The Impact Of Thomas Jefferson And Slavery

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Digging deep into Thomas Jefferson and slavery Throughout the history of America, we have remembered countless of heroes for their contributions to our nation. We tend to see our founding fathers in a positive light, focusing only on their greatness and brushing off their deficiencies. Thomas Jefferson is a prime example of this narrative. Along with Jefferson’s legacy of benefaction towards the United States, comes the controversy of Jefferson’s treatment of slaves. Was Jefferson’s treatment of slaves detrimental to his legacy in American history? Annette Gordon-Reed, an American historian, believed that Jefferson manipulated his slaves- specifically, the Hemingses- by identifying their “special talents, give those talents full scope, and set them up in appropriate trades” (Morgan 5). Jefferson gave his slaves a chance to make use of their strengths, unlike other slave owners who physically and verbally abused their slaves day after day. While one could argue that Jefferson could’ve freed his slaves, it’s important to note that formal emancipation was difficult to achieve during Jefferson’s time. Even though Jefferson may have contrived his slaves to fit his goals, he did so in a peaceful, non-violent way. During Jefferson’s time, slavery was prominent and vital towards the American economy. It’s hard to knock on Jefferson’s morality because slavery was once an integral part of the American lifestyle. Many historians try to destroy Jefferson’s identity by
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