Alana Walker August 15, 2011 Mrs. Booth zinn chapter 1

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Alana Walker

August 15, 2011

Mrs. Booth
1. According to Zinn, what is his main purpose for writing A People’s History of the United States?

A: to tell vivid descriptions in history that usually gets ignored. Zinn tries to bring out the positive part in the truth.

2. What is Zinn’s thesis for pages 1-11?
A: Zinn’s thesis is to not grieve for the victims and denounce the executioners.

3. According to Zinn, how is Columbus portrayed in traditional history books?

A: As a great hero that discovered the Americas but was willing to do anything to get what he wanted.

4. Why does Zinn dispute Henry Kissinger’s statement: “History is the memory of states?”

A: because Zinn thinks that we must not accept the memory of states as our own. Zinn’s argument was not against selection, simplification, and emphasis, but his argument was against the mapmakers distortion. Zinn says that it is a technical necessity for a common purpose shared by all who need maps.

5. What is Zinn’s basic criticism of historian Samuel Eliot Morison’s book, Christopher Columbus, Mariner?

A: Zinn feels that Morrison mentions the truth quickly and goes on to things more important to him. He feels that Morrison tries to cover the bad things in history up with good things that have happened.

6. What major issues does Bartolome de las Casas bring up regarding Spanish expeditions in the Caribbean?

A: The major issues Batolome de las Casas bring up is Spanish cruelty towards the Indian people.

7. Identify one early and one subsequent motive that drove Columbus to oppress indigenous peoples.

A: one early and subsequent motive that drove Columbus to oppress indigenous peoples was that in return for bringing back gold and spices Columbus was promised 10 percent of the profits, governorship over new-found lands, and the fame that would go with the title: Admiral of the Ocean Sea. So he oppressed the Indian people thinking they knew where the gold was, because gold was a sign of wealth.

8. What was the ultimate fate of the Arawak Indians?

A: Columbus found the Arawak Indians and kept them as prisoners in the ship because he insisted they would lead him to a source of gold. Most of the Arawak Indians died on the ship because of the cold. Many more were killed after Columbus promised the king gold and slaves. The Arawak Indians were given impossible tasks and as punishment for not completing them, they were killed until eventually none were left

9. What was the significance of Quetzalcoatl?

A: The significance of the Quetzalcoatl was that the Aztecs thought that Hernando Cortes was a legendary Aztec man-god that had died three hundred years before promising to return the Quetzalcoatl so they trusted him and welcomed him into their Aztec society by showering him with gold and silver. The Aztecs did not think the Spanish were there to hurt them at all.

10. Compare the strategies and motives underlying the conquest of the Aztecs by Cortez and the conquest of the Incas by Pizzaro.

A: Pizarro killed mass numbers of people in Peru using the same tactics Cortez did, and he did for the same reasons. Pizarro and Cortez destroyed nations for gold, slaves, products of the soil, to pay bond and stock holders of the expeditions, to finance the monarchial bureaucracies rising in Western Europe, to spur the growth of the new money economy rising out of feudalism, and to participate in “the primitive accumulation of capital.”

11. What were the major causes of war between the Powhatans and the English settlers?

A: (1) When English settlers first arrived in Virginia one of the Indians stole a small silver cup and Richard Greenville sacked and burned a whole Indian village over it. (2) Jamestown (an English colony) was set up inside Indian confederacy led by Indian chief Powhatan. (3) When Powhatan refused to return the runaway English men that went to the Indians to seek refuge during the starving period, the English killed some Indians, cut down corn, burned houses, and took the queen of the tribe and killed her and her children. (4) The Indians went on a rampage killing 347 English men, women, and children.

12. Discuss the significance of Powhatan’s statement, “Why will you take by force what you may have quietly by love?”

A: He means that he and his people will willingly give the English whatever they wanted with love and care as long as they came in friendly manner, so why fight for things that you can have by starting war and destroying people and possessions.

13. Explain Governor John Winthrop’s legal and biblical justification for seizing Indian land.

A: The simplistic answer is the fact that the Pequot's and Narragansett tribes failed to "subdue" their land. By subdue they mean fence in their land for agricultural and ranching purposes. Then he said that a “natural right” did not have legal standing, meaning that their rights did not matter because to them they were not people.

14. Explain the main tactic of warfare used by the English against the Indians.

A: They used a tactic used by Cortes and later, in the twentieth century, even more systematically: deliberate attacks on noncombatants for the purpose of terrorizing the enemy.

15. According to Roger Williams, how did the English usually justify their attacks on the Indians?

A: All men of conscience or prudence ply to windward, to maintain their wars be defensive.

16. What ultimately happened to the estimated 10 million Indians living in North America at the time of Columbus’ arrival?

