The Draft Of The Declaration Of Independence Essay

1232 Words Apr 30th, 2016 null Page
In the draft of the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson condemned England for forcing slavery upon America, and then using the slaves to combat the American Revolution. He believed that slaves were justifiable enemies and that the presence of slavery would destroy the Republic. Although Jefferson believed that no man had the right to enslave another, he did not believe that Blacks were equal to whites. Slavery did in fact become a polarizing policy, and the division between Americans led to the cession of southern states and a Civil War. The problems leading to and the resolutions of the war proved to be just as complicated as Thomas Jefferson’s views on race and slavery.
A believer in John Locke’s theories of natural rights, Jefferson believed that slavery degraded labor. John Locke theories on the rights of property suggest that those who perform labor have the right to their labor and to the land upon which they labor (Locke 85). In regard to the growing manufacturing industry, Jefferson stated “those who labor in the Earth are the chosen people of God” (Jefferson 228). The slave does not own his own labor, nor does he have any right to the product or profit of his labor; his master owns the labor, the product, and the profit by owning the slave. From Jefferson’s point of view, as well as other Lockean scholars, the practice of slavery was a direct violation of human rights. Under Locke’s philosophy, the slaves should have been the ones reaping the rewards of…

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