The farmers of Western Massachusetts were suffering and their taxes were unreasonably high. This event was a major factor in the creation of the Constitution. Many of them had to take out loans to keep their farms going in their absence. Shays' Rebellion The economy in the period following the American Revolution was extremely precarious. Daniel Shays reasoned that his farm could not be taken away by the court if there was no court. In December 1786, a militia assaulted a farmer and his family in Groton, arresting and crippling the farmer, which further fanned the flames of the insurrection. Sign up to receive Constitution Weekly, our email roundup of constitutional news and debate, at.
Realizing that he was far from alone in his plight, he began to organize his fellow protesters. The main factor in Shay's Rebellion was unfair taxing policies by local and state governments. Shays' Rebellion highlighted the internal conflict in the post-Revolutionary War United States. The government that collected the farmers taxes was controlled by creditor and commercial interests and would not grant reprieve to the struggling farmers. In what ways are they similar? For many, expectations were dashed while others railed against the social and economic mobility the American Revolution had unleashed. Armed bands forced the closing of several courts to prevent execution of and debt processes. They fled only when there spread a rumor among them that they would be attacked by the national army.
Along with insurmountable commercial debt, unusually high tax rates in Massachusetts added to the financial woes of the farmers. Benjamin Lincoln with 4,400 militia to fight against the rebels. Due to the war, there was massive debt throughout the United States. . In Rhode Island, the paper currency system was not easily accepted by the merchandisers and the creditors which led to the debtors depositing the money with the local judges. When the militia was called in, those men refused to answer, and many joined the crowd around the courthouse. At the time the states had very little federal backing and were unable to deal with crisis such as this on their own.
These individuals were supposed to pay taxes to the local and state tax collectors but never received their proper pay for fighting for the United States in the American Revolution. On September 5, protestors shut down the court in Worcester and Governor Bowdoin ordered the militia to quell the protest. But Shays was only one leader in the rebellion. Question: What was the significance of Shays' Rebellion? The war had been financed by loans from Spain and France. At the same time, the Founders built in safeguards that they hoped would prevent individual, group or private interests from overwhelming the public good. What sorts of resistance to government occurred in Massachusetts in the 1770s? The farmers in western and central Massachusetts decided to band together in an American Revolutionary-type struggle. Unable to pay either their private debts or their taxes, many farmers faced devastation.
In Massachusetts, judges ordered farmers to sell their land and livestock to pay off their debts. The state government found itself in trouble and began to raise amercenary army to fight Shay's. He believed citizens could not take up arms whenever they felt something was not done correctly or they had a grievance. The movement began with rural farmers, who were charged with high taxes and received relatively low wages; this combination led many into debt traps and prevented them from establishing new farms. In 1786, Shays and his followers closed down courthouses to keep judges from taking their farms. What impact did those policies have on its citizens? War had left the state in debt and the direct effect was on the taxpayers who had to forgo one-third of their income to pay the dues. Thus their collective efforts turned into Shays' Rebellion which broke out on 29th August, 1786.
The economic hardship was exacerbated by the lack of commercial banks in the state, so people borrowed from each other in a pyramid of debt and credit. In what ways do you think they differed? They banded together to petition the Massachusetts state legislature for debt relief. From the year 1774 to 1786, taxes were increased to over 1,000 %, not to mention the subsequently high poll and head taxes. In some cases, Army veterans who had never received pay for their service saw their property seized. Flaws were exposed in the Articles of Confederation, which helped create a new form of government thanks to the men who recognized those flaws. On 5th September, Worcester county court was adjourned, on 12th September at Concord, Middlesex, and on 20th September at Exeter, New Hampshire.
Two of them, John Bly and Charles Rose of Berkshire County, were hanged for thievery on December 6, 1787, while the rest were either pardoned, had their sentences commuted, or had their convictions overturned on appeal. Ifthe debts were caused by helping the American Revolution, then itrequired a national solution. On what charge were the imprisoned leaders condemned to death? This led to farmers being arrested when they could not pay their debts, making it even more difficult for the farmers to pay the debts. The new nation was in a horrible crisis with inflation. Since he had not been compensated for his service, he had no way of paying these debts.
Shays led a force of about 1,200 men in an attack January 1787 on the federal arsenal at Springfield, which was repulsed. While most were pardoned, 18 men were sentenced to death. Having disbanded the Continental army, Congress was unable to stop them. In 1786, farmers assembled in conventions and demanded that their property tax be lowered. With this, public resentment of tax collectors and the courts escalated quickly. General George Washington came out of retirement to promote a strong national government that would be capable of dealing effectively with popular discontent.
It presented the most dramatic example of the unrest and dissension occurring throughout the new United States that alarmed people across a wide spectrum of post-revolutionary society. Benjamin Lincoln and his men in which the rebels lost, three of them died, and several got captured. The federal government had no authority to step in and help them under the Articles of the Confederation. Shays' Rebellion was ineffective in its goal to help farmers, but it did lead to Massachusetts' Governor James Bowdoin losing the following election. How many voted against it? Under the Articles of Confederation, the new government couldn't raise revenue, couldn't enforce laws to help the people and did not have the power to forcibly put down a rebellion. If you thought the government in the description is Great Britain, think again! The farmers resented the fact that the state's tax laws favored trade at the expense of farming.
All proposals for debt relief were rejected. Political leaders reasoned that the people of the states, and, in some cases, the legislatures themselves, had proved unable to sustain their republican-based systems of government. The state militia could not put down the rebellion because the farmers were the militia. Farming was what the farmers relied on in order to live. On January 25, 1787, Shays, along with some 1,500 of his Regulators attacked the federal armory at Springfield, Massachusetts.