Chapter 3: Persons of Mean and Vile Condition

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Chapter 3: Persons of
Mean and Vile Condition
Bacon’s
Rebellion
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•
•
•
1676-1677
First rebellion in the
American Colonies
Between the American
Indians and Colonial
Government in the Virginia
Colony
Conflict about how to deal
with the Indians
Nathaniel Bacon
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Leader of the rebellion
•
Higher class
•
Concerned about killing
Indians than helping the
poor (Lower Class)
•
Denied treaty between
Berkeley and Powhatan
•
Captured by the military and
then released
•
Died of a sickness
After the Release of Bacon
•
Created a populist
•
Took militia in and raided Pamunkey and killed men,
children, and women
•
Raised resentment against the rich and hatred towards
the American Indians
•
The Indians protested the Virginia Land Co.
monopoly of the Beaver trade , unfair taxes, and
political favoritism
•
His fall lead to munity even amongst his own militia
William Berkeley
•
•
Governor of Virginia
His attraction to bacon was his idea of “leveling”
1700’s
•
Colonies grew faster
•
England was fighting a series of wars
•
Some merchants made money from the wars
•
Meant higher taxes, unemployment, and poverty
•
Virginia legislature passed laws to punish servants who rebelled
•
Voyage to America lasted eight, ten, or twelve weeks, servants were
profits that marked the slave ships
•
Gap between rich and poor widened, as violence and the threat of
violence increased, and the problem of control became more
serious
Traveling
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•
•
•
•
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Conditions were awful
8-12 weeks
Servants were packed into the
ship like items
Servants died of starvation
Some servants were eaten
Children died of hunger and
disease and thrown in the
ocean
Women who were pregnant
thrown in the sea if un able to
deliver
Revolts
•
•
•
•
•
5 revolts against the proprietor
Erupt with great violence and frequency
Elite (upper class) fear of revolts
Upper classes developed tactics to deal with fear
“not born free but born slave and free”
Economic
classes
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•
•
•
•
Caused tensions
Revolts start to occur
¾ of the New York land
belong to to 30 people (upper
class)
The poor was growing too,
more and more became poor
“..in all times some must be
rich, some poore, some highe
and eminient in power and
digniteie; others meane and
in subjection”
Cruel Treatment of Servants
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Beatings and whippings
•
Women servants were
raped
•
•
•
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Many servants would die
after their arrival, many
were children due to:
High suicide rate
•
Disease and Starvation
Not allowed to have children
and marry because it would
interfere with work
•
Scared of the outcome if
they rebelled
•
Whipping, starvation,
misery, etc.
Without consent it is seen as
adultery, fornication and
children seen as bastards
After the Rebellion
•
Racism was becoming more
and more practical
•
Indians remained an obstacle to
expansion
•
White slaves were allowed to
join the militia in fear of
slave rebellion growing
•
Black slaves were easier to
control
•
The numbers grew, the prospect
of a slave rebellion grew
•
Black slaves were pouring in
•
•
Everywhere the poor were
struggling to stay alive,
especially from freezing in
the cold weather
Class lines hardened through
the colonial period,
distinction between rich and
poor become sharper
•
They lived off the black slaves
and white servants
Boston
•
Boston grew from 1678-1770
•
The % of adult males who
were poor lost property
rights meaning voting rights
•
Richest of all regions 29% of
the town were landless men
•
Rioting became a form of
protest
•
Severe food shortage
•
Protesting the high prices
established by merchants
demolished the public
market
•
“the town meetings, while
ostensibly democratic, were
in reality controlled year
after year by the same group
of merchant aristocrats, who
secured most of the
important offices”
After the Rebellion (cont.)
•
Strikes by workers increased among coopers, butchers, bakers, and
other landless artisans as well as sailors
•
Demolishing public squares as well as homes of the landed
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Natives were not acquire or considered for labor and were
constant threat on frontier
•
Slaves escaping plantations in the South to join Tribes
•
White running to join native tribes, but if captured and given the
chance to go back to white society, they would go back
•
Southern militias used blacks to find Indians on the frontier
Aftermath
• Middle class small farmers and city artisans promoted to
created a bond between landed and poorer whites
• System of indentured servitude quickly disappear, thus
alienating the negro and Indians which brought loyalty
• Brought loyalty and directed hatred away from class
conflicts enough to keep the these groups apart
• To bind the loyalty a device was equality and liberty,
could eventually unite whites to fight a revolution
against England, without ending slavery and equality
Reference(s)
•
Zinn, Howard. A People’s History of America. New York,
New York, CA. Harper Collins Publishers, 1995.
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