Context to APUSH Summer Reading Assignment

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1 Context to APUSH Summer Reading Assignment Although many people feel that history is simply lists of names, places, and dates, I believe that the discipline of history is an interpretation of evidence. Documents and artifacts can only be understood through the lens of personal knowledge and experience. Every piece of evidence is capable of varying interpretations. Plus, US history is just one really entertaining story. Our stories are ones of triumph, defeat, joy, loss, controversy, lies, betrayal, and incredible victory. Nevertheless, the story of American history was generally told from one point of view throughout most of the existence of our country. Historians disagreed over some of the details, but the big picture was generally agreed upon. This began to change in 1980 with the publication of A People s History of the United States. Professor Howard Zinn set out to tell the story of America from the point of view of the poor and the powerless. Beginning with the arrival of Columbus and continuing through America s long war in Vietnam, A People s History endeavors to give voice to those who were not making policies but were subject to them. Publication of this book created a storm of controversy in 1980, but Dr. Zinn s thesis is widely accepted today. His ideas are, in fact, fairly mainstream. If fact, the AP College Board now endorses this book as a wonderful resource for students. For your summer reading assignment you will be expected to pick up a copy of Howard Zinn s A People s History of the United States one of the editions that includes the more recent chapters of history, including the war on terror. Any publication after 2003 will suffice. There are many used copies available for purchase online, if you want to save a few dollars. And, last I checked, the entire book and its chapters are published online for viewing. Here s the link: Attached you will find your summer assignment for the book. I am looking forward to spending next year with you. Please contact me by if you have any questions. Have a wonderful summer vacation! ~ Mrs. McGiffen

2 Assignment Part 1 Read and respond to selected chapters Read the following chapters in A People s History of the United States. (pp. 1-89) Chapter 1 Columbus, the Indians, and Human Progress Chapter 2- Drawing the Color Line Chapter 3 Persons of Mean and Vile Condition Chapter 4 Tyranny is Tyranny Chapter 5 (first half) A Kind of Revolution At the bottom of this document, you will find a series of questions for each chapter that will help you analyze and think about the readings. You are to complete the questions and be prepared to hand them in on the 1 st day of school. You do not need to re-type the questions. You should also be prepared to discuss them. Your answers should be typed, and your grade will be based on quality and thoroughness of response. A couple sentences per questions will suffice. Assignment Part 2 Personal reflection Read the following quote: Anyone reading history should understand from the start that there is no such thing as impartial history Howard Zinn, Declarations of Independence Write a 1-2 page typed reflection describing whether or not you agree with the above statement. Make sure you use evidence to support your argument. You can give examples from your summer readings and/or any previous knowledge of history you may have. (PS- This can include World History or even Freshman year) Assignment Part 3 - Teacher Inquiry Please write a list of topics in US history that are particularly interesting to you. If you could design a US history course, what topics, people, events, etc. would you pay special attention to? A bulleted list is fine. You should have at least 10 topics included on your list, and you should use a couple of sentences for each event to describe WHY you chose them.

3 LOGISTICS: All papers must be typed and turned in the FIRST DAY OF CLASS!!! If you turn in the paper late, there will be a substantial late deduction, without a signed note from Guidance stating that you joined the class late in summer. If you use any outside sources other than Zinn s book, you must document properly using MLA format. Typed papers only, please - 12 pt font, Times New Roman, double spaced. These papers will be subject to running through a plagiarism website when they are turned in, so document well, and make sure all work is your own. EACH part of the assignment is 100 points, for a total of 300 possible points. Do a terrific job. This is a great way to start off the year in APUSH! ZINN CHAPTER 1: Columbus, The Indians, and Human Progress 1. According to Zinn, what is his main purpose for writing A People s History of the United States? 2. What is Zinn s thesis for pages 1-11? 3. According to Zinn, how is Columbus portrayed in traditional history books? 4. Why does Zinn dispute Henry Kissinger s statement: "History is the memory of states?" 5. Identify one early and one subsequent motive that drove Columbus to oppress indigenous peoples. 7. Discuss the significance of Powhatan s statement, "Why will you take by force what you may have quietly by love?" 8. Explain Governor John Winthrop s legal and biblical justification for seizing Indian land. 9. How does Zinn attempt to prove that the Indians were not inferior? Provide examples.

4 ZINN CHAPTER 2: Drawing the Color Line 1. According to Zinn, what is the root of racism in America? 2. Why were Africans considered "better" slaves than Indians in Virginia? 3. How did slavery in Africa differ from slavery in Europe and the Americas? 4. Describe the conditions that slaves on ships experienced coming to America ("Middle Passage"). 5. What evidence exists that America s slaves did not accept their fate easily? 6. Why did slave owners fear poor whites? ZINN CHAPTER 3: Persons of Mean and Vile Condition 1. What is Zinn s thesis in this chapter? 2. What was the underlying cause of Bacon s Rebellion? 3. Explain indentured servitude (also known as the "headright system"). 5. How did the voyage of indentured servants to America compare with the "Middle Passage." 6. What generally happened to indentured servants after they became free? 7. Explain the statement: "The country therefore was not "born free" but born slave and free, servant and master, tenant and landlord, poor and rich."

5 ZINN CHAPTER 4: Tyranny is Tyranny 1. What is the thesis of this chapter? 2. According to Zinn, how did the creation of the United States benefit the upper class? 3. What advice did colonial leaders including -- Samuel Adams and James Otis -- give to the people concerning the Townshend Acts? 4. What class did the leaders of the Sons of Liberty come from? What was their goal? 5 What was one of John Adam s concerns concerning Thomas Paine s Common Sense? 6. According to Zinn, who does Paine really represent? 7. What groups of Americans were deprived of the ideals set forth in the Declaration of Independence? 8. Explain the statement: "Tyranny is Tyranny let it come from whom it may." ZINN CHAPTER 5: First half of chapter 1. What support did the Revolutionary War effort have among the colonial population? 2. What incentives did the Revolutionary War leaders use to attract recruits? 3. What was the British strategy concerning slavery in the South? 4. How did land confiscated from Loyalists reflect the Revolution s effect on class relations? 5. Explain Carl Degler s assertion that "no new social class came to power throughout the door of the American revolution. 6. What was the impact of America s victory on the Native Americans?

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