The Patriots Daily Bites of American History Series 25 : Shays Rebellion




The Patriots Daily Bites of American History Series # 25
 by Gregory Dixon...US History 1956 
Shays Rebellion

The people of Massachusetts were perhaps more loaded with debt than those in any other state. It is said that the heads of families owed on the average more than $200 a piece. they were willing to pay but could get nothing to pay with. When great multitudes of poor people were sued and thrown into prison the people became desperate. In the western part of the state Daniel Shays raised an army of nearly 2000 farmers in 1786.

They surrounded the Courthouses at Worcester and Springfield and put a stop to all law suits for debts. It was not until a strong military force was sent out against them that the rebellion was finally stopped and Shays was compelled to leave for New hampshire.

The most powerful influence that kept the nation from dropping to pieces was the fact that the states had an interest in the North West Territory. Up to the middle of the Revolution seven of the thirteen states claimed the country west of them as far as the Mississippi River. Four of those states, New York, Virginia, Massachusetts and Connecticut, agreed to give it to the people of the United States for the common good. 

In 1787 congress made an ordinance for the government of the Northwest Territories.

1) Forbade the holding of slaves in the territories.

2) It granted entire religious freedom to every settler.

The states allowed congress to sell land in that vast region now forming the great and prosperous states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Eastern Minnesota, and thus get money to pay off the war debt of the Revolution. That did help hold the country together but when the Constitution was written 

Article 1, section 8, clause 17 forbade congress to sell land.

(to be continued)
The New Constitution.

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