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bacon's rebellion


            
             In the summer of 1675 a group of frontiersmen used an incident with the local tribe of Indians in order to attack the Susquehannocks, whose land they thirsted after. (Nash, p. 76) After the Indian's reprisal, Nathaniel Bacon, a young well-born Englishman wanted to lead an attack on the Native Americans, and punish them for their attacks on the colonist. Bacon petitioned the Governor of Virginia, William Berkeley, whom he was friends with, to authorize an attack on the Native Americans. When Berkeley refused to authorized the attacks Bacon ignored his authority, and led his army of colonist volunteers on an attack of the Native Americans. When Governor Berkeley heard of this disregard for authority he ordered the arrest of Nathaniel Bacon. This infuriated Bacon so he led his men on an attack against the Governor. Governor Berkeley's order to arrest Nathaniel Bacon might appear to be the only cause of the rebellion, but there were many more underlying rallying cries for Bacon's Rebellion. .
             As early as 1624 the Virginia Assembly had declared that the Governor could not levy taxes against the will of the House of Burgesses which was supposed to represent the people. Governor Berkeley's House of Burgesses, however, did not represent the people. Berkeley's House of Burgesses was made up of his cronies. With a loyal House behind him, Governor Berkeley could levy taxes anyway he chose. In 1670 he passed an act so that only land-owners could vote.
             One of the main causes of Bacon's Rebellion was the Virginian's reliance on indentured servants. Coming to America as an indentured servant was not easy. Like a slave, you were considered someone's property until you paid off your debts, and even then, there was no guarantee that you'd be set free. Indentured servants were poor people, usually white who wanted the land like anyone else. But life in Europe was hard and there were very few, if any, jobs available, so people sold themselves off to come to America.


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