In Freehling’s article, “The Founding Fathers and Slavery”, he aims to show that Thomas Jefferson and his contemporaries believed in ideology that all men were created equal. He also goes on to show that the Founding Fathers took preliminary measures to diminish slavery all together. Although he admits the overall process was slow and small, he says, “The impact of the Founding Fathers on slavery... must be seen in the long run” (Freehling 82). Freehling also introduces other historians who oppose the idea that the fathers were even antislavery. On the contrary, "Scholars such as Robert McColley, Staughton Lynd, William Cohen, and Winthrop Jordan have assaulted every aspect of the old interpretation" (Freehling 81). Freehling goes on to include some key events such the congressional ordinance imposed by Jefferson in 1784, the Northwest Ordinance of 1787, and the African slave trade that navigated its way through ending slavery. After Jefferson’s plan was revoked, another attempt at ending slavery was quickly taken place. In 1787, three years after Jefferson was denied by a mere single vote, Congress passed The Northwest Ordinance which used some of his ideas. However this time, Congress finished the job by restricting slavery in the western territories. Freehling says, "The new law left bondage free to invade the Southwest. But without the Northwest Ordinance slavery might have crept into Illinois and Indiana as well."(Freehling 87). Another salient figure, Edward Coles also fought to keep this ordinance into effect. Freehling briefly mentions that Coles, “Narrowly defeated his proslavery rival in”. And “With Cole’s triumph slavery had again been restricted” (Freehling 87). One last key monumental moment that Freehling shows in his article, was the restriction of the African Slave Trade in 1808. This ensured that there wouldn’t be any more importation of slaves from Africa. Although the African...
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