A: The 10 million Indians living in North America at the time of Columbus’ arrival was reduced to less than a million. Huge numbers of Indians would die from diseases introduced by the whites.
17. 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?”
A: This statement means that in order for things to progress in move forward sometimes certain sacrifices have to be made in order to keep pushing forward, but in order for certain sacrifices to be made you have to think on it to make better decisions.

  1. How does Zinn attempt to prove that the Indians were not inferior? Provide examples.

A: Zinn attempts to prove that the Indians were not inferior by stating all of their accomplishments that were made without the help of the English such as building large terraced buildings, nestled in among cliffs and mountains to protect them from enemies, before European explorers Indians were already using irrigation canals, dams, were doing ceramics, weaving baskets, and making cloth out of cotton.


  1. According to Zinn, what is the root of racism in America?

A: The color of skin. The problem of “the color line.”

  1. Why were Africans considered “better” slaves than Indians in Virginia?

A: Africans were considered “better” slaves than Indians because they were stronger, could tolerate disease, knew how to farm and grow crops, and they were more obedient than the Indians were. Whites were outnumbered by Indians and faced retaliation if they attempted to enslave them and slaves were resourceful in their home land while whites were at a disadvantage.

3. How did 16th century Africa compare to 16th century Europe politically, economically, and militarily?

A: 16th century Africa’s political system was the same as 16th century Europe’s. They both practiced Feudalism and it was based on agriculture, and hierarchies of lords and vassals.

Economically: 16th century Africa (like 16th century Europe) was big on farming.

Militarily: Militarily, Europeans had superior firearms but were unable to subdue Africans in the interior.

  1. How did slavery in Africa differ from slavery in Europe and the Americas?

A: Slavery in Africa differed from slavery in the Americas because in Europe and Americas they had indentured servants that could eventually work off their freedom, but they were treated. Slavery in Africa was different, because slaves in Africa were more like the serfs in Europe. They made up most of the population and they had harsh servitude, but they also had rights.

  1. Describe the conditions that slaves on ships coming to America (“Middle Passage”).

A: They were packed in spaces not much bigger than coffins, chained together in the dark, wet slime of the ship’s bottom, and they choked in the stench of their own feces. They could not turn around or even on their sides due to the chains and cramped spacing. They were chained to the decks by their necks or legs. They often died of suffocation or killed each other just to breathe.

6. What was the position of the Catholic church in Portugal vis-à-vis slavery?
A: The Catholic church did not know if the capture, transport, and enslavement of African blacks was legal by church doctrine. Therefore, they did not believe slave trading was morally correct.

  1. In terms of mortality, what was the cost of slavery?

A: Africa lost about 50 million human beings to death and slavery.

  1. What was the relationship between slavery and the plantation system.

A: The relationship between slavery and the plantation system was that the plantation system was steadily growing so the need for slaves grew as well.

  1. What evidence exists that America’s slaves did not accept their fate easily?

A: There were numerous slave revolts. Many slaves tried running away. They revolted against their owners and tried best to hold on to what little of their culture they had left including their families.

  1. Why did slave owners fear poor whites?

A: Because poor white’s just like blacks could rebel against rich white plantation owners. The rich feared that the poor whites and blacks would join forces and rebel together.

1. What is Zinn’s thesis in this chapter?
A: As the colonial period progressed, a distinct class structure developed, creating tension between poor and rich whites. Rich and powerful whites eventually discovered useful means of manipulating the classes beneath them to suit their own needs by deflecting underclass frustration on to British loyalists, keeping Indians at bay by creating a buffer of poor whites in frontier regions, using racism as a means to promote white unity, and providing gains to the middle class in return for support of upper-class ideals.

2. What was the underlying cause of Bacon’s Rebellion?

A: The underlying cause of Bacon’s Rebellion was the conflict over how to deal with the Indians, who were close by, on the western frontier, constantly threatening whites. Therefore, the Virginians were angry that Governor Berkeley did little to protect the western frontier from Indian attacks.
3. What was the “double motive” of the Virginia government vis-à-vis Bacon’s Rebellion?
A: The Government of this time (The House of Burgesses) developed an Indian policy that would divide the Indians in order to control them and punish the rebellious whites to show them that rebellion did not pay.
4. What groups of people took part in Bacon’s Rebellion?
A: White frontiersmen, slaves, and servants
5. Explain indentured servitude (also known as the “headright system”).

A: Indentured servitude was when poor immigrants agreed to pay their cost of passage to the Americas by working for a master for five or seven years.

