Southern History Series: All Men Are Created Equal

Have you ever wondered why the slaveowning South was so untroubled by the the phrase “all men are created equal” in the Declaration of Independence? How does that make any sense? The phrase “all men are created equal” seems pregnant with so much mischief.

Here is an excerpt on the Declaration of Independence from Robert Middlekauff’s The Glorious Cause: The American Revolution, 1763-1789:

“What Americans thought and felt about the declaration’s “truths” which are presented as “self-evident” – that all men “are endowed by their creator with inalienable rights,” among them “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” – is not clear. There was no immediate discussion in public of these claims; nor was there of the contention that all men were “created equal.” Thomas Jefferson wrote those words and though at the time, and since, no great originality was attributed to them and to the substance of the declaration, the declaration may in fact have possessed more originality than anyone suspected.”

At the time, the phrase “all men are created equal” wasn’t considered remarkable in the colonies. The Founding Fathers bitterly disagreed on all sorts of issues. Why wasn’t this controversial? It had become extremely controversial by the time of the War Between the States.

Here’s an excerpt from John Richard Allen’s book The South In The Revolution, 1763-1789:

“In view of later and continuing debate over the meaning of Jefferson’s immoral propositions that “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” it may be asked: why was there not objection to them on the ground that, by implication at least, they denounced Negro slavery? It may be conceived that delegates did not necessarily observe the implication, that they did not think Negro slaves to be included in the word “men,” that they were not them inclined to quibble and quarrel seriously about definitions, that many of them, whether from New England or the South, if aware of the implication, would have considered it acceptable. Certainly, sentiment against both the slave trade and slavery itself was increasing, not only in Virginia but far to the southward.”

Oh … well that makes sense.

The implication that black slaves were entitled to equal rights wasn’t obvious to the Founding Fathers because negroes didn’t qualify as “men.” They weren’t interested in arguing over the word “men.” Slaves were at that time were more commonly thought of as property.

We’re not accustomed to looking at blacks and thinking of them as our property. Slavery has been dead for so long that it is difficult for us to see the world through that paradigm. The idea that slavery is immoral was one of the fashionable enlightened ideas of the late 18th century. When the Founding Fathers used the phrase “all men are created equal,” they were thinking in terms of monarchy vs. republicanism. It wasn’t a divisive issue because the Founders were all republicans.

About Hunter Wallace 9118 Articles
Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Occidental Dissent

15 Comments

  1. The Declaration of Independence was written by a Virginian and New Englanders at that time did not give damn about what was in it.

    David Hackett Fischer wrote,

    “Many years later, historian George Bancroft asked a New England townsman why he and his friends took up arms in the Revolution. Had he been inspired by the ideas of John Locke? The old soldier confessed that he had never heard of Locke. Had he been moved by Thomas Paine’s Common Sense? The honest Yankee admitted that he had never read Tom Paine. Had the Declaration of Independence made a difference? The veteran thought not. When asked to explain why he fought in his own words, he answered simply that New Englanders had always managed their own affairs, and Britain tried to stop them, and so the war began.”

  2. ” . . . When the Founding Fathers used the phrase “all men are created equal,” they were thinking in terms of monarchy vs. republicanism. It wasn’t a divisive issue because the Founders were all republicans.”

    Excellent summation of Jefferson’s text which has unfortunately caused more harm over the years through misapplication and lack of context than all the words of Marx’s Communist Manifesto.

  3. Jefferson redeemed himself when he wrote, “Nothing is more unequal than the equal treatment of unequal people.”

    • No, he actually didn’t. He sperged out and put the equality statement in an official public founding document, while “nothing is more unequal than the equal treatment of unequal people” into the text of his writing somewhere else, where it has zero impact on the real world.

  4. The traditional interpretation of this passage is that it was a rejection of the concept of a noble class above the common citizen.

      • Two points.

