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Persons of Mean and Vile Condition

Jamestown was founded on an ideology of classism along with racism. It’s disheartening to know that the first English settlement was a pretense to what was to come before even getting settled in. The new settlers not only thought they were better than the Indians but, they were also just racist as well.  Bacon’s Rebellion was not only just about being oppressed, “That might explain the character of their rebellion, not easily classifiable as either antiaristocrat or anti-Indian, because it was both.” This is another example of History telling lies, when learning about Bacon’s Rebellion, I remember learning about the struggle of the farmers. That they were just standing up to the rich and powerful of Jamestown. However, Zinn explains how not only was Bacon’s Rebellion about standing up to the rich and powerful, but also just plain racism.

Furthermore, violence had escalated prior to Bacon’s Rebellion. It was just plain racism, “Violence had escalated on the frontier before the rebellion. Some Doeg Indians took a few hogs to redress a debt, and whited, retrieving the hogs murdered two Indians.” This caused a spree of skirmishes among the Indians and the settlers. While the Indians just wanted to protect themselves and their land, the settlers were racist and wanted to annex the Indians land. This led to a war, “But proposed to exempt those Indians who cooperated.” Out of racism and poverty, “This seemed to anger the tierspeople, who wanted total war but also resented the high taxes assessed to pay for the war.” The Jamestown Settlement was completely racist, and just out of spite. Instead of being peaceful they killed and tried to annex their land.

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5 Comments

  1. Margot Roussel Margot Roussel

    What I found really interesting when learning about Bacon’s rebellion was the fact that Bacon was actually pretty wealthy and was actually just manipulating the poor farmers in order for him to gain more political power. He didn’t even really care about the class divide or their struggles. Additionally, the violent wars with the Indians were to keep them subdued and make sure they kept the power.

  2. Zariah Chiverton Zariah Chiverton

    I definitely agree that they were racists from the start, but I think they were more classists than anything else. The reason I say this is because at first, it was just rich and poor and the wealthy were just fine with this because they had their money. They only started to create a divide amongst the poor because they feared that they would come for them. I don’t think they cared that black and white poor people were getting along but that what number of them could do. When they made that divide among the poorer class, race and class started to coincide a lot more, and its effects are definitely prominent today.

  3. Morgan Crocker Morgan Crocker

    I agree that when I first learned about Bacon’s Rebellion, it was mainly just about the struggles of the farmer. I wonder why History textbooks and history lessons chose to not add the part about them being racist. Especially since the racism stemmed from them being spiteful, which led them to kill and try to forcefully take land that did not belong to them.

  4. Carly Cohen Carly Cohen

    Bacons Rebellion was indeed racist and classist. Manipulation was again used throughout the violent wars and it is very unfair to the lower class the way they were treated and regarded just because they weren’t as wealthy as the upper class.

  5. Delaney Demaret Delaney Demaret

    The way our history was mistold in Bacon’s rebellion makes me question the history of other rebellions we were taught of. I was taught, probably incorrectly, that the John Brown insurgence was a gray area of domestic terrorism. In retrospect, I’d like to learn more about the history of rebellions in pre-civil war history on the whole.

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