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Shays' Rebellion


Shays' Rebellion

A Loud and Solemn Lesson

Shays' Rebellion marked what was perhaps the first major populist uprising against the country's "fat cat" elites. This is the story of a debtors' revolt in rural Massachusetts that pitted the common farmer against the landed gentry, the outsiders against the establishment, and the tyranny of the mob against the rule of law. The rebellion, led by Daniel Shays, exposed the severe cracks that were forming in America as a result of the weak Articles of Confederation. This is the story of that uprising, how it was dealt with by the government, and how its consequences still resonate today.

A Day That “Unexpectedly Changed America”

Despite the corny animations, a video (44 mins) from History Channel’s ten-part miniseries “10 Days That Unexpectedly Changed America” (aired 2006) provides a detailed overview of Shays’ Rebellion, complete with analysis and perspective from authors, historians and others. As with other links, we suggest that you read our story in Miracles and Massacres before watching this video.

Shays’ Rebellion and the Making of a Nation

For essential information on Shays’ Rebellion, including detailed biographies on its major players, historical artifacts and documents, maps, a comprehensive timeline and a treasure trove of other useful material, head on over to this great educational site run by Springfield Technical Community College.

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