Antonio Malik Jones
Bacon 's Rebellion can be attributed to many of causes, all of which led to dissent in the Virginia colony. It had economic problems such as declining in tobacco prices, growing commercial competition from Maryland and the Carolinas, an increasingly restricted English market, the rising prices from English manufactured goods (mercantilism) caused problems for the Virginians, and Autocratic rule of governor Berkeley. These all are the main reasons for the Bacon Rebellion but there are also more that will be explained throughout this paper.
The decline in tobacco prices was a cause of do to too much tobacco. Leaf-leaden ships annually brought in 1.5 million pounds of tobacco out of Chesapeake Bay by the 1630s, and almost 40 million pounds a year by the end of the century (18 million kilograms.) This depressed the prices of tobacco but colonial Chesapeake tobacco growers responded by planting still more acres of tobacco.
Growing competition from Maryland and the Carolinas was also a factor. They both pushed the “Head right” system which encouraged the importation of servant workers; which means whoever paid the passage of a laborer received the right to acquire fifty acres of land; this boosted the landownership system. Some masters soon took advantage of their investments and servants into huge fortunes in real estate (great merchant planters.)
There was also an increasingly English Market. England shrank the pool of penniless people willing to gamble on a new life or an early death as indentured servants in America. By the mid-1680s, black slaves outnumbered white servants among the plantation colonies’ new arrivals for the first time. Hard-pinched white colonists, struggling to stay alive and to hack crude clearings out of the forests because could not afford to pay high prices for slaves who might die soon after arrival (white servants.)
Rising prices from English
Cited: Chapter 4: American Life in the Seventeenth Century, 1607-1692 - AP U.S. History Chapter Outlines - Study Notes. (n.d.). Retrieved October 2, 2014. United States. National Park Service. (2014, September 26). Bacon 's Rebellion. Retrieved October 2, 2014.