Shay’s Rebellion

Shay’s Rebellion

Shay’s rebellion is known to the last resistance that occurred during the American Revolution in the year 1786. The revolution was composed of continuous attacks on the government offices and courts in Massachusetts, and it steered the military to confront the members of the rebellion by full force in the year 1787 (Cain, Michael andDougherty 3). The rebels behind the revolution were ex-military soldiers who influenced the farmers that were opposing the country’s policies for economics and foreclosures of property. This rebellion was, therefore, called the Shay’s Rebellion and after Daniel Shays an ex-military soldier and farmer and had been previously participated in the Bunker Hills and was one of the insurrection leaders.

The war was mainly started as a result of the arrest of the farmers by the authorities due to lack of payment of the high taxes that were being imposed on them. The Massachusetts farmers were still demanding for the number of their debts by the 1780s that they had not been paid from the sale of their crops and farm outputs (Cain, Michael andDougherty 15). Also, in this time, the use of paper money had not been invented, and even both gold and silver were not available to be used to settle their debts. Therefore, barter trade was the only means available for conducting business by then. Again, there were no means of transport available that would be used to move the farm products into the market for sale so that they could earn cash and pay the high taxes and debts that the government was demanding from them. The authorities in Boston, therefore, started to seize the farms of the farmers and arrest them (Cain, Michael andDougherty 24).

Due to the continuous arrests of the farmers, they, therefore, began by conducting peaceful demonstrations in the 1786 summer (Cain, Michael andDougherty 41). The Western Massachusetts farmers even started taking action on the courts of their debtors. The leaders of the town through their committee drafted a document of their demands and projected changes and some were viewed to be too radical for the authorities to implement them. However, in Northampton and Worcester hundreds of people began blocking the judges from accessing the courts and the population of the people preventing the judges kept on rising with time.

In September 1786, Shay led a 600 men group to close down the Springfield court. He aimed at applying diplomacy through negotiations with General Shepard William. Afterward, the support of Shay in his revolution began rising, and he acquired support from many areas in the states (Cain, Michael andDougherty 131). The situation, therefore, kept on escalating until in 1786 when the military confronted one farmer crippled and harassed the farmer badly something that sparkled the rage of the revolution.

The rebellion continued as Shay, and his men kept opposing and steering the closure of more courts until they were confronted with the full force of the army and some of them were killed in the battles while others fled for their safety.

In 1787, the revolution cooled down and the spectators of Shay’s Rebellion demanded an overhaul of the existing ruling Articles of Confederation and suggested that a new federal constitution is developed that would govern all the states effectively henceforth. The people of Massachusetts afterward got an opportunity to send their delegates to represent them in the development of the constitution and were known as the Shaysites.


Works Cited

Cain, Michael JG, and Keith L. Dougherty. “Suppressing Shays’ Rebellion.” Journal of Theoretical Politics (2016),1-164.

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