Shays rebellion

Shays rebellion

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  • In 1781, paper money was outlawed in Massachusets, requiring people to pay debts in hard currency like gold or silver. This new rule especially hurt farmers, as farming brought in very little gold or silver. Farmers were unable to pay debts, so they lost their land and some were put in prison.
  • In late August 1786, a mob of protesters surrounded and successfully shut down a court in Northampton, Massachusets. This was the first time a direct action was taken against the unjust laws at that time. Though this didn't immediately solve any problems, it caused the local leaders to take notice of the farmers' cause. 
  • On January 25, 1787, a group of 1500 farmers led by Daniel Shays marched on the federal armory in Springfield, Massachusetts. When the Farmers neared the armory, they met the state militia, who fired cannons at them, killing 4. Shay's force became disorganized and started fleeing to the north.
  • Though Shay's Rebellion did not accomplish much during its time, it did have a lasting effect on how the United States would be run. The rebellion showed how weak the government was under the Articles of Confederation. It also showed that citizens were still willing to take significant action if they believed something was unjust.
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