Essay on Howard Zinn Chapter 1 Study Questions

678 Words Feb 26th, 2014 3 Pages
Zinn Chapter 1- Study questions
1. 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
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2. Africans were considered “better” slaves because they were helpless compared to the Indians who were at home in the Americas and could escape much easier than the blacks that were now alone in a strange place.
3. 16th century Africa was politically similar to 16th century Europe, with a form of feudalism, except they also had a strong tribal presence. Africa also impressed the Europeans with their well-built economic structure and the trade within cities. Europe greatly overpowered Africa militarily however, with better guns and ships.
4. Slavery in Africa was very similar to the peasants in Europe, which was a hard, laborious life (yet still having the ability marry, own property, etc.), however very different from the American slavery where all rights were denied and slavery was lifelong.
5. The conditions on the Middle Passage were horrible. The space allotted to each slave was often too small to move the shoulders and the neck and legs were chained down. Many slaves died on the voyage and never made it out of the hull of the slave ships.
6. The slave trade in North America originated because plantation owners in the South need large amounts of cheap labor and there was not enough European servants coming to the Americas.
7. It is estimated that 10 to 15 million African blacks died due to slavery by 1800. Africans had turned on each other, capturing rival tribes to be taken to slave traders in
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