex one. It is, perhaps, ironic to think that someone who owned slaves would be an advocate to end that very same practice. How can Jefferson be hailed as a champion for slave rights because of his opposition to slavery while, at the same time, using other people as property? Although somewhat contradictory at first, the nature of the relationship between Jefferson’s opinions and his attitudes towards slavery will be thoroughly examined in order to understand the means by which he helped fuel a revolution in the context of a society that was so dependent on slavery. In other words, Jefferson was a significant piece of the abolitionist movement, and so that the seeming differences between what he did and what he preaches can be understood, we must also analyze the historical context. By doing so, we find that Jefferson was indeed ahead of the times, although in his own unique way, and the reason why it might have been significant that he was a slaveowner while trying to end the practice.
Jefferson was educated under a doctrine that sought to perpetuate the slaves’ place in society as inferior. He argues that “the whole commerce between master and slave is a perpetual exercise of the most boisterous passions, the most unremitting despotism on the one part, and degrading subjugation on the other. Our children see this, and learn to imitate it: for man is an imitative animal.”
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