Example Of Research Paper On Relationship Between Thomas Jefferson And Slavery

Type of paper: Research Paper

Topic: Slavery, Thomas Jefferson, Ethics, United States, America, Morality, People, Democracy

Pages: 5

Words: 1375

Published: 2020/12/26

Slavery: A Paradox

Slavery in American history is a kind of paradox due to its past existence for many centuries. The reason of leaving the issue behind confirms its paradoxical nature due to the intentionally leaving out the issue by people for their comfort while staying in a moral suspended animation. Thomas Jefferson is the person behind this paradox and he animated it in a controlled manner. It was a big achievement considered by him that he somehow managed to reverse the moral values and thinking of people regarding slavery. He was the person who made the slavery a fit for American society. It can be considered that judging Thomas Jefferson after his death regarding his views on slavery would not be a moral crime. The reason behind it can be that his contemporaries approved his viewpoints; however, the time when he rationalized his ideas and evaded accordingly his admirers got frustrated and started opposing him. Moncure Conway was a Virginia’s abolitionist . He wrote beautiful line for Jefferson’s enduring repute as a would-be emancipator. For which he remarked scornfully, “Never did a man achieve more fame for what he did not do”. The mansion of Thomas Jefferson stands atop of a mountain named after him and looks like a platonic ideal house. It looks like an ethereal creations that is placed above the cloud in the spiritual realm .
Throughout his life Thomas Jefferson was a staunch critic of slavery. He used to address slavery as “moral hollowness” and “horrible mark” on society. He was of the view that slavery is the greatest risk to the existence American generation. Slavery was not synchronizing with the rules of nature which dictate right of personal freedom to everyone. Such thoughts were unique because in our world there was no concept of free labor.
Hoping to abolish slavery, Jefferson was very keenly participating in the Law making at the time of Revolution in America. He made a draft of Virginia Law stating to stop the import of African slaves in 1778. He suggested a law to legally prohibit slavery in the regions of North West in 1784.Though Jefferson was of the view that slaves should be set free democratically, elimination of slavery would be successful when on a large scale the slave owners would agree to free their slaves .Jefferson believed that if only federal government make law of slavery abolition and only few people on a small scale act on this, then it was against democracy and also against the rules of Revolution in America.
According to the Encyclopedia on Thomas Jefferson “Although Jefferson continued to advocate for abolition, the reality was that slavery was only becoming more entrenched. The slave population in Virginia skyrocketed from 292,627 in 1790 to 469,757 in 1830. Jefferson had assumed that the abolition of the slave trade would weaken slavery and hasten its end. Instead, slavery only became more widespread and profitable.” In order to attempt to corrode all the Virginians’ sustenance for the slavery, Jefferson also discouraged any cultivation of the crops in the region to be highly dependent on the slave labor. He also encouraged the starting of the crops which did not need much effort from slaves. These crops included wheat, short-grained rice, sugar maples, wine grapes and olive trees. Nonetheless, by the 1800s, Virginia’s chiefly traded commodity in the terms of value as well as export was neither land nor crops, but mainly the slaves .

Jefferson’s efforts to continue slavery

Jefferson’s family kept many hundred slaves at his residence in Monticello as well as in the nearby business and agricultural farms. However, slavery is considered as a moral charade, repugnant evil and evidently at odds in moral codes of American Revolution and virtues of republicanism by Thomas Jefferson. In majority of his conversation with friends and business partners and associates Jefferson highlighted the dissipated foundation of slavery and still defined how it should essentially continue. Jefferson’s connection with slavery was undoubtedly perforated with paradox, both in arguments and actions. His words articulated a abhorrence and disregard for an association that ran conflicting to the principles of social equality and human privileges; while guarding ethnic subservience, political triviality, and economic sanctuary. The author state in this article about Thomas Jefferson, “While considering slavery a moral travesty, hideous evil, and clearly at odds with his values of the American Revolution and republican virtue, Jefferson owned several hundred slaves at his home at Monticello and surrounding agricultural farms and businesses.” His actions revealed a commitment to morality because he kept his slaves in good conditions as compared to others .
However, there was a substantial difference between his deeds and thoughts with respect to emancipation question. He completely believed in the fact that it is a moral, social and political evil to keep any man in slavery but still he kept doing this act. He had faith that captivity must be obliterated and therefore he had written an amendment that could have accomplished it. In the meantime, he categorized Virginia's slave decree and incorporated to it an exacting provisions intended against free Negroes. He settled to the prestige of keeping bondage far from western region, but his suggestion would have permitted the ailment, a sixteen-year development period. In his everyday life there were some discrepancies between Jefferson's conduct as a possessor of men and of Virginia estate rulers who always negated and opposed his antislavery theories. His slaves were in good health, fed well and dressed well, and their work burden was almost similar to white freemen. According to the author, “Jefferson was a man of many dimensions, and any explanation of his behavior must contain a myriad of seeming contradictions. He was a sincere and dedicated foe of the slave trade who bought and sold men whenever he found it personally necessary.” However, when he used to deal with absconders, trades of slaves, upbringing, and whipping, his conduct did not fluctuate substantially from that of other rational slaveholders who condemned unneeded brutality, but would use whatsoever means they found indispensable to defend their unusual form of assets .

