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A People's History of the United States

by Howard Zinn
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In A People's History of the United States are the acts of Columbus and the Spanish explorers considered genocide?

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"any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: killing members of the group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part1 ; imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; [and] forcibly transferring children of the group to another group."  --United Nations definition on genocide

A significant portion of Howard Zinn's first chapter of A People's History of the United States is dedicated to proving Christopher Columbus as guilty of genocide.  Many of the elements of the UN definition of genocide are discussed in the chapter including military and biological warfare against the natives.  Zinn uses the word genocide no less than four times in the chapter to describe Columbus.  The Harvard historian Samuel Eliot Morison, a renowned writer on Columbus, is quoted as calling the acts of Columbus "complete genocide."  Zinn routinely describes the actions of Columbus in this way himself, but he is not as upset about the fact that they happened, but that historians have glossed over that part of the story.  He discusses that it is wrong to promote progress without the discussion of the unpleasant nature of how progress is made.  Without a doubt, Zinn believes that the atrocities committed are acts of genocide.  

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