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The People's History of the United States - Chapter 1

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Matthew Mcbrearty





In chapter 1 of The People's History of the United States it has the title “columbus, the indians, and the human progress” and the reason for this title is the benefits that came from the movement in the “new world”. Zinn writes about how Columbus went to the Americas and had discovered the indians. Zinn also talks about how indians were willing to share their goods. In the beginning of this chapter Zinn has an opinion that the natives were peaceful in there outreaches toward the spanish, but they were mistreated and enslaved.

In chapter two Zinn starts out by sharing a journal entry of a black writer who describes a ship coming in that contains slaves. By doing this he shows that he chooses to follow the opinion of the victim. Later in the chapter he shares a letter written by a slaver saying that black slaves are better than Indians. This bit of historical evidence shows that Zinn is one to show the full truth from both sides.

In WWI the US started out as neutral during the few beginning years due to the mixed feelings of its citizens. Later on though the US was provoked and began to lean toward supporting the allies. One factor that lead to this was the sinking of the ship “The Lusitania”. This tragic event was on May 7,1915 and occurred off the SW coast of England. What sunk the ship was a German submarine or a U-boat. These are a submersive vehicle that were deployed all over the North Sea, the English Channel, and the Pacific Ocean in areas between Spain and France. The ship had contained a shipment of ammunition and contraband that would support the allies in their war effort.

Another factor that led to US involvement was the Zimmerman telegram which was a message sent from Germany. The letter was addressed to Mexico but never made it because the English intercepted it. When the letter was decoded it stated that if Mexico aided Germany Mexico could gain land in the US. This letter was given to president Woodrow Wilson and then later that year the US joined the war.

The trigger for the start of the war was the assassination of the archduke. This event was the flicker of fire for the powder pile. The archduke was a leader in Austria-Hungary



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