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The consequences of bacons rebellion of 1675

  1. The "splitting of the colonies into proprietaries" referred to the land grant by Charles II that ended up as North Carolina, plus the Fairfax Grant. Virginia colonists were not happy at the prospect of having to move west of the Fall Line to obtain cheap land.
  2. Wertenbaker , which celebrated Bacon as a proto-Revolutionary fighting for colonial liberty, and Washburn , which sought to overturn this interpretation and rehabilitate the reputation of Governor William Berkeley. Declining prices were caused largely by overplanting in Virginia.
  3. He was a county justice in Northumberland County, and served as a burgess in representing Stafford County.

The unrest began late in with confrontations between frontier settlers and Indians. At its heart, then, this was a struggle over Anglo—Indian relations on the cusp of a new English wave of westward expansion, but scholars have recently highlighted realignments within Indian territory that also contributed to the violence.

In this reading the rebellion served as a wake-up call to the plantocracy, who responded by adapting their cultural, gender, and labor practices including switching to slave labor to placate the lower orders and secure their dominance.

Although Bacon focused much of his anger on innocent communities of neighboring Indians, he also penned documents lambasting the failings of the provincial leadership. Nineteenth-century US historians read these documents as evidence that Bacon was a proto-Revolutionary throwing off English tyranny a century before the American Revolution.

Bacon's Rebellion

While scholars have conclusively disproven this thesis, new work has examined the ways in which the rebels participated in an English Atlantic political discourse. Bacon ultimately succumbed to disease, and the tide turned against his supporters, but, with little to lose, many former servants and slaves fought into early Just as Berkeley and his allies began to exact retribution, an English army arrived.

  • In 1675-76, a conflict between an overseer in Stafford County and members of the Dogue tribe over some hogs;
  • The Navigation Acts led to political instability in Virginia;
  • The governor, however, refused to yield to the pressure;
  • The royal governor who had been appointed by Charles I was "thrust out," removed from office and sent back to England against his will;
  • Their trading post at modern-day Clarksville, Virginia was destroyed, shrinking their role as the middlemen in the trade between the English forts on the Fall Line and the backcountry in the Roanoke River and even Tennessee River watersheds.

Berkeley was replaced as governor by Col. Herbert Jeffreys, who headed a three-person royal commission that investigated the uprising. In their final assessment, Jeffreys and his fellow commissioners condemned the rebellion but also found fault with the colonial establishment and recommended reforms.

  • That year there were a lot of hailstorms, droughts, floods and hurricanes and then in 1675 local Indians began attacking the colonists;
  • After Bacon drove the Pamunkeys from their nearby lands in his first action, Berkeley exercised one of the few instances of control over the situation that he was to have, by riding to Bacon's headquarters at Henrico with "well armed" gentlemen;
  • Could it have been prevented or was it time for inevitable changes to take place in the colonial governmental structure?

This contentious aftermath fits within the historiography of English imperialism during the crucial period from to when officials for the increasingly assertive Stuart court in London sought to strengthen their authority in the colonies.

Frustratingly, the paucity of surviving records, especially from the chaotic months of the rebellion itself, leaves many questions unanswered. However, it does mean that most of the surviving sources have been published; this bibliography surveys these resources and traces the various strands of historiographical debate they have spawned.

  1. It limited the powers of the governor and restored suffrage rights to landless freemen. Berkeley reprimanded him, which caused the disgruntled Virginians to wonder which man had taken the right action.
  2. Bacon did not, at this time, comply with the Governor's orders. English merchants gained a monopoly, with easy profits as unchallenged middlemen in the tobacco trade.
  3. There were two sides in the English Civil War, but both thought that England should receive most of the benefits from its colonies.
  4. Governor William Berkeley co-opted the gentry on the Council, and avoided calling a new election for the House of Burgesses between 1661-1676. His son was restored to the throne in at the end of the English Civil War.
  5. Bacon was also resentful because Berkeley had denied him a commission as a leader in the local militia.

The longevity of historical interest in the revolt means that there is an entire complex historiography from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, which can best be sampled by exploring the edited essays in Frantz and the historiographic overview provided in Carson Until recently, two dramatically divergent narratives dominated the field: Wertenbakerwhich celebrated Bacon as a proto-Revolutionary fighting for colonial liberty, and Washburnwhich sought to overturn this interpretation and rehabilitate the reputation of Governor William Berkeley.

Craven is a much briefer account that offered the only nuanced middle ground between these portrayals before the s.

  • Bacon and Berkeley negotiated unsuccessfully for an official colonial war to remove Native Americans from the frontier;
  • He seized the property of several rebels for the colony and executed 23 men by hanging, [19] including the former governor of the Albemarle Sound colony, William Drummond , and the Collector of Customs, Giles Bland;
  • A full-scale war with Native Americans might force the "naturals" further away from the frontier and facilitate more land speculation as well as colonial settlement, but such a war would require recruitment of colonial troops;
  • Bacon finally instigated open conflict.

Selby, and Thad W. It locates the rebellion within the broadest framework of political and social maturation. Limited citations, however, make it a difficult place to begin research.

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The Southern Colonies in the Seventeenth Century, — Louisiana State University Press, Chapter 10 provides a brief, but historiographically engaged, account of the rebellion, placing particular emphasis on the evolution of the Indian trade and local political rivalries and personalities in the colony. The most balanced account among the older generation of scholarship.

Prologue to the Revolution.

Virginia Museum of History & Culture

Frantz divides this historiography into three main categories focusing on social structure, imperial politics, and proto-revolutionary ideology. Tales from a Revolution: Oxford University Press, This should be the first point of entry for those seeking to understand the revolt. The Governor and The Rebel: University of North Carolina Press, Until recently this was the definitive narrative overview of the rebellion.

Torchbearer of the Revolution: Princeton University Press,