Bacon’s Rebellion in Indian Country

JOURNAL OF AMERICAN HISTORY 101.3 (2014): 726-750

Bacon’s Rebellion, which convulsed Virginia in the years 1676—1677, is a staple of scholarship on early America. Historians, who have long presented it as a critical moment in the creation of American democracy, slavery, and freedom, normally treat the rebellion as an expression of Anglo-Virginia’s social and political dynamics. James D. Rice, however, argues that the Native Americans are the key to understanding Bacon’s Rebellion, and that the rebellion is best situated within the context of Native American diplomatic systems of the late seventeenth-century boom in the Indian slave trade, and of colonists’ rising fears of a Catholic-Indian conspiracy against English Protestants.