6. How did the voyage of indentured servants to America compare with the “Middle Passage.”
A: The immigrants were often imprisoned until the ships sailed to keep them from running away. The voyages normally lasted weeks. They were packed into ships and died of suffocation, hunger, or disease just as the slaves did on the “Middle Passage.”
7. What generally happened to indentured servants after they became free?
A: After indentured servants became free they either went back to England, became poor whites, died during servitude, or became tenant farmers.
8. To what extent did a class structure emerge in America by 1700?
A: The wealthy controlled almost everything they owned most of the land, sat on the governor’s council, and served as local magistrates. They had a monopoly over all poorer individuals. The poor began to increase in number and the middle class began to increase consisting of artisans and merchants.
9. What evidence does Zinn provide regarding the monopoly of power by the rich in Boston?
A: A historian who studied Boston tax lists in 1687 and 1771 found that in 1687 there were, out of a population of six thousand, about one thousand property owners, and that one percent of the population owned 25 percent of the wealth and in 1771 1 percent of the property owners owned 44 percent of the wealth.
10. Explain the statement: “The country therefore was not “born free” but born slave and free, servant and master, tenant and landlord, poor and rich.”
A: This statement means that the country was not a free country because people were put under more hardships than before. Indentured servants and slaves made up most of the population, some people like women had no rights, and most of the power lay in the hands of the wealthy.
11. How did the rich manage to keep Indians “at a distance?”
A: They monopolized the good land on the eastern seaboard, they forced landless whites to move westward to the frontier, there to encounter Indians and to be a buffer for the seaboard rich against Indian troubles.
12. What was the probable reason why Parliament made transportation to the New World a legal punishment for crime?
A: Certain colonies grew concerned that their population was too black creating the possibility for revolt so white criminals sent to America would help equalize the population.

13. Explain the statement: “race was becoming more and more practical.”

A: As a means of controlling poor whites, rich whites began playing the race card to create an alliance among all whites including the poorest whites. This way even the poorest of them could see that they were better than the blacks.
ZINN CHAPTER 4: “Tyranny Is Tyranny”

  1. What is the thesis of this chapter?

A: Issues with social and economic inequality and lack of representation in government plagued the colonies prior to the American Revolution, creating widespread unrest. Revolutionary leaders, especially the elite, deflected anger stemming from internal conflicts onto the Crown’s tyranny to rally colonial rebellion. In doing so, they transferred power from Britain to themselves, but also oppressed the lower classes to prevent internal rebellion.

2. According to Zinn, how did the creation of the United States benefit the upper class?
A: The creation of the United States benefited the upper class because there they could take over the land, profits, and political power from favorites of the British Empire.
3. Describe the disproportionate distribution of wealth in Boston, Philadelphia, and New York.
A: 5% of Boston’s tax payers controlled 49% of the city’s taxable assets. In Philadelphia and New York too, wealth was more and more concentrated. By 1750 court records of the cities showed that wealthiest people in the cities were leaving 20 pounds equal to 5 million dollars today.
4. Why were both Loyalists and leaders of the Revolution concerned about the lower classes in Philadelphia?
A: By mid 1776, laborers, artisans, and small tradesmen, employing extralegal measures when electoral politics failed were in clear command in Philadelphia they launched a full scale attack on wealth and even the right to acquire unlimited private property.
5. What major issues fueled the “Regulator movement”?
A: Taxes on the poor and the farmers. Farmers were harassed to pay taxes. The Regulators also saw that wealth and political power ruled North Carolina.
6. What was General Gage’s observation vis-à-vis the leaders of the movement against the Stamp Act?
A: General Gage’s observation was that leaders of the movement against the Stamp Act had instigated crowd action, but then became frightened by the thought that it might be directed against their wealth too.
7. What advice did colonial leaders—including Samuel Adams and James Otis—give to the people concerning the Townshend Acts?
A: They gave the advice no mobs or Tumults, let the Persons and Properties of your most inveterate Enemies be safe.
8. What class did the leaders of the Sons of Liberty come from? What was their goal(s)?
A: Leaders of the Sons of Liberty mostly came from the middle and upper classes. Their goals were to broaden their organization to develop a mass base of wage earners.
9. What was the significance of Patrick Henry’s oratory?
A: The significance of Patrick Henry’s oratory in Virginia pointed a way to relieve class tension between upper and lower classes and form a bond against the British.
10. What was one of John Adams’s concerns vis-à-vis Thomas Paine’s Common Sense?
A: Adams denounced Paine’s plan as “so democratical, without any restraint or even attempt at any equilibrium or counter-poise, that it must produce confusion and every evil work.”
11. According to Zinn, who does Paine really represent?
A: Paine really represents the middle group.
12. What groups of Americans were deprived of the ideals set forth in the Declaration of Independence?
A: Women
13. What is the irony Zinn tries to convey concerning John Locke?
14. Explain the statement: “Tyranny is Tyranny, let it come from whom it may.”

