Shays' Rebellion

Shays' Rebellion was a militia uprising that occurred from 1786 to 1787. It was led by Daniel Shays and Henry Gale. This rebellion was very influential in the development of the Constitution.

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History of the United States
American Revolution
Shays' Rebellion

How did shays' rebellion affect the development of the us constitution?

Daniel Shays lead the rebellion with his followers because they believe they were losing their farms through the mortage foreclosues and tax delinquencies. The rebels wanted paper money, lighter taxes, and suspended property takeovers which was not provided in the Articles of the Confedaration because the Articles did not provide a strong central government. When the Constitution was written, it was written with the idea that a strong central government is needed to get want they want and provide what is needed.

Also, Shay's Rebellion encouraged many of the state delegates to seriously consider a new type of government. Without this violent resistance, many state delegates were still in support of the Articles.

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History of the United States
American Revolution
Shays' Rebellion

What did twelve states decide to do after shays rebellion?

Shay's rebellion provided one of the reasons for the Constitutional Convention. Since Congress had not been meeting, there had been no way for the states to join together to fight the rebellion.

The new Constitution made the President the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces. He would always be on the job even when congress went home. If another rebellion occurred then he would be available to call up the troops and put down the rebellion.

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History of the United States
Shays' Rebellion

Why was Shay's rebellion important?

Shay's rebellion was important because it showed that the central government was very weak and showed that there were too high taxes and heavy debts.

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History of the United States
Shays' Rebellion

Why did farmers in Massachusetts take part in Shay's Rebellion?

Because of high taxes, they faces the loss of their farms to foreclosure.

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History of the United States
Shays' Rebellion

What was Shays' Rebellion?

Shays' RebellionThe economy in the period following the American Revolution was extremely precarious. Due to the war, there was massive debt throughout the United States. Foreign investors who aided the Patriots during the war started to call in their debts and Congress had to borrow money simply to pay accumulating interest. In addition, the Articles of Confederation ensured that unity in solving the economic crisis would be difficult. Some states had paid what was requested of them, while others could not make the minimum amount asked.

At the local level, farmers were struggling. They could not pay off their taxes or support their families. 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 1785, English banking houses heavily involved with American trade began to call in debts as prices went down. American merchants then called in their debts -- a chain reaction that went all the way to the bottom: farmers. The government that collected the farmers taxes was controlled by creditor and commercial interests and would not grant reprieve to the struggling farmers. The farmers petitioned the state government for an extension on their payments and issuing of new paper money to pay debts and taxes. However, the state government was not sympathetic to the farmers.

Frustrated with the inability to pay their taxes and debts, much less support their families, Massachusetts farmers stepped outside the law to solve their problems. Like most rebellions, meetings stressed non-violence, but soon the angry mobs took action. The farmers prevented the county courts from sitting, which were responsible for writs of property foreclosure.

Farmers gathered around an old Revolutionary War veteran, Daniel Shays. He too had fallen on hard times following the war and felt cheated that he wasn't compensated for his time in the Continental Army. Shays led 1,200 men to the federal arsenal at Springfield, attempting a full uprising on January 26, 1787. The state militia, financed by Eastern merchants fearing property damage, swept in and forced the "Shaysites" to retreat.

Though Shays' Rebellion failed, it paved the way for massive changes in US government. By then, it was understood that the Articles of Confederation had to be revised. After the American Revolution, there was a period of "Republican Extremism" that minimized government control, symbolized by the loose Articles of Confederation. But with Shays' Rebellion, a group (eventually the Federalists) formed calling for more governmental control and a new national Constitution.
Shays '​ Rebellion was an armed uprising which took place in Massachusetts during 1786 and 1787. Some historians believe "fundamentally altered the course of the United States' history.
Shay's rebellion was an armed uprising in central and western Massachusetts, led by Daniel Shays. It was in protest of high taxes and farm mortgages.

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History of the United States
Shays' Rebellion

Shay's Rebellion forced courts to close so judges could not confiscate what?

Farmers' lands and their money.

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US Constitution
Shays' Rebellion

How did shay's rebellion lead to the constitutional convention of 1787?

Trade between the states was one of the biggest problems.

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History of the United States
War and Military History
American Revolution
Shays' Rebellion

What were the effects of Shays's Rebellion?

One was the preference for the "Virginia Plan" seeking a strong central government. The Constitution of the US was finally ratified and Massachusetts under the new governorship of John Hancock and the reprive of the Rebels was finally able to achieve a more peaceful and stable form of government.

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Shays' Rebellion

What was Daniel shay protesting?

During the Confederation period, the young American nation was in economic and political chaos. The new nation had to rebuild its economy without the benefit of belonging to the British mercantile system. America was desperately short on hard cash. This was due to the sudden renewal of British trade. Hard currency was leaving faster than it was coming into the country.

This combined with the war debt both on the national and state level helped to increase public anxiety over the nation's economy. States like Massachusetts attempted to pay off their creditors by raising taxes and implementing import duties on all incoming goods. These taxes would be a cause of contention because Americans hated taxes, particularly direct taxes. In fact, taxation was one of the leading causes of the American Revolution.

