Howard Zinn, A People’s History Assignment

The Text: Howard Zinn, A People’s History of the United States 1492-Present

• A copy isavailable online via: http://www.historyisaweapon.com/zinnapeopleshistory.html

Assignment Instructions:

• Read the selected chapters of the text (CHAPTERS 1 – 9)

•  Respond to all thequestions for each chapter in complete sentences. ( 10 questions total)

•  Make sure yourresponses are in order by chapter.  Each response should fully address thequestion—even if it takes 1-3 paragraphs, you need to address the question.

Chapter 1:Columbus, the Indians, and Human Progress

1. Why did Zinn choose to write this bookand take the perspective that he has?

2.  According toZinn, what is the sacrifice of human progress?

Chapter 2:Drawing the Color Line

1. How did slavery develop? How did racismdevelop along with it?

2. Why was it feared that whites would joinslave revolts? How was this prevented?

Chapter 3:Persons of Mean and Vile Condition

1. Analyze the statement “It seems quite clear thatclass lines hardened through the colonial period; the distinction between richand poor became sharper.” (Describe the role and makeup of the elite, middleand lower classes and how the upper classes maintained control.)

Chapter 4:Tyranny is Tyranny

1.Explain the phrase “Tyranny is tyranny let it come from whom it may” by usingthe evidence that Zinn offers throughout the chapter.

Chapter 5: AKind of Revolution

1.How did the various groups in colonial society respond to the movement forRevolution and how did the war add to the conflict between the rich and poor?

Chapter 6: TheIntimately Oppressed

1.Howwere the lives of early American women different from the lives of women whocame to the Americas from Europe?

Chapter7: As Long as Grass Grows or Water Runs

1.In your opinion, was removal of Native Americans necessary for the progress ofAmerican civilization? In other words, did the end justify the means? Make sureyou engage with the text to support your ideas.

Chapter 8:Chapter 9: Slavery Without Submission, Emancipation Without Freedom

1.How does Zinn argue that the Civil War was not really fought over the moralissue of slavery, but rather the economic issue of slavery?







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