Monday, October 4, 2010

What Price Liberty?

When Thomas Jefferson wrote The Declaration of Independence, at first it initially included a small excerpt ( which is shown below) that complained about King George III and his mistreatment of people and their natural human rights. The particular part of the document talks about slavery and how it is a defiance to rights of life and liberty. He's supposed to be a Christian, a man of God, the king whose divine right to rule was given to him from the heavens above, however he allows slavery. It makes him seem disbelieving to belong to any religion, does it? Slavery isn't a crime according to the government. Yet to Thomas Jefferson, it's as if to say that slaves aren't humans.

The excerpt was removed from the Declaration of Independence however when the two colonies Georgia and South Carolina refused to sign if that area was to remain in the document. Coincidental, perhaps? Very. In the 18th century, the Black population of Georgia and South Carolina was exceeding rapidly over the White population. With more rice plantations and farms being made, slaves were serious necessities. So imagine how reading the Declaration of Independence made the representatives of Georgia and South Carolina feel. Slaves meant capital and economic success. Perhaps Georgia and North Carolina feared that if people began to think that slavery was bad according to human rights, then slavery along the lines would have been abolished and then that would cause an economic fall. Also, one can make an opposing comment saying that Jefferson was being hypocritical in that he was a slave owner himself.

He has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating it’s most sacred rights of life and liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating & carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere, or to incur miserable death in their transportation thither. This piratical warfare, the opprobium of INFIDEL Powers, is the warfare of the CHRISTIAN king of Great Britain. Determined to keep open a market where MEN should be bought & sold, he has prostituted his negative for suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or to restrain this execrable commerce. And that this assemblage of horrors might want no fact of distinguished die, he is now exciting those very people to rise in arms among us, and to purchase that liberty of which he has deprived them, by murdering the people on whom he also obtruded them: thus paying off former crimes committed against the LIBERTIES of one people, with crimes which he urges them to commit against the LIVES of another.

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