Liberty's Daughters Analysis

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Women also face unequal opportunity and treatment. In most world history, the man has been the leader and the woman, the follower. Men are more greatly respected and thought highly of. During the 18th century at the time of The Declaration of Independence the inferior attitude toward women was prevalent. Historian Mary Beth Norton wrote about treatment of women in this time period in the book, Liberty’s Daughters. She wrote about the positions within a family saying, “Each family was represented in the outside world by its male head, who cast its single vote in elections and fulfilled its obligations to the community through service in the militia or public office. Within the home, the man controlled the finances, oversaw the upbringing of…show more content…
His actions of owning slaves and fighting for abolition of slavery are contradictory and confusing. Jefferson throughout his life owned a large quantity of slaves. “As a result of inheritance, Jefferson owned 187 men, women and children, but the figure changed from year to year with births, deaths, purchases, and sales.” Therefore, slavery was an immense factor in Jefferson’s business practices and life. Slaves were at the time, considered to be inferior and less human. Jefferson owning slaves infers that he believed slaves to be beneath him. His actions do not communicate that he saw slaves as equal with non-slaves. Jefferson did however, agree with the fight for the abolition of slavery. This appears strange due to the benefit Jefferson received from owning slaves. Jefferson may have believed slaves were not on an equal level with white people, however he still may have believed they deserved their natural-born rights. The article titled “Thomas Jefferson and Race” analyzes Jefferson’s view on slavery. It states, “The Declaration’s first and second self evident truths (“that all men are created equal”)… appear to be derived from the equal state of nature. The first truth may then be taken to mean that all men are equal in the state of nature, and that inequalities among men, therefore, must have been imposed upon them sometime after.” The text argues that Jefferson saw slaves as having the same natural rights stated in the Declaration as everyone else. The inequality is irrefutable, yet Jefferson believed that the prejudice was a consequence of the situation not a matter of nature. “In a clash between positive or conventional rights (for example, the right of a white master to the fruits of the labor of his black slave) and natural rights, the latter¬¬– as far as blacks were concerned– assumed a secondary importance.” As a blanket viewpoint,
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