Shay's Rebellion

Topics: United States Constitution, Articles of Confederation, Money Pages: 4 (1332 words) Published: February 18, 2014
Shay’s Rebellion
In Letters and Other Writings of James Madison, James Madison, a supporter of a strong central government stated that “If a complete supremacy somewhere is not necessary in every society, a controlling power at least is so, by which the general authority may be defended against encroachments of the subordinate authorities, and by which the latter may be restrained from encroachments on each other.” Madison believed in the need for a central government and thought that the weak articles of confederation needed to be replaced. His opinions later helped him spearhead the operation to create the current constitution. In the time period before Shays Rebellion the Articles of Confederation were used to create a formal, limited authority for the wartime central government that at first was conducted informally by the Continental Congress. Under the Articles, many problems occurred such as how the national government could not control trade between the states or with foreign nations. Each state regulated its own trade, which resulted in many disputes among the states and with other nations as well. In addition, most states issued their own money, which caused paper currency to be basically worthless. Lastly since each state acted like a small, separate nation the people of each state saw themselves as citizens of their states as opposed to citizens of an entire nation. This was a big problem because it caused our central government to have no real power and the U.S seemed to be truly united in name only.

Since the Articles of Confederation were too weak to handle all of the problems in this time period, the country was not able to govern or defend itself against attack or rebellion. The national government was dangerously close to bankruptcy, and the nation’s currency was virtually worthless. One main problem that attributed to Shays Rebellion was that many of the farmer’s who participated in it were veterans who had been paid in national...
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