The theme of liberty is a common value, which has always inflamed humans hearts in all historic events. But what do we mean by liberty? It is a complex concept, but in this essay we will sum up this idea as the ability to do no matter when or what without any abuses oppression of someone else. People are always ready to defend this abstract concept with words and, if necessary, guns. However, even if this idea of liberty is common to everyone, it does not mean that everybody have access to this fundamental concept.
Indeed if we give American history a closer look we will see that today’s obvious right was to that obvious nor allowed to all individuals in the oppressed society at the time. In this essay we will discuss how this notion of liberty shaped the different Revolts and Revolutions against inequality. It will especially focus on Bacon’s Rebellion and Nat Turners Revolt relating them to the notion of liberty, democracy and the American Experience. Only a free white man was truly able to talk about freedom at this time.
The right of liberty was refused to native Americans, their land get conquered by the Puritans and almost all of them had been exterminated. The native Americans were not considered citizens in their own land, according to the Marshall in the case Cherokee Nation versus Georgia in 1931. By this way they could not be protected by justice and had to either accept the oppression of Puritans or be kill. The situation for black people was not really better. Most of them were slaves, working in terrible and hard conditions and were considered as a kind of kink.
For each part of our individuality, there is always one, which will dominate the other. The dominant will never be able to understand the dominated feelings, so he could be insensitive with the dominated situation. This could explain why the white people, who were obviously the dominant ones, were able to oppress the other races. Nevertheless, this was not the only kind of oppression at this time. Women were oppressed by men and the common people by the well born. It can be said that because of the oppression and injustice, different revolts appeared.
The first one that we will talk about is the Bacon’s Rebellion, which happened in Virginia in 1976. The governor Berkeley, who was a really corrupted man, refused extermination or the removal of Indian colonies to open more land because that decision would probably make him loose money. He was only worried about his own interest and not about the common purpose of the Puritan, which was to expand their land. Berkeley s decision made Nathaniel Bacon rise against him. Nathaniel Bacon was a wealthy and ambitious planter, he call for the removal of all Indian colony and a reduction Of taxes at a time Of economic recession.
Thanks to help Of small farmer groups, landless men and even some Africans, he managed to become the new ruler of Virginia. It is the arrival of a squadron of warships from England that restored the order. When the dominant is to oppressive with the nominate, it could happened that all the dominated groups decided to joint their strengths against the dominant as a survival instinct. This rebellion is an illustration of this idea, where many different classes, which were all dominated by the same class, decided to rise against the common oppressor.
However, the consequences of this rebellion is a reduction of the taxes but not only. The Puritans also adopted a more aggressive policy with the Indians. Therefore, the rebellion against the oppression of one class, in this case, also increased the oppression of another race, the Indians, which were already oppressed. Nat Turner’s Revolt is another revolt that we will talk about. The setting is Virginia, 1831. Nat Turner, or the “Black Asparagus”, was a black slave who decides to kill his masters and start a rebellion against whites. He was a preacher, who once vision white and black angels fighting each other.
Because of this, he thought to be chosen by good to rescue the black people against the white oppression. He attacked several farms and increase his army with the slaves that he released. He Was caught and executed in 1832 with seventy slave followers. His objective was to abolish slavery and the abusive oppression against the black population, as well as to stop white’s domination on the black race. Even if he died in his quest, thank to his sacrifice in 1838 the apartment launched a program for abolish slavery throughout the British Empire.
Throughout several rebellions that happened all along the American history, and even throughout world history, we can notice that people used to revolt when a dominant class cross was defined and began to cross the line and become oppressive against minorities. This oppression could be seen as the suppression Of liberty with slavery, or just an economic oppression with the well born class. The act of rebellion is the answer to a feeling of injustice, in this case, inequality among groups.
These rebellions show us that people have to fight for their liberty, which was not yet established, and do not just accepted oppression from other classes who think of themselves as superior. This also shows us that there was not real democracy at the time because only some people are really concerned and advantaged by this so-called “democracy’. To conclude it can be said that the American experience is something unique to each group of individual according to their race, class or gender the American experience can be extremely different.