A rebellion broke out in Virginia, a hundred
years before the American Revolution. It was called Bacon’s Rebellion and the
leader was Nathaniel Bacon. Bacon was a colonist of the Virginia Colony. Bacon
was against Indians who were rich and the American government. Who was his
supporters? There were poor British colonists, black slaves, and surprisingly
poor Indians. They joined rebellion because of the inequality such as huge gap
between rich people, expensive taxes and bad treatments. Especially, there were
lots of Indians who were living in poverty or worked as servants in terrible
the rebellion, Nathaniel Bacon cared more about fighting Indians than about
helping the poor people. He made armed militias and armed citizens that acted
outside of government control. And because of that, Bacon got arrested.
However, government let him out because of his two thousand supporters. But,
when bacon became free, he raided Indians with his militia. Bacon wrote a paper
called “Declaration of the people”. In this writing, he mentioned that the
reason of this rebellion is common people’s anger toward the rich, government
of wrong doing, and unfair taxes. A few months later, Bacon died by a disease
at the age of 29. Then, the rebellion became weak. Thomas Grantham, who was an English tobacco trader and sailor, found 400 armed
servants and slaves who had supported Bacon at the rebellion’s main stronghold.
Thomas promised to pardon them and make them free. However, when they arrived,
he returned all the servants and slaves back to their masters.
There were also lots of poor British colonists who came to
America. The reason why they came to America is opportunity. Most of them were
forced to leave their homes for America, others were drawn to America by hope,
or by promises and lies about the goof life they would have in America.
However, those colonists signed an agreement about being slave for five or
seven years for the cost of their journey from English to America. There were
also colonists who were from German and Irish but their life in America was
also worse than what they imagined.
The colonists were treated badly by their masters. Masters
treated the servants like slaves. For example, there was a master who
complained to the court about her servant. She said that her servant wasn’t
working properly. The servant said that he was too weak to work because of the
food she gives. He only ate beans and bread. However, the court gave the
servant 30 lashed with a whip. A historian said that almost none of the
servants were healthy. The rich were getting richer and the poor were getting
poorer. So, the number of people who live on the street increased. So, the
government decided to build poorhouses for old people, widows, cripples, and
orphans. However, the poor houses quickly became overcrowded.
of the Bacon’s rebellion, people were afraid of an uprising by servants and
slaves. Servants were angry about these inequality and high taxes, so some of
them tried to make a rebellion. The wealthy elites that controlled the British
colonies in North America were also afraid because they thought that they might
going to have another rebellion. So, the wealthy elites made some solutions for
that situation. They avoided fighting with servants and slaves by turning the
poor against the Indians. However, there was still a problem, the black. There
were more than 40,000 black people who had grievance.
So, Authorities decided to turn blacks against the Indians. Nevertheless, there
was another problem for wealthy southern planters which was poor whites and
black slaves. They were uprising like Bacon’s rebellion, and the rich people needed
a way to separate them from each other. The way to stop them uniting was
racism. That caused the poor whites feeling contempt for African Americans
(black people). So, the planters could stop the uprising.
From these kinds of situations which I mentioned, we can see that
Bacon’s Rebellion effected a lot on the colonial ruling class. There were many
uprisings because of all inequalities, expensive taxes, and bad treatments.
However, if there wasn’t Bacon’s Rebellion, could the servants and slaves try
to fight? No they wouldn’t. Because of Bacon’s Rebellion, the servants and
slaves could have courage. That is what Bacon’s Rebellion effected on the
colonial ruling class in America.