Bacon's Rebellion

Bacon's Rebellion

Nathaniel Bacon's Rebellion

The History of Bacon's Rebellion including details of the cause, reason, history timeline and summary. The dates and years of the rebellion - when Bacon's rebellion started and when Bacon's rebellion ended. The causes of the Indian wars, battles and conflicts, including Bacon's Rebellion, were generally because of the opening of Indian lands to colonization, the conquest of the Native American Indians or the history of forced relocation to Indian reservations. Interesting facts, timeline and information about the significance, specific events and famous leaders of Bacon's Rebellion. The combatants of Bacon's Rebellion were the English Colonists against the Indians and Colonists against the upper classes who governed Virginia.

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Bacon's Rebellion Summary and Definition

Bacon's Rebellion Summary and Definition: Bacon's Rebellion was an uprising in 1676 - 1677 against American Indians and the colonial government in the Virginia Colony over taking reprisal action for alleged thefts by the Native Americans. It was led by Nathaniel Bacon, a wealthy 29-year-old planter, in opposition to the Governor of Virginia, Sir William Berkeley. Bacon's Rebellion was the first rebellion in the American colonies. Refer to Colonial Government for additional information.

Declaration of the People

Facts about Bacon's Rebellion

Who fought in Bacon's Rebellion? When did the conflict start and when did the conflict end? What were the causes of Bacon's Rebellion? What was the significance of Bacon's Rebellion? What were the results and effects of Bacon's Rebellion? Interesting history and facts about Bacon's Rebellion:

Fast Facts about Bacon's Rebellion
Name of Conflict:   Bacon's Rebellion
Location:   Virginia Colony
Year Conflict started:   1676
Year Conflict ended:   1677
Combatants:   Colonists against the Indians and Colonists against the upper classes who governed Virginia
Result:   Bacon's Rebellion ended in defeat for the rebels
Famous Leaders:   Nathaniel Bacon
Sir William Berkeley, the Governor of Virginia

History & Causes of Bacon's Rebellion - Political Policies and Beliefs
What were the causes of Bacon's Rebellion? Some of the history and causes of Bacon's Rebellion were dictated by political policies and beliefs which shaped the historical background to the causes of Bacon's Rebellion

  • Bacon's Rebellion - Imperialism: In the early 1600's South America was largely controlled by Spain or Portugal, but North America was mostly unclaimed. England wanted to establish its own empire. The population in England was exploding and the system of enclosure (fencing in the land) meant there was limited land for the poor. Establishing colonies in America provided the opportunity for religious freedom, land and new trading opportunities
  • Bacon's Rebellion - Colonialism : In the 1600's the Europeans brought with them the system of colonialism, primarily to generate income, which encompassed "the policy and practice of a power in extending control over weaker peoples or areas." A major cause of conflict in the 1600's
  • Bacon's Rebellion - Culture Clash: Distrust and hostilities grew between the indigenous population of the region and the Europeans as the number of newcomers increased leading to the inevitable culture clash. A major cause of conflict in the 1600's
  • Bacon's Rebellion - Land: The United States adopted the European practice of expansion and of recognizing only limited land rights of indigenous peoples. A major cause of conflict in the 1600 and 1700's

Map of the Southern Colonies and Jamestown - scene of Bacon's rebellion

Map of the Southern Colonies and Jamestown - Scene of Bacon's rebellion


Specific Causes of Bacon's Rebellion
What were the specific causes of Bacon's Rebellion? The specific causes of Bacon's Rebellion at a local level were:

  • Bacon's Rebellion - Low prices for tobacco
  • Bacon's Rebellion - High taxes which were believed to be unjust
  • Bacon's Rebellion - Land: Disputes over Native Indian homelands increased
  • Bacon's Rebellion - Demands from farmers that Powhatan Indians should be removed from their treaty-protected lands.
  • Bacon's Rebellion - Increasing hostilities from the Indians and the belief that the Governor of Virginia was not providing adequate protection
  • Bacon's Rebellion - Corruption: Resentment towards the Governor of Virginia who gave special privileges to his favorites and deprived the freemen of their rights
  • Bacon's Rebellion - Increased commercial competition from Maryland and the Carolinas
Slaves working in a tobacco plantation

African slaves working on a tobacco plantation in 1670


Opechancanough Powhatan Chief

Powhatan Chief


The Significance and Effects of Bacon's Rebellion
The effects and significance of Bacon's Rebellion in history is that the government in Virginia became frightened by the threat of Civil War (the English Civil War was still fresh in everyone's memory). Bacon's Rebellion was the first rebellion in the American Colonies.

  • Bacon's Rebellion and the Declaration of the People set a precedent for future Americans to obtain equality. The Declaration of the People initiated the principle of the consent of the people
  • The discovery of tobacco started the plantation economy in Virginia and created a demand for cheap labor filled at first by poor, white Indentured servants and then by black slaves. The indentured servants and slaves had joined in Bacon's Rebellion. The fear of another such uprising prompted the hardening of racial lines associated with slavery, as a way for planters and the colony to control the poor
  • Bacon's Rebellion unified different races and economic classes
  • Every effort was made to improve the image of those who governed Virginia
  • Taxes were reduced
  • Freeman were given back their rights
  • The colonists were also appeased by the adoption of a more aggressive Indian policy
  • The notion that Indians and whites could not live together peaceably was enforced, which led to the introduction of the Indian Reservation system in 1677

History Timeline of Bacon's Rebellion
Bacon's Rebellion Timeline. This short History Timeline of Bacon's Rebellion provides fast facts and information about the history, years & dates, key events and famous people who fought in Bacon's Rebellion.

