Daniel Shays was born in Massachusetts in 1747. Shays joined the local militia and fought in the battles of Bunker Hill, Saratoga, and Lexington. He rose to through the ranks and became the Captain of the 5th Massachusetts Regiment. He was wounded and, like many soldiers, was never paid for his 5 years of military service. Without that money, he could not pay back his debts.
After attending a couple town meetings, he discovered that others also had not gotten their money for military service. In 1782, a man named Job Shattuck, who was a farmer in Groton, gathered a group of farmers, and physically prevented tax collectors from collecting taxes from poor farmers.
In 1783, in Uxbridge, a mob confiscated land and gave it back to its rightful owners. In 1785, John Hancock retired, and James Bowdoin was elected Governor of Massachusetts. In 1787, Shays took drastic action. He and his 1,200 troops marched to Springfield, Massachusetts to battle Bowdoin’s private militia. Only 4 of Shays’s men were killed and 20 were wounded.
In 1788, Shays was pardoned. He returned to Vermont and received pay for his 5 years of military service. After Shays’ Rebellion, John Hancock was re-elected as the Governor of Massachusetts.
Shays’s Rebellion is important because it showed us that we needed to reject the Articles of Confederation, come together at the Constitutional Convention, and write the United States Constitution.
Joke: What’s Daniel Shays’ favorite month? May, because it rhymes with Shay.
Dr. Michelle Getchell. Shay’s Rebellion. Khan Academy.org
History.com Editors. Shays’ Rebellion. A & E Television Networks. Last updated 21 August, 2018. https://www.history.com/topics/early-us/shays-rebellion
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