The Rebel that Started a Rebellion
Shay’s Rebellion was much more than an innocent act of citizens raging against their government. The rebellion was a non-civil riot in Massachusetts in the years 1786 and 1787 that shook and shaped America. Shay’s rebellion changed America in many ways, it altered our government, it helped us as citizens learn how to appreciate politics, and it refined the true meaning of life and the way we live. The rebellion led to the ratification of the Constitution and the message within the Constitution was declared through Shay’s Rebellion.
The late 1780’s were very intense in newly settled areas like Massachusetts, many of the farmers that lived in Massachusetts declined daily from high debt. The legislators that lived in this area did nothing helpful for or to those who were in high debt. Instead they would arrest those farmers or people who had high debt and they would be thrown into prison. The British became an independent nation and the colonies were considered foreign nations so long story short the colonies lost many of their trading privileges. Throughout the Revolution every state had to independently create a way to pay back their debts. “Between 1780 and 1782 the Court of Common Pleas of Hampshire County in Massachusetts saw a 262 percent increase in the number of debt cases.” (Gillon 35). The percent of men who could not pay their debt was more than 30 percent, the economy was very bad and they had no way of making money for themselves or their family. “The situation was even worse in Worcester, where debtors made up 80 percent of those in local jail” (Gillon 35).
This behavior from the legislators shook a certain individual named Daniel Shay, a formal military sergeant who moved to a small farm where he provided for his family and children. Shay forgot about the military but it started to become noticeable to him that the government was constructing a demanding tyranny. Shay was once called to debt court for a debt of 12 pounds, he was later released and prosecuted with 3 pounds. The farmers in Massachusetts were triggered with anger and Daniel Shay decided to take matters into his own hands since nobody else would. Daniel Shay had proposed a plan to march to Springfield, MA with many other farmers. James Bowdoin, a governor had heard of the plan Shay’s was preparing, Bowdoin gathered 4,400 soldiers and made it a goal to defeat the rebels and defeat the ideas they wanted for the states. Shay’s...