A: The statement “tyranny is tyranny, let it come from whom it may” means that ordinary people can cause tyranny. You do not have to be a king or queen but you can just be a rich person with power in or over the government and cause tyranny on those without much money or power.


1. What support did the Revolutionary War effort have among the colonial population?
A: It had huge support most white men with guns and that were able to shoot went to war only a small fraction stayed behind.
2. What impact did slavery have on the war effort in the South?
A: Slavery got in the way in the south. The south was insecure because of a slave uprising in South Carolina so their militia had to be used to keep slaves under control.
3. What incentives did the Revolutionary War leaders use to attract recruits?
A: They promised people a higher rank, a great sum of money, and a change in their social status.

4. What was the American Navy’s position vis-à-vis impressment?

A: The American Navy were being captured and impressed to work for the British. Their vessels and equipment was taken by the British.

5. Why did Robert Morris’ plan to assuage the concerns of financial contributors to the Continental Congress anger the common soldier?

A: Robert Morris’ plan angered the common soldier, because the common soldier was not getting paid, they were suffering in the cold, and dying of sickness while they watched civilian profiteers grew rich.
6. What was the British strategy concerning slavery in the South?
A: The British strategy was to promise slaves in the south freedom if they joined the British forces.

7. How is the general perception that the Revolution engendered the separation of church and state challenged by Zinn?

A: He gave an example of how the separation of church and state rule was broken in a way. Zinn says that after 1776 the northern states adopted taxes that forced everyone to support Christian teachings. Then he states a quote that was said by Justice David Brewer that says “this is a Christian nation,” says of the separation of church and state in the Revolution that it “was neither conceived of nor carried out.”
8. How did land confiscated from Loyalists reflect the Revolution’s effect on class relations?
A: The land confiscated from the Loyalists could create the richest ruling class in history and still have enough for the middle classes to act as a buffer between the rich and the dispossessed.
9. How does Edmund S. Morgan’s summary of the class nature of the Revolution challenge the popular perception of the Revolution and its ideals? How does Richard Morris’ statement also challenge popular perception?
A: After the revolution everyone was supposed to be equal no one was supposed to be better than the other, but after all the fighting and bloodshed people still faced inequality.
10. Explain Carl Degler’s assertion that “no new social class came to power throughout the door of the American revolution.”

A: He simply means the rich remained rich, the poor remained mostly poor, and the middle class was still the same. The men who engineered the revolt were largely members of the colonial ruling class.

11. What was the impact of America’s victory on the Native Americans?
A: Since America was victorious the Americans could now start pushing the Indians off their land, killing them if they resisted.
12. Explain Jennings’ statement: The Revolution was a “multiplicity of variously oppressed and exploited peoples who preyed upon each other.”
A: He means that the people that were doing all the fighting in the Revolution were people preyed upon by the rich seeking land and money to better themselves and their families so they were willing to do anything to get it. They were basically preyed upon by their own kind because of their desire for more, because the Americans were fighting over Indian land all along. So by them capturing and imprisoning the Indians their whole race was helpless against the Americans.
13. What is Charles Beard’s thesis in An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution vis-à-vis the Founding Fathers and the creation of the Constitution?
A: Beard’s thesis in An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution was the rich must, in their own interest, either control the government directly or control the laws by which government operates. He got his thesis by doing research by doing research on the fifty-five men that drew up the Constitution and he saw that most of them were men of wealth. They had the money needed to support the nation (America).
14. What was the source of resentment in western towns of Massachusetts against the legislature in Boston?
A: The new Constitution of 1780 was the source of resentment in western town of Massachusetts against the legislature in Boston.
15. How did disgruntled western farmers seek to improve their shaky economic situation?
A: The farmers were seeking to improve their shaky economic situation by getting rid of courts, sheriffs, collectors, and lawyers.
16. What was Daniel Shays’s objective?
A: Daniel Shays’ objective was to help out his friends that were wrongfully indicted.
17. What was Thomas Jefferson’s view of popular uprisings? Contrast his view with those of the established leadership.
A: Thomas Jefferson thought that popular uprisings were healthy for society. Jefferson was an ambassador in France at the time so he was nowhere near the scene so those of the established leadership were not so tolerant of his views.
18. Why does Zinn state that democracy’s problem in post-Revolutionary America was not primarily due to Constitutional limitations on voting?
A: Zinn states this because he says that the real problem lay deeper beyond the Constitution, in the division of society into rich and poor.
19. How is Zinn critical of Madison’s argument in Federalist X.
A: He feels that when economic interest is seen behind the political clauses of the Constitution, then the document becomes the work of certain groups trying to maintain their privileges and giving just enough rights and liberties to enough of the people to esure popular support.

