Sample History Paper on The Building of the United States

The Building of the United States

In Chapter 6, “The intimately oppressed,” Zinn narrates how women, both White and of color, were oppressed by law as well as men. Prior to being forced to work, women had other responsibilities. Women were expected to be the child bearers, and they would give birth to as many children as the man demanded. It was a woman’s duty to nurture her children as well as her husband. Moreover, the law oppressed women in that men could take their wives to court and accuse them of having a child out of wedlock while the father of the child would not be punished for the same act (Zinn). A shift to an economy, which required women to work, brought about slavery. Slave women were treated twice as badly as slave men. The women would be forced into relationships by their masters, and they would be expected to take care of the domestic jobs. The women, therefore, underwent both emotional and physical torture.

Women played a great role in the American Revolution by offering not only support but also intelligence to their men. Women from different divides, low class, and from well-to-do families, all had a common goal, to see their men succeed. However, women from the working class such as Margaret Corbin and Molly Pitcher in history were recorded as prostitutes while Martha Washington, who was from a well-to-do family, was accorded respect for visiting her husband while he was at Valley Forge (Zinn). Women were caregivers, and they took care of their children when their husbands were out either socializing or fighting. They would hold the family together by encouraging the children that their fathers would be back as well as encouraging their husbands when they needed motivation.

The major theme in chapter 7 is war and oppression. The chapter covers the conflicts between the government of the United States and Native Americans. It covers events such as the Indian removal and Seminole wars, which took place during Martin Buren and Andrew Jackson’s administration.

Andrew Jackson was the 7th president of the United States from 1829 to 1839 (Zinn). He was also a soldier, and he served in both congress houses. Jackson, during his time in the army, led his army in battle across many regions such as horseshoe bend and creek war. He is also remembered for his role in the Seminole Wars, which led to the annexation of Florida. When he became president in 1829, he signed the Indian Removal Act, which led to Indian resettlement (Zinn).

The Seminole’s experience with the United States is different from Cherokee’s experience with the United States since Cherokees were willing to give a part of their land to the U.S while Seminole opposed removal. Jackson, by signing the Indian Removal Act, pushed for Indians to be removed from their land and relocated to the western region. Seminoles opposed the move, which led to an eight-year war (Zinn). Cherokees, on the other hand, preferred peace and did not directly engage the government. They signed an agreement with the government that they would give up a part of their land to the government, but the agreement was later disregarded, and the Cherokees were forced from their land. Jackson promised Cherokees that there would be land awaiting Cherokees in the West if they moved, which would be theirs “as long as the grass grows or water runs,” but the promise was never kept (Zinn). The experiences of both tribes with the United States were similar in that both of them were forcefully removed from their land. The Seminoles were forced to move to a land that could not sustain them while the Cherokee were forced on a journey referred to as a trail of tears.

In Chapter 8 Zinn showcases how the United States felt about the American-Mexican war and the reasons for their West Ward expansion. Despite the fact that the United States participated in the war to claim California and Mexico the government still maintained that it was not interested in the war but rather helping their people find areas to settle. The Washington union was one of the publications which President Polk used to indicate his stand on the issue and in one of the issues Polk indicated that annexation for them would be a peaceful march that cannot be stopped (Zinn). The National intelligencer which was a newspaper for the Whigs also reported about the Senate debate about war appropriation showing that not many people were enthusiastic about the war (Zinn).

Slavery was an important trade not only in the United States but also in other surrounding first-world nations such as those in Europe. Slavery provided the much-needed labor both at homes and the fields. Men were brought in from Western Africa and sold to wealthy men, once bought; the slaves would remain with their masters up until when the master decided to sell them or when the slaves died (Zinn). The more slaves a man had, the quicker they would work on the farm. Moreover, a man was considered wealthy based on the number of slaves he had. Slaves, therefore, provided labor, which led to the high production of farm produce and improved the United States economy.

Work Cited

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Zinn, Howard. A People’s History of the United States. , 2013.

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