Howard Zinn Questions

Topics: Slavery, American Revolution, United States Pages: 2 (683 words) Published: August 25, 2013
CHAPTER I 1. According to Zinn, what is his main purpose for writing A People’s History of the United States? 2. What is Zinn’s thesis for pages 1-11? 3. According to Zinn, how is Columbus portrayed in traditional history books? 4. Why does Zinn dispute Henry Kissinger’s statement: “History is the memory of states?” 5. Identify one early and one subsequent motive that drove Columbus to oppress indigenous peoples. 6. What was the ultimate fate of the Arawak Indians? 7. What were the major causes of war between the Powhatans and the English settlers? 8. What ultimately happened to the estimated 10 million Indians living in North America at the time of Columbus’ arrival? 9. Evaluate the statement: “If there are sacrifices to be made for human progress, is it not essential to hold to the principle that those to be sacrificed must make the decision themselves?” 10. How does Zinn attempt to prove that the Indians were not inferior? Provide examples. CHAPTER II 1. According to Zinn, what is the root of racism in America? 2. Why were Africans considered “better” slaves than Indians in Virginia? 3. How did 16th century Africa compare to 16th century Europe politically, economically, and militarily? 4. How did slavery in Africa differ from slavery in Europe and the Americas? 5. Describe the conditions that slaves on ships coming to America (“Middle Passage”). 6. In terms of mortality, what was the cost of slavery? 7. What was the relationship between slavery and the plantation system? 8. What evidence exists that America’s slaves did not accept their fate easily? 9. Why did slave owners fear poor whites? CHAPTER III 1. What is Zinn’s thesis in this chapter? 2. What was the underlying cause of Bacon’s Rebellion? 3. Explain indentured servitude (also known as the “headright system”). 4. How did the voyage of indentured servants to America compare with the “Middle Passage.” 5. What generally happened to indentured servants after they became free? 6. In what ways had a class...
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