Essay Howard Zinn vs. George Wood

934 WordsMay 6, 20154 Pages
What is Gordon S. Wood’s argument and what is Howard Zinn’s argument on the nature of the American War for Independence and what evidence do the two historians present to support their interpretations? Who do you think presents the better case? Howard Zinn Howard Zinn’s argument on the nature of the American War for Independence was the war for independence was not a social revolution. Instead, he argues the colonial elite used the war for their own personal gain in power and status. The wealthy and powerful found a strategy to maintain and even increase their social and political status by leading the war against England and the courtiers associated with England. One of the major concerns during the time surrounding the War for…show more content…
Congress enlisted a small committee to write the Declaration of Independence. The language within the declaration “…was well suited to unite large numbers of colonists, and persuade even those who had grievances against one another to turn against England” (p. 251 para. 1). Many people were left out of the declaration because the main people targeted were white males. The small number of people actually included meant that few people could participate in government, which was nothing close to an actual democracy. The way the Declaration of Independence was wrote meant only about 15 percent of Americans gained full citizenship. In an article published in a 1973 issue of Maryland Historical Magazine, Linda Grant Depauw wrote that the American Revolution was about gaining and protecting the freedoms of white property-owning men – no other races, genders, ages, or social status. The other 80 percent of negroes, servants, women, and minors therefore had no “inalienable rights” from the Declaration. Besides not having rights, these individuals were unable to vote because they were not of the specified race, gender, or social status. During this time, Howard Zinn shows evidence of wealth equaling power since only property owning, white-males were entitled to inalienable rights and the right to participate in governmental affairs. Gordon S. Wood George S. Wood’s argument on the nature of the American War for

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