Essay The Legacy Of Thomas Jefferson

1554 Words Dec 1st, 2016 7 Pages
Thomas Jefferson’s words, his eternal sermon of liberty, have been invoked time and time again for the cause of human freedom. They were professed in Tiananmen square China, by the students who were slaughtered for standing up to communist tyrants. They were so often recited by the Polish during their fight for liberation from the Soviet Union that one author wrote, “In every Pole, there is Jefferson more than anyone else.” (Schwartz, 1989) Even in the wake of the USSR collapsing, Russian official Andrei Kozyrev admitted that he and the Russian people were indebted to Jefferson and his teachings. It seems to be abundantly clear, that wherever you find the oppression of individual liberty, you will also find the spirit of Jefferson inspiring individuals to oppose it. Or at least, that is how it used to be.
Iconic filmmaker Christopher Nolan famously wrote, “You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain” No words could better summarize the legacy of Thomas Jefferson today. Once heralded as “The Defender of the Rights of Man”, Jefferson is now ironically regarded by some as nothing more than a slave owning racist, and oppressor of human freedom. These contrasting points of view beg the question, who was this man really? And what is the true legacy that he left behind? This paper will attempt to prove with original sources that Jefferson’s legacy should be as an American Moses for the once enslaved African-American community. More…

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