1. What is the thesis of the work? (1-4 sentences)In chapter 7, As long as the Grass Grows or Water Runs, Zinn argues that Indians are viewed as foreign and exterior, further claiming that they are disposable. Because the Indians are foreign, they don’t have any rights and the whites can take their land anytime. The thesis for this chapter is the chapter title itself. As long as the Grass Grows or Water Runs. This statement implies that the Indians can have land and peace somewhere else until the whites decide they want that area of land.
They will never find permanent peace or landownership because grass dies and water can dry up. This statement represents the continuous broken treaties and the lies that were told to the Indians in order to take over and steal their land. 2. How does the argument develop throughout the chapter/article? (What are the main points and sub point?)The main point in Zinn’s chapter, As Long as Grass Grows or Water Runs, is about The Trail of Tears and the removal of Indians.
The subpoints are the broken treaties and the lies that were told to the Indians. President Jackson hated the Indians and wanted them completely removed. Treaties were being made and the Indians were told lies of receiving protection and land ownership if they moved. After the Battle of Horseshoe Bend against a thousand Creeks, President Jackson was appointed commissioner and imposed a treaty which took over half of the Creek’s nation. The 1814 treaty with the Creeks granted Indians land ownership but it broke up communal landholding. Jackson encouraged white squatters to move into Indian lands. He lied and told the Indians that the government could not remove the whites and they should cede the lands or be wiped out. After Jackson was elected president, new laws in Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi were passed that extended the state’s right rule over Indian territory. Jackson made them a promise that if they left, they would receive financial support and be protected. He offered the Indians land outside of the states stating. put it in my power to be such-There beyond the limits of any state, in possession of land of their own, which they shall possess as long as Grass grows or water runs. I will protect them and be their friend. The removal of Indians continued with other Indian tribes and territories. The federal government signed a treaty with the Cherokees in 1828 giving them a permanent home which turned out to be a lie. In order to survive, the Cherokees started to live as the white man lived. The Choctaws signed a treaty for financial help, for property left behind, food, and a guarantee that they would never have to move again in exchange for their land. The Cherokees faced new laws passed by Georgia. Their land was taken and their government was destroyed. The army forced the Creeks to move. They lacked food, blankets, and medical attention. Thousands died of sickness and starvation. War broke out between the whites and the Seminoles. The main points in this chapter surround President Jackson’s goal of removing Indians from their land and territory with lies and broken promises, the signed treaties that were never kept, and forcing the Indians to sign new treaties of protection and promised land in exchange for them moving. 3. How does the author position the article in relation to other scholarship?Zinn is very one sided and extremely biased. He does side with author Dale Van Every. He mentions Van Every’s book, The Disinherited numerous times in this chapter. At one point Zinn specifically states, Van Every’s book sums up what removal meant to the Indian. Zinn also specifically says, The cost in human life cannot be accurately measured, in suffering not even roughly measured, noting that most history books pass over it. Zinn supports this statement with statistics that can be found in Michael Rogin’s Fathers and Children. 4. What type of evidence does the author use? (Primary documents such as letters, diaries, court records, statistical evidence, newspapers, ect?) Please be as specific as possible, please give examples.As mentioned above, Zinn used Michael Rogin’s Fathers and Children and Dale Van Every’s book, The Disinherited. Zinn also references many Indian statements, such as Tecumseh, a Shawnee chief and noted orator. Quoting Tesumseh, he says, The way, and the only way, to check and to stop this evil, is for the all the Redmen to unite in claiming a common and equal right to land. He quotes President Jackson many times, specifically when Jackson announced protection and landownership with his statement, . shall possess as long as Grass Grows or Water Runs. I will protect them and be their friend. Another such statement from President Jackson that Zinn references is, We bleed our enemies in such eases to give them their senses. Zinn quotes Black Hawk’s surrender speech and Senator Theodore Frelinghuysen of New Jersey who debated the Indian removal by saying, We have crowded the tribes upon a few miserable acres on our southern frontier; it is all that is left to them of their once boundless forest. 5. Are there any parts of the argument where you question the interpretation based on the evidence or the logic of the arguments? I don’t know anything about history other than what we have learned in class so there is nothing that I can honestly question. I have no basis or knowledge to make an assertion that would argue or question Zinn. 6. What does the article reveal about the author’s assumptions? As with all of Zinn’s previous chapters, Zinn is very biased and one sided. There was little support or defense for the whites, but he makes many references to how the Indians were treated. His assumptions show the mistreatment of the Indians, President Jackson as a liar, and because history books quickly skim over this, the lack of truth and importance that’s been shown with telling this side of history.7. How does this article connect with other course material thus far? This chapter connects with the beginning chapter of Zinn’s book. Chapter 1, Columbus, The Indians, and Human Progress. Both of these chapters discuss how the Native Americans were mistreated. An example in this chapter is when Black Hawk raised the white flag, the soldiers responded by firing and killing women, children, and warriors. In chapter 1, the Indians were also killed. This chapter relates to the Native American Boarding School Experience video. The video is about civilizing Indian children. They were taken from their parents and sent to boarding schools. They were abused. This chapter also discusses how the Indians were not considered to be civilized and they needed to be removed. Zinn talks about how they would not be forced to go West, but they had to abide by state laws which destroyed their tribal and personal rights and made them subject to endless harassment and invasion by white settlers. 8. Can you make any connections to other courses or to current issues? I am taking a Sociology class right now and we are talking about racism and inequality. This relates to what we are learning in Sociology because there was so much racism directed towards the Indians and they had no equality or rights. There is still racism and discrimination going on in the world today so the racism and inequality that the Indians experienced can also relate to the social problems we are still seeing today.