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The History of Shays’s Rebellion


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This presentation covers the history of Shay's Rebellion and its more important elements.It also has a test at the end if it is used in the classrom.

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The History of Shays’s Rebellion

  1. 1. Shays’s Rebellion In partial-fulfillment of grade 8 Social Studies requirements on May 20th, 2005 by Ashley Hu to Mr. Haskvitz
  2. 2. Causes of the Rebellion  A depression occurred after the end of the American Revolution in 1783  This affected many farmers, especially those in Western Massachusetts  Economic value for agricultural goods decreased  High taxes from the government were imposed due to debts from the war  Many farmers were thrown in prison from debt after their property was confiscated and sold for one-third or less the original price Source: history/revolution.html
  3. 3. Main Events of the Rebellion  At first, farmers merely demanded the development of paper money to lead to inflation  Inflation would assist the farmers in paying off debts  Farmers also petitioned for lower taxes from the government and a reform in the courts, since the courts were in charge of the system of credit  Farmers desired elected officials running courts rather than appointed officials since many were run by wealthy groups  A group known as the Regulators were formed because many individuals in Massachusetts sought reform  Initially, the farmers were not involved in any type of violence; instead, the farmers focused on freeing farmers in prison
  4. 4. Main Events of the Rebellion (cont’d)  As conditions grew worse, many began to take action by refusing to allow courts to have any further hearings and throw debtors in prison  To do this, farmers armed themselves and settled in front of courts such as Pittsfield and Northampton  Leaders began to emerge to guide farmers towards justice against unfair actions  One particular leader who was a veteran of the Revolutionary War was Captain Daniel Shays Source: kenichls/2601Shays.html
  5. 5. Main Events of the Rebellion (cont’d)  When citizens of Massachusetts attempted to consult the government of their hardships, the government not only ignored their pleas, but also raised tax from fifteen cents to one dollar and seventy-five cents to pay off debts of the war  In August of 1786, the farmers’ anger could not hold any longer. Fifteen hundred men armed with guns and swords kept the Northampton courts from holding hearings of debtors  Other mobs even hurt and insulted judges while liberating prisoners at Great Barrington  Desperate to prevent the rebellion from spreading, Governor James Bowdoin began to enlist soldiers for the militia  On September 25th to 25th, Shays led fifteen hundred men to the Springfield Courthouse to prevent the hearing once again  In retaliation, Governor James Bowdoin sent forty-four hundred soldiers in the militia to force down the uprising
  6. 6. Main Events of the Rebellion (cont’d)  Shays did not receive this information, so he continued towards the arsenal  General William Shepherd, who was the head of the militia, commanded that the men stop, but the farmers did not, so the general fired a cannon shot over them  However, the farmers pressed onwards and the militia once again fired a cannon  The cannon shot landed in the center of the rebels  Three rebels were killed and a fourth severely wounded, and who later died  After the shot had killed the men, the rest of the rebels fled  Following, the rebels planned to take over the arsenal located in Springfield before preventing a hearing in the Hampshire County Court on January 25th  However, Luke Day, another leader of the rebellion, attempted to notify Shays that there was a delay due to heavy snows
  7. 7. Who Participated in the Rebellion?  Former soldiers of the Revolutionary War  Farmers  Surprisingly, many wealthy families Source: ery/pages/image1.html
  8. 8. Effects and Outcomes of the Rebellion  Rebels were captured on February 3rd of 1787  Shays and the men he led were all sentenced to treason, but most were pardoned by the John Hancock, who was a newly elected governor  Though they were pardoned, Shays and the rebels were prohibited from running in office, serving in juries, and voting  Shays’s Rebellion exposed the flaws of the Articles of confederation  Congress could not raise any taxes, so debts were unable to be paid (state governments, however, were enable to raise taxes)  Congress was able to call upon a militia, yet the soldiers were not paid  In addition, though Congress could pass laws to regulate the actions of the states, but the states were not obliged to obey them  Congress could not pass amendments unless all thirteen states approved of them, so the Articles of Confederation could not be edited  Furthermore, Congress could not make certain decisions due to the fact that each side of the discussion could not gain any majority
  9. 9. Effects and Outcomes of the Rebellion (cont’d)  A Constitutional Convention in 1787 was held from influence of Shays’s Rebellion called for a stronger federal government  This lead to the development of the United States Constitution today
  10. 10. Annotated Bibliography Books: American Journey, The (2000) Glencoe/McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. Provided a brief overview of the rebellion in general, and explained the cause Richards, Leonard L. Shays’s Rebellion: The American Revolution’s Final Battle (2002) Explained the individuals who participated in the rebellion and what caused them to join it Starkey, Marion L. A Little Rebellion (1955) Provided accurate information with no event missing. In addition, the book explains the causes and effects of the rebellion.
  11. 11. Annotated Bibliography (cont’d) Internet sites: Calliope Film Resources (2000) Shays’ Rebellion Provided cause, effect and detailed events of the rebellion. Important individuals are also established. O’Neill, Stephen C. (1998) Supreme Judicial Court Historical Society Provided essential information on the rebellion, starting with the petitions then to the violent uprising. In addition, the consequences of the rebels and outcome of the rebellion. Vest, Rose (2005) Shay’s Rebellion Discusses position of farmers as well as Shays. Events, causes, and effects are explained elaborately. Encyclopedias: Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, The, 6th Edition (2005) Columbia University Press Important information on the rebellion explained, as well as a brief description of the aftermath. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc; Wikipedia Encyclopedia (2005) Information on leaders and overview of the uprising is clearly recognized.