What Were the Causes of Bacon’s Rebellion?

Governor William Berkeley’s refusal to retaliate against the Native Americans in response to attacks against English colonists was the immediate cause of Bacon’s Rebellion. The discontent that fuelled the rebellion came from declining tobacco prices, competition from other colonies, and an increase in the prices of English manufactured goods.

Some historians argue that Nathaniel Bacon led the rebellion against the colonial authorities to augment his own power. Though his rebellion was initially successful, Bacon died of dysentery before he could consolidate his gains. Governor Berkeley returned to his capital and executed some of the ringleaders, though he himself lost his position as a result of the chaos. Many historians argue that Bacon’s Rebellion led to the decline in the use of white indentured servants and an increase in the use of slave labor.