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Slavery was legal in America in 1776 and Jefferson reluctantly ownedslaves He never presented his plan for gradual emancipation of slavesto Congress because he realized that Congress would never approve itBut Jefferson and Franklin did finance a plan to buy slaves and returnthem to Africa where in 1821 returning slaves founded the nation ofLiberia Agree or disagree with the following statement and defend yourposition the ownership of slaves by the people who wrote TheDeclaration of Independence invalidates it You may wish to read therelevant chapters on Jefferson and slavery in Merrill D PetersonsThomas Jefferson and the New NationJuly 4 1776 The birth-date of a nation based on ideals of equalitySo how is it that a nation based on the ideals of equality was broughtto life by men who did not practice equality as they themselves ownedslaves Does their ownership of slaves invalidate The Declaration ofIndependence which states that all men are created equal There arepeople who would argue that the ownership of slaves by the documentsauthor Thomas Jefferson and its major contributors like BenjaminFranklin would in fact invalidate the declaration However I believethat the contrary is true I believe the despite the ownership of slavesby such people as Jefferson and Franklin the declaration is stillvalid in fact I believe that their ownership of slaves may haveactually helped validate the declarationIn looking at documents such as The Declaration of Independence youabsolutely must take into account the historical context of thedocument The Declaration of Independence was written in a time whenthere was very little equality anywhere and the idea of blacks andwhites or men and women being equal was entirely unheard of In factat this point in history blacks were not even really considered peoplein the Constitution it was written that a slave could only be counted as35 of a person when counting a states population Even all white menwere not considered equal unless you owned land you were not able toparticipate in government at this time
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