The Columbian Encounter By Howard Zinn Essays

1021 Words Oct 7th, 2015 5 Pages
History Essay

Nobody likes critical history - the side of history that no one wants to celebrate - yet it is critical to look at all sides of a celebrated historic event before judging. You might find that the cause for celebration only masks the horrific violence beneath. October 12, 1492 was the historic date in which Christopher Columbus, a European explorer, jumped onto American soil for the first time, thinking he had landed in Asia. People with celebratory viewpoints, such as historians Schweikart and Allen, made and honored “Columbus Day,” a national holiday celebrating the beginning of the Columbian exchange and the formation of the nation we know today. However, the critical history of the event is recognized by an increasing number of people these days, voiced in the critical historian Howard Zinn’s writing. Though Howard Zinn’s critical history of the Columbian Encounter is supported by hand-picked evidence and isolated information from which he draws broad conclusions, it can be critiqued and undermined by celebratory historians who use the same methods as Zinn to strengthen their argument against his.
Zinn depicts the Native Americans as gentle, defenseless people by ignoring information that does not blatantly support his reasoning, strengthening his argument but providing unrecognized information for people who disagree to use in their arguments against him. For example, in his paper, Zinn talks about how the Arawaks - the first Native Americans that…

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