The Declaration Of Independence And Independence Essay examples

1090 Words May 23rd, 2016 5 Pages
The phrase, “all men are created equal” found in the Declaration of Independence was used in many different contexts throughout the creation of the United States. First, people used this phrase as it relates to slavery by saying that slaves were not people, thus their rights were not being infringed. Then, this argument evolved to say that while slaves were held in different conditions, their treatment was not far from that of a white man, no matter how untrue that actually was. The views of the founders, and their intentions is very important when talking about the wording used because they were highly regarded at the time, and without the understanding their intention, the meaning can be completely changed. Looking at an early draft of the Declaration of Independence Thomas Jefferson’s wording and intentions about slavery become more clear; originally saying, “we hold these truths to be sacred and undeniable, that all men are created equal & independent, that from that equal creation they derive in rights inherent & inalienable among which are the preservation of life, & liberty, & the pursuit of happiness…” (Becker 161 Print). This phrasing shows that in Jefferson’s drafts, slaves were not only meant to be freed, but to be given equal rights. This is most explicitly shown through his use of the phrase “equal & independent”, where in the final version the phrase has been changed purely to “equal”. The world independent makes it clear that not only are the men equal, but…

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