The framers of the Articles of Confederation deliberately forbade the Congress the power to collect direct taxes on income and property. The major obstacle in the Articles of Confederation was the States were 'asked' to pay to the Federal government the monies needed to pay the 'war debt' and for the running of the federal government. But the issue was that the federal had no 'power' to force the 'States' to pay. The Federal could enforce impost's, duties and excise taxes, (indirect taxes), but no direct taxes to the people.

The states maintained the power of direct taxes. Which they still hold the only power to enforce today. Thus, when the states like Massachusetts, needed to raise money to pay off their war debts, they levied direct taxes on property and attempted to collect them by methods and practices that were an anathema to their poorer citizens. This affected the farmers and small landowners the most. In Massachusetts, this problem came to a boiling point in August of 1786, with the outbreak of Shays' Rebellion. This rebellion would last until February 1787 with the capture of Shays and his followers by loyal State militiamen.

Shay's Rebellion, led by Daniel Shays, was a protest over these overburdening direct taxes which caused other economic problems faced by farmers of Western Massachusetts. Being unable to pay their debt, because the paper currency then in circulation was worthless, and because of the political power wheeled by the states. The State could take 'all' your property if you owed any taxes, even those taxes far less then the worth of your land. Thus, they lost their land to foreclosures and confiscation by the state government.

When the news of the insurrection spread, it had caused conservatives everywhere to shudder. They saw this rebellion as one step closer to tyranny and outright anarchy. The rebellion more than anything emphasized the weakness of the Articles of Confederation and that the states were too democratic in nature. This Rebellion is one of the main reason's that then farmer George Washington decided to return to the service of his countrymen, Shay and others being former officers and close friends under his command during the Revolution, accepted the request to Chair the Constitutional Convention to be held in Philadelphia.

The shown weaknesses of the national government to collect monies to pay the debt of the whole, helped the nationalist to call for a strong central government, capable of solving the economical and political problems of the nation. The Philadelphia convention would take place in the spring of 1787. The Constitution of the United States was outlined at this convention. As it went around the States for ratification the important first ten Amendments, known as the 'Bill of Rights' were added. The Bill of Rights are the only Amendments that cannot be, or have been, changed. One of these Rights again guaranteed that the federal government could not 'direct tax' the people of the United States, but this time they could by Apportionment (the actual count of each person in each state) enforce each state to pay their portion of the debt of the United States as a whole. The States could gather, by direct tax if necessary, and would 'have' to pay the tax to the federal government.

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Founding Fathers
American Revolution
Shays' Rebellion

Who was the most important Founding Father?

Alexander Hamilton was the most important founding father because through his work a strong, principled federal government was created. This was done by his push for the constitutional convention and his participation on the renowned Federalist papers, of which he wrote 52 of the 85 essays. He also greatly contributed in the struggle against the British in the revolutionary war as Washington's top aide, creating the American banking system as secretary of the treasury, and always fought for peoples rights and preserving law in the face of mob rule and cronyism. His achievements are even more incredible when one considers the difficulties he overcame in his tumultuous childhood in the West Indies. Without Hamilton, the United States very well may not have been united today.

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History of the United States
Shays' Rebellion

What was the cause and effect of Shay's Rebellion?

Farmers:

Farmers were unable to pay the debts and taxes on their farms and they were being taken away by the congress. Daniel Shays reasoned that his farm could not be taken away by the court if there was no court. He raised a militia and led an uprising. They started burning down the courts in Western Massachusetts. The idea quickly spread and others began to do the same. At the time the states had very little federal backing and were unable to deal with crisis such as this on their own. The federal government had no authority to step in and help them under the Articles of the Confederation. This event was a major factor in the creation of the Constitution.

Soldiers:

Shay's Rebellion was a product of the American Revolution. Many soldiers were not paid adequately in service during the struggle, as the colonies were revolting. These soldiers were farmers who had to leave their homes to fight. When the colonies were freed from Britain, the government was unstable, as there was no strong economy nor domestic manufacturing abilities. Many veterans of the war were angry that the government could not support them. Many vets were so far into debt that they were put into debtors jails. 1000 or so men marched to Springfield and burned most of the town and freed the debtors. Washington sent troops to suppress the rebellion and most participants were pardoned. This rebellion drew attention to a key problem in the government. It received the attention from prominent citizens like George Washington and raised the feeling of Nationalism in the states.

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Massachusetts
Shays' Rebellion

Where did Shays' rebellion take place?

This event occurred in Massachusetts, in the Springfield area.

Farmers in western Massachusetts resented the fact that the state's tax laws favored trade at the expense of farming. The state legislature was composed mostly of merchants from Boston and other shipping towns and cities. In 1786, farmers assembled in conventions and demanded that their property tax be lowered. To make up for the loss of revenue, they called for the abolition of aristocratic branches of the government in Boston. A Revolutionary War veteran named Daniel Shays led about 2,000 armed men against the Springfield arsenal. The rebellion collapsed but the problems continued. Shays and his followers believed they were simply carrying on the sprit of the Revolution.
The rebellion started on August 29, 1786 it occured in central and western Massachusetts from 1786 to 1787.

