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Resistance and Rebellion

Page history last edited by Mr. Hengsterman 4 months, 2 weeks ago




Resistance and Rebellion in the English Colonies (1636 to 1739)

Challenges to the English social order revealed underlying political,

social and economic tensions in the colonies. 



RE-SET Blood and Betrayal: New England vs. Native Americans [1621 to 1676] 

White encroachment results in an uneasy coexistence of English settlers and Native Americans dissolved in mutual suspicions, conflicts and retaliations.


Pequot War  (1636-1637)

King Phillips War (1675)


Land: The United States adopted the European practice of expansion and of recognizing only limited land rights of indigenous peoples. A major cause of conflict in the 1600 and 1700's - WHITE ENCROACHMENT






Class struggles in the 17th Century

Point #1 Most immigrants were neither at the top or bottom of society and few class distinctions existed on the frontier.  

Point #2 Upper-class attempt at reproducing European stratification in America did not succeed. WHY NOT?


1.  Common people too numerous to be subjugated


2. Emerging middle class became increasingly influential


3. Democratic traditions in many colonies provided a hedge against complete upper class control.




Bacon's Rebellion and the Invention of Whiteness (1676)

A brewing  culture clash developed as distrust and hostilities grew between the indigenous population of Virginia and increased number of European  newcomers looking for land in western Virginia.


Context: Indentured servants were men and women who signed contracts by which they agreed to work for a certain number of years in exchange for transportation to Virginia and, once they arrived, food, clothing, and shelter. Adults usually served for four to seven years and children sometimes for much longer, with most working in the colony's tobacco fields.


Conflict:  Bacon’s Rebellion is very representative of the struggles of poor white indentured servants. Nathaniel Bacon and his followers took to arms to essentially get more land out west from the Indians. Nathaniel Bacon and other western Virginia settlers were angry at Virginia Governor Berkeley for trying to appease the Doeg Indians after the Doegs attacked the western settlements. The frontiersmen formed an army, with Bacon as its leader, which defeated the Indians and then marched on Jamestown and burned the city. The rebellion ended suddenly when Bacon died of an illness. 




Consequence:  "This disorder that the indentured servant system had created made racial slavery to southern slaveholders much more attractive, because what were black slaves now? Well, they were a permanent dependent labor force, who could be defined as a people set apart. They were racially set apart. They were outsiders. They were strangers and in many ways throughout the world, slavery has taken root, especially where people are considered outsiders and can be put in a permanent status of slavery."   - David Blight, historian


HTS - Synthesis: This theme of poor whites taking to arms for land, and in opposition to eastern authorities, will be repeated several times (  Shay’s Rebellion,  Whiskey Rebellion).  






RE-SET English Settlement in the ChesapeakeVirginia and the Chesapeake after 1607
 Tobacco planted the seed of profit and sowed conflict in a newly stratified society Southern class structure



A truly unique African-American culture quickly emerged. Brought as slaves, black Americans blended aspects of African culture with American. Religion shows this blend clearly, as African religious ceremonies mixed with Christianity. Food and music also showed African-American uniqueness. 




Stono Rebellion (South Carolina, 1739)

As the number of slaves increases relations with colonists become strained,

leading to the first major slave revolt in the English colonies



Context:  The roots of the Stono Rebellion have their origins in organized slave resistance.  Earlier in 1739, a group of slaves had escaped to Spanish Florida where, protected by Spanish missionaries, they built a fort at St. Augustine to prevent their recapture. Cato and his followers hoped to escape to Spanish Florida where they felt assured that they, too, would receive freedom. 


Conflict:  On September 9, 1739 a literate slave named Cato led 20 other enslaved Kongolese, in an armed march south from the Stono River killing two warehouse guards and seizing weapons and ammunition.  They continued their march, killing about 25 white men along the way, until local militia created a road block and engaged the rebels in battle.  By the end of the revolt and subsequent battle,  nearly 50 enslaved blacks were dead.  Some of the insurgent slaves had their heads placed on mile markers on the road to Charleston - a dire warning against future insurgencies.





Consequence: As a result of the Stono Rebellion, the comprehensive Negro Act of 1740 passed in South Carolina made it illegal for slaves to move abroad, assemble in groups, raise food, earn money, and learn to write English (though reading was not proscribed). Additionally, owners were permitted to kill rebellious slaves if necessary. 





 Causes and Consequences of Stono Rebellion 














Rebellion Canvas




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