Sept. 12th Question: Bacon’s Rebellion

After you have read the first half of Chapter Two in the textbook–and particularly the section on early Virginia (pp. 28-35)–please go ahead and read this primary source, a list of grievances put together by the leaders of Bacon’s Rebellion.

What made Bacon and his followers so angry at Sir William Berkeley (pictured here in red velvet)? In a comment of a paragraph or two, describe in your own words what this document tells us about the motivations for the rebellion, and why Bacon viewed Berkeley and his confederates as “traitors to the People.” If possible, say who you think Bacon means by “the People” here. (You should also know that by “Mates,” this document means “countrymen.”)

By the way, if you are still have trouble getting a copy of the textbook, you can rent an electronic version for $39.50 here.

You can also download the review sheet for next Wednesday’s quiz here.

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Published in: on September 8, 2011 at 11:14 pm  Comments (13)  

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  1. I was a little bit confused with the primary source link because it cut out words which might’ve helped me understand this better. I used this link: http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/5800

    What i gather from this address is that Bacon and his followers were incredibly displeased with Sir William Berkeley for a number of reasons. The first being the unjust taxation of the common people and the selection of favorites for whom he did not raise taxes and even promoted to positions of power. Second, he accused Berkeley neglecting to advance the colony and of monopolizing the beaver fur trade and using the profit for personal gain. But probably the main reason that Bacon was dissatisfied with Berkeley was his failure to protect the people from the attacks by Native Americans. He refers to Berkeley and the others as “traitors to the people”, “..the people” in this case being the common folk who were living under him, but also to the British people.

  2. William Berkeley feared the outbreak of the India War, discounting Bacon’s plans to lead a frontier of army against the Indians and refused him a commission. Bacon planned to exterminate the Indians in the colony, and attack those beyond its border. Berkeley reasonably insisted on being friendly and hostile to the Indians.

  3. I believe Berkley’s carelessness about Bacon and his people’s safety provoked bacon and his followers to turn against Berkely. Berkely was too busy with expanding his territory and organizing his fur business with Indians to start a conflict against Indians and ruining His business with Indians. As a result bacon stood his own army against Indians who were bringing non-stop attacks on bacon’s people. And eventually, angry because of Indians, Bacon turned his forces against Berkeky.

  4. I think this rebellion mark an important point in the history of the US because this demonstrated that the people have strength to archive what they want, but not forgetting that government has to enforce the law so people have to respect the government rules.

  5. Nathaniel Bacon and his followers were so angry at virginian governor, William Berkeley, was because Berkeley didn’t allow people to attack the Indians in the frontier. Berkeley didn’t want back country men to invade the Indians so that to avoid antagonizing the Indians. Even when Bacon led his followers, back country men, to fight the Indians, the governor denounced Bacon and his followers as rebels. In addition, the article states ” For having upon Pretences of public works raised unjust taxes, upon the commonality, For advancing of Private favorites.” Clearly, the governor, William not even levied a huge amount of taxes on his people, but also didn’t provide protection to his people. William refused people to have fur trade with the Indians which he controlled.
    what Bacon means “the people” were those poor back country men who followed him.

  6. Bacon and his followers were angry at Sir William Berkeley because of his lack of action against the Native Americans who were attacking the colonists.Berkeley was busy trying to work with the Native Americans instead of fighting against them. Because of the fact that Sir William Berkeley was not taking any actions Bacon gathered his supporters and killed allot of the native Americans.

  7. Sir William Berkeley, according to First Hand Accounts of Virginia, 1575-1705, was accused of by Bacon and his followers as a traitor. In this document Bacon prosecutes Berkeley of being showing favoritism to himself and of special social groups. Bacon states Berkly raised taxes to the masses on deceptive programs. This was, as Bacon believe, for advancing his on private gains rather than for the benefit of public. Also, Bacon says Berkeley has not done anything that could be measured as an advancement of their colony.

  8. Sir William Berkeley was an understandable man who probably wasn’t a fan of conflict. So having made a peace contract with the natives, everything seemed to be going well. But then when they were running out of land, Bacon wanted to takeover more of the natives land so they can expand. Berkeley didn’t want to cause conflict with the natives by asking them for more land and so he tried to avoid doing anything like that. Berkeley would find any other way to prevent taking more land fro the natives and just tried his best to not ask anymore of the natives. Bacon does not agree with Berkeley’s decisions, so he decides to gather a ground of “back country men” and rebel against Berkeley. For rebelling against Berkeley, Bacon and his followers were then named traitors. After the mess of Bacon’s rebellion, Berkeley ended up signing another contract with the natives which in the end they ended up getting more land in the process.

  9. Bacon and his followers were visibly very upset with sir william Berkeley. They were upset because Berkeley failed to protect the people from the attacks by the native americans and he didn’t allow the people to attack them back. Also the unfair taxes to the people and not taxing certain people. Berkeley was so distracted building territory and organizing fur businesses with the indians that only he could participate in. People were just getting tired of his unjust ways.

  10. the reason why Bacon and his followers was so angry at Sir William Berkley was because Sir William Berkley classified Bacon and his followers as traitors for the deeds that they have done however in their mind they seen it as a patriatic action that needed to be done. To add on Bacon felt threatened by the presence of the Native Americans.

  11. Bacon and his fellow colonists had a problem with Will Berk mainly because he chose to further his personal investments than protect the colonists who were further out west. “…For having, Protected, favored , and emboldened the Indians against his Mates …” Berkeley is mainly attacked for choosing the Indians over his own people, his unfair taxes and protecting the Indians in order to protect his investments.

  12. Bacon wanted to deal with hostile Indian attacks and wanted to kill them all. William Berkley didn’t want to to harm the friendly natives be causing of his business he is making with the Indians. so he warn bacon about it and didn’t listen. Bacon in meanwhile earned many support and followers but later on died and many of his followers were hanged.

  13. Nathaniel Bacon which represented the common people and his followers were angry at Governor William Sir Berkeley for various reasons. The people as Bacon mentions are the Americans. He believed that Berkeley raised unjust taxes for his own personal reasons and did not try to advance the colony. He also accuses Berkeley of abusing his people and power by putting his favorites in power. Berkeley also monopolized the beaver trade , using it for his personal gain. Lastly, he felt that Berkeley did not protect his people from attacks from the Native Americans , denying their army as well. All of these accusations led Bacon to pursue his rebellion.


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