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The novel A Peoples History of the United States by Howard Zinn, narrates the history of the rulers, conquerors, leaders and also the history of the oppressed and slaved individuals. In the first three chapters, the story talks about the discovery of America during the colonization by the European supremacy and the emergence of a certain rebellion group “Bacon” to supremacy from inferiority. However, Zinn also emphasizes the roles of several groups and the plight of the Intrinsic Americans. In that state of colonialism, the number of the Native Americans has reduced almost by 90% as a result of the European incursion into America, the importation of slaves from other parts of the world, the ruling bourgeoisie and most significantly the emerging class and the struggles against racism.
Before the American Revolution and the era of British colonialism that introduced the beginning of the glitches in America. Rebellion emerged in Virginia which burned down British capital Jamestown a terror that forced the British to send their troops to America to keep in control of the Uncertainty in Virginia (Shelden & Vasiliev, 2017). The Bacon resistant movement was a group of individuals with made of poor angry colonists fighting against the Indians and the two mogul and fortunate leaders. Bacon collected a group of individuals notably from the low class who the minority and marginalized. Originally, the movement was established by the White Native Americans and later joined by the Black slaves. The White Inhabitants were not contented with the way the colony was being administrated. According to the colonial administration, there existed a wide gap and difference between the poor and the rich in Virginia. The moguls controlled most of the properties search as land in the eastern of Virginia, causing trouble in the western frontier. Consequently, many of the ordinary persons feared to live in the western boundary, while most of them were pushed to that western frontier. Life was risky in that area since the Europeans had glitches with the inhabitant Americans. The rich landowners and politicians used the Indians as spies and allies against their competitors hence keeping the Indians. On the other hand, the Americans wanted the rich to fight the Indians, and so creating a conflict between the Native people and the colonist.
Many people lived in poverty, worked as servants and in poor conditions in Virginia. The frontiers felt the colonial government meant nothing significant to their needs in the difficult times instigating conflict. Fortunately, the frontiers found a determined leader known as Nathaniel Bacon who formed the rebellion movement “Bacon,” originating from his name.
Notably, Bacon wanted to fight the Indians rather than helping the marginalized. As a result, Bacon gets to elected to the colonial government and becomes part of the House of Burgesses. Although after sometimes, Bacon was arrested by the governor, William Berkeley, accusing of him being a rebel since he used to send the militia out of the government’s awareness to fight the Indians. However, almost two thousand Bacon’s devotees went to Jamestown to protest for the freedom of Bacon in governor’s office. Immediately Bacon is set free, he gathered his guerrillas and began to attack the Indians (Wiegand, 2015). Furthermore, Bacon rebellion formulated a paper known as the “Declaration of the People” to legitimize the rebellious actions against the Indians. The paper merged the hatred of the Indians by the frontiers with the conventional citizens towards the tycoons. The resistance movement accused Governor William’s government of imperfectly imposing of unfair taxes to the Natives and not safeguarding the western agriculturalists from the Indians. After a few months, Bacon was assassinated at twenty-nine years causing the fall of the rebellion. The remaining rebels turned to be servants again to their masters while other ware took exile. While the Indians had their safety and land seized back by the white frontiers.
As time went by, a group of elite individuals arose known as the “Columbus.” Columbus and his successors came into a densely populated area with a complex culture. The human relations were egalitarian in contrary to Europe’s culture. Columbus treatment of the American Natives was abhorrent abominable ad atrocious. However, he is regarded among the greatest people to have ever existed. Columbus ruined many lives, massacred and destroyed many civilians in the name of human exploration and evolution, which Howard Zinn purports to be a contradiction. Columbus main objective in his world expedition was to steal gold and wealth as much as possible in order to gratify His owners in Spain. The Spaniards wanted to execute their loyalty back at their home and gain supremacy of power, richness, and resources. Hence, he made expeditions outside Europe, in America and Asia, exploiting humanity with his greedy and merciless intentions.
With the disunity and racial segregation in America, between the whites and the blacks, the powerful and the powerless, the poor and the rich as remained after the age of the Bacon revolution. Columbus gets a chance to raid and conquer America, and so obtaining his wealthy through oppression and slavery. Both the proletarian whites and the Africans were tormented, oppressed and used as ragdolls in the political arena for the progressive of the bourgeoisie. Howard in his book asserts that there were vibrant controversies between the races that allowed Columbus’ genocidal act to be experienced by the Natives of America (Mathews, 2015). Their controversies and social difference promoted disunity and hence the succession of Columbus and his crew.
For instance, when Columbus visited the West Indies, the Arawak Indians and the inhabitants cordially welcome him with his militia. However, Columbus perceives how he can the West Indies into servants and slaves and later his attitude led to a horrifying massacre, enslavement, and kidnapping of many individuals. The queen of their kingdom in Span ordered for more slaves and servants to be shipped while the remaining natives of West Indies ware punished. As Columbus and his militia continued to invade the Arawak Indians, they discovered gold mines in West Indies (Mathews, 2015). As a result, the Arawaks were compelled to mine the gold and make money for the Spanish investors. In the system of mandatory mining, the natives were chained with a coin on their neck as an evidence they had mined sufficient gold. If found without the coin, it would automatically sentence the slave to death.
Undeniably, Zinn in his book depicts the hidden atrocities before the American Revolution and the emergence of homicidal groups like Columbus and his men. Many writers in the history omit various homicidal and atrocities that occurred before the revolutionized America. For instance, invasion of Columbus in the West Indies, Zinn reveals that Columbus colonized the people and made them slaves to the Spanish kingdom. Many writers conceal the homicidal part of the history and only conceal how Columbus and his militia were welcomed. Moreover, Zinn also talks about the genocidal act in Native America. According to Zinn criticism, the history seems to accept the inhuman nature that these groups used to obtain supremacy for more than a hundred years (Wiegand, 2015). In other words, the historians glamorize over the genocidal acts and atrocities committed by Columbus for the purpose of gaining richness and supremacy.
Relatively, the treatment of power of most of the dominant rulers during that era is not in accordance with the humanity. The inferior or the lower class society were treated as the cursed species who did not deserve to have the same surrounding as the rich. America was infested with many demises such as the combat between the powerful and the powerless, the whites and the blacks and the rich and poor. These demises propelled the long-term dominance of the elite individuals and their exploitation of power. However, as the marginalized get empowered and realized the oppression that had quenched the native homeland, they began to form revolutions that quest for power and their interest. Accordingly, it led to the advent of the American Revolution that furnished that furnished despotic ruling in America. Notably, Howard Zinn’s argument attempts to condemn the excluded and omitted tyrannical governance that disgraced the humanity because of the status and the race through transforming the book to the narrative of the “people” rather than the “states” narrative. Since many historians omitted the critical part of the history indicating their attitude in romanticizing the disgracing of humanity by the mogul and superior social class.
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