Bacon's Rebellion Facts & Summary Lesson for Kids

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  • 0:04 What was Bacon's Rebellion?
  • 0:39 Lead Up Events
  • 1:47 Bacon's Supporters & Enemies
  • 2:26 Outcome
  • 2:53 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Rebecca Gillaspy

Dr. Gillaspy has taught health science at University of Phoenix and Ashford University and has a degree from Palmer College of Chiropractic.

Times weren't always easy in America. The early settlers of Jamestown often fought with the Native Americans. When the settlers couldn't get the governor to help them with their fight, they started a rebellion known as Bacon's Rebellion.

What Was Bacon's Rebellion?

Back in the 1600s, the common folks living in Virginia loved Bacon, but the Native Americans and wealthy landowners (aristocrats), including the governor of Virginia, hated Bacon. Of course, I'm not talking about the bacon you fry up with your morning eggs; I'm talking about the Virginia colonist named Nathaniel Bacon.

In 1676, Bacon led a group of Virginia settlers in a rebellion against Virginia Governor William Berkeley and the wealthy planters and politicians known as the Tidewater Aristocrats. The rebellion against the governor and the aristocrats of Virginia came to be known as Bacon's Rebellion.

Lead Up Events

Nathaniel Bacon

Nathaniel Bacon was somewhat of a hero to the common man, yet he came from a privileged family and attended an important university in England called the University of Cambridge. When Bacon was finished with college, he left England and moved to Jamestown, Virginia, which was the first permanent English settlement in America.

When Bacon arrived in Jamestown, everything was great. He bought some land and settled down with his wife for what he thought would be a quiet life as a planter and farmer; but soon he started having trouble with his neighbors, who were Native Americans.

The Native Americans weren't too happy that Jamestown was growing and pushing them out of the lands on which they lived, so some members of the nearby tribes raided the farms of settlers living on the edge of town. In these raids, they stole the settler's food and supplies and attacked their farms. During one attack, Bacon's plantation overseer was killed, and Bacon had had enough. He wanted to start a war against the Native Americans, but when he went to speak to the governor and the aristocrats about his problem, they refused to help.

Why wouldn't the governor and his friends help? Well, these wealthy elites weren't bothered by the Native Americans, because they had enough money to live in the heart of Jamestown, away from the violence.

Bacon's Supporters & Enemies

Bacon wasn't exactly happy, to say the least, and instead of dropping the idea of fighting, he went around and talked to other settlers who were having trouble with Native Americans. The more settlers Bacon talked to, the more popular he became.

Tensions were high between Bacon and Governor Berkeley.

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