Compare And Contrast Thomas Jefferson And Native Americans

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For Jefferson, assimilation was best for Native Americans; second best was removal to the west. He felt the worst result of the cultural conflict between European Americans and Native Americans would be their attacking the whites.
Thomas Jefferson’s views of Indians reflect those commonly found in eighteenth cen-tury America and they set the stage for nineteenth century American Indian policies in-cluding the forced removal of Indians from their homelands. Jefferson, the icon of free-dom and personal liberty established the national policy towards Native Americans that would last for over one hundred years. He began what would destroy cultures and re-sult in the reservation system. Jefferson’s attitude towards the Indian population of the United States seems as deeply contradictory as his attitude toward slavery.
Conclusion: Thomas Jefferson, the enigma
Jefferson might rightfully be called the father of liberty and an American icon of democ-racy. Likewise, he might have meant every word when he said “all men are created equal” and have the right to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”.
Why it is
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He condemned slavery as an abuse of the rights of man. He defended American Indian culture and stated that only their environment needed to be changed to make them equal to white men. On the other hand, Jefferson was influ-enced by the predominant views of many historians on race and he never ceased to believe that a color line was drawn by Nature between the races and that this line dic-tated their rights and liberties. For the black population – which was obviously on the wrong side of his imaginary line – this meant that they would have to be removed from American soil once freed and for the Native Americans this meant that only as long as they fulfilled all the preconditions of entry to the “Garden set aside by God”, would they have a right to
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