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

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What are the major themes in Chapter 9 of Howard Zinn's A People's History of the Untied States?

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Alec Cranford eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The title of chapter 9 of A People's History is "Slavery Without Submission, Emancipation Without Freedom," and its subject is antebellum slavery and its decline during the Civil War and Reconstruction era. Several themes emerge in this chapter.

One major theme is slave resistance, as the first part of the chapter title suggests. Enslaved people never accepted enslavement, and even if they did not rise up in armed rebellion, they ran away, slowed down work, broke tools, and did other things to resist their enslavement. Even the culture that arose on plantations was oppositional in nature, a "complex mixture of adaptation and rebellion," as Zinn puts it. Zinn also emphasizes the lives of those people who advocated open armed rebellion, including David Walker.

Another theme is emancipation, which took place in terms that avoided an open rebellion of the...

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