How did Shay’s Rebellion highlight the ineffectiveness of the Articles of Confederation?
In the late 1786 and early 1787, while facing seizure of their land, debt-ridden farmers led by Daniel Shays, a veteran of the War of Independence closed the courts in Massachusetts. These famers were in desperate need of assistance to pay off their debts; however, Governor James Bowdoin had no compassion and dispatched an army. Events such as, the Shay’s Rebellion convinced American’s that the national government must be strengthened. The Rebellion demonstrated the need for a more central government to ensure private liberty. The Nation had to develop undeviating economic policies and protect property owners from violations on their rights by state officials. James Madison eloquently stated that “Liberty may be endangered by the abuses of liberty as well as the abuses of power.” This lovely quote basically emphasized the power and need of checks and balances.
The Constitution is a document of many compromises. Identify which compromises you believe to be most significant to the success of the new nation and explain why.
The most significant compromise was finding a middle ground in terms of liberty and power. The delegates greatly feared the thought of becoming a monarchy; however, they also feared the thought of becoming too democratic. There was a great power struggle between the federal and state governments, as well as, large states and small states. Madison’s Virginia Plan to create a two-house state legislature on the basis of population was greatly favored in large states, such as Massachusetts, Virginia, and Pennsylvania. Smaller states, however, favored the New Jersey Plan, which called for a single-house Congress in which each state cast one vote, as it was under the Articles of Confederation. Finally a compromise was reached that pacified all states. The nation would have a two-house Congress consisting of a Senate in which each state...
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