Bacon Rebellion Essay

Pages: 10 (2870 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 0  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: American History

Bacon Rebellion has been considered for many years to be one of the first elements of what would later become known as the American Revolution. Even though this event took place in 1676, for decades it has been viewed as the first episode in many to come that revealed the revolutionary situation of the American colonies.

However, despite the patriotic feeling related to this event in Jamestown, research on this event concluded that there was no revolutionary glamour about the event. In fact, the rebellion had more pragmatic and individualistic causes and developments.

The actual rebellion focused on two main characters which were the Governor of Virginia, Sir William Berkeley and his cousin by marriage, Nathaniel Bacon, Jr. Historians later discovered that the two had taken part in the rebellion out of personal interest. However, at the time of the events, the historical context had favored a rebellion. The emerging British taxes as well as the constant struggle for autonomy of the colonies made life in Virginia in particular rather difficult.

Moreover, the Indians represented an issue as their relationship with the Virginia plantation owners was tense. Therefore, when the Doeg Indians were accused of having stolen from one plantation and some of them were shot, the riot began. The events escalated as they included other tribes and the local colonists. This entangled the Governor who militated for calm and tried to mitigate between the parties, while Bacon opposed him.Buy full Download Microsoft Word File paper
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Essay on Bacon Rebellion Has Been Considered for Many Assignment

In order to seize control over the situation the Governor tried to maintain relations with the Indians as they represented a vital force at the local level. Therefore in 1676 he called the "Long Assembly" which aimed at declaring war on those Indians who opposed him. Despite any positive intentions, the mechanism was considered corrupt; furthermore, it even affected the trade between the locals and the Indians. This in turn determined Bacon to accuse the Governor of lack of impartiality. He later became the General of a group of Indians and tried to impose justice as he considered it to be. Eventually Bacon was captured by the Governor, and then pardoned; however, during this time, Bacon had accumulated sufficient support to start the actual rebellion. Thus, the Governor left Jamestown

In Bacon's "Declaration of the People" of 1676, he stated that the Governor had been a corrupt official, protecting both the Indians and his best interest. However, the Governor had his own soldiers and military infiltrated in Bacon's entourage which weakened his support. Eventually Bacon lost his entire influence and died unexpectedly. The Governor seized again power in Jamestown until released from his duties by the British Crown.

The Treaty of Paris

The Treaty of Paris of 1783 represents one of the most important documents of the history of the United States. It marked the end of the American Revolution, the recognition of the independence of the U.S. As well as the legitimacy of its boundaries from the Atlantic to the Mississippi.

The first article marks clearly the recognition of the United States as free, sovereign, and independent states. Furthermore, the British Crown, through this treaty, fully relinquishes its rights to any future demand of property which pertain to the U.S.

An extremely important aspect of the Treaty is the establishment of the boundaries which were decided clearly and without any doubt in order to ensure that no future war may be stirred on this subject.

The third article stated the right of the American people to fish in the Newfoudland and the Great Bank. In terms of water regime, the Treaty also established the free sailing of the Mississippi river for American and British subject.

The Treaty was in itself one of the most important acts of the American history for its crucial recognition of the American independence from the British Crown.

Trade Navigation Act

The Trade Navigation Acts were a series of laws which aimed at restricting the trade between England and its colonies from the British Empire. More precisely, it was a means through which the Empire would ensure that trade with the colonies is achieved for the good of the British Empire.

This measure was taken firstly to protect the trade with the Empire and to constrain its benefits to the Empire. It was as a result of the increased pressure of the Dutch merchants who had taken control over the sea trade in particular. These series of Acts which began in 1650 when first enacted by the British Parliament. They focused on goods such as tobacco, indigo, or sugar.

As a corollary to the rest of the legal acts imposed by the British, the Act of Trade and Navigation of 1769 also limited American activities with the rest of the British colonies. It stated that goods must not be exported but in ships owned or built by British or colonists. Moreover, it imposed the rule that any import must firstly pass through Britain.

A collective answer clearly expressed the general view on the matter. The almost violent attitude expressed a general opinion related to the legislation imposed by the Parliament upon the Colonies. Again, despite the pressure such Acts imposed on the economic situation of the colonies, it betrayed the British interest in maintaining its control over the internal affairs and regulation of the soon to be independent state.

Boston Tea Party

The Boston Tea Party represented yet again another major point towards the American Revolution. It took into account the same premises as the "taxation without representation" belief. This rebellion tried to point out, more importantly, a principle rather than a practical issue. The colonists have always considered the British liberalism to embody the basic elements of social and ethical conduct. The 1688 Glorious revolution was based on principles such as John Locke's natural rights of man. He argued that people were by nature free and had equal rights: life, liberty and property. In the view of the American elite who had constituted its economic and social creed by adopting these principles of liberalism, the attitude of the British Empire by applying "taxation without representation" was the ultimate proof of the breach of these values and moral norms, and therefore decided to break independent of the system disrespecting theses liberal concepts.

The British imposed additional taxes through Act of Parliament. Therefore, in 1765, the Stamp Act imposed certain taxes on legal documents, papers, pamphlets, playing cards and dice. Another Tax was imposed on the tea in 1773. However, in the general context of the rebellion of the colonists against the British Crown, the colonists from Boston, Massachusetts refused to pay the tax on the tea and opted for actually destroying the tea. Despite the opposition of the Governor, the tea was thrown in the sea.

To this day, the event is seen as a means of protest against a regime and in support of a principle of constitutional rights.

Articles of Confederation

The Articles of the Confederation represented the first written constitution of the United States. In 1777, the Articles which were the result of the Second Continental Congress enshrined the basic rules of government for the American colonies. It guaranteed sovereignty of the government and its functions. It was officially ratified in 1781 by the senate.

One of the most important elements of the Articles represented the beginning of the document which stated the belief in the perpetual union between the states. It also provided the actual name, the United States of America.

Another crucial element of the Articles of Confederation was the delegation of power to the American Congress. Through this delegation, the Congress became the legislative power in the state, thus defining the democratic structure.

Furthermore, the Articles legislated the relations between the states, with due regard for common defense and security, protection of liberties, trade, and sovereignty. The foreign policy, according to the Articles, was again a common aspect which would eventually be covered by the law. In general, the Congress was offered full power over the activities of the state. This was largely due to the belief that, given the representativeness of the Congress, it would represent the legal and legitimate force in the state. The most important issue the authors of the Articles tried to avoid was the situation of the British crown and its lack of legitimacy in the face of the American people. Therefore, the Congress was given the power and structure to properly represent the colonies through the Articles of Confederation.

The French and Indian War

The French and Indian war represents the generic notion for what is known in the history of the European continent as the Seven Years War. This war represented an important moment in the history of the United States, despite the fact that the actual confrontation and the political disputes had included the French and the British. Although the political matters were related to the colonial issues the two sides had on the European continent, the major battle field in this sense were disputed in the American colonies.

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