        1) Niggers aren’t Adamic Men. They are, at best, the ‘beast of the field’ as Scripture calls them.
        See also (if you can find it- his website is not at the old url!) Solomon Enaboakpe’s
        “Black Man: Not descendant of Adam”
        https://www.accessify.com/s/solomonenaboakpe.com
        https://www.amazon.com/BLACK-MAN-NOT-DESCENDANT-ADAM/dp/9785341909/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=Black+man%3A+not+descendant+of+Adam&qid=1565092712&s=books&sr=1-1

        FYI:
        “The word behemah describes “beasts” who have boils on their bodies, who have hands, who could lie down with a woman to have sex with her, who have a conscience, who are put to death for violating God’s Law, who have possessions which can be sold or redeemed, who hold authority which can be taken away, who have feet, who are inhabitants of cities, who God promises to crossbreed with Israelites and Judahites, who can be hired, who are kept in tents, who can cry mightily to God, who can turn away from evil, who wear sackcloth, whose seed Jeremiah predicted would be mixed with the House of Israel, the House of Judah, and man [read: the people of the land], none of which any four legged animal on the planet is capable of.

        The word chay describes “beasts” who are allowed to eat from the corners of your field, who are evil, and who can prevent Israelites from passing through the land.

        Only homo sapiens have such traits and capabilities to this day. There are species of humans who are not of “Adam”, which means “ruddy” or to blush. Thus the word “beast” can describe only homo sapiens who are not of the Adamic [read: Caucasoid] race but who do have similar but not equal physical and intellectual traits.” – https://fathersmanifesto.net/beast.htm

        2.) the fallacy of democracy is that: the retard is my equal, the atheist is my equal, and the Jew is my equal. All of which, are false, both ontologically and demonstrably, in God’s eyes. And clearly was NOT believed by Jefferson, who owned chattel slave niggers, and was justified in doing so!

        “Popular does not mean realistic, and so it should surprise no one that these popular ideas work out poorly in reality. Declaring equality creates a central authority designed to implement reality, and it needs absolute power without accountability, which means that it attracts the worst of humanity.’
        http://www.amerika.org/politics/egalitarian-societies-always-turn-into-wastelands/

        Both the Bible, and the witness of history, approve of (yea, even command) an Aristos to lead, and a Plebs class to work, and a Soldier class to guard. That is the only VALID form of government, and the entire world today is in the mess it is, precisely because We Americans led people to adopt ‘our values.’

        Well, our ‘values’ (as HW noted of Blormpf in a previous column) are now those of GloboHomoSchlomo. In short, ANATHEMA.

  5. Maybe that document should’ve stated all WHITE men are created equal. It still would’ve been inaccurate but closer to the mark.

  6. The Declaration is merely an diplomatic address to the Crown and Parliament, and to the powers and potentates of Europe.

    It carries no more legal weight than a letter by the Present to the Prime Minister of Japan, does.

    However, the egalitarians have taken it as some kind of pre-preamble to the Constitution. Or as some kind of supplement or concordance to it.
    Which it is not.

    Jefferson should have burned his copy, afterwards. But in all fairness to him, he couldn’t foresee the misuses it’d be put to. He simply took it for granted that “all men” meant Englishmen or White men, since he wasn’t addressing the Caliphs, Moguls, Emperors, Kings and Chiefs of Africa, Asia and Amerindia.

    • James Owen,

      That is how I always understood the passage and intent as well.

      Using Jefferson’s “All men are created equal ” line has been exploited by the marxists and abolitionists to push their egalitarilitarism agendas and paint Jefferson as a hypocrite.

      What a cohencidence that the Founding Fathers are under constant deconstruction and revisionism, but the holohoax fable is so sacrosanct that even veering off the (((official narrative))) is considered a crime in some countries.

      Blasphemous attacks on the achievements of Europeans has become the certified kosher ‘Soma’ of the West, and unfortunately, both Gentiles and the ‘other’ cannot consume enough of these poisonous lies.

  7. The implication that black slaves were entitled to equal rights wasn’t obvious to the Founding Fathers because negroes didn’t qualify as “men.” They weren’t interested in arguing over the word “men.” Slaves were at that time were more commonly thought of as property.

