Zinn, Howard. A People’s History of the United State. Chapter 1: “Columbus, the Indians, and Human Progress”
Chapter 2: “Drawing the Color Line”
Chapter 3: “Persons of Mean and Vile Condition”
Directions: Use Zinn and Brinkley (chapters 1 and 2) to answer the questions below and be prepared to discuss these readings in class. The first set of questions is general, while the latter set specific. You need to answer all of them and define the at least ten terms from the chapter in the form of a journal entry. As you define the terms, demonstrate why each person, event, concept, or issue is important to a thorough understanding of this chapter. Use the following as your guideline.
Choose ten terms to explain within your journal at the end of each chapter. Explain why you chose your ten terms. Justify in your journal why the terms are essential to an understanding of the chapter e.g. “Meeting of the Cultures.”
Sample Journal entry describing “subsistence agriculture” and its importance to “The Meeting of Cultures.”
Subsistence agriculture:Most Europeans and many Native Americans used agriculture as the primary means to surviving prior to the early European explorations. Knowing that most people on three continents (North America, Europe, and Africa) farmed in order to survive—not to make a profit—provides great insight into the economic, political, and social lives of the people from all cultures who will meet in North America. I chose the former term because it describes the importance of agriculture and the meeting the Europeans and natives.
Create a journal entry like the former for your ten terms. Don’t forget to explain why you chose your terms. For example, after you define your ten terms state: I chose the former ten terms because….
What is Zinn’s main purpose for writing this book? What is his approach to
According to Zinn, how is Columbus portrayed in traditional history books?
What major issues does Bartolome de las Casas bring up regarding Spanish
expeditions in the Caribbean?
What differences does Zinn point out between Europeans and the Iroquois?
According to Zinn, how did racism take root in America?
How did slavery in Africa differ from slavery in Europe and the Americas?
Describe the conditions that slaves experienced on ships coming to America.
What evidence exists that America’s slaves did not accept their fate easily?
Why did slave owners fear poor whites?
What is Zinn’s thesis in this chapter?
What was the underlying cause of Bacon’s Rebellion?
What groups of people took part in Bacon’s Rebellion?
What generally happened to indentured servants after they became free?
To what extent did a class structure emerge in America by 1700?