Bacon's Rebellion Essay

864 Words4 Pages
In 1676, Nathaniel Bacon rebelled and held a revolt in Colonial Virginia. High taxes, low prices for tobacco, and resentment against special privileges given those close to the governor, Sir William Berkeley, provided the background for the uprising. These factors made the rebellion inevitable. All of the chaos was precipitated by Governor Berkeley's failure to defend the frontier against attacks by Native Americans. Bacon commanded two unauthorized but successful expeditions against the tribes and was then elected to the new House of Burgesses, which Berkeley had been forced to convene. Berkeley then sent out a warrant for his arrest and Bacon was put in jail. Bacon soon was released and he immediately gathered his supporters,…show more content…
Moreover, closer to home, there were many problems caused by the crazy weather. The constantly changing weather left the colony and colonists in chaos. Hailstorms, floods, dry spells, and hurricanes rocked the colony during one year and had a damaging effect on the colonists. Inevitably, these difficulties encouraged the colonists to find a scapegoat. They needed to find something to vent their frustrations and place the blame for their misfortunes. With the immense frustration and anger among the colonists, they began to scapegoat the local Indians. To ward off future attacks and to control the situation, Governor Berkeley instigated the matter. He set up what was to be a disastrous meeting between the parties, which resulted in the murders of several tribal chiefs. In the meantime, Berkeley continually pleaded for restraint from the colonists. Some, including Nathaniel Bacon, refused to listen. Bacon disregarded the Governor's direct orders by seizing some friendly Appomattox Indians for “stealing” corn. Berkeley scolded him, which caused the disgruntled Virginians to wonder which man had taken the right action. Significantly, Berkeley could not compromise earning resentment from about 1,000 Virginians. They fiercely resented Governor Berkeley for his policies toward the Indians. When Berkeley refused to retaliate for a series of savage Indians on frontier settlements after monopolization of fur trade, the
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