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Carly 9/13 Post

The American Revolution was a time when all Americans came together as one and fought and won their freedom and independence from Britain. Or so I thought. In Howard Zinn’s “A Kind of Revolution” I learned that this was not entirely the case. This war, like the majority of things in this time period was for the benefit of the elite. That had ulterior motives and wanted to gain more power and wealth from this Revolution. The Revolution was yet another example of the rich exploiting the poor. 

The poor were actually the reason for the success of the revolution. Shy says, “Revolutionary America may have been a middle-class society, happier and more prosperous than any other in its time, but it contained a large and growing number of fairly poor people, and many of them did much of the actual fighting and suffering between 1775 and 1783,” (page 79). The poor do not get the credit they deserve and the war was a hoax. It was not the people coming together for one common goal, it was the rich again taking advantage of their power and making the poor do the dirty work for their benefit.


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  1. Mia Slaunwhite Mia Slaunwhite

    I agree with you, like almost all of the history we are taught, it is hardly ever mentioned that it was for the elite purpose. We are told it is for the entirety of the colonies, but no that’s not the case as you have mentioned.

  2. Kathrine Yeaw Kathrine Yeaw

    I agree, I always thought the Revolution brought together the country against the common enemy for the same reasons, but that was not the case. In reality the rich and poor had ulterior motives even if they were working “together”. I like that you brought up how the poor didn’t the recognition and credit they deserved, because as Zinn says, they did most the work.

  3. William Clifton William Clifton

    I continue to be amazed by the reality of how biased our history has been taught to us. It really makes me question everything that we have learned. It is hard for me to decide what to believe at this point. I think it is important to acknowledge your comment about how the poor people were actually the ones doing most of the fighting during both the revolutionary war and the civil war as well.

  4. Henry Groves Henry Groves

    I totally agree. I thought the Revolution was a time when people came together, but it really seemed that the majority of the people that could fight were enthusiastic to do so. Some people had to be bribed to join and that is not what I thought the American Revolution was.

  5. Michael Childress Michael Childress

    I too have been surprised by my change of understanding, just through three weeks of this class. I have been trying to keep in mind that Zinn acknowledges his own biases, but when he quotes Edmund Morgan on page 84 and says “The fact that the lower ranks were involved in the contest should not obscure the fact that the contest itself was generally a struggle for office and power between members of an upper class: the new against the established”, it is hard not to feel for the lower class. I think that Zinn does a great job of highlighting the concerns and voices of those not commonly heard, especially as he gets into the formation of the constitution later in the chapter.

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