"Where we do well know that all our causes will be impartially heard and
equally justice administered to all men," as stated by, Nathaniel Bacon. 1 In
1676 an uprising known as Bacon's Rebellion occurred in Virginia. The immediate
cause of this revolt was the dissension between the planters and the Indians.
Because Sir William Berkeley, the Governor of Virginia had willingly denied
support to the farmers, Bacon assumed leadership of an unauthorized expedition
against the Indians. When Bacon learned that Governor Berkeley was rising a
force against him, he turned away from the Indians to fight with Berkley. This
had now become a serious problem for the governor. When news of this revolt had
reached King Charles II, it alarmed him so that he dispatched eleven hundred
troops to Virginia, recalled his governor, and appointed a commission to
determine the causes of the dissatisfaction. Bacon's Rebellion is considered to
be the most important event in the establishment of democracy in colonial
America because the right to vote and social equality were denied to the farmers
by the local government.
They were now considered legalvoters. Berkeley did not care about the farmers. When the lower-class are taxed, technically you aretaking away at least three-quarters of their earnings. 2 First, half the moneythey earn is going to the proprietor, then the King of England takes away theother quarter they are left with very little. Overall thecolonists had not been treated fairly. Rumor had it that Berkeley and his wealthy friends wereinterested in trade with the Indians. Bacon and his followers fought for their right to vote and denouncedsocial inequality in Virginia, by taking matters into their own hands. The problems with a society thathas a wide range of classes are certain classes have privileges that otherclasses do not. Inaddition the farmers had no rights. Normally these farmers were expecting toreceive help from the governor. Bacon'sRebellion has become the most significant episode leading towards democracy incolonial America. Duringthe first half of the 17th century the farmers on the plantations in Virginiawere not able to exercise their right to vote. To them voting meant that the person they elected was theperson they felt was responsible enough to motivate them and support them. The farmers accused the rich men of controlling the whole colony fortheir selfish purposes.