Shays Rebellion

Shay’s Rebellion Critical Analysis Shay’s Rebellion 1) Shays’ Rebellion, the post-Revolutionary clash between New England farmers and merchants that tested the precarious institutions of the new republic, threatened to plunge the disunited states into a civil war. The rebellion arose in Massachusetts in 1786, spread to other states, and culminated in an abortive attack on a federal arsenal. It wound down in 1787 with the election of a more popular governor, an economic upswing, and the creation of the Constitution of the United States in Philadelphia. Shay’s Rebellion was the first armed uprising of the new nation. It was caused by the absence of debt relief legislation in Massachusetts. When the Revolution ended, merchants and creditors lobbied for high taxes and against paper money.

They were successful. These procreditor polices underminded farmers’ finances. The legislation, including foreclosure laws, were extremely taxing to farmers and caused many to go into great debt. Many farmers were dragged to court where they faced high legal fees and threats of imprisonment because of their debt. In 1786, farmers in Massachusetts attended extralegal meetings where they protested against high taxes and aggressive eastern creditors.

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Bands of angry farmers joined together to close law courts with force and freed debtors and fellow protesters from jail. Resistance to the legislation climbed to a full-scale revolt. John Adams, president at the time, answered with the Riot Act, which outlawed illegal assemblies. The rebellion was suppressed by military force. The rebellion prompted leaders with national perspective to redouble their efforts and create a stronger central government. 2) Economic crisis: high taxes, mounting debt A series of tax revolts by Massachusetts farmers against the Massachusetts legislature in 1786-1787. After the Revolutionary War, the Massachusetts legislature imposed high taxes to pay war debts.

Rural farmers could not pay their taxes and faced forfeiture of their farms. Resentment of the taxes increased to the point that the farmers began to break up court sessions to prevent judges from ruling that specific farms should be sold to pay tax bills. These minor acts of rebellion turned violent in January 1787 when Daniel Shays, a farmer and Revolutionary War veteran, led 1200 people into Springfield to seize weapons from a national government arsenal. Massachusetts State military troops quickly put down the rebellion, but the event shocked the nation at the time. Shays’ Rebellion hinted that law and order were seriously breaking down across the new United States to the extent that the national government, under the Articles of Confederation, could not even protect its own arsenal. Shays’ Rebellion kindled the people’s desire to form stronger national government which could enforce law, keep order, and solve the problems facing the developing United States. 3)Yes, I feel that the arguments presented in this essay were very strong and well supported. There was a lot of information and facts, however, in my opinion that created a problem.

The article was almost too informative and gave way to a boring paper. I disliked the presentation of information because of the lack of interest that was displayed. The whole thing seemed to drag-on. Although, I did like the way the text was structured because on the introduction that provided me with clarity of what was to come as well as the easy reading level. Both of those aspects did make the assignment easier to accomplish. 4) This essay relates to what we have been learning about in school lately because it links together several events that occurred after the Revolution.

It demonstrates the post-war effects and without a central government. It provided insight into how the Revolution did not provide the outcome that most Americans were expecting and in many ways they were facing the same issues as before except without the king. Debt was forming and people were once again rebelling because of taxes. The article also talked about important people and leaders such as Daniel Shay, George Washington, Samuel Adams, Thomas Jefferson, John Hancock, and James Bowdoin. All of this information we have previously discussed in class and taken notes on. 5) This piece of writing is important for us as high school students to learn about because it is extremely informative. Alden T.

Vaughan provides incredible insight and knowledge about this specific period in history which was very crucial. The reason it was so important was because it provided the framework to creating the government and nation that we have in the United States today. The paper also provides facts on the post-Revolution conditions especially in Massachusetts and how the revolt began because of taxes. The were an obvious need for a central government and the article showed how specific leaders like Washington and Jefferson stepped up and led the nation to the Continental Congress. Lastly, the importance of learning about this ties into the issue or presidency and the election that just passed. Both back in the 1780’s as well as now there is a large need for not only a strong federal government but for wise and capable leaders as well. So as the future generation of America, it is important for us teenagers to be aware of all these things and hopefully it will make us more knowledgeable for the issues and decisions that lie ahead of us.

American History.


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