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Abused Men
Shays' Rebellion

What did Shay's Rebellion point out?

That Shaycarl is the best man in the entire world.

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Shays' Rebellion

Why did farmers in the western Massachusetts take up arms in Shay's Rebellion?

1786-1787

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History of the United States
Shays' Rebellion

Was shays rebellion led by Daniel shays?

Yes, Daniel Shays led Shays' Rebellion. Because judges kept seizing farmer's land and putting the farmers in jail for not paying taxes.

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History of the United States
Shays' Rebellion

What changes did Shays' Rebellion lead to?

At the conclusion of the Revolutionary War times were very hard for soldiers and their impoverished families. The problem affected soldiers in every state. The script the soldiers had received for pay was almost worthless. There was no strong central government to deal with the debts of the war, the individual states were not contributing enough and there were foreign loans to pay.


The Massachusetts state legislature was composed mostly of merchants from Boston and other shipping towns and cities. The farmers of Western Massachusetts were suffering and their taxes were unreasonably high. Many were deeply in debt and were facing serious legal penalties that included prison. The farmers resented the fact that the state's tax laws favored trade at the expense of farming. Debtors were sold into servitude and their farms were taken. Many soldier/farmers joined a revolt led by Daniel Shays a former Army captain from Pelham. They demanded paper money to pay their debts.


There were several skirmishes and the insurgents took possession of the courthouses including those in in Springfield and Northampton. In late January, 1787, Shays' men faced an army funded by Boston merchants when they tried to seize control of the Springfield Arsenal, a military supply depot that was scouted and approved by George Washington in 1777. Several insurgents were killed. After several months the rebellion lost its momentum and the insurgents were eventually captured and tried for treason. Fourteen were convicted and sentenced to death but were subsequently pardoned or served short prison sentences. A newly elected legislature eased the situation by allowing soldiers to pay taxes using their soldiers' notes. The times gradually became more prosperous and some of the bitterness subsided.


Shays and his followers believed they were simply carrying on the spirit of the Revolution. Thomas Jefferson, then minister to France, agreed with them. "A little rebellion now and then is a good thing," he wrote to a friend. "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." Washington did not agree with Jefferson. He welcomed the failure of Shays's Rebellion and he compared it to his having to use force to prevent a military coup by a group of army officers under his command. He believed citizens could not take up arms whenever they felt something was not done correctly or they had a grievance.


The significance of Shays' Rebellion has been viewed differently by historians of different time periods. However it has come to be recognized today as one of the factors that forced a young nation to think carefully about its form of government. It created public support for a central government and a federal constitution.


Shays' rebellion showed that the government under the Articles of Confederation was too weak to repel the insurgency and was unable to enforce laws reasonably (unlike the oppressive taxation and seizure of farms) and effectively. The governor of Massachusetts asked for help from the national government but the government under the Articles was unable to act. Although the rebellion eventually collapsed the problems continued. A convention was eventually called to strengthen the Articles.


Springfield Technical Community College in Springfield, Massachusetts hosted a symposium entitled "Shays Rebellion and the Making of a Nation" in 2010. STCC and the Springfield Armory Museum, a National Historic Site, share the same address in Springfield, Massachusetts.

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Whiskey Rebellion
Shays' Rebellion

How was the whiskey rebellion and shays rebellion alike?

They both had similar meanings to rebel. They both were because of ridiculous taxes.

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Whiskey Rebellion
Shays' Rebellion

What are the similarties between Shay's rebellion and the whiskey rebellion?

Both were conducted by famers whom were anti-taxes.

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History of the United States
Shays' Rebellion

Why was Shay's rebellion significant?

It illustrated the weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation.

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United States of America
Essays
Whiskey Rebellion
Shays' Rebellion
United States

What is the Sagebrush Rebellion?

It is the fight over the use of US Public Lands with different groups seeking special rights and access. Ranchers want grazing, miners want access, conservation people want wilderness, Campers want roads, Archeologists want everyone kept out but themselves, loggers want roads but not for campers to use. It is an unresolved and often heated struggle.

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History of the United States
Politics and Government
Jefferson Davis
Shays' Rebellion

What is Daniel Shays best remembered for?

shays' rebellion

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History, Politics & Society
History of the United States
American Revolution
Shays' Rebellion

Why did Shay's Rebellion happen?

it was started by Daniel Shays who was a Farmer who might get his land taken away from him and the same with other farmers. They rebelled against the Congress. It all must have happened so fast.

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History of the United States
Shays' Rebellion

How did many of the Americans react to Shays Rebellion?

The Americans did not like shays rebellion because thanks to Danial shay all of the farmers began burning down everything in their sight . THE AMERICANS WERE ANGRY AND WANTED TO GET IT OUT.

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Shays' Rebellion

What were the people who took part in shay's rebellion angry about?

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Articles of Confederation
Shays' Rebellion

How did Shays' Rebellion encourage a plan to revise the Articles of Confederation?

it influenced Massachusetts ratification of the US Constitution
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