Bacon's Rebellion Essay

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In the prologue, President Obama states, “America was made by ordinary people; who kept their moral compass pointed straight and true when the way seemed treacherous, the climb seemed steep, and the future seemed uncertain” (Movie). However, as captivating as this statement is, America: The Story of Us - Episode One: Rebels presents United States history in a manner that largely avoids controversial or sensitive events and blurs the line between fact and fiction. Large portions of history, such as the effects of religion and elitist control, are exempted. These omissions significantly impacted the development of America, and shaped it into what it is today. This is all done in an attempt to generate profit and glorify the American story, resulting…show more content…
Looking to insure order, the elite turned to racial differences as their answer. Before Bacon’s Rebellion, African slavery, based solely on race, was not a concept. However, recognizing an opportunity to split the working class, reducing the unity amongst them, the elite institutionalized political differences among whites and people of color. They began by instituting new laws that granted white working class men elevated privileges, creating a “psychological wage” that led them to believe that they were of a higher stature than people of color. At the same time, the flow of new indentured servants traveling to the New World greatly decreased due to the Great Fire of London. “Rebels” fails to recognize the construction of race within the colonies, leaving the viewer to believe that racial based discrimination and slavery was innate or somehow preordained. Howard Zinn states that, “There is not a country in world history in which racism has been more important, for so long a time, as the United States” (Zinn). This is vital, because recognizing that race was a social construction helps us to understand that we can take meaningful action to diminish its pernicious influence on American

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