    The implication that black slaves were entitled to equal rights with free white men was never even a serious consideration to the founding fathers because the idea of perfect equality between men so obviously unequal as African blacks and European whites was and is absurd on its face. Blacks weren’t unequal because of slavery; they were slaves because of inequality between the races. Another way of putting it is that slavery wasn’t the cause of the inferiority of the black man; the inferiority of the black – his incapacity for civilized behavior and self-government – was the cause of his condition as a slave. Here is Robert Lewis Dabney (in The New South) explaining what the founders meant by these terms and phrases:

    But this century has seen all this reversed; and conditions of human society have grown up, which make the system of our free forefathers obviously impracticable in the future. And this is so, not because the old forms were not good enough for this day, but because they were too good for it.

    1. I would place as the first of these adverse conditions the silent substitution, under the same nomenclature, of another theory of human rights, in contrast with, and hostile to, that of our fathers.

    Those wise men did indeed believe in a certain equality of all men; but it was that which the British constitution (whose principles they inherited) was wont to express by the maxim: that every British citizen “was equal before the law.” The particular franchises of the peer and the peasant were very unequal, but in this important respect the two men were “equal before the law,” that the peasant’s smaller franchises were protected by the same law which shielded the peer’s larger one. This is the equality of the golden rule, the equality of that Bible which ordained the constitution of human society out of superiors, inferiors and equals; the equality of the inspired Job (ch. 31:13–15) who in the very act of asserting his right to his slave, added: “Did not he that made me make him? If I did despise the cause of my man-servant or my maid-servant when they contended with me, what then shall I do when God riseth up?” This is the equality which is thoroughly consistent with that wide diversity of natural capacities, virtues, station, sex, inherited possessions, which inexorable fact discloses everywhere and by means of which social organization is possible.

    But in place of this, the equality taught by Hampden, Vane, Pym, Melville, and the Whigs of 1776, our modern politician now teaches, under the same name, the equality of the Jacobin, of the “Sans culotte.” which absurdly claims for every human the same specific powers and rights. Yes, your Greeley teaches, as the equality of Republicanism, the very doctrine of the frantic Leveller Lilburn, whose book these great English Republicans caused (not your tyrannical Stuart but the commonwealth’s-men) to be burned in London by the common hangman!

    Our fathers valued liberty, but the liberty for which they contended was each person’s privilege to do those things and those only to which God’s law and Providence gave him a moral right. The liberty of nature which your modern asserts is absolute license: the privilege of doing whatever a corrupt will craves, except as this license is curbed by a voluntary “social contract.” The fathers of our country could have adopted the sublime words of Melville: Lex: Rex. The Law is king. Or have said with Sir Wm. Jones:

    Men constitute a State:
    And sovereign Law, that State’s collected will.
    O’er thrones and globes elate.
    Sits Empress, crowning good, repressing ill.
    Smit by her sacred frown.
    The fiend (Construction) Discretion like a vapor sinks,
    And even the all-dazzling crown.
    Hides his faint rays, and at her bidding shrinks.

    But now, by this new Republicanism, the supreme law is the will or caprice of what happens to be the major mob, the suggestion of the demagogue who is most artful to seduce.

    These are a few items of the new creed, which has stolen the nomenclature of the old. Since it is a theory at all essential points antagonistic to the old, its prevalence cannot but supplant those sound institutions which were the natural outgrowth of the orthodox doctrine.

  8. exactly… the ‘then’ definition of ‘Man/Men’ … was Euro descendant, freeborn, land owning. shame more don’t understand this distinction. so much grief/BS….

  9. The Bible says Man was created in God’s image: Genesis 1:26. The word Man in Genesis 1:26 & Genesis 2:7 & means Adam. Strong’s definition of Adam means RUDDY, man who shows blood in the face and is able to blush. Strong’s H119 & H120.

    Genesis 5:1 says: “This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him. The Race of Adam is White & Ruddy.

    The Song of Solomon in verse 5:10 is used as a type for Christ: “My beloved is White and Ruddy, the chiefest among ten thousand.”

    Man = White society or people. 1994 Merriam Webster Dictionary page 445.

Comments are closed.