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Shay Rebellion

Essay by   •  April 25, 2016  •  Essay  •  472 Words (2 Pages)  •  1,058 Views

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Shay's Rebellion was a chain of protests caused by American farmers who were against the collection of taxes. The rebellion took its name from their leader, Daniel Shays, who was a former captain in the Continental Army. The main cause of the rebellion was how high the taxes were and these high taxes would of threatened farmers with the loss of their farms. The Founding Fathers, Thomas Jefferson, Henry Knox, and George Washington, all formed opinions over Shay's Rebellion and believed that a new government should be formed in order to make a government that fulfills the needs of the people as a whole nation.

First was Thomas Jefferson's letter to James Madison. Thomas Jefferson states that there are three forms all societies exist under: 1. No government like the Indians, 2. governments where the will of the people has a just influence, and 3. governments of force, in most of the other republics. With Thomas Jefferson talking about governments, he also states that Shay's Rebellion is not a bad thing. He believes that a little rebellion here and there is always a good thing because rebellion keeps the government in check and keeps it healthy. A government should always have some changes made every once in and while and Shay's Rebellion is helping the government improve to be more like the 2nd government he stated, where the will of the people has a just influence.

Second is Henry Knox's letter to Washington. Henry Knox is a friend of Washington when they were fighting together. Knox sends this letter to tell Washington his ideas on improving the government and how the farmers have a just reason to rebel. Knox believes that the the government should be more about what the people in the nation want rather than having a few executives decide on how the government should be like. In respondance to Knox's letter, Washington writes a letter back to Knox. Washington states that he agrees with Knox's idea of changing the government to be more about the people's will. Washington always wanted a government for the people and give them freedom to decide what they want as a nation together.

All of the Founding Fathers agreed on the same thing that the current government needs to be changed in order to fulfill the needs of the people. Shays rebellion not only helped change the current government but also helped the constitution be created by giving ideas to what should be in the constitution. This rebellion led the Founding Fathers to form similar opinions on what should be changed and helped finalized their new form of government to improve our nation as a whole. Altogether, the rebellion had more positives than negatives and was worth the time to help form a clear opinion of how the new government should be like.

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