The Whiskey and Shay Rebellion Essay

The Whiskey and Shay Rebellion Essay

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There were many rebellions in the United States history, some peaceful and some violent. Shays' Rebellion in 1786 and the Whiskey Rebellion in 1794 are examples of two brutal rebellions that led to death of many innocent people. Rebellions can develop due to many conditions including unfair laws, unfair treatment, and a disagreement over a sensitive topic. The Shays' Rebellion showed the Articles of Confederation was too weak, while the Whiskey Rebellion proved the Constitution to be a strong framework of government.
Shays' Rebellion was the first uprising of the new nation. The battles were fought in Massachusetts. During the time period of 1786-1787, The United States government decided to raise taxes, in order to raise capital and pay off war debt, which ultimately led to an economic depression.. A great postwar depression meant that prices for farm produce in general decreased. Many farmers became overcome with debt, causing seizure of their property when they were forced to default on their debts. Such a tense environment erupted in a rebellion as a protest against the Massachusetts government's refusal to provide economic relief to the struggling farmers of the state (Carson, Bonk). A rebel group known as the Regulators (Stock) , led by Daniel Shays, a veteran of the American Revolutionary War, began to form. Daniel Shays was the son of an Irish immigrant and joined the Continental Army at the beginning of the American Revolution and managed to attain the rank of captain before returning home (Bigelow). He became a typical farmer, who eventually fell into debt, along with many of his neighbors. As an elected local representative, Shays was a member of petition groups that opposed the governments ignorance to demands to...


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... of handing issues without major damage. America is now stronger as a nation because of these significant rebellions.















Works Cited


"Shays, Daniel." American Revolution Reference Library. Ed. Barbara Bigelow, Stacy A. McConnell, and Linda Schmittroth. Vol. 2: Biographies, Vol. 2. Detroit: UXL, 2000. 443-450. U.S. History in Context. Web. 3 Mar. 2014.

"Shays' Rebellion." Gale Encyclopedia of U.S. Economic History. Ed. Thomas Carson and Mary Bonk. Detroit: Gale, 1999. U.S. History in Context. Web. 3 Mar. 2014

"Shays’ Rebellion: August 1786–June 1787." Global Events: Milestone Events Throughout History. Ed. Jennifer Stock. Vol. 6: North America. Farmington Hills, MI: Gale, 2013. U.S. History in Context. Web. 3 Mar. 2014.

William Findley: Whiskey Rebellion." Gale U.S. History in Context. Detroit: Gale, 2014. U.S. History in Context. Web. 3 Mar. 2014.

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