Howard Zinn's Definition Of Genocide

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After reading Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States, it is clear that the Spanish took inhumane actions against the Arawak Native Americans in the 15th and 16th century. However, did the Spanish commit genocide? Genocide is a powerful word that should be used carefully, therefore; it is imperative that a firm definition is decided. defines the word as “The deliberate and systematic extermination of a national, racial, political, or cultural group”. This definition includes the conditions that genocide must be done purposely with a system and must be an extermination of a certain group of people. By matching the Spanish’s actions to the conditions of the definition of genocide, I will prove they committed genocide and further compare it to the holocaust.…show more content…
On page 6 of Zinn’s paper, he quotes Bartolome de Las Casas, a young priest who witnessed the Spanish’s actions in the Americas, who described the intentions of the Spanish as to ravage, murder and destroy. In addition to, the Spanish killed the Native Americans with a system. Zinn explained on page four that Columbus promised Spain lots of gold and forced the natives to find it and if not threatened to kill them. However, Columbus failed to realize that the Islands had very little gold. When the natives returned without gold, the Spanish killed them, often by cutting off their hand and as a result they would bleed out. Furthermore, the Spanish exterminated the Arawak. On page five, Zinn wrote that by the year 1650 there were no Arawak Native Americans left because of the Spanish. Finally, the Arawak Native Americans are a people group all located around what is now Haiti and on page three Zinn says they lived together in Village communes. Since all four conditions are true, we can say for sure that the Spanish committed

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