Historical Bias Issue in Zinn’s and Schweikart’s Perceptions
The significant distinctions between Zinn’s and Schweikart’s assumptions are related to the historians’ backgrounds and the subjects of their studies. Zinn preferred the socialistic values, while Schweikart’s beliefs were based on the ideas of liberalism and provided a reader with an opportunity to form their own opinion. Zinn was more dedicated to studying civil rights and society, and Schweikart’s fields of interest were economic and military history. Moreover, it is necessary to consider that Howard Zinn took part in World War II, witnessed the genocide and other ideological conflicts of the twentieth century (Zinn, 2018). Such an experience makes the historian encourage others to be intolerant to atrocities humanity has already committed.
The Perception of Columbus’ arrival in America perception reveals how different historians can interpret the same historical event. Although both Zinn and Schweikart point out the genocide consequences of the great discovery, the former highlights the fact that people tend not to pay much attention to severe actions if they were necessary for the progress. Schweikart defends Columbus’s actions and arguments that the European civilization would not have developed without radical measures towards the Indians. Zinn interprets history as the events which repeat and can be evaluated by comparing them with the past occasions, while Schweikart describes the American historical development.
There are biases in Zinn and Schweikart’s perceptions of history, based on Columbus’ discovery example. Zinn admits that the voyager’s actions were terrible and mentions that humanity keeps acting the same, while Schweikart points out the economic value of the event for Europe, regardless of the genocide of Indians. Zinn applies his value of human rights protection, and Schweikart uses his economic knowledge and beliefs according to which the casualties are necessary for the progress.
Zinn, H. (2018). You can’t be neutral on a moving train: A personal history. Beacon Press.