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Term 3 Essay

745 words - 3 pages

Poor people had always been the backbone of the U.S. Their contribution to building America has always been overlooked. Rich people look upon the lower class with distaste, calling the unfortunate ones, “savages.” This is why Zinn named Chapter 3 of his book, “People’s History,” “Persons of Mean and Vile Conditions.” He wanted to shed light on those who were taken advantage of while history was in the making— the slaves, the poor people, the Indians also known as the “persons of Mean and Vile Conditions,” in the eyes of the wealthy. Since the rich does not want to be categorized with the poor, they have several techniques and strategies to maintain the status quo where the rich white people ...view middle of the document...

“This is to let you understand that I your child am in a most heavy case by reason of the country, is such that it causeth much sickness, as the scurvy and the bloody flux and diverse other diseases, which maketh the body very poor and weak. “ (Richard Frethorne). This is where the “mean and vile conditions” come in. Indentured servants suffered both mentally and physically while on their passage to America but they put their selves through those torturous conditions because they were promised freedom after working. Nobody can resist the temptation of freedom.
The servants, Negroes, foreigners, and others are capable of overthrowing the superior, which is why the white people used strategies to keep their status intact. The most common strategy they used is divide and conquer. By dividing each class, the odds are in the whites’ favor. They are on top and have control over everything. “….infuriating a coalition of white frontiersmen was very risky. Better to make war on the Indians, gain the support of the white, divert possible class conflict by turning whites against Indians for the security of the elite.” Zinn (54) The rich white people’s biggest fear was of the poor people (i.e. the poor whites, blacks, Indians,...

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