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Shays Rebellion And The Effects On Early America History 201 Research Paper

993 words - 4 pages

When a group rises up for what they believe in, it can have incredible results. Sometimes those results can even have rippling effects that have the power to create one of the strongest nations on Earth. Shays’ Rebellion was one of those defining moments and without it this country may have crumbled.
For the first few years of piece, after the Revolutionary War, the commercial and agrarian society’s future appeared to be in danger by a chain of debt bothering the postwar years depressed economy. The horrible economy had effects on nearly everybody in New England, particularly the farmers. The farmers for years had been accustomed to growing only enough for what they required and grew very little in surplus. The issue with this way of farming is that with little to no surplus it is very hard to earn enough money for paying excessive debts. Since farmers had very little money the buyers offered the item they needed on short term credit and received any surplus farm goods for seasonal payment. But if the farmer ended up with a less than satisfactory crop, shopkeepers would normally extend the credit and basically tied the farmer to their business yearly. When a credit crisis happens, the slow disintegration of this culture became more and more obvious. In times of hardship, merchants that needed cash withdrew credit from their farmer customers and called for hard cash repayment of loans. This kind of demands showed how the commercial elite were growing in power which unsettled the farmers of New England. Many of the farmers in debt were put in debtors’ prison. Some decided to take a stand and start a rebellion.
Daniel Shays was the person that went on to lead the rebellion. He was born in Hopkinton Massachusetts and was raised as a farmer prior to fighting for his country in the War for Independence. He fought in well-known battles of the war such as the Battle of Bunker Hill, Saratoga, and Lexington. He was awarded the rank of Captain for his success in battle and returned to civilian life after the War. Shays held a political office in Pelham, Massachusetts after the War but during the rebellion he sympathized with the farmers, which lead him to join the fight. The farmers figured the person leading them in their rebellion against their very own government should be a good leader and a man that can keep calm in an emergency and they believed Daniel Shays was the perfect man for the job. The farmers were now ready for action.
While Shays’ men were outside the Springfield courthouse they discussed kidnapping the judges and holding them hostage. Daniel Shays was trying his hardest to keep them under control and hold them back. The militia of Massachusetts was there but would not protect the judges, after court the judges snuck out. The farmers then took over the empty courthouse. After this event, many courthouses around the state were being held up by different...

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