Why Was The Passage About Slavery Removed From The Declaration of Independence?

The passage about slavery removed or deleted from the Declaration of Independence because back then it was a very controversial matter.

Chances were high, this controversy could weaken the revolution by dividing slaveholders on one side and non-slaveholders on the other side.

Short Answer:

  • Congress had no time to debate over this issue.
  • Leaders feared offending slaveholders.
  • It could lead Southern states to completely abandon the revolution.
  • Colonists’ leaders didn’t want to take any risk of losing the chance of achieving freedom from British rule.

Let me explain to you briefly, why and how?


At the time when the freedom struggle of 13 colonies was going on, machines were not used so much in the production system of America.

Industrial Revolution had yet some time to touch the continent of America.

Therefore human labor was the main way of the production system and for fulfilling it, people mostly used black slaves captured from the African continent.

All in all, we can say the 13 colonies’ economies were fully dependent upon slavery.

Especially, we found the southern states’ economies had deep reliance on it.

In the year 1776, Thomas Jefferson drafted the first draft of the Declaration of Independence, where he tried to raise the issue.

As the declaration described all human beings’ life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; he also had to include slaves’ issues too.

He mentioned it as a crime against humanity and blamed the British government and King George for encouraging it through the transatlantic.

When other delegates reviewed his draft, they decided to remove the clause.

They found the reasons were something like this:

  • If they raise this matter in Congress, then it would take too much time to come to a proper solution. And Congress had no time for that.
  • Chances were high; it would make slaveholders offend and the states in the south could abandon their support from the revolution.
  • The third reason was, colonists’ leaders didn’t want to take any risk to lose the chance to get freedom from the rule of Great Britain.


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