Conflict of thoughts and actions

According to Jefferson and Magnis, Thomas Jefferson always compensated for the harsh combat against the nature of human, manipulating its utmost sanctified privileges of life and freedom. Keeping these people in slavery and transporting or suffer them with miserable and painful death. This type of practical rivalry is actually the rivalry of the Great Britain’s Christian king. Always committed to setup an open marketplace where men are brought like a commodity for selling and buying purpose. The authors talked about Thomas Jefferson, “To complete his comparison of Whites with Blacks, Jefferson delved into ancient history. He compared New World slavery with Roman slavery, concluding that Roman slaves were treated more harshly. Despite their harsh condition, he observed that the Roman slaves were often the rarest of artists, the most learned of scientists, and the trusted tutors to their masters' children. Blacks, he believed, could not achieve such accomplishments.” He had formerly prostituted his bad for conquering all judicial effort to exclude or detain such a deplorable business; this congregation of repulsions would need no point of eminent die, he is currently exhilarating a group of people to increase in munitions, and to buy back freedom that he has destitute them, by assassinating the people intended for whom he has also interceded these people, therefore paying off past wrongdoings devoted against the freedoms of one individuals, with wrongdoings which he impulses these people to commit against the existences of other .

Racism and Slavery

According to Morgan, the slaves in the Virginia state were around 40 percent black in 1790 when the very first census was conducted in United States. Virginia State produced greatest persuasive spokespersons for liberty and impartiality in the whole United States. The most well-known spokespersons are Thomas Jefferson, George Washington and James Madison. These big names were eminent in keeping slaves and remained slaveholders during the course of their lives. Recently a very distressing contrast has been shown by Jefferson’s between his actions and speeches. He has made several announcement in the favor of democratic freedom but on the contrary he has been very active in envying and opposing the leverages given to black people by virtue of freedom and complete liberty. Mr. Andrew Fletcher of Saltoun was a significant figure in the history of America . Morgan states about Thomas Jefferson and Fletcher, “In spite of Jefferson’s tribute to Fletcher, there is no reason to suppose that he endorsed Fletcher’s proposal. But he did share Fletcher’s distrust of men who were free in name while their empty bellies made them thieves, threatening the property of honest men, or else made them slaves in fact to anyone who would feed them. Jefferson's own solution for the kind of situation described by Fletcher was given in a famous letter to Madison, prompted by the spectacle Jefferson encountered in France in the 1780s, where a handful of noblemen had engrossed huge tracts of land on which to hunt game, while hordes of the poor went without work and without of Bishop bread”. Terminating Jefferson and his entire Virginia Empire as hypocrites would be very appealing. But doing this will ultimately dismiss the true meaning of term hypocrisy. For instance the term hypocrisy refers to “as I think it does”, intentionally affirming a belief without having faith in it, therefore the term hypocrisy would require an exceptional transparency of perception united with corrupt intent to cheat. In order to characterize this type of intention or to characterize this rationality of mind in case of Jefferson, Washington and Madison would be escaping from challenge. This clearly illustrates that how man concludes action, beliefs and ideologies with so many contradictions .
According to Haza, Thomas Jefferson’s family had owned a number of slaves. These slaves worked on the lands of the family. Slavery was, in general, an accepted part of southern economy as well as the lifestyle at that time period throughout the United States. Although Jefferson later on articulated a deep displeasure for the complete slavery system, he always kept slaves during his lifetime. According to the author, “Slaves made it possible for young Jefferson to continue his education because they were the ones who worked the farm at Shadwell.”

Conclusion

Slavery in American history is a kind of paradox due to its past existence for many centuries. The reason of leaving the issue behind confirms its paradoxical nature due to the content to leave it on the basis of the comfortable living state of people in a moral suspended animation. Thomas Jefferson is the person behind this paradox and he animated it in a controlled manner. It was a big achievement considered by him that he somehow managed to reverse the moral values and thinking of people regarding slavery. Jefferson’s connection with slavery is undoubtedly perforated with paradox, both in arguments and actions. He was the person who made the slavery a fit for American society. His words articulated a. abhorrence and disregard for an association that ran conflicting to the principles of social equality and human privileges. He completely believed in the fact that it is a moral, social and political evil to keep any man in slavery but still he kept doing this act. He had faith that captivity must be obliterated and therefore he had written an amendment that could have accomplished this slowly but surely. Thomas Jefferson always compensated for the harsh combat against the nature of human, manipulating its utmost sanctified privileges of life and freedom in distant persons who have never oppressed him.

Bibliography

Cohen, William. n.d. "Thomas Jefferson and the Problem of Slavery ." IEA/USP.
Haza, Maestro Luis. 1970. "The Musical Side of Thomas Jefferson." Virginia Commission for the Arts.
Jefferson, Thomas, and Nicholas E. Magnis. 1999. "Thomas Jefferson and Slavery: An Analysis of His Racist Thinking as Revealed by His Writings and Political Behavior." Journal of Black Studies 491-509.
Morgan, Edmund S. 1972. "Slavery and Freedom: The American Paradox." The Journal of American History 5-29.
Reck, Dave. n.d. "Where did Thomas Jefferson Stand on the Issue of Slavery?" Howard County Program.
Thomas Jefferson Encyclopedia. n.d. "Thomas Jefferson and Slavery." http://www.monticello.org. Accessed March 04, 2015. http://www.monticello.org/site/plantation-and-slavery/thomas-jefferson-and-slavery.
Wiencek, Henry. 2012. "The Dark Side of Thomas Jefferson." Smithsonian Magazine.

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