An analysis of howard zinns book a peoples history of the united states

Even though he admits that the persecuted can be cruel to one another, Zinn will focus, by and large, on the commonalities and alliances between the persecuted, rather than their differences.

In all, Indian cultures of the New World were remarkably different from European culture: Nathaniel Bacon led a revolution against Virginia governor William Berkeley and his conciliatory Indian policies. Using the gold that explorers stole, European nation-states were able to finance a new form of society: If your value as a human being is measured by the number of lives you ruin, people you kill, and civilizations you destroy, then Columbus is on par with Josef Stalin.

Active Themes Too many historians treat American history as a list of heroic, larger-than-life people: As for free white settlers, many of them were skilled craftsmen, or even men of leisure back in England, who were so little inclined to work the land that John Smith… had to declare a kind of martial law, organize them into work gangs, and force them into the fields for survival….

While most history books focus on the dominating Europeans, Zinn focuses on the dominated Native Americans, who Zinn holds to be at least as advanced as their European masters. Bacon and others who lived on the western frontier wanted more protection from the government against Indian attacks.

To be notified when we launch a full study guide, please contact us. Thus, we must question the assumption that the Europeans were morally justified in conquering the Indians. Many Indian tribes were egalitarian, with minor differences between the rich and poor.

He had intended to sail to Asia; he was lucky that he found North America in the middle of his voyage, since, otherwise, he and his crew would have starved.

Dr. Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States: Summary & Analysis

It was there that Europeans and Native Americans first came into contact; the Arawak natives came out to greet the whites, and the whites were only interested in finding the gold. Servants and slaves of different races saw each other as oppressed workers first and as members of a specific race second.

This example may seem extreme, but both men were directly responsible for the deaths of millions on innocent civilians and caused sheer terror and panic among millions of other people.

Active Themes Why, Zinn asks, are we so sure that the Indian culture that the Europeans destroyed was inferior to European culture? Full study guide for this title currently under development.

But of course, this excuse ignores the basic greed and acquisitiveness of the European colonists: Zinn sees it as the duty of the historian not simply to relay what happened, but to remedy the marginalization that persecuted people have experienced, both in history and in history books.

A People’s History of the United States Summary

Needless to say, the colonists won, but it was at the expense of several dozen of their own and thousands of Pequots.

For instance, starting with chapter six, Zinn illustrates the women who fought against inequality, listing names such as Anne Hutchinson, Margaret Fuller and Sojourner Truth.

They had ingenious agricultural and navigational techniques, and, thousands of years before Christ, they developed irrigation canals, ceramics, and weaving.

Zinn tells this story from the perspective of the Arawak, noting how Columbus, from his first days in the Bahamas, aimed to subjugate the Arawak.

Meanwhile, class distinctions became sharper and the poor grew in number. Otherwise, he and other historians would be implicitly accepting murder and violence. As a result, ordinary people may come to accept violence as basic parts of history, and, perhaps, of the present, too.

The tone and structure of this opening passage suggests that this book will study familiar historical events from an unfamiliar perspective: Inthe New Englanders won, having slaughtered some three thousand Indians. They could not capture them and keep them enslaved; the Indians were tough, resourceful, defiant, and at home in these woods, as the transplanted Englishmen were not.

Retrieved September 27, The next couple of chapters follow the concept of tyranny, classism, and the American revolution, which was set about by the Founding Fathers, who used war to immobilize movements and distract the American public of the failing economy.

Zinn commiserates with the plight of the oppressed frontier whites, making Nathaniel Bacon out to be a hero. Zinn continues his identification with the oppressed as he discusses black-white relations.

The growth of the Western industrialized world was intimately tied to the persecution of indigenous peoples in the New World—and, for that matter, to people in other undeveloped parts of the world, especially Africa, Asia, and South America. But despite Indian conflict, exposure, starvation, famine, disease, and other hardships, the English kept coming to America.

Columbus committed horrible atrocities, and Zinn accurately portrays them from a unique standpoint, which gives long overdue respect and recognition to the millions of Indians who died in the name of progress.Dr.

Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States might be better titled A Proletarian’s History of the United States. In the first three chapters Zinn looks at not only the history of the conquerors, rulers, and leaders; but also the history of the enslaved, the oppressed, and the led.

A People’s History of the United States, Present By Howard Zinn. Index 1. Columbus, The Indians, and Human Progress 2. Drawing the Color Line informed people of his time, he knew the world was round and he could sail west in order to in his fifties, began a multivolume History of the Indies.

In it, he describes the Indians. A People's History of the United States, by Howard Zinn Words | 6 Pages. Zinn in his book “A People’s History of the United States,’’ handles various issues. This one-page guide includes a plot summary and brief analysis of A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn.

Howard Zinn is known most as a civil rights leader, an anti-war activist, and an award-winning playwright. What liberated Zinn from Silber’s fist was the publication of A People’s History of the United States in The book sold well and garnered an American Book Award nomination.

Need help with Chapter 1: Columbus, the Indians, and Human Progress in Howard Zinn's A People’s History of the United States? Check out our revolutionary side-by-side summary and analysis. A People’s History of the United States Chapter 1: Columbus, the Indians, and Human Progress Summary & Analysis from LitCharts | The creators of SparkNotes.

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An analysis of howard zinns book a peoples history of the united states
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