A People's History of the United States Questions and Answers
by Howard Zinn

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What is Howard Zinn's main statement or argument in chapter one of A People's History of the United States?

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The first chapter presents a challenge to the traditional viewpoint of the progress of the United States. While there has been a great deal of demographic and economic expansion throughout its history, Zinn argues that there is another side to the story that is often overlooked—namely the aspect of conquest and oppression.

Zinn's argument is that America is a nation that has a history of oppression, violence, and victimization which has systematically silenced minority groups or those less economically privileged. This paints a much darker and pessimistic view of the nation's history but also illuminates the areas that are often overlooked in cursory studies of American history. In the end, Zinn simply wants to question the mainstream perception of the advancement and progress in America and make sure that all sides of the story are examined and/or challenged.

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Howard Zinn opens the chapter, and the book, with an analysis of Columbus’s early encounters with Native peoples in the...

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