History Timeline of Bacon's Rebellion

1641 Sir William Berkeley replaces Sir Francis Wyatt as Governor of Virginia in 1641. Sir William Berkeley was governor of the colony of Virginia from 16411652

The Powhatan chief, Necotowance, signed the 1646 Peace Treaty ending the Powhatan Wars . The result of the treaty was a boundary, or racial frontier, between the Indians and English lands that could only be crossed for official business with a special pass.

1646 Treaty Map

1646 Treaty Map

The Red line shows boundary between the Virginia Colony and the
Powhatan Indian tribes, as established by the Treaty of 1646


1649 The execution of King Charles I and England is ruled by Oliver Cromwell and the Puritans

1652 Berkeley was deposed by a Puritan force from England and lived on his Virginia plantation. until the Restoration in 1660, when he was reappointed governor

1660 The monarchy is restored in England under King Charles II and Sir William Berkeley was reappointed Governor of Virginia

1674 Nathaniel Bacon, a wealthy, aristocratic Englishman arrives, with his wife at the Virginia Colony. He purchases the Curles Neck tobacco Plantation in Henrico County which is located about 30 miles upriver on the north bank of the James River (see above map)

1674/5 Nathaniel Bacon trades with local Indians in competition with Sir William Berkeley. There is fierce rivalry between the two men.

1675 March 3, 1675 - Sir William Berkeley appoints the wealthy and influential Nathaniel Bacon as one of several new members of the Virginia Council of State

1675 Farmers demanded that Powhatan Indians are removed from their treaty-protected lands. The resentment of the Indians leads to a series of conflicts with the Doeg tribe. 14 friendly Susquehannock indians, who are loyal to the English, are killed

1675 The Susquehannock launch a series of retaliatory raids

1675 September: John Washington, the great-grandfather of George Washington , leads a party from Virginia into Maryland, and with Maryland militia, surround a large Susquehannock fortified village

1675 November: The Susquehannock held out for six weeks. When five chiefs came out to parley, the colonists attacked and killed them

1676 March: Governor Berkeley, wishing to avoid a war, advocates a policy of containment of the Native Americans and proposes the building of new forts. The decision is fiercely criticised by some colonists who believe the Indians should be removed and that the Governor has made the proposal in order to increase taxes

1676 Bacon's Rebellion Spring: Colonists, including Nathaniel Bacon, were furious at the prospect of a rise in taxes, the low prices for tobacco and resented the special privileges given those close to the governor. Many colonists also believed that Berkeley was failing to defend the frontier against attacks by Native Indians.

1676 Bacon's Rebellion Spring: Nathaniel Bacon, as the leader of militiamen in the upper reaches of the James River valley, goes against the governor's instructions and prepares to attack friendly Indians

1676 Bacon's Rebellion Spring: Nathaniel Bacon leads two unauthorized, but successful, expeditions against the tribes

1676 Bacon's Rebellion Spring: Nathaniel Bacon is elected to the new House of Burgesses  

1676 Bacon's Rebellion May: Sir William Berkeley expels Nathaniel Bacon from the Council, brands him a rebel and has him arrested but Bacon is soon released

1676 Bacon's Rebellion June 6: Nathaniel Bacon, backed by an armed force, returns to Jamestown, is arrested and apologizes for his rebellion. Sir William Berkeley pardons Nathaniel Bacon but with reservations

1676 Bacon's Rebellion June 23: Nathaniel Bacon returns to Jamestown with 500 armed men ready to launch an attack against the Indians. Sir William Berkeley yields to his demands

1676 Bacon's Rebellion July: Sir William Berkeley changes his mind about Nathaniel Bacon and declares him a traitor and recruits men to fight Bacon's rebellion

1676 Bacon's Rebellion July 30, 1676, Nathaniel Bacon and his army issue the "Declaration of the People of Virginia."

1676 Bacon's Rebellion : Sir William Berkeley fails to raise a force against Nathaniel Bacon and flees to the Eastern Shore where he gains support and returns to Jamestown

1676 Bacon's Rebellion September 18: Nathaniel Bacon recaptures the capital and Berkeley again takes flight.

1676 Bacon's Rebellion September 19: Nathaniel Bacon, fearing that he could not hold Jamestown against attack, sets fire to the town

1676 Bacon's Rebellion October 26: Nathaniel Bacon now controls the colony, but he dies suddenly of dysentery

1676 Bacon's Rebellion October 27: King Charles II of England signs a proclamation to squash the rebellion in Virginia

1676 The rebellion continues but without the strong leadership of Nathaniel Bacon  

1676 December: Sir John Berry and Francis Moryson with armed forces in England are commissioned to put down Bacon's Rebellion and investigate its causes

1677 The rebellion falls apart. The rebel army surrenders when promised amnesty. 23 rebel colonists were are tried and hanged by Governor Berkeley in direct defiance of the crown. Nathaniel Bacon was found guilty of treason and his property was confiscated by the Crown. This ends Bacon's rebellion

1677 The commissioners from England report that both sides of Bacon's rebellion should share the blame and Sir William Berkeley returns to England

1677 July 9, 1677- Sir William Berkeley dies before he can gain an audience with King Charles   
History Timeline of Bacon's Rebellion

Nathaniel Bacon and Native Indians of Virginia

Bacon's Rebellion - Nathaniel Bacon and Native Indians of Virginia

Bacon's Rebellion

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  • Cause and Effects of Bacon's Rebellion

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Bacon's Rebellion - Pictures and Videos of Native Americans
Bacon's Rebellion. Discover the the key years, famous people and events of Bacon's Rebellion together with the causes and effects of the war, conflict and battle. Pictures have been include wherever possible which show who fought in Bacon's Rebellion. We have included pictures to accompany the main topic of this section - Bacon's Rebellion. The videos enable fast access to the images, paintings and pictures together with the information and the many facts featured on this subject of the Bacon Rebellion.

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