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Hope and Heritage: Myth of Thomas Jefferson



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    Throughout countless books, stories, and articles that depict Thomas Jefferson he is placed on a pedestal as a nearly perfect man. The books all tell of his great achievements, but never do these books speak of his true manner and thought process pertaining to slave trade. Gordon Wood takes a deep dive into Jefferson’s personal life, plainly showing who he truly was. Just as people have done since the beginning of time, they are still doing it today. People look for the bad in everything possible thing they can.

    People knew Thomas Jefferson was a good man, but they had to find something wrong with him. When the historians finally researched the subject the results were rather shocking. First off, it is apparent that Jefferson did not care for the basic civil liberties of others and also that he had a ruthless self-righteous attitude. The main odd portion of Thomas Jefferson’s life was his view on the African American people. During Jefferson’s lifetime, the slave trade was a massive argument that lasted many years. This argument would eventually end in the abolition of slavery in America.

    Reading of Thomas Jefferson in the children’s story you would hear nothing but great stories. For example he is widely known for writing the document named the Declaration of Independence. When it came to the slaves, Jefferson not only embraced the slave trade culture, but he partook in it as well. People had a hard time seeing Thomas Jefferson proclaim freedom and equality to all while in fact he was always controlling his African American slaves at the same time. It seemed to most people that Thomas Jefferson was being a hypocrite in plain sight.

    To put it into perspective, Thomas Jefferson once said that he never even thought that African Americans should be living in the same country as whites. Though he might have sincerely wanted to have all man free, he also portrayed that the African American race was not good enough to live in the same country and that the blacks would have to have been shipped out of America. On top of Thomas Jefferson believing that the slaves had no business being on the same piece of land as whites, Jefferson also stated that he felt black were truly inferior with both their mind and body.

    Thomas Jefferson did in fact have some flaws in his life, and while he did do some great things he also was not perfect. While it is true that Thomas Jefferson had some human error in him, there are countless outstanding attributes that make Jefferson so well known and loved. People looking from a modern perspective would see the end of his goals, but they would never see what he actually went through to complete his goals. He had such eagerness and drive to what he did that nothing was going to stop him. Thomas Jefferson took every part of his life seriously.

    He was the most serious man when it came to the belief of natural sociability of people. He focused on and pursued a minimal government involvement. Thomas Jefferson never stopped learning or quit on anything, and it is sad that during his retirement and time right before death most of the progress he had made through his life was changing before his eyes. Even though the world around him was going the opposite direction he wanted it to go, he was still optimistic about the future of America. “The dreams of the future better than the history of the past. The author, Gordon Moore stated it perfectly when he wrote, “It is the ultimate irony of Jefferson’s life, in a life filled with ironies that he should not have understood the democratic revolution that he himself supremely spoke for. ” Basically this quote means that the irony that Thomas Jefferson spoke against things he partook in, such as the slave trade, is a mystery. Why would he be trying to help a group of people he in actuality felt superior? Even through the flaws, Thomas Jefferson was an outstanding man who worked extremely hard to accomplish what he did.

    Hope and Heritage: Myth of Thomas Jefferson. (2017, Jan 21). Retrieved from

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