Zinn and Johnson

Topics: United States, Social class, Social status Pages: 3 (900 words) Published: July 21, 2010
Historian Howard Zinn doesn’t believe that Americans were civilized in terms of sex and national origin. He views the United States from 1865 to 1900 as oppressed and racist. Many examples are presented in his book “A people’s History of the United States”, one of the examples he presents and perhaps one of the most important is that in 1877 the industrial and political elites of North and South would take hold of the country and organize the greatest march of economic growth in human history (Zinn, 253). Zinn views this country as unorganized because of the working strike, they oppressed minorities to do the work to built and stabilize the economy of this country. The separation of labor between black and whites is what emphasizes the idea of oppression in the United States during this period. Between the Civil War and 1900, steam and electricity replaced human muscle (Zinn, 253). The creation of new machines soon began to change farming. Huge supplies of human beings were needed to test out these new machines that were backbreaking, unhealthful, and dangerous work. This shows how the United States only cared about social status, inventors were not to adjust or work the new machines, and therefore, people from a lower economic status, such as immigrants from Europe and China, would come to the United States and take the risks. An additional example of the change that occurred during this time period was the construction of the first transcontinental railroad which was built with blood, sweat, and politics ( Zinn, 254). Americans felt they were superior and submitted three thousand Irish and ten thousand Chinese to built the railroads for only about one or two dollars a day. Many workers died because of the heat and the war that was being held by the Indians that opposed the invasion of the territory ( Zinn, 255). Political standings also played a big role in the social injustice. The wild fraud on the railroads led to more control of railroad finances by...
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