Howard Zinn or Paul Johnson: Dear Board of Trustees, As you know, during the last couple of years, the United States has been dealing with a serious problem:
Zinn seems to assume that the Constitution was part of the evil plan all along. The reason it was written in the first place was that the Articles had a lot of weaknesses. New York and NJ got into a tax and trade dispute which some thought might actually lead to war.
Due to the size of both states their loss would have been detrimental.
Rhode Island and North Carolina actually held out until and The states ratified the constitution not by state legislatures but by specifically elected conventions.
It was not allowed, the King was to be supreme, and Revolution followed. America learned this lesson, and in newspapers, town meetings, public squares of cities big in small, this debate took place. Time and time again Zinn calls the idea of national interest a myth and a means of control and says it was a myth that people were united in colonial times.
Zinn seems to believe that the constitution could have and should have led to radical social change, and is disappointed that it did not do so.
A more sober look at the constitution shows that while it did not radically change the structure of society, it did away with Kings, nobility, and legalized class distinctions.
If the revolution really was just a sham, why bother with a Bill of rights promising things like a free press, freedom of assembly, freedom of religion, the right to bear arms, etc? Why make a government purposely designed to be inefficient with a seperation of and checks and balances?
Why not just have another king? The constitution was in effect just a year before the French Revolution began. During that bloody revolution they never took notes from the new American document. Constitutions of the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia made no reference to it, and both failed.
Besides in a court of law slander is often hard to prove anyway. He notes the Alien Sedition Acts ofwhich made it a crime to say something negative about the government.
Property restrictions were eliminated because to Americans they smacked of the aristocracy they just rebelled against. Immigrants could vote after five years, which again raises the issue of comparison. They could come to America penniless, and in five years could vote. Where in their own country, no matter how rich they grew, even if their roots went back a thousand years, they could never vote.
The northern states made such declarations, but after they adopted taxes that forced everyone to support Christian teachings. Zinn expresses no understanding that the idea of separation of church and state means the government is not to establish an official religion, like the Church of England.
This did not mean freedom FROM religion, in fact early Americans thought religion to be indespensible to moral education. Again Pennsylvania was founded on religious freedom, New England was largely protestant based, and many Catholics came to Maryland.
Albeit they all fall under the banner of Christianity, the fact that all these different sects could exist under one political body was indeed revolutionary, when compared to England.
One can look at the experience of the Jews to illustrate this point. There, they had their own legal status, ran their own courts, schools, shops, paid their own special, heavier taxes, and usually lived in ghettos. They were free to worship in synagogues and be part of the larger community that was America.
From a moralistic point of view, there should not have been any slaves, but there were, so we must examine this. It is true that the founding fathers had slaves, and we can never understand how they could have them yet detest slavery. Washington for example, in his will emancipated his.
They believed slavery would disappear soon, but tragically it did not, as it created, for a time, great wealth for the south. Zinn also mentions that when making the constitution, it was agreed that slaves would not be imported after Why would they bother doing this if no one objected to slavery?
In fact even before the Declaration of Independence northern states were outlawing slavery. Pennsylvania did inand Rhode Island and Conneticut followed in Laws allowing manumission, or freeing slaves, were passed in in Virginia.
Five states between allowed manumission, two of those states were slave states Kentucky and Tennesee.
During the war all northern states except New Jersey and New York outlawed slavery all together.Sep 13, · Paul Johnson writes “Here was a fundamental law (the constitution) affecting everyone in the nation and their children and grandchildren and generations to come.
The people ought to participate, as a nation, in deciding whether to endorse it, and the ratification process itself would encourage them to look beyond the borders of their own. This book is an excellent general history of the US, one which accents the cultural development of this nation.
It is an antidote to the puerile trash "People's History"(Howard Zinn), a book unfortunately used as a textbook in some school districts/5.
Howard Zinn and Paul Johnson Howard Zinn, born August 24, , grew up in the slums of New York timberdesignmag.com recalls moving around a lot as his father ran candy stores during the Depression.
He graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School and became a pipe fitter in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. If you know the name Howard Zinn you know very well what his opinion of Christopher Columbus was. Zinn’s historical eye was completely subjected to his political eye.
He was a socialist who embraced each and every battle of what he saw as the unde. Preliminary discussions have narrowed the choices down to either Howard Zinn's 'A People's History of the United States' or Paul Johnson's 'A History of the American People'. The NCHE Board wants a recommendation from you.
After numerous additional meetings, staffers were able to narrow down the choice to two alternatives: Howard Zinn´s A People´s History of the United States and Paul Johnson´s A Pages: 9.