Rights and Slavery in Thomas Jefferson's Political Thought
Thomas Jefferson is famous for his advocacy of equal rights of men, religious freedom, and democracy throughout the United States. He is equally (in)famous for his racist statements, for his little concern for women's rights, for his apparently unrealistic anti-slavery policies, and for his strongly anti-Federalist politics. This article will make clear that his political solution to the problem of slavery was not as far-fetched at the time as many scholars still tend to think it was. His fame as the high priest of minimal government also needs to be reconsidered given his hugely expensive, governmental solution to the problem of slavery. It is also important to grasp how very restricted a role Jefferson attributed to the federal government in putting his abolition plan into effect. The only aspect concerning the federal government in Jefferson's plan had to do with financing and sending slaves abroad after each state's individual decision of emancipation.
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