What does the “assimilation program” suggest about the “centennial celebration

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1)What do you think of Zinn’s approach to history?
2)What questions do you have about Lecture 2: 1876?
3)Are women in the Us today still treated as second-class citizens?
4)What does the “assimilation program” suggest about the “centennial celebration”?
5) What difference does it make if we call the Washita killings a “battle” or “massacre”?
Answer all five as much as needed. I provide the document if you need to refer to it, but you can also use an outside source for writing these if needed. But mainly just normal response.
I also give you 4 other responses from other students that I have to reply to, and you give me a response to them other than responding to the 5 questions. That way, you can get an idea of what you write.
Student one:
I think that Zinn’s approach to history (along with our professors approach in the lectures and material) is incredibly refreshing to read because the statement “history is boring” is something I thought to be true; but thats because I was reading the boring “white mans victory!!!” and glorified version of history. Zinn’s approach let’s me see a different viewpoint of past events I’ve studied in history, which gives me a better perspective on what truly happened, it’s also interesting to think about why so many history classes, books, articles etc. leave out critical parts to the story and only tell the celebratory side.
Although women have the right to vote and can work certain jobs as of current, I still think that in the US ,women are still treated as second-class citizens due to their still being a gender pay gap (https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2021/05/25/gender-pay-gap-facts/ (Links to an external site.)), most* of the bodies in office being men who rule majority on women’s issues and a very obvious sterotype of sexism still alive (such as teachers saying “I need a big strong MAN to help me move these desks”). *Most of the bodies being the 78% in congress who identify as white men and only 23% being women, according to an OpenSecrets report (https://www.opensecrets.org/news/reports/gender-and-race-2020). (Links to an external site.)
Just like the “centennial celebration”, the “assimilation program” suggests that once again, the event in history is told through a glorified viewpoint by giving it an ironically positive name for a rather mediocre or half sided event. The assimilation program and centennial celebration are put in a nice way that makes them sound like good events in history (i.e. a celebratory event!) but in the untold part of the centennial celebration, women and African Americans were still fighting for freedom and had nothing to celebrate and through the assimilation program the Natives were being stripped of their identification and culture. These were in fact, not positive events but seem that way due to their names being twisted.
It makes a big difference if we call the Washita killings a “battle” vs. a “massacre” because the Washita were annihilated by the English soldiers over their land, and it was a one-sided attack not a mutual “lets fight over the land” type-deal. Saying that the Washita killings were a massacre paints the English soldiers in a negative way, but if the event was said to be a battle then it seems more of a mutual fight and the English just simply won the “battle”.
Student two:
I actually really enjoy Zinn’s approach to history and how he is explaining it. I like the fact that he includes a lot of information, but only the important facts. Many times we see in textbooks a lot of unnecessary info that only makes things more confusing, Zinn eliminates this factor and gives us what we need.
A question I have after Lecture 2 is “Why did we have to ‘Conquer’ the great plains? Why couldn’t we just negotiate peacefully or at least try to.” I understand that when it comes to territory, no one is going to give up for free but why should we not just try to be more peaceful. This is important because we would have many more native Americans in our world today if we did so.
I do not believe that Women are seen as second class citizens anymore in the US. If you would have asked this question in the early 2000’s, I would have probably said yes. But, with how everything is going right now and how women have a larger voice and a larger role in the workplace and just in society in general, they definitely are not second class anymore. That is why we see so many immigrants come to the US so they can escape that “second class citizen” narrative in their own countries.
The assimilation program was the process of integrating Native Americans into European culture by making them drop all of their old beliefs and morals and adopting the European ones. This is unfortunate because many old traditions were lost and forgotten and will forever be a part of history of the past. The centennial celebration was the 100th anniversary of European culture in America so it shows how much of an influence we had on NAs and how we forced them into a white man culture. It also shows how much more dominant we were over the natives and how bad that was.
The difference between “massacre” and “battle” are significant. Massacre is much more evil and puts an emphasis on a one sided killing of people. It makes it seem that there was no fairness to the killings and it was without any type of morals. Battle makes it seem like it was an agreed upon fight between opposing sides over a confrontation that could only be settled from violence or even an argument. Battle can be used to talk about arguments, but back then this was definitely not the case. Battle also makes it seem like the victor gets something out of the outcome of the event whereas massacre is just killing because they want to.
