Slavery in American and the Declaration of Independence

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The founding document of American liberty, the Declaration of Independence, was written by Thomas Jefferson, a man who owned slaves, about the creation of a nation that would sanction slaveholding. The most famous words from the Declaration of Independence are undoubtedly "that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." It is quite clear from the facts and actions spurred by these words and the battle undertaken in their defense that the men who drafted and adopted the Declaration of Independence did not have the idea of actual equality for all men in mind (Dumbauld 55).


The promise found in the Declaration of Independence that are men are created equal must today be viewed with the caveat that those who conferred legitimacy it were convinced that blacks held no claim to the same rights as whites and so there was no necessity to qualify the promise of universal equality within the document.
The draft of the Declaration of Independence that was handed over by Jefferson, Adams, and Benjamin Franklin go the Continental Congress for approval originally contained a quite long passage directly calling to question the very institution of slavery. "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 and carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere or to incur miserable death in their transportation thither" (Higginbotham 381). ...
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