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Shay’s rebellion took place in 1786 to 1787 in western and central Massachusetts. It was an armed uprising led by Daniel Shays among other rebel leaders and he was American Revolutionary War veteran.

The economic crisis of the 1780s affected many farmers in rural areas of central and western Massachusetts. As farmers tried to start new farms they suffered from high debts since the government of Massachusetts failed to respond to the crisis by passing pro-debt laws such as printing more money and forgiving the debtors. Consequently, many farms were seized by the local sheriffs and farmers who were unable to pay their debts were imprisoned. The rebellion was prompted by these financial difficulties which were the impacts of post-war economic depressions, fiscally harsh policies in the constitutions passed in 1785 and credit inadequacy due to lack of hard currency.

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Protesters and war veterans shut down several county courts including the commonwealth’s Supreme Court in Worcester in the months of 1786 in an effort to stop judicial hearing for debt and tax collection. Some of the rebel leaders and debtors were arrested by the government causing a more agitation to the protesters; as a result they broke into jails to free them. We the help of local tycoon, the state organized a private militia that defeated the rebels as they attempted to seize the federal Springfield Armory in January of 1787, wounding and killing several people. The rebels were split in February in 1787 after an ambush at their camp in Petersham and scattered resistance ended at Sheffield where government troops wounded 30 rebels. The rebellion helped in the reform of the country’s governing document, the Articles of Confederation.

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