Zinn Chapter 1- Study questions
Howard Zinn explains that his purpose as a historian and his purpose for writing A People’s History of the United States, is to tell history from the view points of the forgotten members of history, such as the Cubans during the Spanish-American War. 2.
Zinn’s thesis for pages 1-11 talks about how history only tells itself from the viewpoint of the rulers and victors. Zinn’s goal is to tell about history from the viewpoint of the victims, such as the fate of the Arawak Indians when Columbus landed in the Americas. 3.
Zinn says that Columbus is traditionally portrayed as a world hero, who was the great and admirable discover of the Americas. 4.
Zinn disputes Henry Kissinger’s statement “History is the memory of states” because he feels the lower class, forgotten races, and unknown names that all shaped our past and helped create our current world are ignored by this statement. 5.
Columbus was originally driven to oppress the natives because he saw they could be sent back as slaves for the Spanish. Later on, Columbus further oppressed the natives because of his determination to find gold and repay his investors. 6.
The Arawak people are ultimately wiped out entirely by Columbus. 7.
Governor Winthrop stated that the Indian’s only had “natural law” of the land, not “civil law”. The Puritans also looked to Psalms 2:8 and Romans 13:2 as justification for taking the land from the Indians. 8.
The English preferred the trick the Indians into thinking they had peaceful motives and then massacring the unarmed Indians. 9.
Rodger Williams said that the English justified their attacks by saying they were preventative and they were in need of the land. 10.
Ultimately, the 10 million Indians were mostly wiped out due to the European presence in the Americas. 11.
Zinn tried to prove the Indians were not inferior people by stating how the societies had advanced in agriculture, language, construction, and religion. Zinn Chapter 2 Study...
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