CHAPTER 1: "Columbus, the Indians, and Human Progress" (pp. 1-11)
1. According to Zinn, what is his main purpose for writing A People's History of the United States?
To tell history from the viewpoint of the victims and not overlooking what the country has done to become what they are today. It includes the cruelty and hardships the people had to go through.
2. What is Zinn's thesis for pages 1-11?
He will be as blunt as he can to show what history has hidden from people. To tell history from the victim's point of view, thus the title, a people's history.
3. According to Zinn, how is Columbus portrayed in traditional history books?
He is portrayed as a hero for discovering the United States. They barely mention in detail what happened to the Indians and what they had to go through,. All that matters is that he discovered the land that is called America now. They justify what was done.
4. Why does Zinn dispute Henry's Kissinger's statement: "History is the memory of states?"
Kissinger's statement came from a the leaders' point of view. The people who won. Zinn wants to show history through the minds of the nations and communities that lost. If history is seen through the state's point of view, it is neglecting the viewpoint of the victims.
5. What is Zinn's basic criticism of historian Samuel Eliot Morison's book, Christopher Columbus, Mariner?
Columbus used Christ as an excuse to continue his cruelty towards the Natives. The only thing that was pure about him was his seamanship.
6. What major issues does Bartolome de las Casas bring up regarding Spanish expeditions in the Caribbean?
He describes what the Spanish expeditions are doing to the Native Americans who live in the area. He also wrote about how the Natives used to live before the Spanish came. He describes their cruelty and how inhumane it is.
7. Identify one early and one subsequent motive that drove Columbus to oppress indigenous