Read Ch. 4 from Howard Zinn's book, A People's History of the United States titled, "Tyranny is Tyranny."
Explain the statement: "Tyranny is Tyranny let it come from whom it may."
[Last edited Sep 12, 2010 22:14:12]
agfstanton said Sep 16, 2010 00:45:19
The Declaration of Independence was a good idea - it guaranteed equal rights and freedoms to "all men" - yet only four days after it was read aloud to the public, the poor found out that that they could not avoid the military drafts, while the rich could. After their hopes had been raised by the creation of the declaration, they were informed that these so-called "equal" rights were not all that "equal" after all. While the rich benefited from separation from Britain (not as many of their profits were taxed, they could trade freely, and therefore got even richer), the poor were in the same situation under this new government as they had been with the British in control.
Before the colonies were independent, most people considered the British rule tyrannical, yet once they were freed, as the poor people saw no difference in the way they were treated, they came to the conclusion that "tyranny is tyranny let it come from who it may." The truth is, the declaration was written by a certain group of people, many of who held high political status or were wealthy. While perhaps not intentionally, they did favor themselves in the execution of what, otherwise, would have been a good plan. All the right words were there, but those who constructed them seemed to have little idea of how those words applied to their country.
The phrase "Tyranny is Tyranny let it come from whom it may" refers to an idea that some Americans came to realize immediately after the issuing of the Declaration of Independence. It stated their immediate dissatisfaction with their new setup, be it only four days after the arrangement was announced to them. This was because the actions of the newly declared government did not improve upon Great Britain's in the Americans' views. They rebelled against Great Britain because they believed that the rulers at the time were tyrants who were using and abusing the American colonies. However, what their rebellion brought, in the form of a new government, was something that they also viewed as tyranny: a military draft where the rich "could avoid the draft by paying for substitutes" while the poor "had to serve" in the military. They considered this highly unfair, because the new government did not seem to be much of an improvement, even though it was made up of revolutionary Americans. Because of this sense of tyranny coming from the people who were fighting to stop tyranny, the American people began to realize that it didn't matter who was in charge, just that if there was injustice and corruption, there was tyranny.
“Tyranny is Tyranny let it come from whom it may” is a statement that covers a cold fact of life. No matter how much freedom you allow, and by whatever name you call it, there will always be tyrants of some kind controlling people’s lives. These tyrants tend to be the people with the most money. Sadly, this can be seen throughout history, especially in America, and even into the current day. In the case that Howard Zinn brought up, about the Revolutionary War, it’s the rich being able to pay their way out of war, which gave them power over the common man, who either took the rich man’s place or could be drafted without recourse. In the 19th and into the 20th century, after the slaves were freed, they were put under the burden of Jim Crow laws in the south and practically became slaves again to the rich plantation owners. These plantation owners paid them, but then made them buy their food from him/her, taking back their money and keeping the sons and daughters of former slaves in slavery. In the 20th century, we’ve seen people argue that the US has become a plutocracy, with lobbyists having more power than makes any sense and scandals out the wazoo, such as the “Kids for Cash” scandal. Basically, wherever you look, if someone has thrown off the shackles of tyranny, someone else puts a new pair of shackles on them, and these guys can afford some pretty strong shackles. It’s sad but true.
kelnichin said Sep 19, 2010 01:43:50
The Colonists assumed once this new government was established there would be equality that is what the public was lead to believe. However as Audrey, Christina and Kyler have discussed this was not so. The release of the declaration of independence proved that “Tyranny is Tyranny,” even though promises of equality were made, the equality was partial, only applying to the elite. There will always be systems of control and the judgment of people will forever continue. The lower classes of colonial societies experienced the same sort of oppression regardless if there was a new national government. Zinn quoted the governor of Massachusetts from an early 1700s record that stated, “The meanest Inhabitants ... by their constant Attendance there generally are the majority and outvote the Gentlemen, Merchants, Substantial Traders and all the better part of the Inhabitants." Clearly judgment was apparent in this passage proving that there will always be a tyrant, regardless the promises made.