Nathaniel Bacon Essay

3252 WordsMar 25, 200914 Pages
Bacon’s Rebellion of 1676 was a rebellion against William Berkeley, the governor of Virginia and also the British Crown. Bacon’s rebellion essentially resulted from class division between the wealthy and the poor. Nathaniel Bacon was born in English from a noble family and later made his journey to Virginia where he would inhabit two plantations. Upon Bacon’s arrival in Virginia, a political and social structure had already been developed in the newly formed colony. The upper class consisted of the rich, and powerful with close alliance to William Berkeley. Governor Berkeley represented and ruled over Virginia as the royal representation for the British Crown oversees. The other, lower class consisted of poor tobacco planters who inhabited the frontiers of Virginia, and were frequently subject to raids by the nearby Indians. Although, Bacon came from a rich English noble family, he had purchased his two plantations near James River in the late 1640’s, thus he arrived too “late” and was excluded from the elite class.1 The rebellion resulted from diverse issues the poor colonists had to face. They suffered economic hardships under Berkeley’s government. Territorial issues became more and more problematic for the poor. Additionally they were faced with violent Indian interaction, without any support from Berkeley. Finally, the division of class and representation in the government became an increasing problematic issue. Consequently, Bacon’s Rebellion contributed to the development of colonial interactions and relations with Indians, as well as African slaves and England. The group of frontiersmen deeply criticized Governor Berkeley’s rule and were longing for change, political reform. Thus Bacon’s rebellion was certainly far more than a rebellion against Governor Berkeley; rather it was an inevitable precursor to the liberation of the colonists from the

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