Tensions in Colonial Society

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Both the Bacon Rebellion and the Pueblo revolt were ignited by the mounting apprehension of preserving safety and a way of life as white settlers and Native Americans come together on the same land. Because European settlers were trying to settle on land already occupied by Indians, many conflicts arose. For many white settlers, as was the case in the Bacon Rebellion, the clash of the two races caused an uneasy apprehension. The white settlers felt threatened by the Native Americans, and, as a result, resorted to unnecessary violence. In the Bacon Rebellion, this ongoing tension caused farmers to kill many Indians, even friendly ones. For many Native Americans the clash of the two races resulted in tension as the white settlers tried to change the Indian way of life. This was true of the Pueblo Indians in present day New Mexico who felt threatened by the Spanish because they were trying to impose an unfamiliar, Christian life on the Indians. With both groups we see a common tension: people are feeling threatened as a result of Native Americans and white settler interaction. As with these uprisings, tension created by Indian/colonist interaction in colonial America often erupted into violence and rebellions.

While the Pueblo revolt was mainly the result of Indian/Colonist conflict, the Bacon rebellion had many more aspects to it. The Bacon rebellion was inpart fueled by the strain between the most elite Americans and everyone else. For Bacon and his friends, who were upper-class Englishmen who came to America, the tension came from resentment toward the Virginia elite for not including them. For the farmers, it was the belief that the elite government did not understand or sympathize with the danger Indians posed to farmers. When the two groups teamed up to fight out the tension against the elite, many Indians and innocent colonists were killed and injured. The deaths occurred when colonists vented their frustrations by taking matters into their own hands...
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