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How Did Zinn Characterize Columbus?

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1. Zinn had stated that many historians have so far heavily relied on biased views that are influenced by ideological choices on what to present and emphasize in portraying history. However Zinn is not to ‘accuse, judge, condemn Columbus’, but to question against the ‘easy acceptance of atrocities as a deplorable but necessary price to pay for progress.’ In other words, Zinn is challenging the prevalent, stereotypical story telling of the American history by demoting the exaggerated heroism, and telling it from the victims and the lessor’s perspective. 2. Zinn first characterizes Columbus by emphasizing his self-proclaimed greed and barbaric tactics he used to dominate and enslave the Indians. He does not glorify what Columbus has done or…show more content…
One of the earlier motives that caused Columbus to oppress the indigenous people were the tiny gold ornaments some of the Arawak’s wore. This made Columbus to take some of the natives as prisoners and insist them to inform where gold was. Later, he got eventually coarser in treating the Indians, due to the gold mask presented to Columbus by al local chief in Hispaniola and the innocent, trusting characteristics of the natives that shared anything they could possibly share. 6. Both Cortes and Pizarro had few similar reasons that lead them to exploration, including gold, the most important, slaves, new agricultures, and establishing capital for the early capitalist states of Europe. They also had similar tactic where they destroyed each town as whole with advanced technologies, resulting to reduce the native population heavily. 7.The Powhatan’s statement reveals the overall qualities that the natives value. This statement shows that although stealing, in force, is an option, the natives would very rather settle with peaceful arrangements and love. It also reprimands the selfish characteristics of the invaders and reveals that if without violence they would’ve willingly provided the supplies that English needed in order to settle
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