Bacon's Rebellion

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Bacon's Rebellion may have served as the first civil uprising within the early settlements of America. Led by Nathaniel Bacon, a militia of armed freedmen, slaves, and poor colonist banded together to fight against a government that they felt was corrupt and did not have their best interests in mind. This paper will examine some of the major causes that led to the rebellion such as the increased westward expansion by the colonists, the civil unrest growing between the social classes, rising taxes, and disputes between colonists and neighboring indian tribes. To be able to understand how the rebellion started, we must first look back to how the colony of Virginia developed its early boundary lines. After years of fighting with neighboring indian tribes, the Treaty of 1646 was signed by members of the Powhatan confederacy and the governor of Virginia. The treaty placed the Powhatan under English rule which provided them protection and set clear boundaries between the colonists and the indian tribes. The boundaries were not to be crossed by either side without permission. These boundaries would remain intact between the colonists and indians for nearly thirty years. With the explosion of the tobacco industry, the need for cheap labor had increased dramatically. Many poverty stricken individuals immigrated to the new world under indentured servitude contracts with hopes of starting a new life. By the year 1650, the average life expectancy of colonists of Virginia was
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