The Declaration Thomas Jefferson Analysis

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TWO CENTURIES OF CONTROVERSIES I would now like to analyze one specific passage of the Declaration. This passage, originally written by Jefferson, was promptly removed before the signature of the fifty-five delegates. The analysis of the following text will help us understand why the Declaration as well as the Constitution were destined to later be modified. He has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating its most sacred rights of life and liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating & carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere or to incur miserable death in their transportation thither. This piratical warfare, the opprobrium of infidel powers, is the warfare of the Christian King of Great Britain. Determined to keep open a market where Men should be bought & sold, he has prostituted his negative for suppressing every legislative…show more content…
It denounces the unacceptable attitude of the King and the British nobility towards slavery. Through his writings, and despite being a slaveholder himself, Jefferson severely condemned the enslavement of African Americans in Northern States (but he would paradoxically allow it in the Southern States). Upon reading the excerpt above, the Congress decided to remove it from the Declaration. Why? Many landowners still used slavery for the cheap and quick labor it provided. The abolitionist movement would only appear in the 1830s and therefore slaves were still broadly considered like objects by the time this text was written. In Case and Controversies in U.S. History, Walch and O’Halloran clarify: “It was essential that Congress accept the Declaration, and the committee feared that the denunciation of slavery might alienate some members”. (34) Neither the Declaration of Independence nor the Constitution said much about slaves’ rights, suspecting that it would divide the country instead of uniting
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