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History of Shays' Rebellion

            Around the time of Shays' Rebellion, there were a few events happening. One of them leading up to the rebellion was the Land Ordinance of 1785. It included all lands north of the Ohio River, and set the eastern boundary at the Appalachian mountains, the western boundary at the Mississippi River. This act enabled this territory to be surveyed. The land was supposed to be divided into separate and orderly types of land plots. With the land there were divisions of townships, which are six square miles each; many of which were provisions for education. This division of townships lead to Shays' Rebellion, which is a rebellion that took place in 1786. It consisted of citizens in Western Massachusetts, majority of the rebels were farmers. So another part that led up to the rebellion was the farmers in Western Massachusetts had been hit very hard by the American Revolution. Some of them had their property destroyed in the fighting, some others had contracts with the Continental Congress. The contracts were in order to provide food and other goods to the Continental Army. Once the war was over, there was no more need for that contract, but for many of the farmers they were still producing a lot, as if they still had the contract. This resulted in an overabundance of goods/crops, and causes an agricultural depression. .
             By the summer of 1786, things were not looking so good in the area, for the farmers were being expected to pay their taxes in hard currency (in silver and gold) rather than paying it in paper money. The Massachusetts legislature had raised the taxes, and the farmers could not afford to pay them. Foreclosures on the land and property of the farmers began and the county courts started to close on the properties. Many farmers started to get frustrated and stated that they cannot do proceed anymore; they realized that they needed to take action. The farmers then banded together, loosely, and start to go around and conduct county protests at courthouses.

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