Role Of Settlers In Colonial Virginia

In the seventeenth century Virginia saw an influx in the indentured servant population. These were typically young, white, and unmarried males who would work for about four to seven years in exchange for food, clothes, housing, etc. When their terms of service were terminated, these now freemen hoped to receive land ownership and some upward social mobility. Owning land meant that they could have a vote and in turn be a member of the society. By the 1670s, however, there was hardly any good, vacant land left to settle in Virginia, so they began to look towards Indian territories. Nathaniel Bacon, the young, ambitious cousin of Sir William Berkeley, the governor of Virginia, decided to lead this charge. These actions caused conflict over land …show more content…
When the Indians retaliated, Bacon called on governor Berkeley to send militia after the Indians. Instead, Berkeley denied that request and set up an unorganized group of forts on the border in attempts to not only keep the Indians out but mostly to keep Bacon and his followers from leaving. Bacon’s lack of authority and Berkeley’s unhelpful solution to Bacon’s requests lead Bacon to make specific allegations against Berkeley. On July 30, 1676, Bacon and his army issued the "Declaration of the People of Virginia" in which Bacon criticized Berkeley 's administration. It accused him of putting an unjust amount of taxes on the people, showing favoritism to a select group and using them for his own agenda, having a monopoly in the fur trade and selling his Majesty’s country to “heathens”, providing protection for the Indians, sending back the army when he learned they had gotten word of his people’s attack on the Indians, framing an army to protect his Majesty’s country, forging commission, and trying to avoid war among the settlers all at once. Bacon then says “…we declaire the owners, Masters or Inhabitants of the said places, to be confederates and trayters to the people and the estates of them is alsoe of all the aforesaid persons to be confiscated, and this we the Comons of Virginia doe declare, desiring a firme …show more content…
Their conflict over land stemmed from Bacon’s disrespect of Berkeley’s authority and wanting things to be done his way. He created conflicts between landowners and non-landowners, the Indians and Virginia, and between Berkeley and himself. The only way that their conflicts were resolved were when one of them died, offering no peaceful solution to this problem. Nevertheless, Both thought that they had what was in the best interest of Virginia in mind. Both Bacon and Berkeley both believed that they had the full backing of the crown thus neither one of them was a

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