In the early 1890's, a strong and intelligent young woman spoke words of truth in her speech entitled "Wall Street Owns the Country." This woman was Mary Elizabeth Lease, a writer, lecturer, and political activist. Her controversial statement sparked the interest of many, "this is a nation of inconsistencies." Slavery, the American Revolution, the Mexican-American war, and the oppression of women are all critical events in our history that all equally highlight the inconsistencies of our country. This proves that Mary Elizabeth Lease was justified in her statement about this nation. .
Chapter Two, of "A Peoples History of the United States," by Howard Zinn, begins with the arrival of a slave ship in North America. With the new colony struggling to keep up with all the daily labor, the colonist were looking for ways to get greater amounts of work done in a single day. This was the driving force behind the colony's desperate desire to own slaves. The slaves were Africans who had no idea what hardships awaited. From the very beginning the Africans were treated differently from other white servants. This is when racism was born here in the United States. Here we begin to consider the first inconsistency presented in chapter two. To the colonists, servitude existed long before the Africans were introduced. Many had white indentured servants in their homes. However, when the African Americans joined the picture they were viewed as different and also treated very differently from the white servants. This inconsistency is what crossed the line from servant to slave. According to Zinn, (p.24) it was at this point in time when the colonist developed "that special racial feeling" that caused them to look down upon the blacks. The biggest inconsistency presented here is that the colonists migrated to America to improve their quality of life. But how did they achieve this? By completely destroying the quality of life of another.