Student three:
1) I personally really enjoy Zinn’s approach to history and the methods used in order to teach a lesson. I always think history is boring and it is honestly a class that I dread taking because I find science classing to be much more interesting and easier to understand compared to history. Throughout all the history classes I have taken, they have always glorified a particular group regardless of whether or not they have caused harm to other groups of people. In this case, it’s the white man. However, Zinn brings a refreshing approach to history, giving the good, bad, and the ugly.
Do you think that US officials still use the idea of manifest destiny today? Why do US officials build monuments for the Battle of the Little Bighorn but not for Wounded Knee? Why glorify one but not the other?
I do believe that today, although there has been progress, women are still treated as second class citizens. There has been undeniable progress, like women having the right to vote. However, often times we see women protesting the same issues that they were protesting 50 or 100 years ago. For example, women are paid less than men.
The assimilation program was an attempt to integrate Native Americans into a European or white culture. They did this by changing their beliefs and creating new ones that was more fitting to European beliefs and culture. The centennial celebration was the 100th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence which meant 100 years free from tyranny. This was rather ironic considering the fact that the only individuals free from tyranny were the white man. Women and individuals or color were still not free, and neither were the Native Americans who were constantly under attack because US officials wanted to take away their land. The centennial celebration was a way for white men to justify the assimilation program because they believed that if the Native Americans were more like them, then they would not have as many issues. Taking away Native American culture and morals was definitely not something worth celebrating.
In my opinion, the words battle and massacre have very different tones. When someone says battle, it often makes me think that the fight was a mutual agreement between two parties where an equal amount of individuals from both parties died as a result. However, when the word massacre is used, it conveys a brutal, violent, and bloody tone. If you call the Washita killings a battle it is almost as if it has a more gentle tone. If you call the Washita killing a massacre, it is automatically known that there was a mass killing or murder of one party. Calling the Washita killings a massacre is a more accurate representation of what actually happened whereas saying it is a battle means both parties are at fault when it reality the Washita were killed by English men who wanted their land.
Student four:
1)After reading the first lecture I ended up really liking Zinn’s approach to history. I have always enjoyed reading and learning about history my entire life, however, in many classes I felt as if the whole story wasn’t being told. I like how Zinn highlights what the victims went through and how severe and damaging it was. Especially in the case of the Taino’s. There whole population was worn down to basically, extinction. However, in elementary and middle school we were taught to celebrate Columbus and other conquistadors.
2. No questions 🙂
3. Although women don’t face as much discrimination as they did in say the early 1900s, I do believe that women are still treated as second class citizens. One current example of this is the overturn of Roe v Wade. The option of abortion and planned parenthood gave millions of women the ability to think for themselves, their future, and to do what is best fit for their bodies, etc. The fact that this was so easily taken away goes to show that even people who hold the some of the highest positions in the country do not care about women. The treatment of women as second class citizens is not only something that can be seen in the eyes of the law, but how many other people treat women based on how they grew up and such.
4. The assimilation program was a tactic to have Native Americans forget about their culture, traditions, and ways of life. The centennial celebration was the celebration of being free from tyranny for one hundred years. But the reality of thee celebration was that women, children, and people of color were faced with a tyrannical government. It was only the white men who were truly free. Since “assimilate” means to absorb or make the same, I think the assimilation program suggests that past historical figures tried to justify their actions by associating them with positive sounding words which is also the case for the centennial celebration. By adding the word “celebration” it makes our mind associate the event with positivity rather than the harsh realities that were occurring.
5. The difference between calling the Washita killings a “battle” or “massacre” is that if it was to be considered a battle it would almost be voluntary on both sides. When using the term “battle” it means that both groups feel as if the other is doing something wrong and want to declare a clear ‘winner’. When using the term “massacre”, it means that one side barbarically exploited, killed, abused the other party. If both parties agreed to fight then the Washita killings would be considered a battle, but they were wrongfully killed with no justification which would make it a massacre.
All the students need a response

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