A rebellion broke out in Virginia, a hundredyears before the American Revolution. It was called Bacon’s Rebellion and theleader was Nathaniel Bacon. Bacon was a colonist of the Virginia Colony. Baconwas against Indians who were rich and the American government. Who was hissupporters? There were poor British colonists, black slaves, and surprisinglypoor Indians.
They joined rebellion because of the inequality such as huge gapbetween rich people, expensive taxes and bad treatments. Especially, there werelots of Indians who were living in poverty or worked as servants in terriblecondition. Inthe rebellion, Nathaniel Bacon cared more about fighting Indians than abouthelping the poor people. He made armed militias and armed citizens that actedoutside 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 papercalled “Declaration of the people”. In this writing, he mentioned that thereason of this rebellion is common people’s anger toward the rich, governmentof wrong doing, and unfair taxes. A few months later, Bacon died by a diseaseat the age of 29. Then, the rebellion became weak.
Thomas Grantham, who was an English tobacco trader and sailor, found 400 armedservants 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 toAmerica. The reason why they came to America is opportunity. Most of them wereforced 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 orseven years for the cost of their journey from English to America. There werealso colonists who were from German and Irish but their life in America wasalso worse than what they imagined.The colonists were treated badly by their masters. Masterstreated the servants like slaves. For example, there was a master whocomplained to the court about her servant.
She said that her servant wasn’tworking properly. The servant said that he was too weak to work because of thefood she gives. He only ate beans and bread. However, the court gave theservant 30 lashed with a whip. A historian said that almost none of theservants were healthy. The rich were getting richer and the poor were gettingpoorer. So, the number of people who live on the street increased.
So, thegovernment decided to build poorhouses for old people, widows, cripples, andorphans. However, the poor houses quickly became overcrowded.Becauseof the Bacon’s rebellion, people were afraid of an uprising by servants andslaves. Servants were angry about these inequality and high taxes, so some ofthem tried to make a rebellion. The wealthy elites that controlled the Britishcolonies in North America were also afraid because they thought that they mightgoing to have another rebellion. So, the wealthy elites made some solutions forthat situation. They avoided fighting with servants and slaves by turning thepoor against the Indians.
However, there was still a problem, the black. Therewere more than 40,000 black people who had grievance.So, Authorities decided to turn blacks against the Indians. Nevertheless, therewas another problem for wealthy southern planters which was poor whites andblack slaves. They were uprising like Bacon’s rebellion, and the rich people neededa way to separate them from each other. The way to stop them uniting wasracism.
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 thatBacon’s Rebellion effected a lot on the colonial ruling class.
There were manyuprisings because of all inequalities, expensive taxes, and bad treatments.However, if there wasn’t Bacon’s Rebellion, could the servants and slaves tryto fight? No they wouldn’t. Because of Bacon’s Rebellion, the servants andslaves could have courage. That is what Bacon’s Rebellion effected on thecolonial ruling class in America.