20. How does Zinn refute one of Beard’s critics, Robert E. Brown?

A: Robert E. Brown questioned why the Constitution did not protect property and he stated that “everyone was practically interested in property because so many Americans owned property. Zinn refuted this by saying that his statement was misleading. Zinn says that it’s true that there were many property owners but some people had much more than others. Some people had great amounts of property, many people had small amounts, and some had none.
21. How does Zinn argue the First Amendment is not as stable as one might assume?
A: Zinn argues that even though the First Amendment was supposed to give people the right of freedom of speech and press the government still made exceptions to that right. They issued the Sedition acts of 1798 that stated that people could not say or print anything negative against the government. So Americans were afraid to say anything or get out there opinions because the legal basis of these acts were not known to them.

The Intimately Oppressed”

  1. What is the theme of the reading?

A: The theme of this reading is women and how they were overlooked and ignored. This chapter is mainly going to focus on the submerged status of women.

  1. How does treatment of women differ between societies based on private property and those based on communal living? Why?

A: In the society based on private property women were treated more harshly; they were only for sex, bearing children, and companions. Many women in this society were raped, deprived of good food, had no privacy, and were basically treated like slaves (they were private property), but in a communal living society women were treated with respect, and the communal nature of society gave them a more important place.

  1. How did the earliest female settlers in Virginia fare?

A: They were sold with their own consent to settlers as wives.

  1. How were women treated on the frontier compared to those living in towns or cities?

A: Women on the frontier gained a special respect because they were so badly needed. Women on the American frontier seemed close to equality with their men, but the women in cities and towns were inferior to men, abused by men, raped by men, poorly cared for, and died of illnesses.

  1. How did English law affect the status of women in America?

A: English law basically lowered the status of women even more. They couldn’t own anything, men never got in trouble for adultery, and only time men could be convicted was if they killed or permanently injured their wives.

  1. How does Zinn use the case of Ann Hutchinson to support his basic argument?

A: Zinn uses the case of Ann Hutchinson to support his basic argument by pointing out that women were smarter than the average man was willing to give them credit for.

7. How did the American Revolution affect women?
A: The American Revolution Affected women in a positive way. The Revolution brought women into public affairs. Women formed patriotic groups, carried out anti-British actions, and they wrote articles for independence.

  1. Explain the position of Abigail Adams vis-à-vis the role of women in America.

A: Abigail Adams was a woman remembered in history for trying to give women equal rights by writing letters and attempting to reach out to her husband, but she was also of higher social status and did not endure many of the hardships poorer American women had to face. The role of women in America were basic: be quiet, have kids, and obey men; therefore, they had to fight hard for all their rights.

9. What social forces led to the onset of the “cult of true womanhood” or the “cult of domesticity?” Describe the woman’s role in this philosophy.
A: Men treating women unfair by means of the Bible or morals led to the onset of the “cult of true womanhood.” The women simply wrote their own philosophy against the men’s version. They pointed out specific points and changed them around in a positive way such as when a man wrote that religion is what a woman needs because it gives her dependence. A woman switched it and said religion is what a woman needs because without it she I ever restless or unhappy.
10. How was dress used as a means of social control?
A: The things women had to wear with the dresses such as corsets and petticoats emphasized female separation from the world of activity. It kept women from doing certain things that men could do because of the weight. The dress held women back.
11. What rights were denied women in the “cult of true womanhood?”
A: In the “cult of true womanhood” women could not vote, own property, make proper wages, practice law or medicine, go to college, or be ministers.
12. How did workers’ strikes in the 1830s and 1840s reflect the changing role of women?
A: After the worker strikes women began to play more important roles than before. Literacy among women doubled. They became school teachers, health reformers, they became practiced organizers, agitators, and speakers. Their social status was given a boost.
13. What is the connection between primary school teaching and women’s participation in reform movement of the 1830s, 1840s and 1850s?
A: ???Women taught people many things that schools taught only men, but these women taught themselves. Very few got chances to go to college, but the few that did made something of themselves. Women taught people things that they couldent get from school.
14. Create a table for the women reformers discussed in the reading. (Note: you can do yourself a big favor by also including those female reformers Bailey mentions in order to create a comprehensive study list).

Women Reformers

  1. Amelia Bloomer

American reformer. Suggested that women wear a kind of short skirts and pants.

  1. Mary Wollstonecraft

Spoke on the rights of women and iniquities of the ‘moneyed aristocracy’

  1. Catherine Beecher

A woman reformer that wrote about the factory system

  1. Emma Willard

Addressed the New York legislature in 1819 on the education of women.

