The Early Stages of European Exploration of North America in Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States

Columbus, the Indians and Human Progress The Pearson Out ofMany textbook and Howard Zinn’s A People‘s History ofthe United States both recall the early stages of the European exploration of North America. Both sources recall the experiences of Columbus differently, According to Out ofMany, Columbus was back in Spain proclaiming his success of his voyage in the royal court at Barcelona. In Howard Zinn’s book, Columbus was professing in the royal court at Madrid. When Columbus was in the royal court, he had several Indian slaves he had taken from the discovered lands.

In Howard Zinn’s work, they were referred to as the Arawok Indians; Out ofMany references the Indians as Tainosi As there are differences between the two sources, there are also similarities including the return of Columbus to the Indies. Pearson’s Out ofMony states “Enthusiastic monarchs financed a [return] convoy of seventeen ships and 1500 men. . ,”. Howard Zinn describes Columbus’s return fleet as “niseventeen ships and more than twelve hundred men”.

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Both descriptions are reasonably similar. Not only are there differences and similarities of equivalent topics, but there are also things not mentioned on one source, but mentioned on the other. Out of Many states that the reason for Columbus’s dead group of men he left on the island is that the Indians could not provide them with any more resources. Howard Zinn never mentions a reason for their death. Observing these differences and similarities between two published and accredited sources, shows that it is dangerous to base facts and information off one publication for historical information, In Howard Zinn’s A People’s History ofthe United States, he mentions that his viewpoint in “,iitelling the history of the United States, is different: that we must not accept the memory of states as our own”.

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Zinn continues in the chapter to list events of the discovering of

America through various viewpoints, He prefers to “mtry to tell the story of the discovery of America from the view point of the Arawaks…”. Zinn continues the list of unfortunate populations in the history of the United States such as the slaves, Cherokees, New York Irish, Cubans, black soldiers, southern farmers, and many others. Zinn displays his purpose for writing this book as showing United States history from perspectives not the champions, but the disadvantaged. Throughout chapter 1, Zinn withdraws events of the persecution of races such as the Indians in colonial New England and in the Caribbean He talks about how progress of nations is used as an excuse to annihilate inferior races, also mentioning that allowing for inadequacy of “myths“ can make one question the telling of history Zinn mentions “wallowing for the imperfection of myths is enough to make us questioninthe telling of history from the standpoint of the conquerors and leaders of Western civilization”. Questioning what is known about history from the frontrunners and dominators perspective appears to be Zinn’s thesis in the first chapter. Howard Zinn continually speaks of Christopher Columbus’s cruelty to the natives, Zinn does not agree with and criticizes the portrayal of Columbus in traditional history books. He says traditional “,“history books given to children in the United States [all] start with heroic adventure-there is no bioodshed»and Columbus Day is a celebration”. Zinn also criticizes Samuel Eliot Morison’s Christopher Columbus, Mariner, when he mentions “,,.he mentions the truth quickly and goes on to other things more important to him”. Zinn refers to Morison’s work as not a lie or omitted facts that lead to an unacceptable conclusion, but instead say that he speaks on the truth once and quickly and continues to talk about the things that Morison is interested in.

Morison was sailor himself, and pursued to reenacts Columbus’s router Morison was more interested in the boating aspect of Columbus’s legacy, and only briefly mentions the genocide, or “truth”, When Columbus first arrived in the Indies he was very interested in gold. Howard Zinn describes Columbus‘s most desired information as “. . .where was the gold“. This emerges as the early motive to oppress the native peoples, Columbus forced the natives to find gold, a quota was set for every 3 months, success of the achieved ration resulted in copper tokens that the Indians would hang around their necks to signify clearance. If they did not have the correct amount of tokens, they had their hands cut off and were left for dead from blood loss. Howard Zinn says that Columbus‘s men “Wordered all persons fourteen years or older to collect a certain quantity of gold every three months”. Zinn goes on to mention that Indians who didn’t have the tokens “inhad their hands cut off and bled to death”. As Columbus realized that there was no gold left, he moved to a subsequent motive to oppress these people. He started enslaving the natives The Indians were used as slaves on immense labor camps know as encomiendas. Howard Zinn talk’s about the slave collection, “,,,they had to fill up the ships returning to Spain with some kind of dividendmthey rounded up 1500 Arawak men, women, and children,,.”. Columbus terrorized the natives of this island by first violently forcing them to bring fourth gold, and murdering them if they didn‘t, then taking them as slaves Columbus was described as a horrific person based on his actions in the first chapter of Howard Zinn’s A People‘s History of the United States as well as Pearson’s Out of Many.

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The Early Stages of European Exploration of North America in Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States. (2022, Jul 15). Retrieved from

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