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The Effects That Slavery And Class Conflict Had On The American Republic

2118 words - 8 pages

The Effects That Slavery and Class Conflict had on the American Republic
There are three events in American history that are linked greatly together and in turn have effected the creation of America as a republic. Bacon's Rebellion, slavery as an institution, class division and conflict are the three events that will be discussed in this paper. Also, it will be shown how these three events impacted the creation of the American republic.
The plot for Bacon's Rebellion is the late 17th century in the backwoods of what is now Virginia, where poor farmers were drawn because they could not afford the best farming land that was owned by Virginia's elite ("Bacon's Rebellion"). This area was prone to Indian attacks. Tension was growing as Virginian's faced many economical problems and natural disasters, such as declining tobacco prices, growing commercial competition from Maryland and the Carolina's, an increasing restricted English market, the rising prices for English manufactured goods, hail storms, floods, draughts, and hurricanes (McCulley 1). After a servant was killed by Doeg Indians, Virginian's found a scapegoat in which they could vent their frustration and place blame for their misfortune, the Native Americans (McCulley 1, Norton 71). The colonist retaliated against this act of violence but it was against the wrong tribe, which started large-scale Indian raids. Governor William Berkeley called for an investigation of these attacks and proceeded to ask both sides to yield further retaliation. However, colonist felt that Berkeley was just concerned with having a monopoly over the trade with Indians ("Bacon's Rebellion"). Nathaniel Bacon and his followers; mostly servants, slaves, and backwoods farmers did not heed Berkeley's request and continued attacks on Indian tribes later turning on Jamestown itself, to burn the capital to the ground (Norton 71).
Bacon's Rebellion influenced the second amendment of the Constitution, which states that the people have the right to bear arms. This was instated so that common men could defend themselves against hostile Indians and incase of the need for opposition to a despotic regime (Norton A-24 & Miller 5). Before Bacon's Rebellion African slaves were rarely used in Virginia and those that were used were indentured servants who had more than likely come from the Caribbean ("Bacon's Rebellion"). There for they had already been exposed to English making the work environment on the plantation more companionable in between the black and white indentured servant, there was no class distinction (Norton 72).
Virginia's economical success relied on tobacco and is dependent on labor so it...

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