  1. Harriet Hunt

Woman physician. Organized a Ladies Physiological Society in 1843

  1. Elizabeth Blackwell

Received medical degree in 1849. Set up New York Dispensary for Poor Women and Children

  1. Lucy Stone

Began lecturing on women’s rights in 1847. Lecturer of American Anti-Slavery Society

  1. Elizabeth Cady Stanton

One of the leaders of the feminist movement

  1. Angelina Grimke

Southern white woman who became a fierce speaker and organizer against slavery

  1. Margaret Fuller

The most formidable intellectual among the feminists

  1. Sarah Grimke

Fierce writer. Wrote “Letters on the Condition of Women and the Equality of the Sexes

  1. Dorthea Dix

Concerned with treatment of insane people in prisons

  1. Frances Wright

Writer. Founder of a utopian community fighter for the emancipation of slaves, birth control, and sexual freedom.

  1. Lucretia Mott

Important women reformer

  1. Sojourner Truth

Woman reformer, slave

ZINN CHAPTER 7 Questions

As Long as Grass Grows or Water Runs”

  1. What is the major theme (recurring idea) in this chapter.

A: Women and their roles, beliefs, and struggles is the theme of this chapter.

2. What evidence does Zinn cite to illustrate the overall impact of Indian removal?
A: How it cleared the lands for white occupancy and how much they expanded. They built railroads, canals, new cities, and the building of a huge continental empire clear across to the Pacific Ocean.
3. Contrast Thomas Jefferson’s views as Secretary of State concerning Indian policy with those during his presidency. Why did his views change?

A: Thomas Jefferson thought that the Indians should not be interfered with, and that the government should remove white settlers who tried to encroach on them but others during his presidency thought the Indians should move and leave the land for the whites. Jefferson’s views changed because Indian removal was necessary for the opening of the vast American lands to agriculture, to commerce, to markets, and to the development of the modern capitalist economy.

4. Explain Zinn’s use of irony when describing the Battle of Horseshoe Bend?
A: Zinn’s use of irony was when he wrote that Jackson’s white troops failed a frontal attack on the Creeks, but the Cherokees with him, promised governmental friendship if they joined the war, swam the river, came up behind the Creeks, and won the battle for Jackson.
5. How does Andrew Jackson’s early political/military career foreshadow his Indian policies as President?
A: Jackson hated the Indians and defeated many Indians in war. So when he became president it was already known that Jackson was going to try to get rid of all Indians immediately.
6. How does Zinn’s view of the War of 1812 contrast with traditional histories?
7. Create a basic outline of Jackson’s Indian-related activities and their significance prior to his presidency (treaties, land speculation, etc.)

A. Andrew Jackson

  1. He despised Indians.

  2. Fierce military leader

B. Treaties

  1. 1st treaty took away half the land of the Creek nation

  2. Jackson’s 1814 treaty with the Creeks granted Indian individuals ownership of land, thus splitting Indian from Indian, breaking up communal landholding, bribing some with land introducing the competition and conniving that marked the spirit of Western capitalism.

  3. Jackson’s series of treaties from 1814-1824 with the southern Indians forced many to give up their land and move while the whites took most of it for themselves.

  4. He tricked the Indians most thought they were safe but when Jackson would say that he could not remove the whites the Indians hade to cede the land.

C. Land Speculation

  1. Even though most Indians owned their own land it still was not fully theirs because in some way they would always have to give it up.

D. Jackson’s Raids

  1. Jackson would raid other territories and make other nations want to sell their land.

  2. Jackson raided Florida arguing that it was a sanctuary for escaped slaves and marauding Indians.

  3. This began the Seminole war of 1818, leading to American acquisition to Florida.

  4. Jackson’s burning of Seminole villages, military campaign across the Florida border, and seizing of Spanish forts that persuaded Spain to sell Florida.

8. Explain Zinn’s view of Arthur Schlesinger’s The Age of Jackson and Marvin Meyers’ The Jacksonian Persuasion.

A: Zinn says that their books do not mention Jackson’s Indian policy, but there is much talk in them on things like tariffs, banking, political parties, and political rhetoric.
9. Describe evidence Zinn utilizes to assess the views of Lewis Cass vis-à-vis Native American policy.
A: They say that Cass was to be an expert on Indians but there is proof that he was quite ignorant of Indian life. Cass took millions of acres from Indians by treaty; he thought that what he was doing was for the better of the Indians when it only made things worse.
10. Create a table illustrating the fate of major Southeastern Indian tribes.

The Fate of Major Southeastern Indian Tribes

  1. Creeks

Were not forced to move out of Alabama but if they remained they would have to obey the laws given. Began to starve and raid white villages. Began the Second Creek War.

  1. Choctaw

Many were defrauded by companies of their land.

  1. Chickasaw

They sold their land individually at good prices and went without much suffering.

  1. Cherokee

Many were defrauded by companies of their land.

