Soon Bacon would be dead and his militia defeated. There, they met a group of Occaneechi people, whom they enlisted to help them fight a group of Susquehannocks. News had taken months to travel to England, and Charles II took until late October to respond. But for poorer Virginians, times were lean. In 2004, a small group of Occaneechi descendants bought back a 25-acre parcel of their traditional lands—the first time Occaneechi people have owned land as a tribe for over 250 years. Bacon’s rebellion was a popular revolt in colonial Virginia in 1676. This uprising was led by Nathaniel Bacon, a 29 year old farmer who led about a thousand Virginians against the friendly policies of the then Virginia Governor, William Berkeley towards Native Americans (Wertenbaker, 2010, p. 8). | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Sitemap. Poor farmers had been hit hard by falling tobacco prices, and many on the borders of the colony’s frontier wanted to expand westward. They enact laws which say that people of African descent are hereditary slaves.”. The old governor's one desire was to clear himself with the king. “Here, shoot me!” yelled Berkeley, daring Bacon to shoot. Also, it hastened the hardening of racial lines dealing with slavery, because this rebellion involved both black and white indentured servants which worried the ruling class. Berkeley didn’t get the chance. The uprising developed because of high taxes, low prices for tobacco, and anger towards Sir Berkeley because he provided special privileges that … Bacon's Rebellion was triggered when a grab for Native American lands was denied. Jamestown had once been the bustling capital of the Colony of Virginia. There, they faced threats from Native Americans intent on protecting their ancestral lands. This renders the present narrative of real value. What was the significance of Bacon's Rebellion? In September, matters came to a head. Each orientation reflects contending views of human nature and prescriptions for making the world a better place. In response, Berkeley declared Bacon a rebel and scheduled elections for a new assembly to solve the problem for good. But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us! Twice a week we compile our most fascinating features and deliver them straight to you. by James A. Bacon The greatest ideological division in the United States today separates those who support policies geared to creating equal opportunities for all and those who support policies geared to creating equal outcomes. More recently, however, historians have come to understand the rebellion as more of a power struggle between two men. Summary of Rebellion Bacon’s Rebellion was a popular revolt in colonial Virginia in 1676 which was led by Nathaniel Bacon. Bacon’s rebellion causes a transition in the history of labor in the early southern colonies for the reason that the people involved in the rebellion were indentured servants, freemen, and slaves. Forces would be coming soon from England in an attempt to take his militia down. Our mission is to provide Virginia citizens with the ideas and news they need to build more prosperous, livable and sustainable communities. Analysis. Many were executed for their actions. By then, Bacon’s rebellion was falling to pieces. Bacon’s Rebellion was a war between two actual cousins. Bacon's Rebellion was an uprising in 1676 in the Virginia Colony in North America, led by a 29-year-old planter Nathaniel Bacon. This was the first time in Virginia you saw the race/slave divide The legacy of this rebellion is that it strengthens the class divide and strengthens the race divide. HISTORY reviews and updates its content regularly to ensure it is complete and accurate. He accused Berkeley of trying to force the colonists into a civil war—while fomenting one of his own. Of course, I'm not talking about the bacon you fry up with your morning eggs; I'm talking about the Virginia colonist named Nathaniel Bacon. For much of American history, Bacon’s Rebellion was considered a forerunner of the American Revolution. Drunk on brandy and the prospects of the land to which they thought they were entitled, Bacon and his men headed south. The rebellion of Bacon, as it is improperly called, has been little understood, its cause and course being imperfectly explainedby any authentic document hitherto possessed. Nevertheless, Nathaniel Bacon is a legend for his rebellious nature, and the response of the colonists was inevitable. In September 1676, Bacon’s militia captured Jamestown and burned it to the ground. In March 1676, after attacking a friendly tribe and falsely accusing them of stealing his corn, Bacon insisted that the governor finance and support a militia to attack Native Americans on the colony’s border. At Berkeley’s insistence, 23 of Bacon’s supporters were hanged. But Bacon and his men couldn’t surrender. Bacon’s Rebellion in Virginia was one of the largest popular uprisings in the history of the British America, and it has a well-established place in numerous Atlantic historiographies. Powered by Create your own unique website with customizable templates. The discontent that fuelled the rebellion came from declining tobacco prices, competition from other colonies, and an increase in the prices of English manufactured goods. All Rights Reserved. This was the setting for the tangled events that have come to be called Bacon's Rebellion. Bacon’s rebellion was a revolt that took place in 1676 in Virginia