The concept and advantage of revisionism

Thomas Jefferson and The Meaning of Liberty

During the age of enlightenment and reason in Europe, the idea of treating people according to the natural human law and the government as supposed to treat individuals rationally came up. Thomas Jefferson stipulated this idea during the declaration of independence that all men are created equal, and some fundamental rights were unalienable. Yet, America proceeded to enslave many African Americans in their labor sectors and used these as a means to an end.  Thomas Jefferson himself and other prominent figures were on the front line of using slaves for their cheap labor, which poses the question of why the same people campaigning against racial prejudice were actively involved in the slave trade.


The concept of revisionism has frequently been equated with a malicious reworking of historical data to serve a user-defined purpose. The term, however, refers to the systematic reconstruction of historical evidence by analyzing new data to yield the field of history a new perspective. People’s knowledge of history can never be perfect and will often constitute specific gaps.Revisionism is, therefore, critical since it contributes to the scholarship on a subject by expanding, refuting, or revising the existing narrative using newly acquired evidence.

Another advantage of revisionism is that in seeking the truth, the approach offers a different perspective on historical events.Notably, by analyzing new data and evidence, historians will align an event with new insight and therefore challenge existing notions held about the historical event or process. Historians mustaccept that their pre-conceived ideas may not be absolute or following a particular worldview which they are accustomed to. Revisionism helps to accept new evidence and counterclaims to give credibility and maintain the objectivity of history.

Revisionism, on the other hand, is associated with various problems. One is that revisionist history sometimes gives rise tocontroversial theories negating what is already accepted.Historians are always in search of new evidence that may be presented in the form of a new theory, for instance, the commentary by Iranian president Mahmoud that the holocaust did not happen.

Additionally, the theories brought forward by revisionists often raise the question of credibility. When a new theory is coined in, one usually considers the source and denying it is, in fact, a significant possibility. Even if the theory checks out to be accurate, revising a historically accepted narrative can be controversial.However, despite the skepticism attributed to revisionism, it still holds water in revealing some unknown aspects, for instance, about heroes who are highly regarded, thus answering questions that will always materialize in the field of history.

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According to Wilson, dissecting the personal life of Thomas Jefferson is not as important as evaluating the reasons for him hating slavery.  Given the significant contributions that the historical figure had on the abolishment of slavery, it would be equally right to agree to this statement. Those who often ask this question are often guided by a need to understand or revoke how Jefferson is held in American society. In the public arena, Thomas maintained anhonorable demeanor with his contempt of slavery being outright. However, his private life is a paradox of what he fought for in the public arena. It is true that Jefferson was indeed protective of his personal life and went to considerable lengths to keep maters about his life entirely private.It is, therefore, more relevant to ask the question backward in light of what caused the contempt in which Jefferson held slavery.The writings by Thomas Jefferson reveals that he was a great mind but of limited character. His philosophy was organized by the principle that all men are equal. To be a slaveholder, a person had to deprive his subjects of humanity in the belief that one white man was better than the best black man. His work was objective in targeting those who believed in his philosophy. Understanding the historical background of Jefferson, as Wilson put, it is relevant to know why he hated slavery. Thomas had been raised in a wealthy family and experienced in a society where slavery was widely accepted.To help the society appreciate the heroic contribution of Jefferson to the abolishment of slavery, it is best to ask the question backward and examine why Jefferson hated slavery.  From this perspective, the legacy created by Jefferson in criticizing the slave trade can be appreciated, and his name held highly regarding the equality of the American people.

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One silent question that often attracts various opposing viewpoints is why the man who explicitly said that all men are equal could own slaves. After authoring the declaration of independence, a revolution followed in which most of the slaveholders freed their slaves following the clarion call. The revisionism of the words spoken and written by Jefferson contradicts his actions, often raisin the concern on whether he silently believed in slavery. Jefferson was prepared to establish a firm stand that slavery was an American anomaly and embrace a gradual emancipation scheme to free the slaves.  Inferring from the declaration of independence, Jefferson was resigned to the fact that whites were biologically superior to the blacks. Thus, the two could never live in harmony with each other.This was the primary justification and reason for his failure to free his slaves.  He constructed a paternalistic self-image as benevolent and as a steward for those slaves entrusted under his care.The second reason is that he feared for his slaves. The declaration of independence suggested that only if the blacks were transported to other places such as Africa or somewhere could they find peace. Observing the freed ex-slaves, he observed that these were segregated in the society to the point of life destruction or death, Thomas decided to withhold his slaves from the cruel world of freedom and stigmatization.

Moreover, the question about Thomas Jefferson’s decision can be answered by examining the society where he had grown up. Slaves were highly regarded, and his families admired slave owners due to the wealth they helped accrue. In his later years, he would utilize slaves to work in his plantations, the companies he established, and serving him in his household. He used cheap slave labor to accrue massive profits to himself. Additionally, Jefferson owed much of his political fame to slavery since this helped him ascend the political ladder by funding his endeavors. Whether his philosophy of slavery as a negative aspect was hypocrisy is still subject to divergent views by various scholars.

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In the declaration of independence, Thomas Jefferson explored the idea of liberty is a great domain. Liberty in this article can be interpreted to refer to individual and universal freedom. The declaration crowns an individual with the right to own and pursue their happiness.The declaration that all individuals are bestowed equal characteristics by the creator pushes the idea that in a society, a person, regardless of their color or race, should be allowed to choose their channel of happiness. Second, liberty is brought up as a notion of self-governance of a local community or group. These two principles reflect on the vital founding of American society, such as breaking away from the colonizers, which allowed everyone in American society to enjoy equal rights. Every community is also entitled to autonomous leadership in a model that they decided. The third notion of liberty defined in the declaration for independence is in respect to personal autonomy. Jefferson’s words meant supporting the needs of the industrializing societies and inducing constitutional protection for all people. The government here should practice its mandate without compromising the natural rights of individuals. The last premise was liberty as social justice. In the eyes of the law, every individual was entitled to equal rights and treatment by the American justice system. This declaration held self-determination as a critical factor in the achievement of liberty and the government as an essential component in ensuring equal treatment of all individuals.  This changed slightly with the freeing of slaves and partial inclusion in American society. In the 19th century, the meaning of liberty changed to mean a state of being free from oppression in society and freedom from unfounded restrictions imposed by the authorities.

The declaration of independence remains a significant article with which Thomas Jefferson is remembered. His proactive movements in the abolition of the slave trade are still recognized, marking him as a hero. However, historical revisionism has revealed a dark side of Jefferson, prompting the idea of whether he should be remembered for his contributions or whether his actions should count. Nevertheless, Wilson suggests a backward approach in evaluating the actions of Thomas Jefferson to provide a framework for understanding his motivation in anti-slavery movements.

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