University of Chicago
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Causes and Consequences of Shay’s Rebellion in Massachusetts in 1786-1787
Shays’ Rebellion is the name given to a series of protests in 1786 and 1787 by American farmers against state and local enforcement of tax collections and judgments for debt. Although farmers took up arms in states from New Hampshire to South Carolina, the rebellion was most serious in Massachusetts, where bad harvests, economic depression, and high taxes threatened farmers with the loss of their farms. The rebellion took its name from its symbolic leader, Daniel Shays of Massachusetts, a former captain in the Continental army.
This rebellion had caused farmers and other people to not pay their taxes. The states had to tax the people in gold and silver to pay the war debt. They had to get the taxes in gold in silver because France and Holland did not want the payments in any of the different states currency. But not many farmers had the access to gold and silver so it was a pain for them to try and get gold and silver to pay the taxes. A lot of the farmers and other people refused to pay the tax because it had to be in gold and silver, yet most of the farmers had to pay the tax because it was on the land that they were farming. These were not cheap taxes they were quite hefty for small farmers and common people to try and get together.
This was a way to get around the Articles of Confederation because the federal government could not tax the people. So the federal government started to tax the states more which then caused the states to have to tax their people. If you could not pay the tax then they would shut you down or foreclose you. This hurt many of the small farmers and also the small stores. Some of the other effects were that the faults of the Articles of Confederation were demonstrated.
This made the state leaders decided that there needed to be a change to the federal government. So in this want to change the federal it came about to a Constitutional Convention. Here is where Article 1, Section 8 came to be, this gave the congress the ability to tax the people, which was not the best for the people but better for the states. In conclusion these are a few of the causes and effects of Shay’s Rebellion that effected the people of our great young nation.