Slavery in American History

Essay by Anonymous UserUniversity, Bachelor'sA, October 1994

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The Declaration of Independence was written in 1776 by Thomas

Jefferson under order of Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, and the

Continental Congress. This document was written in order to let the whole

world know that the colonists of the United States of America were going to

denounce the British Government in order to establish a democratic

government of their own. The unalienable rights of a citizen that were

defined by Jefferson were, 'Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.'

Through the use of slavery, the acknowledgment of these rights to hold true

for all men invalidated this document but set a basis that would ultimately

bring about changes in issues such as slavery.

The Declaration of Independence went through many changes during

the original writing. The members of the Continental Congress, including

Jefferson, were aware of the issue of slavery and its contradiction toward the

document. One of the statements which Jefferson had originally written to

show further proof that the King of Britain was a 'tyrant,' included the

disapproval of his use of slavery and his ill treatment towards the people of

Africa. This statement was taken out of the final draft of the Declaration of

Independence by the members of the Continental Congress. They had

argued that the inclusion of this statement would defame their own reputation

because many of them practiced slavery. Jefferson's intentions were clear

when he tried to put that statement into the document. The fact that it was

withdrawn from the original document ultimately put the issue of slavery in

the hands of future generations. The main intentions of the writers of the

Declaration of Independence was to break away from a tyrannical British

government, and the



issue of slavery would have torn the colonies apart. In...