In this chapter, the author described the state of society at the time of the war. Its main idea was that the revolutionary was not intended for the good- being of the people as the constitution made it seem. It is all about ordinary people who keep struggling to achieve equality, and democracy, yet are always defeated by greedy rulers. “The Continental Congress, which governed the colonies through the war, was dominated by rich men, linked together in factions and compacts by business and family connections.” (Zinn, par 18 ).
Zinn argued that the Constitution did not pay attention to lower classes such as slavery. As a result of their avoidance of addressing slavery, it became one of the main issues that led to the civil war. “Morris’s plan was to give more assurance to those who had loaned money to the Continental Congress and gain the support of officers by voting half-pay for life for those who stuck to the end. This ignored the common soldier, who was not getting paid, who was suffering in the cold, dying of sickness, watching the civilian profiteers get rich.” (Zinn, par 19). This was much more like the Matthew effect that the rich get richer and more powerful and the poor get poorer which this didn’t really benefit America because the wealthy Americans only gained from war.
The main point is that the war was fought by the poor for the sake of the rich people. Also, the war was generally led by high-class people.Zinn also mentioned that, “The Constitution became even more acceptable to the public at large after the first Congress, responding to criticism, passed a series of amendments known as the Bill of Rights. These amendments seemed to make the new government a guardian of people’s liberties: to speak, to publish, to worship, to petition, to assemble, to be tried fairly, to be secure at home against official intrusion.
” This is another scene situation that Zinn pointed out which was clearly different picture than the norm. The first Congress of the United States passed the Bill of Rights. Then, 7 years after it was passed, congress passed a law opposing the first amendment known as the Sedition Act of 1798.
It says there that If anything “false, scandalous and malicious” was said or written to disgrace against the government, Congress or the President it would be considered a crime, which was obviously violated the bill of rights.As mentioned in the last part of the chapter, “Were the Founding Fathers wise and just men trying to achieve a good balance? In fact, they did not want a balance, except one which kept things as they were, a balance among the dominant forces at that time. They certainly did not want an equal balance between slaves and masters, property less and property holders, Indians and white.” Zinn showed us that the constitution was written to benefit the founding fathers, who are very rich and powerful.
He showed us their dark sides which cannot be found in other textbooks. He argued that they only care about their properties; also, their support was on the wealthy people that’s why only the poor people struggled and the rich people did not.