Colony, North America. Soon, a force of Virginia and Maryland militiamen laid siege to the Susquehannock, murdering several of the tribe's chief negotiators. an unsuccessful uprising by frontiersmen in Virginia in 1676, led by Nathaniel Bacon against the colonial government in Jamestown. A man named Nathaniel Bacon led the revolt in 1676. Bacon isn't done with his rebellion yet, he catches dysentery and dies and thats where his rebellion ends. The Occaneechi helped, but met with a brutal reward. Today, though, historians see it as a tussle over the ownership of the colonial frontier and an effort to further drive Native Americans off their lands. Eventually, they merged with another tribe. Bacon’s Rebellion was the first popular revolt in England’s North American colonies. The social position of Africans and their descendants for the first six or seven decades of colonial history seems to have been open and fluid and not initially overcast with an ideology of inequality or inferiority. Bacon was born on January 2, 1647, in Suffolk, England. About a thousand Virginians rose because they resented Virginia Governor William Berkeley's friendly policies towards the Native Americans. All Rights Reserved. “Gone were his allies at court. Finally, the Crown intervened. In 1676, Bacon led a group of The militiamen then rele… Bacon's Rebellion was a shocking event that changed the tide of slavery in Virginia and nearby colonies, leading to much harsher environments for slaves. When Bacon arrived, Berkeley gave him land and a seat on the council.Bacon’s privilege aside, life in Virginia was harsh, filled with drought, starvation, and fighting with Native Americans. “Sick, and weakened by the crossing, six weeks later Berkeley landed in London a broken man,” writes historian Warren M. Billings. Instead, Bacon retreated and began traveling throughout Virginia, recruiting other disgruntled rebels. One was the heavy-handed English governor, Sir William Berkeley, a veteran of the English civil wars. As Bacon’s men stood off with Berkeley’s, the governor opened his shirt and showed Bacon his bare chest. Berkeley, assisted by an English naval squadron, soon defeated the remainder of the rebels, and Berkeley returned to Jamestown. There was no opportunity.” Berkeley died before he ever saw the king. The other was Nathaniel Bacon, an immature, lazy schemer who was sent to Virginia by his dad in the hopes he would grow up. Bacon’s Rebellion can be interpreted in a variety of other ways, but it all began … In the aftermath of the rebellion, white planters reacted with alarm to the anger they had seen among the black Virginians who had joined Bacon’s rebellion. Bacon's Rebellion, popular revolt in colonial Virginia in 1676, led by Nathaniel Bacon. As the assembly convened, Bacon got on his knees and apologized to the governor. Bacon took control of the colony, but then died of a sudden death. But his attempts to appease all sides failed, especially when he used new trade rules to increase his wealthy friends’ fortunes. Frontier militiamen retaliated, killing at least ten Doegs and 14 members of the Susquehannock Tribe by mistake. Governor William Berkeley's refusal to retaliate against the Native Americans in response to attacks against English colonists was the immediate cause of Bacon's Rebellion. The day before Charles II’s proclamation about the rebellion, Bacon died of dysentery. Bacon's Rebellion is considered to be one of the most confusing and fascinating part Jamestown's history. When the colonists called on their governor for military support, he refused. FACT CHECK: We strive for accuracy and fairness. Nathaniel Bacon (right) and his rebel followers confront Virginia governor Sir William Berkeley with his failure to protect them from Native American attacks. After arguing with the commissioner, who had been given authority to end Berkeley’s governorship, Berkeley went to England to beg Charles II to let him keep his post. Bacon’s rebellion caused a stir among the British, who allowed Berkeley to stay on as a governor. The unrest began late in 1675 with confrontations between frontier settlers and Indians. Bacon's Rebellion can be attributed to a myriad of causes, all of which led to dissent in the Virginia colony. Although Bacon died of fever a month later and the rebellion fell apart, Virginia’s wealthy planters were shaken by the fact that a rebel militia that united white and black servants and slaves had destroyed the colonial capital. Bacon’s Rebellion is one of the most studied episodes in American history but analysis of the evidence shows that it was an economic rebellion rather than a spontaneous revolt for freedom from British control. Bacon's Rebellion was a shocking event that changed the tide of slavery in Virginia and nearby colonies, leading to much harsher environments for slaves. Berkeley refused, infuriating Bacon. But Bacon was immediately elected to that legislative body, and when he headed to Jamestown to begin his tenure there, was met with a chilly welcome. Berkeley had long tried to balance his colonists’ wishes against those of the tribes on Virginia’s borders. Among the mob were black and white indentured servants. However, after a thorough investigation, he was sent back to England and was replaced. Your email address will not be published. On the night of September 19, they torched the entire town, burning it to the ground. 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