The History of he United States from the Viewpoint of the People: 1492-Present

1345 Words6 Pages
“What we learn about the past doesn’t give us absolute truth about the present, but it may cause us to look deeper than the glib statements made by political leaders, and the ‘experts’ quoted in the press,” states author Howard Zinn (684). Throughout this book, Zinn portrays to the readers the history of the United States from the viewpoint of the people, not just from the rich, but also from the destitute. As Zinn informed, the book is skeptical of governments and their attempts to entrap ordinary people, through politics and culture, in a ‘nationhood’ pretending to be of a common interest (10). He does not only take the side of the oppressed but convey’s history from both sides. Zinn shows us the innocent of the bad, and the bad of the…show more content…
Columbus took out an entire race of people, yet no one questioned it. Whhy? Because he found a new continent, and with that continent came gold. Spain and other countries sought gold because it was more useful than land (2). Gold was the mark of wealth because it could buy anything (2). Gold was not the only valuable thing on this island, the natives were known for their hospitality and their belief in sharing (1). The Arawaks were taken advantage of again and again until there were none left.
Throughout history, cultures that are different are often seen as inferior, especially when that judgement is practical and profitable to those seen as superior. Blacks had been stamped as slaves for a hundred years, so why consider them as anything but? Even the religious believed the slave trade was ok (30-31). The U.S. government’s support of slavery was based on an overpowering practicality (117). Any emphasis on “natural” racism lightens the responsibility on the social system (30-31). The government wasn’t often to blame for racism, because it was a normal part of society. A complex web of threads to enslave blacks, as Zinn describes, is historical and not natural (38). Not all whites were against black and white relations. There had to have been some connection between blacks and whites. The fact that laws had to be passed to forbid such
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