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Christopher Wilson’s Blog Post 9/13

I found this chapter to be extremely insightful to my understanding of how to interpret important historical events and documents, such as the Revolutionary War and the U.S. Constitution, in response to who in history was controlling the narrative of these events. With the Revolutionary War, Zinn (1980) analyzed what this war meant to both Native Americans and African slaves. For Native Americans, the Revolutionary War augmented their feelings of isolation and fear for their future livelihood as they no longer had the aid of France and England to protect them from the oppression and violence colonial Americans placed on them. Colonial Americans were eager to acquire more land in the west as the populations in the American colonies in the east were growing; however, this was not good for Native Americans because they were constantly being forced off of their land to relocate to some other uninhabited area. Hence, many land conflicts arose between colonial Americans and the Native Americans, yet the Native Americans held their ground and defeated the groups of American colonists who wanted to take their land. On the other hand, the Revolutionary War for African slaves allowed them to achieve freedom as thousands of African slaves took advantage of the mayhem to escape their masters so that they could live relatively free lives in other parts of the world. Also, free black people, who mainly lived in the North, began to assert themselves in a white supremacist culture as they advocated for voting rights, for financial resources to educate their children, for anti-discrimination laws, and for many other things that would reduce the inequalities the free black population in America no longer wanted to suffer from.

Similarly, Zinn (1980) points out that the U.S. Constitution is just another document that the colonial ruling class in America used to serve three primary purposes. One, the wealthy deliberated crafted the rhetoric of the Constitution to protect their economic interests- owning property, land, and slaves- while maintaining their system of privilege. As we have already learned in class, African slaves, indigenous people, women, indentured servants, and white men who did not own property were not extended these same protections and liberties. Two, the rich wanted to create a representative government that would maintain peace in society while preventing uprisings- for instance, farmers and military veterans rebelling against members of Congress. I should add that the rich were obsessed with controlling the government and controlling the laws by which the government and the people in America had to abide by. Three, the upper-class needed to earn the support of middle-class white America so that middle-class white Americans could support them instead of allying with the poor to overthrow the rich in power. By deceiving middle-class white Americans to believe that the U.S. Constitution would prioritize democracy, equality, and balance in society and that they- the rich- would grant them some rights and privileges in return for their support, middle-class white Americans took a bite of the upper-class’ act of good faith too soon. The middle-class soon regretted their decision when they saw how the upper-class continued to perpetuate systems of inequality against them.

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