Monday, July 06, 2020

Native Americans in the United States Declaration of Independence

In the United States Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson includes Native Americans in the list of the "repeated injuries" that characterize the "tyranny" inflicted on the colonies by King George III: "He [...] has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions." While accusing the Native Americans of mass murder, he constructs them as failing to make the distinctions that mark Jefferson and the colonizers as civilized, even as he himself makes no distinctions between them or about their alleged actions and thus positions the "Savages" for such "undistinguished destruction" themselves. (Andrew Shields, #111words, 6 July)

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