Shays Rebellion – An Uprising Of The Overtaxed And Unappreciated-sugus

News-and-Society A storm of unhappiness polluted the recently freed American homeland after the Revolutionary War. Proud veterans of the continental Army went home unpaid and often unappreciated by the bankrupt state governments they helped create. This was particularly true in Massachusetts. An amnesty to loyalists who had fled the state with the British allowed theses unrepentant and unsympathetic merchants to return and claim monies on outstanding debts that were put on hold during the war. Other wealthy interests also dominating the state government who had helped finance the war effort were demanding their monies and raising taxes in order to do so. The farmers suffering under this burden, vulnerable to being sent to debtor’s prison for debts as small as five dollars, began to petition the government for relief. They wanted to pay back in "greenbacks" not in gold and silver, of which there was not enough in the entire state to satisfy the claims of these monied interests. All their efforts to get relief were rejected in the economic depression that faced the newly emerging country. This class warfare also was abetted by expensive litigation and lawyers who demanded a high return for their labor. Small farmers saw their belongings, including their farms, sold for debt payment for far less than their worth. One sick woman had her bed taken from under her in one outrageous action. The ex soldiers saw themselves be.ing tenant farmers to a rapacious and distant tyrannical class. They saw themselves being taxed by an unresponsive leadership not unlike the British they had recently defeated. It was not a huge step for these ex-fighters to see that organizing to stop the debtor’s courts from operating was be.ing necessary. Spontaneous gatherings of armed men often prevented these courts from operating as they forcibly freed the debtors imprisoned in them. At the same time they continually petitioned the government for relief. When a $12.00 debt brought the authorities to Daniel Shay’s own farm in 1786, this veteran Captain of the Continental Army, who had fought at Lexington and elsewhere, rounded up his fellow farmers and began a 6 month rebellion by taking over the Court of .mon Pleas in Northampton. Governor Bowdoin, unsympathetic, considering these men traitors, organized a militia paid for by private interests as the government had no authority to raise money for such an event. When Shays moved his poorly disciplined troops towards the Springfield armory to seize weapons for their .mon defense, part of this militia protecting the armory fired on his forces, killing 4 and wounding twenty. Shay’s "army" disintegrated and fled. Shortly thereafter Shay was captured along with his colleagues in arms and put on trial. Though Daniel Shay and other leaders of this rebellion were ultimately pardoned, the impact of this unrest forced the states to review the Articles of Confederation and ultimately create a more effective Constitution that would help the nation be.e the standard bearer of liberty it now represents. About the Author: 相关的主题文章: