A.P. U.S. History
ZINN CHAPTER 1, pp.1-11
1. According to Zinn, what is his main purpose for writing A People’s History of the United States?
a. The main purpose for Zinn’s writing was to offer a detailed account of U.S. history from the victim's point of view.
2. What is Zinn’s thesis for pages 1-11?
b. Zinn’s thesis on the first eleven pages describes past events as they happened. Zinn shows Columbus for who he really was not as a glorified hero as he usually is depicted. Instead Zinn showed him as violent and greedy.
3. According to Zinn, how is Columbus portrayed in traditional history books?
c. Columbus is usually portrayed as an enlightened, peaceful explorer who befriended the native people in traditional history books. Christopher Columbus, portrayed by Zinn is an agent of conquest with a lust for gold and other resources, or one who had the willingness to torture and kill others to obtain these goals.
4. Why does Zinn dispute Henry Kissinger’s statement: “History is the memory of states?”
d. Zinn thinks that no one should take the memory of their nation as their own because he states in his book that “Nations are not communities and never have been.”
5. What is Zinn’s basic criticism of historian Samuel Eliot Morison’s book, Christopher Columbus, Mariner?
e. Zinn, I believe, would criticize Morison for his Eurocentricity, for ignoring the native perspective, and for ignoring the impact that the European discovery and subsequent exploitation had on the indigenous population. He'd say Morison went overboard in his praise of Columbus. For Zinn, Columbus was a bad guy.
6. What major issues do Bartolome de las Casas bring up regarding Spanish expeditions in the Caribbean?
f. Las Casas was both an observer and a diarist or journalist. He saw what was going on, and he reported what he saw. I think he wanted better treatments of the Native...