The Other Civil War of a People's History of The United States Essay

The Other Civil War of a People's History of The United States Essay

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In chapter “The Other Civil War” of A People’s History of the United States, Howard Zinn described the underlying class tensions caused by industrialization during the nineteenth century. He claimed that these tensions would have led to radical labor reforms if the working class’s anger had not been directed towards other issues. Zinn used The Age of Enterprise by Thomas C. Cochran and William Miller to show the upper class’s indifference towards the problems of the lower class and to prove that the rich manipulated the poor to promote their own interests. He also used Class and Community by Alan Dawley to offer examples of working class resistance, government oppression, and the effects of the Civil War. While Zinn’s use of Class and Community accurately represents Dawley’s arguments, he misuses some of his evidence from The Age of Enterprise.
In the chapter “The Other Civil War,” Zinn contended that while the working class attempted to reform the labor system, the government suppressed tensions and turned class anger toward other outlets. Zinn described the poor working and living conditions of industrial laborers to prove the need for labor reform. Overcrowding in cities, long work days, widespread disease, and other factors led workers to seek improvements. He presented numerous examples of strikes, rebellions, and riots to prove that class anger sometimes surfaced despite efforts to repress resistance. While he maintained that these reform attempts failed due to government intervention, many of these actions did result in some gains for the working class. The Anti-Rent Movement in the Hudson Valley began when tenant farmers refused to pay rent and fought a guerilla war with local police. They wanted to end patroonship, a feu...


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...and William Miller, The Age of Enterprise: A Social History of Industrial America, (New York: Harper & Row, 1961), 87.
Cochran and Miller, Age of Enterprise, 71-72.
Zinn, People’s History, 220.
Cochran and Miller, Age of Enterprise, 20, 63-63
Ibid., 5, 29.
Ibid., 28.
Zinn, People’s History, 218.
Ibid., 219.
Cochran and Miller, Age of Enterprise, 39.
Zinn, People’s History, 233-237.
Cochran and Miller, People’s History, 117-118.
Alan Dawley, Class and Community: The Industrial Revolution in Lynn (Cambridge: Harvard UP, 2000), Kindle edition, chap. 1.
Dawley, Class and Community, concl.
Ibid., chap. 2.
Zinn, People’s History, 232.
Dawley, Class and Community, chap. 2.
Ibid., concl.
Zinn, People’s History, 232.
Dawley, Class and Community, chap. 3.
Zinn, People’s History, 233.
Ibid., concl.

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