흑인과 미국 인디언에 대한 토마스 제퍼슨의 부성(父性)을 표방한 백인우월주의-『버지니아주에 관한 비망록』을 중심으로
Thomas Jefferson's view of paternalistic White-superiority on blacks and American Idians
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 미국학연구소
- 미국학, Vol.24, pp. 119-137
- Thomas ]efferson, well-known for an author of the Declaration of American Independence and the third president of the United States, was one of the most gifted men ever to assume the tasks of democratic statesmanship. Nevertheless, he showed an ambiguous position on the slavery and incompatible values on the American Indians in his essays and letters. This paper critically exarnines the central dilemma of ]efferson' s overall cast of mind on the blacks and the American Indians centering on N otes on the State of Virginia. He exposed his intellectual awkwardness in attempting to straddle what was in fact a moral chasm between what he knew to be right and what he could not do without. In his Notes, Jefferson shows his opinion that the blacks are physically and mentally Ínferior to the whites and even to the Indians. Though he is strongly against the slavery, he reveals his extreme aversion to the incorporation of the blacks into the States because the deep rooted prejudices of the whites and recollections of the injuries sustained by the blacks will divide them into parties and produce convulsions which will probably never end but in the extermÍnation of the one or the other race. Thus ]efferson' s final solution on the problems caused by the blacks is that they should be cared for as foster children until more permanent and geographica11y distant accomodations could be found. As for the American Indians, Jefferson regards intermarriage between the Indians and the whites as the ultimate solution to the divisions and SusplclOns in his Notes. However, it was during Jefferson' s presidency that the basic decisions were made that required the deportation of massive segments of the lndian population to land west of the Mississippi. There could be no doubt that the Indians must face the stark choice of civilization or destruction. As he had no confidence in the Indians' capacity to make their own way, Jefferson thought that the responsibility for their future lay with the white man. He conveyed this message through the contrived form of linguistic primitivism to infantilize the Indians. Consequently, Jefferson s final solution to the slavery was to separate the blacks from the whites and Indians' final option forced by him was assimilation or extermination. But he had no place in his imagination for an American society of diverse cultures in which African Americans and Native Americans coexisted with the whites while retaining their own racial or ethnic values. As a representative of Anglo conformity, Jefferson exposes sexism and racism by showing paternalistic view on the blacks and American Indians.
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