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Blog post 9/14

After reading this chapter in “A People’s History of the United States,” I was in shock with the amount of information that I was not taught in school about the American Revolution. I am once again disappointed in the American schooling system. I knew the American Revolution as a time when the country came together and united as one to fight off the controlling British. Especially coming from Boston, I could never see anything wrong with the Patriots. It surprised me that the middle class were the ones who wanted the Revolutionary War, I always thought it was the upper class. From what I was taught in school, African slaves and Native Americans were often a small piece of the American Revolutionary. I never fully understood their side of the story until now.

 

I was taught that the U.S. Constitution was a fair document giving everyone somewhat equal rights and a way for the colonies to create a system of laws and a government. As I continue to read I realize it was a way for the elite in America to become even more elite. On page 90, Zinn writes “the rich must, in their own interest, either control the government directly or control the laws by which government operates.” This highlights the classism that was present at that time. The rich are going to make laws and set up a government that allows them to continue to become richer and richer creating an even larger difference between the rich and the poor. It has been an ongoing cycle of the top 1% making the laws that benefit the top 1%. This creates a disregard for the lower classes. I feel that this issue of wealth and power within our country is still an extremely prominent issue regarding the government and well-being of Americans. 

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5 Comments

  1. Sofia Adams Sofia Adams

    I too was surprised by what I have not been taught about the war that created our country. I had never learned about Native American, women, or African slave involvement in the American revolution. It makes me question if the narrative taught today is, mostly that white wealthy landowning men were the ones who are completely responsible for the creation/ foundation of our country, is that just another way in which minority groups are held down in society even to this day? Does this narrative of the American Revolution have that lasting affect?

  2. Kathrine Yeaw Kathrine Yeaw

    I was equally shocked by how different the Revolution was from what I have always known, and how unfair the Constitution really was. I have always known the Constitution left our slaves, Indians, and women, but I never knew there was a real motive for it. At this point in time, I also thought the class conflicts had lightened up especially because of the Revolution and them fighting together, but learning that it really only made it worse after is really surprising.

  3. William Clifton William Clifton

    I think that the quote you used from Zinn is powerful. I think it gives good perspective to the people of today on what the motives might have been for the patriots. And why they decided to revolt. I think it also offers clarity as to why they created a blanket statement of laws (the constitution). It is evident they did so in hopes that it would ultimately help the wealthy both stay wealthy and remain in a place of power.

  4. Michael Stein Michael Stein

    I think its really important to be able to draw these connections between the history of our country and many of our modern day problems. Indeed, the issue of classism in this country is deeply embedded into our institutions such as the Constitution. By understanding what the Founding Fathers sought to gain from the formation of institutions like the National Bank, we understand how our government still works to benefit the rich. I believe the best way to begin to solve these issues is through gaining an understanding of this country’s colonial poor — including slaves and Natives.

  5. Maggie Otradovec Maggie Otradovec

    I was also taught the American Revolution without many details who really fought. The romanticized revolution we were taught in school doesn’t include the sacrifices and efforts of the middle class, Native Americans and slaves. The Constitution we were taught to worship is, in fact, flawed. I hope that we can get to a place in our country where we learn the true events of the revolution and apply the freedoms allowed in the Constitution to everyone, despite the size of their bank account.

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