What Is Howard Zinn's Theory of the Constitution?
Many historians and political theorists regard Howard Zinn as one of the most influential thinkers of the 20th century. Critics may view Zinn's theory on the Constitution as overly critical of the document and the country that upholds it, but few would deny that his thoughts and writings on these subjects played a considerable role in modern American political discourse. Zinn suggests that people should take a questioning stance with regard to the Constitution, its alleged deficiencies and the document's application.
1 Zinn and the Effect of the Constitution
Howard Zinn's theory of the Constitution asks how the document and its principles have affected the quality of people's lives. Zinn takes a skeptical stance and states that the document is frequently ineffective and fails to protect those who might need it most. He voices doubts about whether the Constitution truly represents the national interest and also chooses to view the Constitution in relation to its treatment of slaves, Native Americans and other oppressed peoples. Zinn's theory of the Constitution holds that the document's ideals and protections are selectively applied.