Tuesday, October 7, 2008

They Say; Bacon's Rebellion

Although Bacon’s Rebellion is often popularized as a credible American revolution in which Nathaniel Bacon is depicted as a commendable leader in an attempt to institute righteousness, contradictory sources illustrate the rebellion as an immoral onslaught, demonstrating nadir human injustice. Howard Zinn & Rebecca Stefoff clearly demonstrate the more popular analysis of Bacon’s Rebellion in the book, A Young Peoples History of the United States, in which they claim, “Bacons Rebellion brought together groups from the lower classes…they started an uprising because they were angry about the way the colony was being run.” (pg. 35) The essence of Howard Zinn and Rebecca Stefoffs argument portrays Bacon, and the rebellion as a justified attempt by unified Virginia commoners to disband their perverse colonial government. Another example by these authors reaffirms the positive side of the rebellion stating “Many Virginians scraped out a living in poverty or worked as servants in terrible conditions…these unhappy Virginians found a leader in Nathaniel Bacon.”(pg.37) From this viewpoint, Bacon’s followers also justified killing numerous of local Indians as mere defense.
Another perception of Bacon’s Rebellion is one which that emphasizes on the immorality, prejudice, and brutality of Bacon’s Rebellion. An author that upholds this standpoint is Michael Puglisi of Marian College. In his article, “Whether They Be Friends or Foes” Puglisi insists that Bacon’s followers had, “lack of regard for the integrity and the well-being of the tributary tribes” and furthermore supports this statement by describing a scene in which Bacon and his army “attacked a peaceful Indian village…killing and taking (the natives) prisoners and looking for plunder.” (pg.78) Bacon’s supporters showed actions of unpardonable cruelty, “even killing an elderly native woman, the queen’s nurse, for providing them with incorrect information in their (natives) pursuit.”(Puglisi, “Whether They Be Friends or Foes” pg.78) Although most colonists agreed that their real enemy during the Rebellion was the corrupt Colonial Government, Puglisi also stated in his article that Bacon "claimed that by organizing the unauthorized campaign against the encroaching Indians he was providing a release for the colonist's frustrations." Even Howard Zinn and Rebecca Stafoff acknowledge the fact that Bacon's intentions in the Rebellion weren't purely related to the colonist's interests, stating, "(regarding Bacon) He probably cared more about fighting Indians than about helping the poor."(pg.37)


Rylee Kettner said...

I really like how you took into consideration all of the different views that people have about the rebellion. Your quotes fit well in your writing, and you used just enough to seem credible but not lose your own voice. Overall I think it is very well written.

Aly TW said...

great vocabulary:) your sentences flowed very well. you used quotations that perfectly fit with the points that you were illustrating.
you are very informative, and kept the whole assignment as "they say" theme.

i learned new facts while reading your work. Great job Alex!:)