What was the outcome of Bacon's Rebellion?

1 Answer
Jun 8, 2016

Britain replaced the Governor temporarily, and small tobacco planters gained more power.


First, a bit about what Jamestown was like leading up to the rebellion.

Jamestown consisted mostly of tobacco planters. For most of it's history, any settlers were given 50 acres of land when they joined the colony, allowing for them to establish a spread out plantation system. The majority of labor came from indentured servants, who were cheaper than slaves. They typically would not live through their time of service, and the owner would be off the hook for providing land and tools to the servant upon release.

However, by 1670, Jamestown had improved enough that indentured servants were actually living. Jamestown had spread well into Algonquin territory, and Governor Berkeley placed limits on new territory in order to help establish relations with the Natives. This upset the servants who felt they were owed new frontier land.

Other small planters were also upset at Berkeley as he showed clear favoritism to his other, wealthier friends. Eventually, Nathaniel Bacon led a rebellion to have Berkeley removed. The British government, in response, sent a new governor over who was much more sympathetic to the smaller tobacco planters and un-indentured servants.

The new governor only lasted a few years before the wealthier planters gained control of the government. They did, however, begin to use slave labor over indentured servants, as it had become cheaper now that indentured servants were living beyond their work lease.