Shays' Rebellion

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  • Pay for Continental Soldier at the End of the War
  • A paper certificate is all I get? This is ridiculous!
  • Massachusetts Debt
  • You can't take away our land! It's not fair!
  • I'm sorry, boy. It's not my decision.
  • August 29th in North Hampton
  • Give us our land! Give us our land!
  • The soldiers were paid with paper certificates. Most soldiers sold them at discounted prices because they needed money. I do not agree with this because if someone was to risk their life for my independence and my rights, they should receive more for their service.
  • September 25th-28th
  • ... at the courthouse!
  • The Massachusetts Legislature raised taxes and required that it be paid in hard money. Farmers often could not pay so creditors would foreclose their mortgages and repossess their farms, which shocked the farmers.
  • Shays' New Plan
  • So here's the new plan guys!
  • On August 29th, an armed group of farmers closed the Hampshire County Court of Common Pleas in Northampton, stopping all foreclosures. The raised taxes and the creditors actions against the farmers led to this event. The government also was a reason this event occurred.
  • The Editor of the Massachusetts Centinel's Observation
  • Shays' own band of 600 farmers occupied the Springfield courthouse and prevented the Supreme Judicial Court from sitting there. The governor ordered General Benjamin Lincoln to muster 4,400 troops to protect the courts.
  • What?! Unacceptable! Get the troops and go!
  • Yes, sir!
  • Shays' new plan was to mount a surprise attack and overrun the new federal arsenal at Springfield. He needed this new plan because he realized they were facing an organized militia. The surprise attack resulted in the defenders killing 4 farmers and wounding 20, without yielding. The rest of the farmers ran away.
  • We are going to attack and overrun the new federal arsenal! So Ben, you're going to go here and Jerry...
  • The editor of the Massachusetts Centinel observed that the "late insurrections in the Commonwealth... must be considered as the cause of bringing [the federal government] into existence, at a much earlier period then would otherwise have been." This means that the new government wouldn't have been created so early without the rebellions. I agree because the rebellions helped the government realize that the system they had simply wasn't working out.
  • Well it appears to me that the recent insurrections are helping the government consider a new governmental system. I should put that in the Centinel!
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