11. To what extent did the Cherokee nation change its culture in order to survive within the U.S?

A: The Cherokee culture changed drastically. They decided that survival required adaptation to the white man’s world. They became farmers, blacksmiths, carpenters, masons, and owners of property. They established a new written language. They even became owners of slaves.
12. For what purpose does Zinn juxtapose the Nullification Controversy of 1832 and the enforcement of Worcester v. Georgia?
A: Zinn puts these two situations together to show that there were people willing to fight for the right of the Indians and some states wanted to nullify federal tariffs to help out but they were easily outnumbered by those who liked Jackson’s anti-Indian policies.
13. Explain the significance of the phrase: “As long as grass grows or water runs.”
A: The significance of the phrase “as long as grass grows or water runs” is that things will always remain the same between the Indians and the whites as long as grass is growing and water flows things will never change.

ZINN CHAPTER 8: Study Questions

We Take Nothing by Conquest, Thank God”

  1. Identify the thesis or theme in this chapter.

A: The theme of this chapter is Texas and its independence and how it became part of America again.

  1. How did the U.S. use the Texas-Mexico border dispute to its advantage?

A: The U.S used the Texas-Mexico border to its advantage by influencing the Texans that they were entitled to the Rio Grande thus starting a war in a land that they had no right to be in, but it was so the U.S would have a pretext for taking California.

  1. Explain the term “Manifest Destiny” and its implications on U.S. foreign policy in the 1840s.

  • A: Manifest Destiny means that the U.S was destined to expand from North America all the way to the Pacific Ocean. This made the president change the U.S foreign policy with permission from the senate of course. Polk Doctrine was issued and the Annexation of Republic of Texas; this made Mexico break relations in retaliation.

  1. Explain the Whig position vis-à-vis the Mexican War.

A: The Whigs did not want to go to war with Mexico they were against it, but they were not against expansion. The Whigs idea was commercially oriented expansionism designed to secure frontage on the Pacific without war.

  1. How does Zinn portray Abraham Lincoln’s position?

A: Abraham Lincoln was not yet in office when the war began but when he was elected he spoke on the war. He challenged Polk with “spot resolutions”. Lincoln did not try to end the war.

  1. How does the U.S. philosophically justify its aggression?

A: The U.S philosophically justified its aggression with the idea that the United States would be giving the blessings of liberty and democracy to more people.

  1. What evidence does Zinn utilize to illustrate American opposition to the Mexican War?

A: Zinn uses evidence of articles written during the time of the war. He uses articles from newspapers such as the Advocate of Peace, The Liberator, and North Star.

  1. How does Zinn use the ethnic composition of the U.S. army to reinforce his argument?

A: Zinn uses the ethnic composition of the U.S. army to reinforce his argument by stating that even the immigrants that fought with the U.S sometimes retreated and opposed the war because of lies and harsh conditions.

9. How does Zinn characterize the morale of U.S. soldiers after the initial stages of the conflict? Provide evidence cited throughout the chapter for why soldiers came to feel the way they did.
A: The soldiers began to feel the way they did because they were promised many things that were not always given to them, they were bargained for like slaves, conditions were terrible, many were forced to be soldiers, and many watched as those around them died of illness.
10. Explain the statement: “It was a war of the American elite against the Mexican elite, each side exhorting, using, killing its own population as well as the other.”
A: This statement means that the best from the American side and the best from the Mexican side were going head to head destroying anything in their way even if it meant killing their own people.
11. Provide evidence of how the Mexican population was affected by the war.
A: Many Mexicans were killed from raids on their towns. The New Orleans Delta wrote “ The Mexicans variously estimate their loss at from 500 to 1000 killed and wounded, but all agree that the destruction among the soldiery is very small and the destruction among women and children is very great.”
12. How did veterans fare economically after they came home from the war?
A: Many veterans sold their 160 acres of land for less than $50 because they were so desperate for money.
13. Discuss how Zinn uses the phrase “We take nothing by conquest, thank God” to buttress his argument.
A: Zinn uses this phrase meaning that many Americans at this time did not realize that they were taking anything by force they saw it as a blessing from God.


1. To what extent was the termination of the slave trade in 1808 enforced? Why?
A: Slave importation became illegal in 1808. It was not strongly enforced because about 250,000 slaves were imported illegally before the Civil War. This was because plantations began to grow and the need for slave increased.
2. Explain the statement: “Are the conditions of slavery as important as the existence of slavery?
A: This statement means that even though some slaves seemed happy they were not because the fact that they were slaves weakened their spirit. The conditions of slavery were just as bad as the existence of slavery in itself.
3. What evidence does Zinn include to prove the existence of slave revolts in the United States?
A: He gives dates of some of the most well known slave revolts in the U.S such as the slave revolt near New Orleans in 1811,Nat Turner’s Rebellion and compare them to much larger revolts in other nations.
4. Analyze the impact of Nat Turner’s rebellion on Southern thought.
A: Nat Turner’s rebellion sent the slaveholding South into a panic, and then into a determined effort to bolster the security of the slave system.
5. Explain the phrase: Among slaves there was “simultaneous accommodation and resistance to slavery.” Provide examples to support your explanation.

A: This phrase means that slaves were resistant to slavery and accommodation “breathed a critical spirit and disguised subversive actions.” The resistance included stealing property, sabotage and slowness, killing overseers and masters, burning down plantation buildings, and running away.

6. To what extent was the Underground Railroad successful? Provide evidence.
A: The Underground Railroad was successful to a great extent because so many slaves escaped through there. Harriet Tubman alone led more than 300 slaves to freedom on the Underground Railroad making 19 dangerous trips not once being captured by slave masters.
7. How were poor whites utilized by plantation owners to maintain control?
A: Poor whites were kept away from slaves and the slaves were not allowed to have contact with them at all. They treated poor whites just like they would treat a slave.
8. Explain the use of religion as a means of control.
A: The whites let the slaves have their own religion to keep their spirits high and their communities alive and healthy. Thus making them work better and less disobedient.
9. To what extent did slaves maintain their sense of culture, community, and kinship?
A: The slaves maintained their sense of culture, community, and kinship as much as they could. The slave community acted like a generalized extended kinship. Everyone looked out for everyone and their culture thrived because they kept it fluent in their community.
10. Explain the significance of David Walker.

A: The significance of David Walker is that he was one of the first blacks to speak out publicly through writings against whites in a pamphlet he wrote titled Walker’s Appeal.

11. Explain the significance of Frederick Douglass.
A: The significance of Frederick Douglass was that he learned on his own how to read and write proving that black people were capable of many things. He became the most famous black man of his time, as a lecturer, newspaper editor, and writer.
12. What was the basic message of Douglass’ Independence Day address in July, 1852?
A: Douglass’ basic message was that this country still is not an independent or free country because of all the racism, injustice, slavery, fraud, deception, and hypocrisy. The nation may as well be divided again.
13. Contrast the abolitionist views of Frederick Douglass and William Lloyd Garrison. How did they generally represent black and white abolitionist views?
A:Frederick Douglass was more willing to fight and use existing political devices. Douglass knew that it would take all sorts of tactics, from elections to rebellion. Whereas, Garrison did courageous pioneering work on the lecture platform, in newspapers, and in the Underground Railroad.
14. How does Zinn justify that black abolitionists were the “backbone of the antislavery movement.”
A: He justifies this by saying blacks had to constantly struggle with the unconscious racism of white abolitionists. They also had to insist on their own independent voice. Black abolitionists had to deal with more than the white ones and they were the backbone because of no matter the struggle they pushed forward.

15. For what reasons does Zinn criticize the national government when discussing Brown’s execution?

A: Zinn criticizes the national government because he feels that they weakly enforced the law ending slave the slave trade, but they could sternly enforced the laws for the return of fugitives to slavery.
16. Discuss the legal provisions of the Emancipation Proclamation (i.e., what did it do and what didn’t it do?).
A: The Emancipation Proclamation declared slaves free in areas still fighting against the Union, but said nothing about slaves behind Union lines.

17. Explain Hofstadter’s statement: The Emancipation Proclamation “had all the moral grandeur of a bill of lading.”

A: This statement means that the Emancipation Proclamation did not free a single slave. It applied only to the land the confederates controlled and freed only the slaves there.
18. What significance did the Emancipation Proclamation have on the war’s outcome?
A: The Emancipation Proclamation changed popular thinking and military policy. Blacks participated in this war. They helped win battles and capture forts. The Union and Northerners saw the value of black soldiers and with the help of blacks the north defeated the south.
19. What caused draft riots in 1863?
A: Poor whites who were forced by law to fight and could not pay their way out of the draft. They were angry because they felt that they should not fight in the war to help blacks so instead they began killing the blacks.
20. How did the treatment of blacks in the Union army and northern cities foreshadow the limitations of emancipation?
A: Blacks in the Union army were still treated like slaves. They were attacked while off duty, they were used for the heaviest and dirtiest work, and were given unequal pay. All of this foreshadowed the limitations of emancipation.

21. Explain the significance of the election of 1876 on the South.

A: Negro children began going to public schools and were able to get an education.
22. How does Zinn justify the actions of Booker T. Washington?
A: He says that perhaps Washington saw this as a necessary tactic of survival in a time of hangings and burnings of Negroes throughout the South. He also described how unfair justice is to blacks and not whites.
23. To what extent did the conditions for African Americans in the post-Civil War South lead to migration?
A: Many Negroes fled about six thousand black people left the south and went north to escape violence and poverty.

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