General History/thomas jefferson

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Question
What was Thomas jefferson's views on slavery, and his perceptions about black people as revealed in his Notes on the State of Virginia. What did Thomas Jefferson think about the institutions of slavery?What were his thoughts about the characteristics and nature of black people? Did Jefferson, who wrote the famous words,"all men are created equal extend this belief to include black people. What did he think about the future of black people in America.

Answer
Hi Boris,
Jefferson was a complex man and such people often have the annoying habit of seeing and sometimes agreeing with both sides of an issue at the same time. Jefferson thought slavery was a moral evil, yet he owned slaves and was unable to bring himself to free them. He did see the contradiction of saying that all men were created equal while he himself owned slaves. He included anti-slavery language in his original draft of the Declaration of Independence, but the other southern delegates insisted those portions be edited out before the final version was voted on and passed.

Most well-read and informed southerners in the 1700s believed that slavery was inefficient and was slowly dying a natural death. That's why the original version of the Constitution bans the importation of new slaves into America after 1810. The founding fathers believed that no new slaves would be needed after that date.

Jefferson probably believed that African Americans of his own day were not ready for citizenship or full legal equality. I do not know if he thought African Americans would ever be ready for full equality with whites. Nor do I know if he thought African Americans belonged in America permanently. Many Americans in the early 1800s believed that freed slaves should be sent back to Africa.

Hope this helps,    C.M.

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C.M. Aaron

Expertise

My interests are pretty diverse: military history, technology, and social trends for most historical eras, general U.S. history, European history, especially Roman and early medieval history but also the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, European colonialism in Africa, a little bit of Asian history, especially as it relates to European and American imperialism. I'm also pretty good with presidential history.

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I've read hundreds of history books on various subjects. I've also been writing historical fiction for about twenty years. Story development drives my research. I am also a tour guide at a local museum.

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Bachelor's degree in history and geography.

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