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Bacon's Rebellion

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In the 17th Century, within the first hundred years of the colonies banning together to become the America's rebellion was in the air. In the year of 1676, Nathaniel Bacon of the Virginia colony acted and spoke out against Governor Berkley. Even though Berkley handed everything to Bacon and treated him as his own, Bacon is not a treasonous traitor because politically his actions shook the aristocratic structure of Virginia and set a precedent for later revolutions against corrupt power and economically Bacon's dissent helped stop the poor white farmers from falling into poverty over taxes and led plantation owners to import black slaves en masse, which eventually made the economic system of the South strong. Although some people may think that he is a traitor, the actions of Nathaniel Bacon ultimately enhanced the further development of the political and economical status of the Virginia colony, therefore making him a hero. Bacon should be remembered as a hero for his anti-aristocratic actions.

In the mid-1600's, Governor Berkley appointed his wife's distant cousin, Nathaniel Bacon, to the position of Councilor. Also, at this time Governor Berkley signed a treaty with the Powhatan Indians, giving them lots of land that most of the colonists of Jamestown disagreed with. Because of his close ties with the Indians, Berkley refused to protect his own people from the attacks lead by the Indians, for the Indians paid him commission to protect them. Here is where economically Berkley is the one who is a traitor to the people he is supposed to be governing. Berkley chose money over the safety of his people. Berkley's only attempts to help out the colonists was to raise taxes the poor tobacco farmers could not afford in order to build ineffective forts on the frontier. The small white farmers were not being benefited economically what so ever by Berkley. Bacon, seeing the wrong in all of this, got together a group of farmers and sets forth to seek revenge on the Indians for the attacks they are not being properly sheltered from. Berkley takes offense to this and pronounces Bacon a treasonous rebel for not disbanding when told. After this, Berkley then calls for new elections in the House of Burgesses. If it were not for Bacon, the political stance of the House of Burgesses would not have changed because Berkley would have had no need to halt his 15 year streak of not having elections.

From someone looking at it from Berkley's side, they could easily say Nathaniel was a traitor, but the justice he brought to the colonists of Jamestown outweighs any arguments pleading he was a not a hero. He did the right thing politically by standing up for his fellow colonists. He was not afraid to stand up to his political superiors over his beliefs and because of that he changed the way the House of Burgesses was chosen during his years. Economically he is justified because Bacon's Rebellion helped the small farmers



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