Virginia, Sixteen Seventies, Bacon discussed on History On Fire

History On Fire


Man, I love all of them. These guys are doing such a phenomenal job. With that we pass the ball to CJ Keel mayor from danger history. Begins Rebellion. which took place in colonial Virginia in the Sixteen Seventies. Was the largest rebellion against established authority and colonial British North America prior to the American Revolution. And yet, it's little known today. But despite that. Its Effects have been profound in reverberate through time all the way to our own era nearly three hundred and fifty years later influencing race and class relations and conflict in the US and the methods that the elites used to manipulate, orchestrate, shape, exploit, and leverage those tensions and conflicts for their own benefit. To tell the story of Bacon rebellion, we have to give a quick sketch of colonial Virginia's origins. The colony began in sixteen o seven with the founding of Jamestown. The colonists initially hoped to find gold, but instead, they found mostly misery and death due to a combination of disease famine off and on conflict with the Indians in the area. The death rate among the first couple of generations of colonists in Virginia was astonishingly high? In Sixteen O seven they found a way that would make at least some of them very rich. Growing tobacco. Tobacco thrived in Virginia and as Europeans got addicted to it, it became Virginia staple crop dominating its economy. Some virginians those who got there early and who had the money and political connections to get titled Two big pieces of Land and who didn't die. Of course, families with names like Bird Carter Lee and Randolph to name just a few. Ended up becoming the colony's first plantation owners are planters, its first homegrown aristocrats, and in conjunction with the colonies royally appointed governor, they dominated the colonial government. The earliest known instance of African slaves being imported into Virginia was in sixteen nineteen. But for much of the seventeenth century, numbers of slaves remained pretty modest in the colony. and the majority of the labors on plantations were actually white indentured servants. These were poor people from the British isles mostly men who had no prospects at home and so were willing to take desperate chance on moving to Virginia despite dangerous. But these were people who are so poor. They couldn't even afford a boat take it across the Atlantic. So they'd contract with a wealthy guy who already owned land in Virginia. The wealthy guy would cover their ticket across the ocean and then once they arrived, they would work for the rich guy for a set term of years most commonly between five and seven. The indentured servant would not be paid though their master was supposed to provide them with the basics of food and shelter and so on. Once the person worked off the number of years on their indenture, they were to be set free, and usually by the terms of their contract, their master was also supposed to provide them with a little something to get started on their own, often including a little piece of land. Now, if this sounds kind of like temporary slavery, you're getting the picture. In theory, indentured servants were supposed to have a little bit more rights than slaves including the obvious one that their condition was supposed to be temporary and didn't pass onto their cents. But in practice indentured servants. Hardly in tough conditions and often face tough physical discipline for any infractions. So the daily life of an indentured servant. This time wasn't much different from a slave state a day. And while they were supposed to be freed and provided with land at the end of their term in the first few generations of settlements in Virginia, usually around half of all indentured servants would die mostly from various diseases before they ever worked off their indenture. But by the time you get into the mid to late seventeenth century conditions were improving at least enough in Virginia, that more and more servants were actually living long enough to work off their indenture. But since most of the good land anywhere near the coast was already long since spoken for many of the indentured servants worked off their indenture and either got no land or they got marginal lands in dangerous areas near the Indian frontier. Now Virginia's governor for much of the mid seventeenth century was a man named Sir William Berkeley who was in his early seventies when Bacon's rebellion broke out and he'd been governor for twenty seven years by that point. Berkeley was pretty popular for about the first half of his time as governor but became increasingly controversial in the lead up to Bacon's rebellion. Early in his tenure as governor in the sixteen, Forty S, Berkeley was an aggressive expansionist who defeated Indians west of the Blue Ridge and thereby opened up new lands to white settlement. But he also made a deal with defeated tribes that they would essentially be tributaries to the Virginia colony in return for which Virginians wooden encroach any further onto their lands. This deal like most other deals of this sort throughout the colonial period and after the establishment of the independent us. Didn't really hold for very long because the colonists who actually lived out on the frontier wanted those lands and they tended to stir up conflict with the Indians and encroach into their territory regardless of what the distant colonial government proclaimed. But, the fact that Berkeley was even trying to stick to the agreement with the tributary tribes was enough to anger many white Virginians both rich and poor who lived in the frontier areas. Major population growth in. Virginia. In the mid seventeenth century just added more pressure on the natives. Virginia's colonial population increased four, hundred percent from eight, thousand to forty thousand. Between Sixteen Forty and.

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