During the Revolutionary Era the natural rights philosophy with its universalist assertion that all men had a natural right to be free seemed to argue strongly for an end to Negro slavery. In his study of the origins and meaning of black debasement in America, Winthrop Jordan argued that white Americans of the Revolutionary generation could hardly escape the realization that they were indulging a monstrous inconsistency when they insisted on liberty for themselves while denying it to a largely black group in their very midst.
Levesque, George A. and Baumgarten, Nikola A.
""A Monstrous Inconsistency": Slavery, Ideology and Politics in the Age of the American Revolution,"
Contributions in Black Studies: Vol. 8
, Article 4.
Available at: http://scholarworks.umass.edu/cibs/vol8/iss1/4