Zinn’s chapter, Slavery Without Submission, Emancipation Without Freedom, intorduced me to the harsh truths about Americas history with slavery, the treatment of black people, and the false narrative of the civil war. This chapter yet again provided us with a true depiction of what happened with the emancipation, as well as the civil war, and debunked the narratives stories that we as American learners were taught throughout our time in the education system.
To begin, Lincoln is revered as an American hero as he “ended slavery” with the emancipation. While this is technically true, Lincoln, as portrayed by Zinn, was indifferent towards the idea of racial equality, and wanted to abolsih slavery to preserve the Union, and capitalist ties between the North and the South. The idea that Lincoln isn’t what histroy books portrayed him to be makes me wonder whether or not he too, will have his name tarnished and statue deminished for the untrue depiction of his morals that most Americans view him with.
Secondly, I found it fascinating that the Southern and Northern Elites werent entirely different as their views pertianed to slavery. Zinn alluded to the fact that neither party cared about slaves, they cared about finances. This leads me to beleive that many people at the time didn’t see the true problem with slavery, yet saw it as a beneficail aspect of life that would make White Americans more well off. These types of truth’s, the ones that depict real reactions towards slavery, are the ones that need to be taught in school. The commonly agreed upon purpose of instructing histroy is to prevent bad thigns from repeating themselves… that will not happen unless the truth be told.
To conclude, this chapter introduced me to the truth’s behind slavery, its abolition, and the true American perceptions of the maltreatment of Black’s, and it was heart breaking. The fact that Black people were of such miniscule importance and social standing is cruel and wrong, and luckily that has begun to change today. While there are many modern day problems with the treatment of Black Americans, we as a people and as a coutnry are moving in the right direction towards a society of equality and equal opportunity.