The Racist Legacy of the Founding Fathers

Document Type:Research Paper

Subject Area:Arts

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The declaration of independence was the first constitution to be drafted by a committee formed by five of the founding fathers. John Jay, John Adams and Benjamin franklin developed the treaty of Paris that would help them end the American Revolution war. George Washington was the commander in chief of the armed forces and the head of the constitutional convention. The founding fathers may have helped Americans move on from the oppressive ways imposed by the Great Britain but they were normal people with different opinions about different things. For instance, Thomas Jefferson once described George Washington as a man who made well thought out resolutions but still had high tempers on normal occasions (SCHERR, 66). People got to see the real side of George Washington when he reacted to the news that Charles Lee one of the major generals was retreating from the battle of Monmouth Courthouse in 1778. This kind of character could have influenced the racist legacies exhibited by some of the founding fathers. Generally, the founding fathers can be referred to as the people that approved the declaration of American independence in 1777. There is ample evidence to indicate that the Founding Fathers of the United States, particularly Thomas Jefferson and George Washington, held racist ideologies that pervade the values of the United States to this day. Most critics refer the founding fathers as hypocrites and pro slavery racists. Most people assume that slavery was introduced to America by the founding fathers for their own benefits. However, research shows that slavery was introduced to the United States two centuries before the founding fathers conquered Great Britain (Wallbuilders.

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com). This means that they did not introduce slavery in the US. The chief justice of the Supreme Court John Jay stated that the judicial system had attempted to eradicate slavery before the formation of the founding fathers. Slavery was the main factor that influenced racism in the US. The founding fathers saw themselves as the saviors since the signing of the new constitution gave way for the slaves to enjoy the same freedom as their masters and fellow Americans. One of the founding fathers stated that attaining independence from Great Britain would help them eradicate slavery. The British colonizers practiced slavery and influenced the habit to some self-centered Americans. Returning to Great Britain would help free the slaves from the bondage they experienced. These states were popular for the plantations owned by the masters (Pavao n.

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p). They considered the fact that they would lose a lot of money after releasing the slaves. Most of the founders were plantation owners a factor that contributed to the racism. Elias Boudinot was the head of the Continentals congress. Their efforts to end racism were influenced by the unprecedented achievements. The first achievement was the winning of the American revolutionary war. With the contributions of the armies commanded by George Washington the founders, slaves and other American citizens were freed from the British colonizers. This helped the release of some slaves and the restoration of a stable economy in the US. The second achievement was establishing a large scale government that has ruled them to date. As mentioned earlier, Thomas Jefferson explained that America was not made of people from specific ethnicities or religions (SCHERR, 66).

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Richard Allen formed the A. M. E church in America and used it to pass antislavery messages. The use of religion ensured that Christian masters and slave traders viewed slavery as a sin and ditched their old ways (SCHERR, 66). It was ironic how some founders changed suddenly and began fleeing their slaves and began passing messages that all the masters should stop slavery and the slave trade. Thomas Jefferson and George Washington the most influential founders owned slaved during and before the American Revolution war. He openly admitted that he had slaves working for him and did not believe that all people were born equal. This was so racist since he meant that the black community did not deserve to be treated with respect. He knew that having slaves was not acceptable but he still practiced it.

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However, he did not follow the bill as expected. He once denied allegations of having a black woman as his mistress. Being a mistress meant that he would do anything that pleased him. He did not care about the happiness of the black woman or the slaves he had (Ambrose n. p). Jefferson’s decline to attend the fiftieth anniversary of the American independence proved that he did not enjoy the fact that Black Americans had finally achieved the long sought freedom (Schwabach, 55). He sent a message that stated that the newly acquired freedom would not provide a smooth experience to the people. In other words, it meant that the black Americans would not experience the freedom immediately. In conclusion, part of the founders helped people from different races achieve the desired freedom.

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People have always lived a free life but they still experience few cases of racism. no. Sept. pp. EBSCOhost, search. ebscohost. Retrieved from: SCHERR, ARTHUR. Thomas Jefferson Versus the Historians: Christianity, Atheistic Morality, and the Afterlife.  Church History, vol. no. Mar. Wallbuilders. com “The Founding Fathers” 2016. Retrieved from: Wiencek, Henry. Thomas Jefferson Slave Master.  American History, vol.

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